Our man is backing Willie Mullins to win the National

Ben Linfoot free horse racing tips for Aintree Grand National meeting day three

Our man has a couple of selections on Randox Grand National day at Aintree and he's backing Willie Mullins to land the feature race.

The Verdict tips: Saturday April 15

1pt e.w. Coconut Splash in 4.15 Aintree at 14/1 (Hills 1/5 1,2,3,4,5)

1pt e.w. Capodanno in 5.15 Aintree at 20/1 (General 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

The Cap fits for Mullins in National

Willie Mullins’ CAPODANNO gets the vote in the 175th renewal of the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.

The great race has seen many modifications over the last decade and there is no doubt it's a different beast now, the easier fences making it more like a conventional handicap even if it does retain its unique sparkle.

Noble Yeats bust a few trends last year being a lightly-raced seven-year-old and Capodanno is a similar type in age and experience even if he does enter the fray from towards the top end of the handicap.

A mark of 160 could underestimate him, though. He comes alive in the spring and has won at the last two Punchestown Festivals, most recently when landing the Grade 1 Champion Novice Chase when beating Lifetime Ambition by over six lengths and Fury Road by over 15.

He gets 1lb from Fury Road here and only has to give 2lb to Lifetime Ambition, so he’s looking well treated and he made an encouraging comeback over an inadequate 2m4f in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran when last seen.

Mullins skipped the Gold Cup to come here fresh and though he has his stamina to prove, he shapes like a stayer and his class could see him home.


It’s 18 years since Hedgehunter last won the National for Mullins, but he’s been close since with Snowy Morning, Pleasant Company and Rathvinden, and this year he has a really strong hand.

Mr Incredible is a risky proposition given his antics at the start, but is a threat if he gets in a rhythm, while Gaillard Du Mesnil has the stamina to have a big say if he’s within touching distance of the leaders crossing the Melling Road at the business end.

Capodanno looks the class act of the trio, however, and he won’t mind however the ground is riding.

Danny Mullins, something of a lucky charm for Uncle Willie this season, takes the ride, as he bids to add the National to his trophy cabinet after already bagging four Grade 1s for Mullins this calendar year.

The National Verdict:

2 Delta Work
3 Gaillard Du Mesnil
4 Our Power
5 Gabbys Cross


Williams to make a Splash

Evan Williams readied State Of Play for a fantastic spin in the National every year from 2009 to 2011 when he was placed three years running for the Rucker family, who had further placed success with Cappa Bleu and Alvarado after that.

They don’t have a National runner this year, but State Of Play won what is now the William Hill Handicap Chase for them back in 2006 and their The Last Day ran a fine race in third on Thursday as he aimed to go back-to-back in the Red Rum.

Clearly, they like to target Aintree and it’s no real surprise that COCONUT SPLASH has been held back for the aforementioned William Hill race by Williams who will have him primed and ready for this after 89 days off.

This horse likes time between his races and he’s highly thought of after being sent off at 8/1 for the Paddy Power New Year’s Day Handicap Chase at Cheltenham, where he was eventually pulled up after making a mistake at the second fence.

The good news is he ran much better upped in trip to three miles at Hereford later in January, where he wasn’t beaten far by subsequent Towton winner City Chief, and it could well be that he has needed three miles along.

A former point winner who is related to stayers, it was an encouraging first run at the distance at Hereford and he can travel away nicely buried away in this big field under Adam Wedge.

He is 2lb out of the weights, but that doesn’t concern me in a race largely lacking in unexposed types like him and he makes plenty of appeal at 14/1.

The Verdict: Back COCONUT SPLASH in 4.15 Aintree

Preview posted at 1555 BST on 14/04/23

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