1745: And that - as they say team - is that. Quite a dramatic day in which I thought I'd cracked the game and came away with nothing...Still there's always the Nash tomorrow!
Massive congratulations go out to Malcolm Jefferson on his double Cheltenham-Aintree double. Finian's Rainbow was superb in our feature race and the trainers' title race looks to be going down to the wire.
It won't of course if either Shakalakaboomboom or Neptune Collonges wins tomorrow and there are plenty of good judges in the press room here who fancy one or t'other of those.
Thanks for all your help again and we'll be back bright and breezy for the big day tomorrow. There really isn't anything quite like the John Smith's Grand National. Let's hope it's a race to savour.
1735: Damon In Selby is another to have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory today. He writes: "Had Darlan and Finnians Rainbow and Fingal Bay in a treble,don't think the hurdle mistake 5 from home helped Fingal Bay.So close Dave."
It was D. We'll have em tomorrow though.
1731: Big winner for Rachael Green and the excellent Anthony Honeyball in the finale. Eleven Fifth Nine shows tremendous resolution to reverse Sandown form with Call Me A Star who can never land a telling blow.
1st 6 Eleven Fifty Nine 6-1
2nd 4 Call Me A Star 3-1 F
3rd 18 Umadachar (FR) 17-2
1714: So thoughts now turn to Saturday's John Smith's Grand National and what a renewal we have. My annual (I did it last year) horse-by-horse guide will appear in the morning but at this stage, and I'm tired, hungry and a little dry-mouthed, I'll be mainly backing three horses.
1710: Only the bumper to come now and I'm sitting that one out along with the fat wheezy boys with a note from matron. Who am I kidding? I am one of the boys.
1704: If you've scooped the Pot Mal Boyle is predicting a return of £89.60 for a £1 stake.
1700: So moving on it's time to hail a truly remarkable achievement for Malcolm Jefferson - his two Cheltenham Festival winners have doubled up at Aintree under welter-burdens. My dad once had a share in a horse with MJ - the rather violent natured Dick E Bear - and the trainer has always been a man to respect. His numbers have been down in recent years but the talent is clearly undiminished. Superb training performance.
1658: I hope someone's dancing on the streets of (insert place name here). Nothing for Ord, neither runner completes sadly. Could have had the second, but didn't - and what are cudda, wudda and shudda? The last words of a fool.
1st 1 Attaglance 14-1
2nd 19 Tour D'argent (FR) 8-1
3rd 21 Los Nadis (GER) 66-1
4th 3 Saphir River (FR) 33-1
1648: A late hello to Jen From BSE
1648: A late hello to Jen From BSE who says: "I was much concerned to hear James May wearing jeans and carrying a beer, I hope this was actually beer and not lager otherwise anything short of stoning would be remiss. I have checked the menu for Pea Porridge in town and Wood Pigeon breast is on the lunch menu but no mention of pastry, Definitely worth checking out their establishment on one of your sojourns here.
"Meanwhile, to horse; Leicester, Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore is a sound recipe. Ladyship ran well last year and 5/2 looks very tempting though the ground must be of concern as she is by Oasis Dream. Looking forward to the Craven Meeting next week."
So am I Jen and I'm in your beautiful town next Wednesday night! Oh for the golden cask ale that awaits me...
1645: Good luck to all with your Placepots. I've decided to downgrade from gammon to a baguette if mine falls at the last hurdle. With chips though. Both would have chips.
1643: The revellers are out in force again as the sun is back out. Jockeys in the plate.
1635: No that's nonsense. Team Ord have done me proud so far and it's down to four and five (Orsippus and Robinson Collonges) to bring home the bacon. Well gammon actually but you know what I mean.
1632: Pot update from Mal Boyle. He's a trooper. He reports: "18,254 knocked out in the fifth leg. Pool: £454,403 Units though to the last leg: 41,008 (I have 4 units via the Sporting Life perm)
"Minimum guaranteed dividend: £13.26 (IT'S A GIMME IS RESPONSIBLE FOR 30% OF THE LIVE UNITS)"
Hmm. They say never to have any regrets in this great game of ours but I could tweak my final race choices, perhaps I would...
