Grand National: Eclair can Surf to victory at Aintree says our tipster Joe Whitaker

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It needs no introduction what’s happening this weekend in a corner of north Liverpool as the famous old Aintree course hosts the flagship event of the racing year, the Randox Grand National at 5:15.

Without doubt this is the event that gets the most uninterested in racing having a bet and the once a year punters will be using their own individual methods to find their idea of a winner

The fences are’nt quite as daunting as they used to be and the form book has come into play more over recent years, with the element of luck needed being a tad reduced. The past four winners have all been well fancied and no bigger than 14/1.

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The most important path to finding a winner is finding one that will stay the marathon trip.

Racegoers queue at Aintree Racecourse, ahead of the opening day of the Randox Grand National FestivalRacegoers queue at Aintree Racecourse, ahead of the opening day of the Randox Grand National Festival
Racegoers queue at Aintree Racecourse, ahead of the opening day of the Randox Grand National Festival

This isn’t a race for the Ferraris and Cheltenham form goes out of the window. In finding a winner, you need one that will have enough left in the tank when turning for home. It is also a handicap of course and if they’ve won recently, they could find themselves slapped with a penalty in terms of weight they need to carry round that just makes life too tough.

It goes without saying you should place your bets each way and shop around with the firms to see who’s offering the most favourable place terms.

Recent Cheltenham cross country winner DELTA WORK shouldn’t be far away after cruelly denying the legend that is Tiger Roll a win on his swansong last month. This is a horse who has found new life over longer trips and looking at how he won last month he should enjoy it here over even further. Expect him to be ridden patiently with a view to coming on the scene at the business end by Jack Kennedy and whilst a solid each way shout he looks a bit short at 8/1 and will likely go off favourite.

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A horse at a much bigger price who could run a big race, under the radar is Irish raider FREEWHEELIN DYLAN at around 66/1. From the lesser known yard of Dermot McLaughlin he has some form over longer trips and was the 150/1 winner of the Irish Grand National last year at Fairy house. It would be some achievement should he do the double though you just never know should he start to enjoy himself out there.

The horse that stands out most to me is Emma Lavelle's ECLAIR SURF who is priced at around 16/1.

It is coming up in class on terms of who he is facing though his form was boosted on Saturday when Win My Wings easily won the Scottish National at Ayr. Eclair Surf was second to this in the Eider Chase at Newcastle in February and wasn’t beaten by far.

He seems to thrive over the marathon trips and won over three and half miles at Warwick in January. Should he get a clear round he shouldn’t be far away and looks a cracking each-way bet.