Blackmore gunning for National repeat

The greatest steeplechase in the world is upon us as Day Three of the Aintree Festival gets under way on Saturday.

We have already witnessed two thrilling days of racing on Merseyside, but it all comes down to Saturday’s card, with the going Good to soft, good in places on the Mildmay course and Good to soft on the National course.

Saturday’s opening race starts at 13:45, and Betfred have punters covered, with six places available thanks to the “Super Extra Place” promotion available in the Grade Three EFT Construction Handicap Hurdle.

Winter Fog (5/1) finished fourth in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival last month, and that form should be crucial for Emmet Mullins’ runner.

Three Stripe Life (3/1) and Walking On Air (7/2) are due to fight it out in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at 14:25, which is the first Grade One contest of the day.

Alan King’s Edwardstone (4/7) has won five on the spin for connections, and it will be up to the likes of Gentleman De Mee (4/1) and Third Time Lucki (5/1) to stop him from winning the Poundland Maghull Novices’ Chase.

Grand National Betting Odds

The third Grade One on Saturday comes at 15:35, and this could be the race of the day as the likes of Flooring Porter (13/8), Thyme Hill (5/2) and Champ (7/2) go to battle in the JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle.

Dan Skelton has picked up a couple of winners of late and stable star Shan Blue (11/4) appears to be the one to win the 16:15, before the card takes a break until the 2022 Grand National.

Minella Times (10/1) and Delta Work (10/1) are the joint favourites for Saturday’s National, with Betfred paying six places in the event.

Aidan Coleman’s Snow Leopardess (11/1) had been at the front of the market for the majority of the week, but Blackmore is confident she can make history on Henry De Bromhead’s runner Minella Times.

She told reporters: “I’m very excited; it’s great to be here. Henry’s extremely happy with him, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“We’ll be giving it our best shot, it’s a race that you need a lot of luck in, and we got plenty of that luck last year, so hopefully, there’s a bit left for this year.”

After another lengthy delay, Aintree’s card comes to a close at 18:20, with a Grade 2 National Hunt Flat Race bringing the meeting to an end.

Today’s Horse Racing Odds