Saint Are can shine in National

Saint Are is fancied to improve on his ninth in 2013

Saint Are has won twice at this meeting.

Saint Are

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Betting Tip: Saint Are @ 33/1 with bet365

The first of my four against the field (the others being Soll, Royale Knight & Night In Milan) is the Tom George-trained SAINT ARE, who I put up as an ante post pick a few weeks back. I haven’t changed my mind since and I’m rubbing my hands now the ground has dried out as he’s much better on good ground. He warmed up for this with a confidence-boosting win at Catterick and I’m expecting a much better show than he put up in 2013, when he blundered his way round to finish ninth to Aurora’s Encore as a raw seven-year-old. He’s looked far more the finished article since joining his current stable, including when finishing third in the Becher Chase in December, and he has a fine record at Aintree, winning at the meeting in 2011 and 2012. French-born horses like him have won three of the last six renewals. Need I say more?

Of those at the head of the market, I much prefer Paul Nicholls’ Rocky Creek, but wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if Shutthefrontdoor provided Tony McCoy with a fairytale win – he’s a worthy favourite.

Betting Tip: Saint Are @ 33/1 with bet365

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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