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Walk In The Mill Could Be Perfect Early Grand National Bet

We are still just at the early part of the national hunt season and a lot could happen between now and 6th April, but Walk In The Mill arguably made the biggest claim yet to be considered as one of the top candidates for the 2019 Grand National.

Having taken the Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree at the weekend, ahead of decent talent like Vieux Lion Rouge, Don Poli, Blaklion and Ultragold, Walk In The Mill has delighted connections, with the Grand National the phrase on everyone’s lips.

To be fair, Walk In The Mill wasn’t perfect, perhaps a little untidy in the early part of the race, but the strong finish and management of Aintree’s tough obstacles made an intriguing case for Walk In The Mill’s Grand National hopes.

Walk In The Mill now firmly among the favourites

Of course, betting on the Grand National horse racing is not always an exact science at this stage of the season, but the 33/1 odds current on offer from 888sport for Walk In The Mill look very tempting. The 8-year-old still has a bit to learn, but the assured handling of James Best was enough to take a commanding 4 ½ length victory over Vieux Lion Rouge.

Certainly, there will be those that say Walk In The Mill needs a bit more experience over longer distances. The Grand National is a full 9 furlongs longer than the Becher Chase, as well as having nine extra obstacles.

It is, in fact, interesting to note that no horse has gone on to win the Grand National the year after winning the Becher Chase as Walk In The Mill hopes to do in a few months’ time. Earth Summit won the 1998 Grand National and Becher Chase eight months later. The only other two horses to win both the Becher and Grand National, Silver Birch and Amberleigh House, both had a three-year gap between the victories.

Vieux Lion Rouge still looks strong

So, if Walk In The Mill does not make history in April was there anything else of note we could learn from the Becher Chase? Vieux Lion Rouge ran a decent race and is certainly not one to rule out for the Grand National, coming in at a price of 33/1 with 888sport currently. David Pipe’s horse has now run just under a quarter of his races at Aintree (6 of 27) and will be contesting his third successive Grand National next year. That kind of experience could stand Vieux Lion Rouge – and plenty of punters – in good stead.

Ultragold, who was just over a length behind Vieux Lion Rouge, is also priced up at 33/1 for the Aintree showcase this year. But, in truth, the race did very little to rattle those at the top of the betting markets. Last year’s winner, Tiger Roll, is still the betting favourite at 20/1, with the likes of Bellshill, Elegant Escape and 2017 winner, One For Arthur, who had a bad day at the office on Saturday, given odds of 25/1.

But there was just a hint at Aintree at the weekend that Walk In The Mill would one day be back to the famous course for an even bigger prize. The horse, owned by Baroness Harding, was set to contest the National last year but went lame on the eve of the race. On the weekend’s evidence, he could start out as one of the favourites.