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2024 Grand National Tips - Early look and a 40/1 selection

jon-vine
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Last updated: 04 Apr 2024
jon-vine
Jon Vine 04 Apr 2024
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  • An early look at the 2024 Grand National
  • This historic handicap takes place at Aintree on Saturday 13th April
  • I Am Maximus, Minella Indo and Coko Beach feature in our early verdict
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grand national aintree
The Grand National at Aintree. (Getty)

We're now less than two weeks away from the 2024 Grand National taking place at Aintree.

The weights have been announced and the final field of 34 is starting to take shape. Today, I've taken an early look at the 2024 Grand National, jotted down my thoughts and put up a 40/1 ante-post selection.

2024 Grand National Early Look and Tips


I've backed three horses for the Grand National during this National Hunt season. The first was Corbetts Cross at 40/1, who wasn't even entered for the race, much to my disappointment.

I backed Mahler Mission at 25s following his run in the Coral Gold Cup and got a similar price on Galvin after the turn of the year. I don't like the fact that Mahler Mission goes to Aintree on the back of a 133-day absence and I'd have liked Galvin to have run in the Cross Country at Cheltenham. Both are at their best on decent ground, so with the going on the Grand National course currently heavy and more rain forecast during the build-up, I cashed out on those ante-post bets.

I doubt we'll have more than nine British runners in the final field. Corach Rambler would certainly prefer the ground to be on the good side of soft. Galia Des Liteaux - the top trendsetter for this year's Grand National - and Chambard are the two home contenders who will enjoy the current going, but mares haven't got a particularly good record in this historic handicap and I don't think the 12-year-old Chambard is well-treated off his current mark of 146.

minella indo
Minella Indo beating Al Boum Photo and A Plus Tard in the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup. (Getty)

I Am Maximus is already a National winner, having struck at Fairyhouse last year. Willie Mullins' star scored in the Grade One Drinmore back in December and clocked an RPR of 169 when winning the Bobbyjo Chase last month. I Am Maximus doesn't make a pleasing shape over his fences, but he's yet to fall in nine outings over the larger obstacles. In fact, he hasn't finished outside the top four and will run off an official rating of 159 on his return to Britain.

I Am Maximus sits at the head of my Grand National shortlist. Yet, there's little to be gained from backing Willie Mullins' star at 8/1 in the ante-post market. The target for any ante-post bet is to find a possible winner who will go off at a much shorter price, and I Am Maximus doesn't tick that box.

One who does is former Gold Cup winner Minella Indo. Henry De Bromhead's star was still rated 168 when he won the New Year's Day Chase at Tramore in 2023. A pulled-up effort in the Gold Cup, a Grade Three win and two fourth-placed efforts later, Minella Indo has been dropped to a lowly rating of 159. Once Rachael Blackmore is confirmed in the saddle, I doubt you'll be able to back De Bromhead's 11-year-old at anything close to 20/1.

Coko Beach

I'm struggling to see why COKO BEACH is a 40/1 outsider. Gordon Elliott's grey may be a nine-year-old who's about to have his third crack at the Grand National, but Coko Beach returns to Aintree on the back of the three career-best performances.

With five-pound claimer Danny Gilligan in the saddle, Coko Beach saw off future Mares' Chase winner Limerick Lace to win the Troytown at Navan. Three weeks later, Elliott's star finished a gallant second in the Becher Chase here at Aintree, where Gilligan's mount was giving Chambard almost two stone at the weights.

Coko Beach was last seen powering to victory at Punchestown - on what was his first spin around the banks course. Elliott's mud-loving grey missed his intended prep in the Cross Country at Cheltenham. Coko Beach was busy enough during the first half of the season and his record on the back of a break is good, so missing the Festival can't really be seen as a negative.

This will be the first time that Coko Beach has got his preferred ground at Aintree. I presume Danny Gilligan will be booked to ride again, and his claim will see Coko Beach carrying a workable weight of 11-02. 

Verdict

Once people realise that Coko Beach is in the best form of his life and his record on bottomless ground is superb, I expect he'll go off much shorter than 40/1.

Minella Indo is sure to shorten up plenty and this former Gold Cup hero would be a worthy Grand National winner. I'm sure I Am Maximus will feature in my final tips too, once the field is confirmed.

Best Bet1: Coko Beach 2024 Grand National Ante-Post Tip @40/1 at BoyleSports - 10 Units
Best Bet2: Minella Indo 2024 Grand National @20/1 at bet365 - 1 Unit
Best Bet3: I Am Maximus 2024 Grand National @8/1 at QuinnBet - 1 Unit
Coko Beach
2024 Grand National Ante-Post Tip
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Minella Indo
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I Am Maximus
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