Grand National 2024: Mullins set for an incredible Aintree

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Aintree Racecourse on Merseyside takes centre stage on April 13 as the 176th edition of the world-famous Grand National Steeplechase is staged.

The race traditionally sparks massive interest in the betting industry, with many people placing their solitary bet of the year on the iconic race. Every horse racing betting platform offers odds on the race months in advance, highlighting its popularity.

Punters latch on to 2023 hero

Corach Rambler is bidding to go back-to-back in the National, and has been heavily backed to achieve the feat after recently finishing third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. However, he is 11lbs higher in the weights this year and that could be enough to scupper his chances.

Last year’s runner-up Vanillier has a 9lbs weight pull with Corach Rambler, which should be enough for him to turn the tables. He warmed up for the National by finishing second in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse, but should be seen to better effect over this longer distance.

The four miles and two furlongs trip should also suit I Am Maximus, who romped clear of Vanillier in the aforementioned race. The Willie Mullins-trained horse won the 2023 Irish National and looks to be a strong contender for the Irish equivalent.

Mullins a man to be feared

Mullins has several other fancied runners for the race including Mr Incredible, who was moving into contention in last year’s National before unseating jockey Brian Hayes after the second Canal Turn. He recently finished second in the Midlands National under top weight, and will feel like he is running free with just 10st 10lbs at Aintree.

Mr Incredible came in for strong market support following his fine run at Uttoxeter and should give punters a good run for their money in the National. Mullins’ work rider Luke Turner told the Racing Post that the horse has a ‘huge engine’ and believes he will thrive in the soft conditions at Aintree.

Meetingofthewaters is another runner from the Mullins stable who is likely to attract plenty of support from punters ahead of the race. He ran well to finish third in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and looks to be a well-handicapped horse.

Each-way chances abound in the National

Punters may view Mahler Mission as a value each-way bet for the race, although the handicapper has taken no chances with the talented stayer. The horse was last seen when running second in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury in December – a performance which had trainer John McConnell waxing lyrical about his chances at Aintree.

Mahler Mission had previously been an unlucky loser in the National Hunt Challenge Cup at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival after falling at the second last when well clear of the field. The winner of that race, Gaillard Du Mesnil, subsequently finished third in the National under 11st.

While the eight-year-old has been allocated 11st 4lbs for this year’s race, it would be no surprise to see him run into place. His lack of a prep run is a negative, but McConnell believes this will not be an issue and thinks the horse has what it takes to emerge victorious at Aintree.

Plenty of bettors have latched onto Kittys Light in recent days, with the marathon trip guaranteed to suit the eight-year-old. Trainer Christian Williams saddled the horse to win the Scottish Grand National at Ayr last year and he will fancy his chances of following up in the English showpiece.

Looking a little further down the betting, the combination of soft ground and a left-handed track may work the oracle for Galia Des Liteaux. She has produced several eye-catching performances this season and could run well at a big price.

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