The current reigning champion Minella Times returns to Aintree in hope of replicating last year’s success, but despite being towards the top of this year’s betting market, there’s a fair few rivals looking to dethrown the champ.

Cross Country winner out in front

Gordon Elliott’s Delta Work, who snatched victory from Tiger Roll at the Cheltenham Festival, is the current favourite priced at 9.08/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook.

However, sharing favoritism with Delta Work is Any Second Now, trained by Ted Walsh.

The ten-year-old, last seen winning the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February, jumps big and bold and is fancied by many to add the illustrious Grand National title to his name.

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Charlie Longsdon’s Snow Leopardess completes the front three in the betting, currently priced at 10.09/1 to come out on top.

The grey has collected some valuable victories this season, including a Class 2 Handicap Chase at Bangor, as well as the Becher Chase at Aintree before romping home in a Class 1 at Exeter when last seen in February.

The Contenders

Emma Lavelle’s Eclair Surf has proven to be popular among punters, after finishing less than two lengths behind Win My Wings when last seen in the Vertem Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle.

Win My Wings hammered his rivals in the Scottish Grand National and it’s easy to see why Eclair Surf is being talked about as a potential Grand National winner this weekend. You can currently back Eclair Surf at 15.014/1 on the Sportsbook which is paying six places on the Aintree spectacular.

Martin Brassil, who has already won the Grand National back in 2006 with Numbersixvalverde, has a popular selection in Longhouse Poet in this year’s renewal.

Having winning form in this race could be crucial, and his eight-year-old won a good handicap at Gowran Park in January, where his jumping really caught the eye. He’s continued to shape as though the extra distance will really suit his style and currently priced at 17.016/1 on the Sportsbook, his price may well shorten in the lead up to the big race.

We can’t not give a mention to last year’s winner, Minella Times, who is currently priced at 17.016/1 to make it back to back Grand National victories.

It hasn’t been easy for the nine-year-old since that victory, however, having fallen at big odds at Punchestown in December of last year, before pulling up at 28/1 at Leopardstown as recent as February.

Will the return to Aintree and the longer distance relight that spark? We’ll have to see on Saturday afternoon.

Betfair spokesman, Barry Orr, commented today: “On the Sportsbook we can’t split Delta Work and Any Second Now but on the Exchange Delta Work is clear favourite. The three best backed horses today have been: Snow Leopardess, who could potentially go off favourite come Saturday; the Irish National winner, Freewheelin Dylan at 50/1 and last year’s winner, Minella Times. No surprise there with the Rachael Blackmore factor.”

For the full list of Grand National runners, click here.

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