1629: Alan King's enjoying a good season - and a good Aintree too. He deserves a change of luck after hitting the crossbar so often at Cheltenham.
1625: Well it's Pot or bust. Lovcen too strong for Fingal who led them into the straight. To quote Blackadder I think it rhymes with clucking bell.
1st 13 Lovcen (GER) 8-1
2nd 5 Fingal Bay (IRE) 13-8 F
3rd 3 Cotton Mill 6-1
1606: A very good afternoon to Dave Howells who says: "Hi Dave back from a meeting. How are the ladies looking today? I've only just got over Cheltenham, it was brutal. The type I'll discuss in hushed tones when feeling sorry for myself in the pub.
"But with 80's soft rock music in the background I refuse to cave! A solid day yesterday coupled with me arriving to hear that Almost Waining won, the tide could be turning Dave, at least that's what I'm telling myself. Knock A Hand, Tour D'Argent and Flementine for the rest of the day."
Knock A Hand would be lovely here DH - the Ord Pot. Better if he's second to Fingal Bay for the Ord Robin though. It's hard to know what I want...other than pastry.
1557: G Unit In Dublin says: "Orrrrrrrrrrdddddddddddddddddddddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! Yuo're flying it mate. Get a reverend and a pigeon pie down ya. On a decent double with Daralan and Fingal Bay in the next. Fingers crossed. Had the Irish National winner on Monday at 40/1 so hopefully the luck is in and it's Junior all the way tomorrow."
Can't remember the last time I had pigeon pie GU. Never see it nowadays. As for the next - well Fingal Bay and Knock A Hand are the leg five team. Just off out to talk tactics with both.
1554: I was expecting my £2.40 to be all that's left in the Placepot pool but it seems not. Mal Boyle reports: "184,995 knocked out in the fourth leg. Pool: £454,403 Units though to the leg 5: 59,262 (13.0%)."
1552: I forgot Falbrav was having to go without food. He writes: "Have pity! Have pity! Not had a sniff of a winner or anything to eat and Mathui departs at the first. Now relying on the first time visor to invigorate Act of Kalanisi or it's a disaster. Hope the wife has given up on the fast...I really need a beer and some crisps!"
Aah, the beer/crisp combo. We've spent many a happy afternoon together.
1550: He's also part of Team Ord - along with fourth home Aimigayle. Now up to £2.40 and yet totesport are refusing to pay out early...
1549: A truly remarkable achievement, Always Waining wins the Topham for a third time. He's an impressive winner too.
1st 10 Always Waining (IRE) 11-1
2nd 4 Chance Du Roy (FR) 16-1
3rd 5 Fistral Beach (IRE) 22-1
4th 16 Aimigayle 12-1
1537: It has stopped raining. I repeat. It has stopped raining.
1532: Craig Sutton writes: "I too are on the band waggon i went to haydock when giles cross won and backed in then and have backed it at 20s tomos please lord LET IT RAIN. i have also got a match bet with a friend hes on chicago grey!"
I like bothof those CS and the nad news for team Cross is the rain is now a very fine drizzle. In fact the drinkers are back to the outside bars.
1526: AM is 1-0 up on even Ord on this day of days. He writes: "Couldn't buy a winner yesterday now 3/3 like little josh and douglas julian in next just bit annoyed I only put placepot on and not jackpot." Don't get greedy sir...no go on. It's what this game is about.
1524: Falbrav is up against it. He says: "I'm really concerned about this precipitation. Has it really been raining non-stop since your post at 14:17? If so, this is not a bl**dy shower! And they've been watering. BTW, I am really irritable and a bit headachy now!"
Get a Reverend James down you man. You won't feel anything after that. It is still raining but more drizzly now and the sun is beginning to shine again.
1523: A very good afternoon to Dave Richards who says: "Hows things?Loving the racing today, especially the first 3 favs going in.....clawing cash back from Cheltenham at long last lol. Just need Frankie Figg to complete a £5 luck 15 and £5 yankee.....
"Battle Group and Junior for me tomorrow Dave in a nice double....."
Few people with change for the game today DR. Worries me the first three favs going in - as I've got the next two backed as well. Is the game really that easy?
