Home » Best Value Bets for Aintree on Saturday April 13

Best Value Bets for Aintree on Saturday April 13

Find out who our man is backing for Saturday’s Randox Grand National at Aintree – he also has two other selections on the card.


  • The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK and Ireland.
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  • Following all Matt’s selections to recommended odds/stakes since taking over the column in June 2020 would have produced over 175pts in profit.

Value Bet tips: Saturday April 13

1pt e.w. Chantry House in 1.20 Aintree at 25/1 (Paddy Power 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6) – 20/1 General

1pt e.w. Esprit Du Potier in 1.55 Aintree at 33/1 (General 1/5 1,2,3)

1pt e.w. Mac Tottie in 4.00 Aintree at 50/1 (General 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook



On the attack with Mac in National

There are more progressive horses in the great race – and more classy ones too – but MAC TOTTIE comes alive over the Randox Grand National fences and could be up to springing a surprise with a massive run on Saturday.

Good things come to those who wait, as the old adage goes, and Mac Tottie’s connections have had to bide their time for a shot at the big one as he missed the National meeting 12 months ago through injury, having not been rated high enough to make the cut in Noble Yeats’ year the previous season.

What he did manage in April 2022, however, was to record a second career success over the famous spruce in the Topham – a performance which clearly had trainer Peter Bowen dreaming of a National tilt.

And in spite of all the recent rain, and the temptation to have another shot at Friday’s Topham over the shorter distance, Bowen has kept the dream alive by sticking to plan-A and giving the 11-year-old his chance to enter the record books.

He’d be the oldest winner of the National since fellow 11-year-old Pineau De Re 10 years ago now, but I can’t help but think this year’s edition is going to be something of an acquired taste, and having a few hairs on the chest is never a bad thing when conditions are particularly testing around Aintree.

And for all that Mac Tottie – winner of the 2021 Grand Sefton on this course too – has enjoyed some of his finest moments in the spring sunshine on relatively drier racing surfaces, he is also a multiple winner in the mud too, including when continuing his Liverpool love affair by scoring on the Mildmay Course (traditional park fences) here earlier this season, Timeform describing the going as heavy on that occasion.

His two runs since – one over hurdles at Doncaster and the other in a veterans’ event around (right-handed) Ascot – are best forgotten as Bowen clearly doesn’t mind thinking of the big picture when he looks to get Mac Tottie ready for a major pot.

They don’t get much bigger than the Grand National and I’m happy to chance him over the extended trip off a career-high mark (148, technically 2lb ‘wrong’ on these terms) back at his favourite haunt as we’re being very well compensated in terms of his price.

Don’t give up on Elliott’s Energy

Antepost fancy CHEMICAL ENERGY comes into the race completely under the radar, no doubt due to the layoff and Gordon Elliott expressing fears over the state of the ground.

That is enough to prevent me from doubling down on the horse following final declarations, but he does have some perfectly respectable form on soft going, including when second to Gaillard Du Mesnil in last season’s National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham.

The winner went on to be third in the National off a mark of 155, while the unfortunate Mahler Mission – who fell two-out when leading and seemingly well in control of that Festival race – is one of this year’s market leaders, despite running off a chunky 158.

So not all is lost with Chemical Energy, who looks on the right side of the assessor from his perch of 148, and he did run well for a long way from a prominent early position in the Kerry National when last sighted in September.

It’ll take a herculean effort to go close here first time back but not much is out of the question when it comes to Elliott, who has won the race three times in the past of course thanks to Silver Birch in 2007 and the special talent that was Tiger Roll (2018 and 2019).

House party for Henderson?

There are two others to be on each-way at big prices on Saturday, starting with CHANTRY HOUSE in the opening William Hill Handicap Hurdle.

Whatever was ailing Nicky Henderson’s horses before and during Cheltenham looks to have passed and this former Grade 1 winner has been given a real chance by the assessor, eased another 2lb for what wasn’t such a bad effort, given the circumstances, when finishing midfield in the Pertemps Final.

He’d been giving the impression he was on the verge of a resurgence when third at Cheltenham and fourth in the Pertemps qualifier at Huntingdon earlier in the season, and he’s simply too well handicapped to ignore at the moment.

Henderson’s Mill Green has been placed in the past two editions of this weekend’s race – aged 10 and 11 – while the same trainer had the fourth in 2019 (Burbank), a close second in 2015 (Call The Cops) and the fifth in 2014 (Utopie Des Bordes) too, with all of them coming out of Festival handicaps en route.

Chantry House was classier than the lot of them in his pomp and it was only January 2022 that he was winning the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase on Cheltenham Trials Day.

His aforementioned top-class victory came on this track at this meeting in the 2021 Mildmay Novices’ Chase and, having been rated in the 160s at that stage, he’s now right down to 141 which looks a gift if Henderson can rekindle a bit of the old spark.

Russell novice could be hard to catch

Caldwell Potter is the fascinating one in the Grade 1 Turners Mersey Novices’ Hurdle but he’s a very skinny price on debut for his new yard and I’d much rather have a few quid on ESPRIT DU POTIER.

His trainer Lucinda Russell has a fantastic record at this meeting in recent years and was nearly at it again with Ahoy Senor, who ran another belter – almost out of nowhere – in Thursday’s Bowl.

Esprit Du Potier looks to have taken a little while to fully work out, but he was a gallant sixth in the valuable Grade 2 bumper here 12 months ago, making most of the running and just getting done for speed late before boxing on bravely when headed.

He was beaten twice at short odds over two miles on his first couple of attempts over hurdles pre-Christmas, before improving massively for the step up to this longer trip when off the mark at Ayr in January, and he then put a lifeless River Don run behind him when hacking up at Newcastle last month, jumping brilliantly at the head of affairs.

The second has been beaten in a maiden since so the form obviously needs improving upon in a major way, but the winner was in a different parish. In addition, stablemate Ahoy Senor was only a maiden winner when defy odds of 66/1 in the Sefton a few years ago and Russell won that same three-mile Grade 1 with 130-rated 16/1 shot Apple Away 12 months ago, as well as saddling the 100/1 third in 2022. So she knows when to pitch them in at this sort of level.

I’ll take my chances at 25/1 or thereabouts.

Published at 1600 BST on 12/04/24

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