The Grand National 2018 Betting Tips: Final Nudge has stamina to see out this extreme test

It would seem that we’re staring down the barrel of the second Grand National run on soft ground in the last three years.

The 2016 renewal saw Mouse Morris’ Rule The World swim to victory in a race that took an additional half a minute to complete versus last year and if the volume of rain experienced on Friday morning is anything to go by, 2018 could be an even sterner test.

On that basis, I’ll pass over the likes of Anibale Fly and Total Recall, who are undoubtedly the classiest animals in the field, but as such, have lumps of weight to carry in what could be really soft ground.

Sue Smith tasted victory in the race with Auroras Encore in 2013 and she looks to have an excellent chance of adding another National to her haul this year with I Just Know.

The eight-year- old has been well backed this week, understandably given his form in soft ground. His 15 length victory at Catterick in January over 3m6f marked him out as a really interesting prospect for this.

His run at this meeting last year on the Mildmay course left a lot to be desired and that’s a definite concern – he made multiple mistakes and was pulled up with three fences to go – but he was well fancied in the market that day.

Vitally, he tends to race prominently which should keep him out of trouble in the early stages and if Danny Cook can settle him into a nice rhythm, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be there at the business end of things. He’s available to back at 22/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook.

It would be foolish to go into this race single-handed, and a case can be made for a few at the foot of the weights, but the one that stands out for me is Final Nudge.

He began the season with eye-catching run behind a well handicapped Paul Nicholls horse in the Badger Ales Trophy and backed that up with a bronze medal in the Welsh National – confirming his liking for a stamina sapping test.

David Dennis’ gelding was a little disappointing at Sandown after that but he was back on song in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham, finishing mid-division but running with real credit. He comes into this off a 2lb lower mark than his Chepstow run and with stamina assured he makes plenty of each-way appeal at 40/1.

Don’t forget that for every SP 3/1+ winner you back on live ITV races on the Betfair Sportsbook, you get a free bet to the same value (Max £25).

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