Grand National Tips: I Am Maximus can conquer Aintree

 | April 11 | 

5 mins read

Grand National Betting Tips

The Grand National is one of the biggest and most bet-on sporting events of the year and I've got the task of coming up with some Grand National tips for your consideration. No pressure...

So, without further ado, here's my three fancies for the big race at Aintree on Saturday (16:00).

Grand National Tips

  • I Am Maximus @ 8/1
  • Noble Yeats e/w @ 20/1
  • Adamantly Chosen e/w @ 50/1

Love it or hate it, the Grand National is changing. The size and placement of fences has been altered in recent years and as of this season there will be 34 runners instead of 40. There will also be a standing start as opposed to the usual rolling one.

In turn, I think it's become a classier race. Perhaps that also means it's become more predictable and therefore less exciting, but from a punting perspective I don't mind that too much. He whispered.

So, as much as I wouldn't usually dream of taking single-figure odds about any runner in a National, I think the best approach these days is to not overthink it. Tiger Roll was obvious in 2019 but I thought too much about it. Corach Rambler last year too.

There's a fair chance the latter will do it again and become only the third horse to win the race back-to-back, but for me I AM MAXIMUS is even more obvious.

Willie Mullins' eight-year-old has always been a talented but quirky individual who quite frankly didn't know how to race efficiently. Even when he won the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse last year as a novice, the son of Authorized made jockey Paul Townend - who's back on board on Saturday - earn every penny of his riding fee.

However, he seems to have matured a good bit over the last four and a bit months. In that time, he's won his first Grade 1 - over a less-than-ideal 2m4f - before a couple of fine runs behind Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Galopin Des Champs and an emphatic 14-length success in the G3 Bobbyjo Chase back at Fairyhouse in late February.

That was a serious performance. Over an extended 3m1f in desperate conditions, he barely had to get off the bridle to give almost a stone and a beating to Vanillier, who was runner-up in last year's National and one of the market leaders this time. I Am Maximus is actually better off at the weights with Vanillier here, so with a bit of luck and a clear round it's hard to imagine that form not holding up.

I think he's developed into a proper Grade One horse this season who probably ran to a mark in the mid-late 160s the last day, so his 159 rating is more than fair in my book.

I have no doubts about him staying the trip and all the recent rain that's fallen on Merseyside will be of no hinderance to his chances either. In fact, it probably advertises them. He's my idea of the winner.

I Am Maximus to win the Grand National at 8-1

Likely conditions could also bring NOBLE YEATS, who won the 2022 Grand National, into play.

Emmet Mullins' nine-year-old is a dour stayer and while the majority of the field struggle - expect many non-finishers - I expect him to be sticking to the task.

Spending a whole season over hurdles is an unusual preparation for the National - although I've learned not to question his handler's unique training methods by now - and it's for that reason I believe he's being dangerously overlooked.

He was fourth in the race last year off a mark of 166, giving a whopping 20lbs to eventual winner Corach Rambler, who is now 13lbs higher. Noble Yeats has been dropped one since, so despite the burden of top-weight he's 14lbs better off with the favourite for an eight-length defeat - and he's five pounds better off with Vanillier for just six lengths.

I think he's an excellent each-way bet.

Noble Yeats each-way for the Grand National at 20-1

Finally, I'll be having a couple of quid each-way on ADAMANTLY CHOSEN - another for Willie Mullins - at a huge price.

The seven-year-old was a modest hurdler that improved bundles for going chasing, winning a Grade 3 and twice finishing runner-up at the highest level as a novice.

His campaign petered out afterwards and his first few runs this term were nothing to shout about either, but just under a month ago he went to Down Royal and won impressively over 3m2f on soft ground, beating Roi Mage (also 50/1 for the National) by a widening 14 lengths with his 156-rated stablemate and odds-on favourite Classic Getaway a further six-and-a-half lengths behind.

Did his rivals simply underperform? Perhaps, but that was his first try over further than three miles and it could also be the case that was the reason for the much-improved showing - and if that's true, I think he ought to be at least half his current price.

The fact he was also entered in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr and Sandown's Gold Cup Handicap later this month suggests connections are thinking along the same lines as me - that this could be an out-and-out stayer, not the middle-distance horse they've been trying to make him for the last year or so, and there could be more to come over marathon trips.

At the odds, it's well worth a small wager to find out.

Adamantly Chosen each-way for the Grand National at 50-1

Find more Grand National Betting Tips here at Betfred Insights

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