Grand National Festival Thursday Tips

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Day 1: Thursday Grand National

Grand National Festival 2018, looking forward to this? Keep up to date with all the latest bets, news and betting odds from this epic horse racing event here – Grand National Festival 2018. We’ll be reporting on all the latest news, as it happens, from this new and dedicated Grand National page. For everything Thursday, just scroll down for everything that’s happening on the opening day.

Grand National Winner

After much speculation and anticipation, the 2018 Grand National kicks off on the 12th April, with the opening day being one of the main highlights in the entire three-day event.

This first day historically involves four G1 races, two G2 races, and one G3 race for novices, setting a balance for a day primarily based around some of the highest-rated racehorses in the competition.

Thursday’s Racing Itinerary

The opening day is set to be massively competitive as it sets the standard for all three days’ racing action. Horses included in each race are yet to be confirmed but there’s already plenty of reasons to get excited.

Thursday’s races:

1:45 The Merseyrail Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase

Named after Manifesto, a horse which ran on eight separate occasions in Grand National competitions between 1895 and 1904, the Merseyrail Novices’ Steeple Chase is likely to be fought out between jockeys Richard Johnson and Barry Geraghty, who have two wins each in this run.

2:20 The Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle

Last year’s winner in The Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle was Defi Du Seuil, who lived up to his status as favourite to finish first and 4/11 odds to comprehensively beat Divin Bere to the finish line.

2:50 The Betway Bowl Steeple Chase

Facilitating horses aged at five-years-old and up, the Betway Bowl was promoted to Grade 1 status in 2010 through its extremely ambitious standard and has proved to be the right decision ever since.

Wayward Lad, Docklands Express, First Gold and Silviniaco Conti sit with the most amount of wins but Silviniaco Conti is likely to cause a stir, standing as the only nag in that list who continues to race, and record four time winning training in the competition Paul Nicholls wanting to keep up his record with another first place finish.

3:25 The Betway Aintree Hurdle

This race has tended to highlight one exceptional horse ahead of all others, with a record four horse wins for Morley Street in the 90s setting the standard and Ruby Walsh continuing as leading jockey through his five wins on five horses. Top-class racehorse Buveur d’Air showed its dominance last year by finishing first at odds of 4/9.

4:05 The Randox Health Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase

As we step into the Grade 2 horse races, we see more outsiders proving their worth on the world stage, with last year’s winner Dineur finishing at odds of 16/1, second place Balnaslow being priced at 7/1, and third place Big Fella Thanks being worth a punt each way at whopping 40/1 odds.

4:40 The Betway Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase

Last year’s winner Double Ws finished at odds of 8/1 and the victor of this race is admired at any odds, as this is the first handicap race to be run at the Grand National, which boosts it into prestigious status, only backed up more by its namesake being legendary horse Red Rum, who memorably achieved an unmatched treble in winning the Grand National three times.

5:15 The Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat

Despite being the final race of the day, there’s nothing subtle about this flat encounter, as last year’s winner Kayf Grace defied the odds in finishing first at odds of 14/1 ahead of several far more expected favourites.

For the official lineup of horses involved in Thursday’s racing action, check back closer to the time for all confirmed runners.