Big Stars Set to Feature at Grand National Meeting

March 29, 2023

The three-day Grand National Meeting at Aintree is set to include some of the biggest names in National Hunt racing. The feature race is the Grand National, but it is not just the day three highlight where some of the Cheltenham Festival stars will line up.

Noble Yeats Bidding to Defend Grand National Crown

Noble Yeats won the 174th renewal of the Grand National last year when he prevailed by just over two lengths at odds of +5000. Emmet Mullins’ runner is much shorter in the betting online in horse racing this year, as he is +800 to defend his title.

The Irish horse warmed up for Aintree by finishing fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup where he stayed on better than most of his rivals in that contest. He is now rated as high as 170 in the official ratings following that performance.

If Noble Yeats can replicate what he achieved in 2022 with 10lb more weight on his back, he will become just the third horse since 1974 to win the race in back-to-back years.

Constitution Hill Entered in Aintree Hurdle

Constitution Hill, JTW Equnie Images, Past The Wire
Constitution Hill, JTW Equnie Images, Past The Wire

Unbeaten hurdler Constitution Hill fulfilled his promise at the Cheltenham Festival by winning the 2023 Champion Hurdle in emphatic style. The six-year-old cantered home under the hands of his regular rider Nico de Boinville in the Championship race on day one of the meeting.

Constitution Hill is set to have one final appearance this season. That is likely to come in the Grade One Aintree Hurdle. That race has been won in the past by the likes of Night Nurse, Dawn Run, Istabraq, and Epatante. 

Connections of the Champion Hurdle winner have yet to reveal what plan they will take with their horse next season. One of the options to them is to switch to fences, so the race at Aintree could be the horse’s final appearance as a hurdler.

Shishkin And Bravemansgame Set to Clash in Aintree Bowl

The Aintree Bowl could throw up a mouth-watering clash between two of the highest-rated chasers in the UK, Shishkin, and Bravemansgame. Both of those horses had to settle for second place at Cheltenham, but they have had excellent campaigns.

Ascot Chase winner Shishkin finished runner-up in the Ryanair Chase behind Envoi Allen. His last appearance at this meeting was in 2021 when he won the Maghull Novices’ Chase. After an injury scare last season, he has proved he is somewhat back to his best.

King George VI Chase winner Bravemansgame lost little in defeat when he chased home Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Paul Nicholls’ runner produced a big performance in the race as he matched the Irish star up until the final fence when the younger horse stretched away from him.

Nicholls’ runner is now rated as high as 172. That is the highest rating of any of the runners in the field in this year’s Aintree Chase.

The Grand National Meeting takes place between April 13-15. There will be a total of 21 races across those three days in Liverpool.

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