Brian’s Thoughts on Day 1 of the Grand National Festival

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Champion jump jockey Brian Hughes shares his insights on the four horses he will ride on Day 1 of the Aintree Grand National Festival.

Jockey Brian Hughes before a race in 2020

It was good to get two doubles over the Easter weekend – Wetlands won well on Saturday and a nice horse won the bumper at Market Rasen, Sauce of Life.

I’ve had a quieter start to the week with three rides at Chepstow – they all ran well but I was not lucky enough to get a winner. Now all eyes turn to Aintree! I have four rides there on Thursday…

Thursday 8th April – Aintree

2.20pm – Fiveandtwenty (Grade 1)

Fiveandtwenty (12/1) has done nothing wrong and is three from three over hurdles. Obviously, this is going to be a tougher assignment – she’s up against Adagio who finished 2nd in the Triumph Hurdle and the Nicholls’ horse, Monmiral, winner of the Grade 2 Summit Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster, is unbeaten too. This has always been the plan for this filly and she’s going there in great form. I schooled her the other morning and I’m hopeful she’ll run a big race.

2.50pm – Waiting Patiently (Grade 1)

If he’s back to his Kempton form, he’ll be bang up there. Waiting Patiently (7/2) finished in front of Clan des Obeaux that day and ran a really good race. I schooled him 10 days ago, he’s in good form and looks great. Hopefully there’s a bit of ease in the ground and he should run a nice race.

4.40pm – Gaelik Coast (Grade 3)

He’s a novice stepping into a handicap like this, which is not straight forwards but he’s had five runs this season and won two of them, finishing second, third and fifth on the other occasions. I think the track and ground should be fine. We beat the favourite, Getaway Trump, two starts ago over 2m4f at Musselburgh so you’d like to think we’re going there with every chance. We were getting a pound off him that day and are getting 13lbs off him now. I like to think Gaelik Coast (12/1) has got a good each way chance.

5.15pm – Milans Edge (Grade 2)

She’s a lovely mare who won her point to point and her only bumper start at Wetherby. The better ground should suit. It’s a good race with Eileendover in it and there are plenty of others you could make a case for but Milan’s Edge (20/1) is a filly we like and we’re hopeful she’ll run a big race.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Brian Hughes is the 2020 Champion Jump Jockey and he writes exclusively for the MansionBet Blog every week with previews and tips for upcoming races.

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