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Grand National - Racing: Potential paths with 50 days to go

The weights for the Grand National have officially been released and whatever happens from now until the 9th April will not impact any of the runners' handicap marks.

Here is a look at some of the paths the leading Aintree contenders will take in their final appearance before lining up in the world’s most famous steeplechase.

Run Wild Fred has Navan entry

Gordon Elliott is expected to have a very strong hand in the Grand National this year and one of those is Run Wild Fred, who is 16/1 for the marathon contest.

The eight-year-old could be in action this week as he has an entry at Navan in a Grade Two novice chase on Sunday.

He scored over that C & D distance earlier this season, before finishing an eye-catching second in the Grade One Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

The Irish horse is also expected to feature at the Cheltenham Festival, where he is 7/2 for the longest contest of the week, the National Hunt Chase.

That race was won by Tiger Roll in 2017 before he went on to win the Grand National twice.

Run Wild Fred also has a Cheltenham Gold Cup entry, however, his connections are more likely to let Conflated take his chance in that event.

Any Second Now in Red Mills Chase field

It was an excellent debut in the Grand National for Any Second Now in 2021, with Ted Walsh's chaser finishing third behind Minella Times and Balko Des Flos.

He was hampered by a faller at the 13th fence in that race, but was still able to stay on strongly for a placing.

The Irish horse has had two appearances over hurdles so far this season, finishing down the field on both occasions.

The results of those races won't concern his connections too much as they were most probably used to sharpen the horse up.

His next outing is set to come in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park on Saturday. The Grade Two contest takes place over 2m4f, so is much shorter than the Grand National trip.

If he does feature, it will be a chance for the horse to jump fences for the first time in the campaign.

Any Second Now is 16/1 for the Aintree feature, where he will be bidding to go two places better than in 2021.

Related Grand National News

Grand National: Aintree always ready for a classic

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Galvin set for Cheltenham Gold Cup test

Galvin has proved to be one of the most consistent 3m+ chasers this season in the UK and Ireland, with the highlight of his campaign his victory in the Grade One Savills Chase last time out.

As a result of that success at the highest level, he has been handed the joint-highest weight in the Grand National.

Before he lines up on Merseyside, Galvin is set to have a shot at the Blue Riband event of the Cheltenham Festival, the Gold Cup, and he is 9/2 in the betting.

Only one horse in history has won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National in the same year - Golden Miller achieved that feat in 1934.

Secret Reprieve ready for Grand National Trial

No horse has been able to win the Grand National Trial and then the Grand National in the same season.

Secret Reprieve will be bidding to become the first to do this year, with Evan Williams' runner 5/2 for the race at Haydock on Saturday.

The eight-year-old has been seen as a strong contender for the Grand National ever since he won the Welsh version of the race at Chepstow in January 2021.

Unfortunately for his connections, he missed the cut for the contest last year, and the Welsh-trained horse will need some luck to make the 40-runner field this time around, as he is currently outside the top 40 horses in the weights.

He is 20/1 in the Grand National betting and if he does sneak in, he is likely to have one of the lowest weight allocations in the race.

Minella Times expected to head straight to Aintree

Defending champion Minella Times has had two appearances so far this season and he has failed to finish on both occasions.

He fell on his seasonal reappearance in the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase at the third fence from home.

The Grand National hero's most recent outing came in the Bulmers Secret Orchard Leopardstown Handicap Chase. He was pulled up approaching the last fence by Rachael Blackmore, as he struggled throughout that 2m5½f contest.

The handicapper has put the 2021 winner up 15lb from last year's mark and he is unlikely to appear again before Aintree.

The nine-year-old is 25/1 to repeat his feat from last April and match what Red Rum and Tiger Roll have both achieved by winning the Grand National in back-to-back years.

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