1522: Surprised anyone else is bothering to play the Placepot today given my own relentless march towards scooping the loot. Anyway Mal Boyle reports: "32,001 knocked out in the third leg. Pool: £454,403. Units though to the leg 4: 244,258 (53.7 %)"
We'll thin those out in the next - when I say we I'm referring to Team Ord AKA Little Josh, Always Waining and Aimigayle.
1520: Our sponsors Sky Bet and Coral both go 4-1 Finian's Rainbow for next year's Champion Chase. Betfred and Ladbrokes are 3s.
1518: Wishfull Thinking is held up and runs an absolute cracker in second, good week so far for the Hobbs team. Albertas Run makes one or two uncharacteristic mistakes and finishes a tired and well beaten third. Oh and it's still raining.
1515: Two more Placepot legs duly landed but to use my new favourite phrase, Finian's Rainbow is much the best. He's a proper racehorse and this trainers' title battle is bubbling away nicely.
1st 2 Finian's Rainbow (IRE) 13-8 F
2nd 8 Wishfull Thinking 15-2
3rd 1 Albertas Run (IRE) 11-4
1504: Will Scully has pointed out a flaw in my watering plan. He says: "Re your plan B for watering the course, only problem would be that the course would smell like a post office queue on a Monday morning, not good." Needs must though WS.
1502: Ruby back aboard - and the parade is under way.
1459: Still raining. Ruby Walsh has dismounted from Poquelin. Don't think the two are related.
1453: This country needs more people like Adam Fowles. He writes: "Hi Dave, I too am on the Giles Cross Bandwagon, I reckon if we can get about 1000 of us tonight and 6000 crates of Evian Water we could have the ground perfect for Giles tomorrow!! So far ive got myself and my colleague In, what say you? Only 998 to go!!!!"
I'm in - suggest a change of plan though. A gallon of Reverend James apiece and we'd be like human sprinklers. Space ourselves out accordingly and we could have the job done in three minutes.
1452: Amazing what difference drizzle can make to an outfit. Ladies now using newspapers for hats. Jeff Brazier never predicted that earlier.
1450: Cheers to MB for this too: "81.6% of live P'Pot units running on Albertas Run/Finian's Rainbow." I've left Finian's out - Albertas is in with Wishfull Thinking. Fingal Bay leg three of the Round Robin. Still raining.
1448: Thanks to Mal Boyle for another Placepot update. He reports: "77,820 units knocked out in the second leg Pool: £454,403. Units through to leg 3: 276,259 (60.8%)"
Apparently totepool don't pay out early on Placepots. Strange decision.
1445: Chris Alderson writes: "Firstly nice tricast! Had a tip for Forgotten Gold in the 4:15 backed it earlydoors at 50/1 and has come in to 28/1 Also fancy the changes of Frankie Figg Any thoughts on the pair?"
Can certainly see FF running a big one CA - as for Forgotten Gold - think he's a smashing long-term prospect but this might be flying a little high at this stage of his career. Nice price though.
1443: Aah - Dunk Frae Scotland says: "Dave Knock a Hand will revel in mud, like a piggy!" DFS - you paint a beautiful picture. Inspired me to have gammon tonight too.
1442: Interesting that all of the jockeys in the opener felt the ground was on the dead side of good. It's still raining too.
1439: Smashing performance from the winner who jumps beautifully throughout under Ruby Walsh. He's much the best on the day but there's a good pot in Champion Court further down the line.
1438: Leg two of the Round Robin...tick. Leg two of the Placepot...tick. Going to have a word with George Primarolo about being paid out now for the Pot. I'm in a rush out of here after the last.
1st 3 Silviniaco Conti (FR) 7-4 F
2nd 1 Champion Court (IRE) 15-8
1429: Placepot update from the great Mal Boyle who reports: "Pool: £454,403 Units through to leg 2: 348,079 (76.6%)."
No mention of my spectacular one-two-three I see from my doppleganger. Trying to work out what percentage of the pool by 60p represents...
1427: Silviniaco Conti seems quite relaxed about the pressure of being the Ord Pot banker. Hope he likes rain. Doesn't mention it in the formbook.
