Who To Follow On Day Three Of The Aintree Grand National Festival

Aintree - April 14 2023
Aintree 12:45
Aidan Coleman


J: Aidan Coleman
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 159
Days: 32

The first selection on Grand National day from Aintree comes in the Grade One Maghull Novices' Chase and there is no looking past Jonbon.

A £570,000 purchase and full brother to the top class hurdler/chaser Douvan, Jonbon was an easy 15 length winner of his Irish PTP and subsequently went on to cosily land his sole bumper start on his first run for Nicky Henderson.

He then marked his debut over obstacles at Newbury, on the back of a 244 day break, with a cracking performance, winning by an eased down six length margin in November this year.

He stepped up in grade next time at Ascot in the Grade Two Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle and again was an easy winner and then sent to Haydock on his prep run before the Cheltenham festival he was a determined winner of the Grade Two Supreme Trial.

His only defeat under rules came at the Cheltenham festival when second behind the superstar Constitution Hill, but he showed just how good he was on his final start of last term when landing the first Grade One of his career at Aintree in the Top Novices' Hurdle beating El Fabiolo.

Bought to be a chaser, Henderson gave him his debut over fences at Warwick on his seasonal debut this term and he looked an improved animal once more when bolting up at Warwick seeing off Grade One winner Monmiral and smart hurdler West Cork to win by seven lengths eased down.

Stepped up to Grade One company on his second chase start in December he again bolted up and landed the Henry VIII Novices' Chase from Boothill, who has since won and placed in decent Grade Twos.

Jonbon was last seen in his prep run for this event at Warwick when beating Calico in the Grade Two Novices' Kingmaker Chase.

He got a little scare that day when Calico went for home early but his jumping, speed and staying ability came to the fore and he was a comfy winner in the end.

Running a great race when last seen back in second behind El Fabiolo who is a class above, this is the poorest Grade One of the week and he should be in a different league to these.


Trainer To Follow - Willie Mullins

Having already had a winner on the opening day of the festival Willie Mullins will be hoping for a big day on the final afternoon of the meeting.

His first runner of the afternoon comes in the Mersey Novices' Hurdle over 2m4f and Dark Raven having been gambled on in Supreme steps up in trip.

In the Grand National, Mullins has some serious chances to land the race with Mr Incredible, Gaillard Du Mesnill, Capodanno, Carefully Selected and Recite a prayer all looking to run well.

Finally, in the Grade Two bumper he has some of the leading chances with Captain Cody and Blizzard Of Oz his leading chances in the event.

Mullins heads into the weekend sporting a strike rate of 30% for the last two weeks, managing to land 19 runners from his last 64 runners.

Jockey To Follow - Harry Skelton

Harry Skelton could have a really good final day at Aintree starting in the opener with Calico looking to take Jonbon close once again and pick up some place money.

In the 3m 1/2f Handicap Hurdle West Balboa steps up in trip and off a mark of 135 could have more left in the tank and then in the Grade One Mersey Novices' Hurdle Kateira can out run her odds.

Proschema in the Liverpool Hurdle will be looking to go better than his 33/1 odds suggest but then William Hill Handicap Chase Midnight River is the 6/1 favourite.

Skelton has a live chance in the 2023 Grand National with Le Milos coming for some money since declarations and he has been tipped by many to go close.