It's day one of the Grand National Festival at Aintree on Thursday and they host a stunning card launched with four straight Grade 1 races.

Racing at Aintree is from 13:45 until 17:15, with seven races on the card. We've selected our best bets for the opening day action on Merseyside.

Aintree Day 1 NAP

17:15 Aintree

Eileendover to win - BET NOW 

 

Pam Sly elected to skip Cheltenham's Champion Bumper with Eileendover and she should be rewarded with this Grade 2 prize taking on her own sex now.

The daughter of Canford Cliffs is already 3-3 in bumpers this season and she swatted aside her challengers at Market Rasen in January when last seen, with the re-opposing Miss Lamb some six lengths in her wake there. 

The form of that race has been strongly advertised since, with the third home, Grangee, winning a Grade 2 in Ireland next time (runner-up in that race Listed winner at the weekend). Eileendover is probably headed for a summer campaign on the Flat where she'll prove herself capable at pattern-race level and she should have too much firepower here, with a return to this decent surface in her favour.

C&D winner Elle Est Bell finished third in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham and is the main threat on paper, though the likes of Tweed Skirt could outrun big odds for a slice of the prize-money. 

Betway Bowl Chase Betting Tips

14:50 Aintree

Waiting Patiently to win and each-way - BET NOW

 

It's disappointing to see Tiger Roll arriving for this Grade 1 as opposed to bidding for a Grand National hat-trick on Saturday. Determined as he is, he may find the going tough now. Similarly, Native River has ground against him after tough races at Sandown and Cheltenham lately and may be over the top now.

Clan Des Obeaux surrendered his King George crown at Christmas and was beaten in the Denman Chase at Newbury since. Both reverses were against lesser-fancied stablemates and it seems Paul Nicolls cannot get to the bottom of him currently.

He has ground to make up on Waiting Patiently, Ruth Jefferson's charge splitting Clan Des Obeaux and Frodon on Boxing Day at Kempton. 

That was his first time going over three miles and he was ridden to get the distance, something he did very well. This track should really suit him and, having done well again since at Ascot over shorter in the Clarence House, the spring Grade 1 success his talent merits could be awaiting him now. He's twice the price of Clan Des Obeaux with only half the questions to answer.

Foxhunters' Open Hunters' Chase Betting Tips

16:05 Aintree

Captain Cattistock to win and each-way - BET NOW

 

Cheltenham second Billaway has strong claims of going a place better under Patrick Mullins, while Paul Nicholls saddles strong contenders in Cat Tiger and Samtegal, but it might be worth chancing an ex-Ditcheat inmate in Captain Cattistock for Fergal O'Brien. 

He ran a good race behind Samtegal in third on his comeback at Wincanton in early February and may have found his next start at Doncaster came along too soon when favourite since.

The drop in trip could prove a positive for him and he would be rewarding if finding his way into the frame given the presence of those more fancied rivals.

Aintree Day 1 Prediction

14:20 Aintree

Adagio to win and each-way - BET NOW

 

Horses that ran well in the Triumph Hurdle typically do well in this, with Defi Du Seuil and Pentland Hills recent Cheltenham winners to follow up here. Adagio couldn't master Quilixios last month but he was ahead of the likes of Zanahiyr and Tritonic and that experience should stand him in good stead.

With no Irish challenger today, he can take out fellow French import Monmiral from the Paul Nicholls team. He's unbeaten thus far, but the pair are rated the same and that Cheltenham experience could count for plenty in Adagio's favour. Monmiral is odds-on, but on paper it seems a discrepancy to have Adagio at 2/1 against him.

Grand National Festival Day 1 Betting Tips

1. Eileendover to win - BET NOW 

2. Waiting Patiently to win and each-way - BET NOW

3. Captain Cattistock to win and each-way - BET NOW

4. Adagio to win and each-way - BET NOW

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