1426: Tanking down still. Need this to last for about four hours. John Kettley says 15 minutes.
1420: Faz is a believer. It was only a matter of time. He says: "Excellent show, the old adage about class and form rings true for you there!! What return may I ask?"
Just the Pot perm up to 60p so far F - Silvinaco Conti the banker in the next. Still raining - and a little heavier too.
1417: We have our first shower but it looks a light one. Rain rain faster, ally ally aster.
1415: Markus Haninson says: "Placepot intact - but that tricast in the first would have paid handsomely for you!"
Would have been £55 to a £1 stake MK but I'd only have wasted it on pastry products and Minstrels at the garage on the way home.
1413: Alex Dunigan asks: "Can we give one more chance to Kalahari King please? Finians may not stay, so here is hoping. Any fillies on view Dave, or is strictly mares only?"
A fine mix or fillies and mares AD! I've long given up on KK but then again I was telling everyone Henderson was badly out of form about an hour ago...
1412: Our sponsors Sky Bet were certainly impressed by Darlan and they go 12-1 for the 2013 2013 Champion Hurdle. Betfred are 16s from 20s.
1411: Lot to like about the way Darlan travelled and quickened there. Didn't hurdle that fluently early on but they were going a crawl. Captain Conan is going to make a helluva nice chaser and there were no obvious excuses for Prospect Wells. Told you the Henderson stable form was a worry...
1408: The game is cracked. Leg one of the dull Round Robin in - 1-2-3 in the Placepot and a spot of rain in the air. Does it get any better than this?
1st Darlan 7-4 F
2nd 3 Captain Conan (FR) 9-1
3rd 7 Prospect Wells (FR) 4-1
1356: The ground is drying out all the time. We're now good, good to soft in places on all tracks. We now need a monsoon for Giles Cross.
1355: Simon In Leigh On Sea says: "Afternoon Dave..looking forward to days racing. E/W singles and super Yankee on Right Step. Bha Zhu, Lovecen, Art Professor & Missunited..retirement beckons!!. On Cappa Bleu at 33/1..backed new year and reckon has massive shout, Good luck to all and let battle commence."
1353: Greetings to Sweden from where Niclas writes: "Hope you have a better draw in the journalist-box at Aintree than you had at Cheltenham?
"Fabulous racing today and a Placepot will be my contribution to my fellow punters at Aintree. Key to a descent pay-out is the 4th and 6th leg, where upsets are quite possible. Don't fancy Darlan in the opener either, Oscara Dara perhaps? Unexposed, to say the least.
"Also have a horse from the notebook showing up in the 17.15 at Leicester, which is Pindrop. Ran really well first time out but last race it had pneumonia, Spanish flu, black plague and a splitting headache. At around 30-1 on the exchanges, Pindrop must be interesting today."
Best of luck N. I'm very well drawn in this press room - next to one of the main windows. I think it's eye-candy for passing racegoers...
1352: Seventh Sky is very much on his toes and getting warm in the parade ring and Vulcanite is another who looks keen to get on with it.
1340: Adverts on the big screens here are reminding racegoers they can buy soft drinks as well as alcohol at the bar. Wrong audience for that message - especially the young lady in a crimson dress who has just downed a pint of John Smith's Smooth in around 23 seconds. Didn't belch afterwards either. Marriage material?
1335: In the end I'm leaving the opener alone bar the inclusion of Darlan in the boring Round Robin. The Ord-Tempest Placepot opens with Captain Conan, Darlan and Prospect Wells. Has to go through. Simply has to.
1330: Not long to go now. Just had a pleasant wander around here. Lot of people watchers around the parade ring. Should have worn the tweed.
1315: Dan In Yorkshire is a good judge. He says: "fancy GONEBEYONDRECALL e/w in the 3.40.Came 4th in this last year and could go well fresh."
1310: I've not seen a single red cardigan despite Jeff Brazier's bold prediction. Bring back Jeff Banks.
1305: Is it James May (long-hair) from Top Gear? He's arrived in the press room in jeans drinking a pint of beer. Disgrace.
