Who To Follow On Day One Of The Aintree Grand National Meeting 2022

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Aintree - April 06 2022
Aintree 13:20
Davy Russell

Pied Piper

J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 4
Weight: 11-0
OR: 145
Days: 20

The second Grade One of the afternoon sees the 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle and nine decent youngsters are set to run but we can't get past the favourite Pied Piper.

Having been a fair horse on the flat for John Gosden, really coming across as a mud loving animal producing his best work in tricky conditions, he also did the same on stable/hurdles debut at Punchestown for Gordon Elliott.

Taking on the smart type Vauban for Willie Mullins, he handled the heavy ground well to see him off by a length.

Facing a different test at Cheltenham in January when running in a Grade Two event on good ground, he went on to shock many by bolting up by nine lengths, hard held under a great ride by Davy Russell.

Last seen back at Cheltenham for the festival he finished a narrow third behind stablemate Fil Dor and winner Vauban who reversed the form.

He ran a cracker in behind those horses and with that being the best form on offer, he should go close once more.

Brazil does look the danger having won the Boodles in gritty fashion but we are sticking with Pied Piper who is rated 1lb officially higher.


Trainer To Follow - Dan Skelton

Dan Skelton although did not have a winner at this year's Cheltenham festival saw his runners run really well and now sends a nice team to Aintree this week, especially on the Thursday.

In the Grade One Betway Bowl Chase over 3m1f he is looking for Protektorat to show how good he his, especially at Aintree where he is unbeaten in two smarts.

In the Foxhunters' Open Hunters Chase he lets Marracudja go for his second start in this sphere having won well last time out.

In the Grade Three Red Rum Handicap he fields King D'argent who was a good second last time out and looks to still be well handicapped on his old form.

Finally in the Grade Two Mares' bumper he has a leading chance with Kateira who was a bold winner on debut and should build on that here.

Skelton heads into the meeting sporting a strike rate of 28% for the last two weeks, managing to land eight winners from 29 runners.

Jockey To Follow - Davy Russell

Davy Russell has two really strong rides on the first day of the Grand National meeting and having not managed a winner at the Cheltenham festival, he will be gagging for a big spring festival winner this season.

His best chance of the day comes in the Grade One 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle where Pied Piper is looking to get back to winning ways off the back of his third in the Triumph at Cheltenham.

Russell's second ride of the afternoon comes in the Grade One Betway Bowl Chase where Irish Gold Cup winner Conflated will be looking to put his fall at the Cheltenham festival behind him.