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Punters latching on to Sandown form - and backing McManus runner for Red Rum

Everything you need to know before Thursday's action

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Your one-stop shop for Grand National festival news on Thursday morning


Going update: 'we're happy where we're at'

The going remains good to soft on all three courses after 0.6mm of rain overnight, with GoingStick readings as follows – 5.8 chase course, 5.6 hurdle course and 5.4 National course. It is expected to stay dry during racing on Thursday.

Clerk of the course Sulekha Varma said: "It's good to soft all over, which is what we were aiming for. We had a little half a millimetre of rain overnight and that was partially expected, but it's not been much and it's been fine.

"We're set for a cloudy, windy day and still cold. We might have some more rain coming tonight and if that stays in the picture we might not need to do anything overnight, but we'll make that judgement later on.

"We're happy where we're at and it's an ideal starting point. There's a beautiful covering of grass and the team have done a great job."

Updated at 8.04am


Paul Kealy's banker at Aintree on Thursday


Non-runners: three out on day one

4.05 Greensalt (infection), Captain Cattistock (lame)
5.15 Code Name Lise (Lame)

Friday
4.40 The Cob (bad scope)

Updated at 9.42am


Aintree Thursday: day one cards and betting


Market movers: Phil proving popular

Punters are latching on to a piece of handicap chase form from Sandown last month as a key pointer to the Red Rum Handicap Chase (4.40).

The Sam Thomas-trained Grey Diamond was successful there and has been backed into 8-1 (from 14 on Wednesday) for this 2m event.

Runner-up Dostal Phil is 5lb better off here with that rival and has similarly attracted support, with his price shortening to 10-1 (from 14) with several firms.

Dual King George VI Chase hero Clan Des Obeaux was 9-4 favourite for the Betway Bowl with bet365 on Wednesday but has drifted since and is a general 3-1 market leader now.

Support has come for the Nicky Henderson-trained Mister Fisher, who has been cut to 6-1 (from 8) on Thursday. He was pulled up in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

2.50 Aintree Clan Des Obeaux 3-1 (from 9-4 on Wednesday), Mister Fisher 6-1 (from 8)
3.25 Aintree Jason The Militant 3-1 (from 4 on Wednesday)
4.40 Aintree Dostal Phil 10-1 (from 14), Grey Diamond 8-1 (from 14 on Wednesday)

Updated at 11.20am


Aintree tips: one key runner from each of the five races on ITV on Thursday


The social section


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Read more day one previews and free tipping for Aintree:

1.45: Fusil Raffles bids to pay big compliment to stablemate Chantry House

2.20: can Nicholls' new approach pay off or will Cheltenham form hold sway again?

2.50: Tiger Roll has 'no chance whatsoever' on Aintree return – Eddie O'Leary

The Punt Daily: Tom Collins' free horse racing tips at Aintree on Thursday

Aintree tips: five horses to back on day one of the Grand National meeting


For all our exclusive free bet offers and must-have daily promotions click the free bets button or go to racingpost.com/freebets


 

We're happy where we're at and it's an ideal starting point. There's a beautiful covering of grass and the team have done a great job

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