1255: Entertaining press conference with Ted and Katie Walsh - Ruby among the audience. No doubt Seabass is one of the big stories of tomorrow's race but both trainer and rider admit they've no idea if he'll stay four-and-a-half miles. Ruby has walked the track with his sister but his advice will remain a secret.
1236: Tom Adlam writes: "Dave - The two Fins - Ian's Rainbow and Gal's Cave look like fantastic bets at anything better than even money. The Champion Chase winner and a winner of 2 ½ miles over hurdles, and the season's top novice hurdler (with possible exception of Simonsig). I'll be doubling them up and putting them in a treble with Solix in the second.
"Darlan will not win the opener: hard race at Cheltenham and won't have the pace of some others. I've already laid him for a place on Betfair as I reckon AP won't be over-hard on him once he realizes that he's not going to win. Enjoy the day - wish I was there!"
Cheers TA! I wondered about Prospect Wells being tapped for toe round here in the opener. Could we have a boilover?
1232: Ah Sarajevo calling from where Jenny writes: "Morning Dave. If you're fussed about Falbrav's food puns, forgive him because he didn't mention Frankie Figg (and it sounds as if you need one or two!)
"Can't quite get to grips with today, so have confined myself to a placepot - Oscara Dara, Solix, Wishfull Thinking, Little Josh, Knock a Hand, It's a Gimme. Oh, and of course there's always Tour d'Argent (which is, or was, a very high class Paris restaurant), and Ginger Fizz to put the bounce back in your step....
"Diligent in the last, apparently Donald's "second horse", but I wonder..... Have a good day and enjoy the ladies (vicariously, I always assume!)"
You assume correctly - although wide of the mark with the figs Jen. There the last thing I need sadly.
1230: A very good morning to George who says: "Hi dave.. Long time follower..2 things what's the weather like up there at moment? Rain?
"Also in the 4.15 its possibly noteworthy gallinbursti was a NR and fav yesterday but is running today.. Could be an interesting e/w shout.."
No rain George - and little sign of any. And Gallinbursti is interesting, I agree. Mind you I'll go along with whatever boxer David Pryce thinks. He's standing a foot behind me at the moment. Big lad and not a moob in sight.
1200: Time for a word from our sponsors Sky Bet. Stephen Bailey has today's market moves and he writes:
Vulcanite 7/1 from 9/1 - 200 Aintree
Very useful flat recruit from the Amanda Perrett yard, he created a good impression when bolting up at Southwell on his second start. Travelled like a dream in the Supreme but didn't quite get up the hill, today's flat track should be more to his liking.
Forgotten Gold 28/1 from 40/1 - 415 Aintree
Trainer thinks a lot of him although he disappointed when finishing 5th in one of the trial races at Cheltenham. Missed the festival so should be fresher than most today and a big run is forecasted.
It's A Gimme 4/1 from 5/1 and Bourne 5/1 from 8/1 - 450 Aintree
Two movers in a tricky penultimate event, It's A Gimme was well backed for the Coral Cup but didn't make the cut. Bourne was a gutsy winner of a competitive handicap at Ascot in February but does have to put a poor display at the festival behind him.
Doyle Carte 7/1 from 9/1 - 525 Aintree
Donald McCain has 3 entered in the bumper and this is the choice of stable jockey Jason Maguire. Impressive on her debut at Catterick, she improved on her 2nd run to finish runner up to a well-regarded type at Kelso.
1145: Interesting line from Terry Witham who says: "Fingal Bay may have won graded races but he hasn't yet posted a convincing time figure (his defeat of Simonsig was in a slow run race). Therefore 6/4 is plenty short enough for me until he proves he can do it on the clock.
"I'll be looking at one or two opponents that have some better times under their belts and can be backed e/w at double figure prices. Knock A Hand is of interest and Nagpur is worth a few pennies at 66/1."
Best of luck with those TW.
1140: There may be fish and chips for lunch but an early blow on the Quick Pick Placepot. I've landed Toughness Danon in leg one. Anyone want to buy it off me for a quid? (street value of slip right now £2).
