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Six Aintree winners to keep a close eye on at this week's Grand National meeting

Highland Lodge: won the Becher Chase in 2015
1 of 1

Aintree'sthree-day Grand National meeting has seen some top-class horses grace the track in recent years, including the brilliant Big Buck's and Monet's Garden. Here we pick out several specialists who thrive at Liverpool.

Ultragold
Trainer
Colin Tizzard
Aintree form figures 1213
Likely raceGrand National

Colin Tizzard's gelding has a great record over the Grand National fences, having not finished out of the top three in four starts. In last year's Topham he produced a career-best Racing Post Rating and the 11-year-old showed his love for the big fences when finishing third in the Becher in December too. Connections have opted to plump for the Grand National, for which he is a general 40-1 shot.

Bear's Affair
TrainerPhilip Rowley
Aintree form figures411261472
Likely raceFoxhunters'

This 13-year-old won three times at Aintree when with previous trainer Nicky Henderson, including two valuable handicap chases, and looks set to return a year after finishing second in the Foxhunters' for new trainer Philip Rowley. Hehas since enjoyed point-to-pointing in the meantime, landing one of four starts, and is a 16-1 shot with William Hill to add to his previous victories at theMerseyside track.

Bear's Affair (red and black cap): has won three times at the track

Buveur D'Air
Trainer
Nicky Henderson
Aintree form figures411
RaceAintree Hurdle

JPMcManus's brilliant eight-year-old is arguably most famous for his two Champion Hurdle victories but he also has a fine record at Aintree with two wins fromthree runs. The Nicky Henderson-trainedhorse finished fourth behind Barters Hill in the bumper but improved on his Supreme third to defeat Petit Mouchoir in the Top Novices' Hurdle– a field that also included Limini, North Hill Harvey and Agrapart. A year later, Buveur D'Air went on to cement his first Champion Hurdle victory with a five-length win over stablemate My Tent Or Yours in the Aintree Hurdle. Two years on, he returns to avenge his early flight tumble at Cheltenham.

Lalor
Trainer
Kayley Woollacott
Aintree form figures
11
Likely race
Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Chase

Kayley Woollacott's popular performer is two from two at Aintree and bids for a third success after a below-par run in the Arkle at Cheltenham. The seven-year-old landed the Grade 2 bumper on his fourth start under rules, beating a quality field which includedEnniscoffey Oscar, If The Cap Fits and Black Op. Lalor came into the 2018 Aintree meeting as a maiden, having run some respectable races in defeat over hurdles, but rose to the occasion again with a first Grade 1 success to boot.

Highland Lodge
Trainer
James Moffatt
Aintree form figures8123
Likely raceTopham Trophy

James Moffatt's talented veteran has won or been placed in three of his six starts at the track, including when landing the 2015 Becher Chase ahead of the likes of fellow Aintree specialists Soll and Saint Are.

Now 13, Highland Lodge bids for his first success since his Becher win, but he came close when finishing second to Vieux Lion Rouge in the same race the following year. Last seen falling behind Walk In The Mill in December, he is a 33-1 shot for Topham glory.

Theinval
Trainer
Nicky Henderson
Aintree form figures
1922
Likely race
Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase

Sandy Orr's gallant nine-year-old usually saves his best performances for the spring and showed his liking for Aintree when winning the Grade 3 handicap hurdle in 2015 at the National meeting. Theinval has since gone on to finish runner-up twice in the Red Rum Chase, behind Double W's and Bentelimar, and a second victory for this genuineperformer would be much deserved. He has been priced up at 10-1behind the Paul Nicholls-trained Brelan D'As in the Topham.


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He is two from two at Aintree and bids for a third success after a below-par run in the Arkle at Cheltenham
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