I have backed Eric’s Charm in the Grand National. He is 6lbs well-in on official figures and in very good form recently. In December, he ‘romped home’ at Newbury over 3m 5f which suggests he will not have too much of a stamina problem, though racing left-handed is a bigger concern. Running up with the pace will keep him away from the fallers behind. Trainer Oliver Sherwood reckons he would be nearer favourite racing at Sandown. I make him 11/1 and took 50/1 this morning.

Arbor Supreme caught my eye during the form reading. He has been backed in recent weeks though I wonder if that isn’t a patriotic vote from Irish supporters. Tipped as fitting a couple of trends, he is also highy rated by Topspeed.

Mon Mome and Comply Or Die are ‘obvious’ contenders but price precludes a bet to win.

Yesterday, I kicked myself for overlooking Always Waining. There was something about it which seemed interesting – the change of headgear from blinkers to visor. I take any such change as a plus and should have been alerted. He had poor recent form but that largely over hurdles – the trainer said after the win that he was better suited by the going drying out as well. Especially notable was the 9lb weight drop from last year’s 4th in this race. All in all, the signs were there and 40/1 in the morning was good (SP 22/1).

I’m not the only one kicking myself – the lady in the newsagent told me her husband had picked it but left his betting slip at home. He couldn’t be bothered to go back to place the bet and naturally it was a case of Sod’s Law….

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