Your Mission, if you choose to accept it, is to back the winner of the Randox Grand National.

You may select two horses but it is essential they jump well and have deep reserves of stamina.

With the absence of Ethan Hunt, it’s far from impossible this will go to MAHLER MISSION (4.00).

He hasn’t been seen since finishing runner-up behind Datsalrightgino in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury in December when he was the only prominent racer to be involved in the finish.

The marathon trip could easily bring out the best in him. He was clear when he fell two fences from home in the National Hunt Chase over 3m6f at last year’s Cheltenham Festival. Have 2pts each-way at 12-1.

At much bigger odds, FOXY JACKS (4.00) could play a role.

He beat Latenightpass - also in the National field - over Cheltenham’s cross-country course in November.

His jumping over those unique obstacles was better than over conventional fences and Mouse Morris’ runner has plenty of form in competitive big-field handicaps. Have 1pt each-way at 40-1. Several bookies are paying out on seven places.

Willie Mullins could end up being British champion trainer if he wins the National and I think he can get one on the board earlier on the card in the shape of FINE MARGIN (1.20).

He showed promise when trained in Ireland by Matthew Daly last year.

His first run for his new stable was a clear personal best when runner-up behind Slate Lane in a traditionally hot Haydock handicap in November. Subsequent Group 1 winner Crambo finished behind him that day.

It was disappointing to see him run so poorly at the Dublin Racing Festival but that was too bad to be true. Have 3pts each-way at 14-1. Sky Bet is going seven places.

QUILIXIOS (5.00) lost all chance in the Arkle at Cheltenham when getting left at the start.

He was also hampered by a faller at the second fence when trying to make up the lost ground, so it’s not worth worrying about that effort.

He had gone off a shorter price than eventual runner-up Found A Fifty in that Grade 1 contest but has almost been ignored in the betting this time.

The form of his previous Naas victory over Sa Fureur and Mister Policeman worked out well and he had several good hurdles efforts behind Stayers’ Hurdle hero Teahupoo a couple of years ago. Have 2pts each-way at 11-1.

2024-04-12T16:25:01Z dg43tfdfdgfd