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Grand National ante-post betting: Cheltenham heroes ready to go again

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Aintree’s Grand National Festival (April 11-13) is fast approaching and in this article Adrian Wall looks at three horses that stood out at Cheltenham and are fancied for success on Merseyside. 

They include Protektorat, who wasn’t short of doubters going into the Cheltenham Festival but got his career back on track when landing a bit of a plunge in the Ryanair Chase.

The Dan Skelton-trained star is now near the head of the ante-post markets for the Melling Chase and with soft or heavy ground looking quite likely at Aintree, conditions could be right in his favour.

Grand National ante-post betting tips – 2024

Odds correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.

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Protektorat (Melling Chase) 

Dan Skelton had a Cheltenham Festival he will never forget and one of his big wins came from stable star PROTEKTORAT in the Ryanair Chase. Ridden by the trainer’s brother Harry, the nine-year-old gelding saw off course specialist Envoi Allen to seal a four-length win.

Previously fifth and third in the Gold Cup, Protektorat took his chance in what looked like a weak enough running of the Ryanair. Connections knew he wasn’t up to competing in a strong Gold Cup field again this year and what a wise decision it proved as he won in great fashion.

Next up, if all is well with the horse, is surely a crack at the Melling Chase on Friday week. He won the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices’ Chase over the same course and distance in 2021 and, with testing conditions likely, he should be feared.

Selection: Protektorat to win the Melling Chase @ 4/1 with 10bet

Corach Rambler (Grand National)

Last year’s Grand National winner CORACH RAMBLER ran a huge race when third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month. As a result, bookmakers drastically shortened his odds for the race on Saturday week and he’s now the clear market leader to back up last year’s win.

However, there have to be some reservations. Although he ran a terrific race in the Gold Cup, he didn’t finish with the same zest we are used to seeing and he looked really tired hitting the line.

Corach Rambler is also 13lb higher in the weights this year. While some punters might be content on taking such a skinny price about the favourite, it will be some achievement if he can do it off the back of such a tough slog at Cheltenham.

Selection: Corach Rambler to win the Grand National @ 4/1 with 10bet

Irish Point (Liverpool Hurdle)

Robcour have a great team to go to war with at Aintree. Connections will surely save Stayers’ Hurdle winner Teahupoo for Punchestown, while Bob Olinger is set to take his chance in the Aintree Hurdle on Friday, meaning that IRISH POINT will almost certainly run in the Liverpool Hurdle the next day.

Irish Point bolted up in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at this meeting last year and he ran a screamer when second to State Man in the Champion Hurdle last month.

He didn’t have the pace to go with the winner but, stepping back up in trip, it’s hard to see what can beat him.

Selection: Irish Point to win the Liverpool Hurdle @ 11/4 with 10bet

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