PUNTERS get their last chance to boost the Grand National coffers in tomorrows Ryanair Stayers Hurdle (4.20pm) and this race has been very kind to them over the years.
Big Bucks won it four years running from 2009 to 2012, while no winner has been priced bigger than 5/1 in the past decade.
SAM SPINNER was strongly fancied for last months Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham and although he ran respectably to finish fifth, the race wasnt really run to suit.
In hindsight, Im sure Joe Colliver wishes hed made it more of a test, but the horse will have learned plenty from it and Aintrees long home straight should be perfect for him.
Jedd OKeefes six-year-old has had a brilliant season, bolting up in a competitive handicap at Haydock before landing the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December.
Ground conditions will be ideal for him and I can see him leading from pillar to post. Anything above 2.2 on BETDAQ represents value.
Wholestone is a good horse, but most of his best form has come at Cheltenham, including when third in the aforementioned Stayers Hurdle last time.
Theres no reason to suggest he wont handle Aintree – and hell be fine on the ground – but Im not sure hes quite as classy as Sam Spinner.
The Betway Mersey Novices Hurdle (2.25pm) is a fascinating contest and at the prices Im going to take ON THE BLIND SIDE to beat Black Op.
Nicky Hendersons runner was forced to miss Cheltenham, but that could be a blessing in disguise.
Hes unbeaten, handles soft ground and both the track and trip should be ideal.
He will be around the 3.3 mark on BETDAQ which Id much rather take than the 2.1 about Black Op.
On The Blind Side 2.25pm Aintree
Sam Spinner 4.20pm Aintree