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Grand National Festival: Ballyandy the Champion Bumper choice

| 08.04.2016

David Metcalf | April 7, 2016

Ballyandy to hold Court in Champion Bumper

Ballyandy looks capable of giving weight all round to land the Grade 2 Weatherbys Private Bank Champion Standard Open NH Flat Race at Aintree (17.15).

The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained five-year-old has won four of his five starts, and was very impressive on his penultimate outing when landing a Listed contest at Newbury.

After travelling strongly throughout, Ballyandy took up the running rounding the home turn and powered clear to score by nine lengths.

One to keep onside

Cheltenham day 3

It was a most taking performance, especially given that fact that Ballyandy was giving weight to all his rivals, and one which suggested he was a well-above average performer who needed keeping firmly onside.

That view was confirmed when the son of Kay Tara landed the Grade 1 Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival last month in gutsy fashion.

Ballyandy got shuffled back into midfield after getting trapped behind a weakening rival four furlongs from home but rallied strongly two out to take up the running inside the last.

He then held on gamely by a nose from the fast finishing Battleford, and it was a terrific effort given how the race panned out.

Although Ballyandy now meets Battleford on 4lb worse terms, he was value for more than the winning margin in my book and will appreciate the softer underfoot conditions.

Willoughby Court each-way value

Kempton NH

Willoughby Court has won his last two starts in impressive fashion and looks capable of running a big race.

The Ben Pauling trained five-year-old looked green when scoring at Southwell, but showed the benefit of that experience when making all to score by six lengths at Warwick when last seen in action back in December.

Willoughby Court stayed on strongly to score with more in hand than the winning margin suggests, and although this represents a big step up in class the gelding is a scopey type who seems to be improving with every run.

Connections have also kept him fresh for this contest, and that is a big plus as those at the head of the market all had hard races at Cheltenham.


For more Grand National Festival race tips and previews, check out our Aintree page.

Coral’s top tip: Ballyandy looks the one to beat following his success in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. Willoughby Court represents each-way value.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.