Grand National Festival Day 1 Tips & Predictions

Everything you need to know about the first day of the Grand National Festival from Aintree.

Aintree race track, home of the Grand National Festival

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The three-day Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse kicks off on Thursday 7th April 2022, with a tribute to the Merseyside city that is home to the world’s most iconic steeplechase.

The modern Aintree is a testament to a resurgent city of Liverpool, the regeneration of the famous dockland hub going hand-in-hand with Aintree’s rebirth as one of the finest racecourses in Britain and a fitting home to the Grand National Festival.

The opening day features the Grade 1 Aintree Bowl and Aintree Hurdle as well as top-level novices’ events over hurdles and fences.

Betting Tips and Predictions

Click the race names below to go straight to the latest tips and betting predictions ahead of the races.

1.Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)
2.Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)
3.Aintree Bowl Steeple Chase (Grade 1)
4.Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)
5.Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase (Class 2)
6.Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3)
7.Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2)

Grand National Festival Day 1: Liverpool’s Day Racecard April 7th 2022

The opening afternoon from Aintree features a quartet of Grade 1 races to satisfy any jumps racing fan, with the highlights being the Aintree Bowl and Aintree Hurdle. The opening day programme in full is below.

13:45Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)2m4f£100,000
14:20Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)2m1f£100,000
14:50Aintree Bowl Steeple Chase (Grade 1)3m1f£150,000
15:25Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)2m4f£200,000
16:05Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase (Class 2)2m5f£40,000
16:40Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3)2m£90,000
17:15Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2)2m1f£45,000

Race 1 – 13:45 Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

The opening contest is fittingly a Grade 1 chase for rising stars. This race can throw together horses that have done well at the Cheltenham Festival in races such as The Arkle, RSA Chase or the Marsh Novices’ Chase. (Note that the Grand National Festival did not take place in 2020 due to the Pandemic).

2021ProtektoratHarry Skelton17/2
2019KalashnikovJack Quinlan4/1
2018Finian’s OscarRobbie Power5/2
2017Flying AngelNoel Fehily5/1

Race 2 – 14:20 Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)

The Grade 1 four-year-old hurdle is run over two-miles and a furlong and can reunite protagonists from the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham on this flatter circuit. In 2019, Pentland Hills became the latest horse to win both races at the UKs major spring festivals for trainer Nicky Henderson.

2021MonmiralH Cobden10/11fav
2019Pentland HillsNico de Boinville11/4
2018We Have A DreamDaryl Jacob2/1
2017Defi Du SeuilBarry Geraghty4/11fav

Race 3 – 14:50 Aintree Bowl Steeple Chase (Grade 1)

The feature staying chase at the Aintree Festival, the Bowl was originally intended as a consolation for horses beaten in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham but is now a major Grade 1 in its own right. Paul Nicholls has won the race a record four times.

2021Clan Des ObeauxH Cobden5/2fav
2019KemboyRuby Walsh9/4fav
2018Might BiteNico de Boinville4/5fav
2017Tea For TwoLizzie Kelly10/1

Race 4 – 15:25 Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)

Run over 2m4f, Aintree’s Grade 1 hurdle for older horses is less of a speed test than it’s Cheltenham counterpart but no less demanding. Buveur d’Air, in 2017, was the last horse to complete the major double.

2021AbracadabrasJW Kennedy5/1
2019SupasundaeRobbie Power15/2
2018L’Ami SergeDaryl Jacob5/1
2017Buveur d’AirBarry Geraghty4/9fav

Race 5 – 16:05 Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase (Class 2)

The Foxhunters’ is the key race on the Aintree programme for amateur riders and produces a fitting test of their credentials over some of the toughest jumps in Britain.

2021Cousin PascalMr James King66/1
2019Top WoodTabitha Worsley14/1
2018BalnaslowDerek O’Connor11/2
2017DineurJames King16/1

Race 6 – 16:40 Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3)

A competitive handicap chase over two-miles named in honour of one of the Grand National greats, this fiercely run contest isn’t one for the faint of heart.

2021Editeur du GiteJoshua Moore9/1
2019Moon Over GermanyRachel Blackmore11/2
2018BentelimarJonathan Burke10/1
2017Double W’sBrian Hughes8/1

Race 7 – 17:15 Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2)

A concluding Grade 2 Mares’ bumper to complete the day one programme at Aintree, the race is run in memory of Nickel Coin, the winner of the 1951 Grand National.

2021Me Too PleaseRachael Blackmore14/1
2019The Glancing QueenWayne Hutchinson5/1
2018Getaway Katie MaiJamie Codd15/8fav
2017Dame RoseAlain Cawley14/1
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