Horse Racing

4.15 Aintree Tips: Coconut Splash can land the spoils

The race directly before the Grand National will be the William Hill Handicap Chase, won last year by Sam Brown, who an hour after this contest will try his luck in the big one.

Evan Williams Grand National
Phot by Icon Sport

Watch out for Evan Williams

Trainer Evan Williams enjoys targeting this race. With his six previous runners in the William Hill Handicap Chase, he has registered two places and a win, earning himself a profitable record of +17.00 to £1 stakes.

This year, Williams saddles Coconut Splash, who is yet to win over fences but don’t discount him on that basis alone. The eight-year-old comes into this contest off the back of a decent second last time out at Hereford, where he bumped into an in-form rival who has since won again.

That Hereford race was the first time he stepped up to race beyond three miles and he seemingly took to it well, so don’t be surprised if he goes well. After all, not only does his trainer know how to ready one for this race, but he does have a close-up second at Aintree to his name.

Others to consider

Daryl Jacob loves a ride in this. He’s come home in front on two of his previous seven rides, placing on four of the other five. This time around, he’ll be steering Gold Cup Bailly, who landed a hat-trick at Ayr in January. He wasn’t as good down in trip last time out, but back over three miles, he shouldn’t be ruled out.

Kinondo Kwetu went on an extraordinary winning run in late 2022, winning five on the bounce, the last of which being a decent Class 3 over course and distance. This company demands more, but the gelding may have more to give after recently having wind surgery.

Trainer Ben Pauling won the 2019 renewal with Kildisart, his only previous runner in this race. This year, he’s got Shakem Up’Arry. The nine-year-old ran a very good race in the Magners Plate at the Cheltenham Festival. He finished third, keeping on well at the death, which suggests that this extra distance could be just what he needs.

From just 1lb higher in the weights, that runner would only need the smallest amount of improvement and he’d be bang there, though early quotes of 6/1 look on the skinny side. For me, it’s the Evan Williams route and the 12/1 currently available on Coconut Splash that represents the best value for money.

Best Bet: Coconut Splash (each-way) @ 12/1

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