1135: Big day in the trainers' title race today for NJ Henderson with Finian's Rainbow. Tomorrow even bigger though. Sprinter Sacre looks to face a simple enough task then there's Simonsig and Oscar Whisky before Shakalakaboomboom. 5-6 each of two with Paddy Power at the moment Hendo and PF Nicholls.
1130: I'm in all sorts of bother if - as Jeff Brazier predicts - red cardigans are the must-have item for men this summer.
1125: The handicap hurdle at 1650 looks a hit and hope job. I think Orsippus (on this ground) and Art Professor are capable of going well but neither is one to have total confidence in.
1120: Great to see Fingal Bay back in action today and I expect him to win - although you wouldn't want the ground to dry out too much. He could be even better at this trip. Cotton Mill a potential threat despite his Cheltenham mishap and Knick A Hand a horse who looks to be going places.
1105: Jeff Brazier is hosting today's Matalan fashion show. A woman who looks like Cat Deeley - but isn't Cat Deeley - is talking about the looks for the summer. Floral patterns are going to be big. You read it here first.
1100: We're told showers are still possible but if they don't arrive isn't Albertas Run a live threat to Finian's Rainbow? He'll bounce off the ground and goes well round here. I think FR will stay but he'll need to be at his best to fend off the market rival. After Menorah yesterday what price a Wishfull Thinking revival too? I'm getting a headache.
1055: AL asks: "Was reading your blog, thanks for the useful info. Do you know where i can find which horse has the most naps for the grand national?"
Info won't be available until midnight AL - will appear on our naps page and racecard shortly after.
1038: I can put Chopper Harris' mind at rest. He asks: "Any news on where cheeky punt has been for the last 2 weeks, not in prison i hope lol"
At the time of writing he is still a free man - despite late-night reports of press-ups in a pub car park. However he's currently enjoying a brief holiday. He'll be back shortly.
1030: P Mc writes: "Sympathies on the sleepless night but surely if there's a sight to keep a red blooded male awake through its ladies day at Aintree. Been there two years ago and not sure if the blood pressure would take another visit.
"Anyways to matters racing I think there are few, if any, riding better than my good friend Denis O Regan (I backed Cheltenham in Aintree and Cheltenham) and do think that he can have a good day today.
"The link up with the Ferguson yard looks good for both and I think a nice each way double with Cape Dutch at 16/1 and Cotton Mill at 5/1 looks tempting. For the mares bumper I think Missunited is overpriced at 12/1 if you forgive her Navan run. She was very impressive in beating the boys in Listowel and looked good in Punchestown when Burn and Turn (who was beaten a neck in a listed hurdle at the Fairyhouse festival) was beaten fifteen lengths. Missunited is reunited with her jockey for those two races today and I think she has a chance."
I am in total agreement re blood pressure and Denis O'Regan PM. He's full of confidence now and riding at the very top of his game.
1020: The gates are open and the photographers are busily snapping the early arrivals. One or two spectacular sights among them. I'm here for the racing though (despite a rather daring pink shirt) and I finally have a full going update.
We're good to soft, good in places on the Nash course and good, good to soft in places on the Mildmay. Watering too place overnight between the 13th and 14th fences on the former with three to five millimetres applied to the chase and hurdle tracks on the Mildmay.
1010: Rich Williams is in sunny Wrexham - not too far from here. He writes: "I too think Little Josh is an interesting contender, 1lb lower than his PP win in 2010, and his front-running tactics may be no bad thing here, Twiston-Davies needs a big winner after a pretty poor season!
"Cappa Bleu is my fancy for the National, I think Evan Williams has brought him back gradually with this in mind after a few years off and is a good jumper, just needs that bit of luck!"
Have you been reading my unpublished and annual (did it last year) horse-by-horse guide RW? Cappa Bleu very much on my shortlist tomorrow...and I've backed Little Josh today. Can I apologise in advance.
1000: Confirmation it's as you were for tomorrow's Nash. The original 40 run - no reserves get in. No rain yet either. The sun is cracking the flags.
0955: Chris From Durham writes: "I think Prospect Wells will turn Darlan over today. I don't think Ruby was on his A game at Cheltenham and was shuffled back in the field at a vital stage of the race, cracking each way bet if we can get 4s.
"Also I like Rare Bob at a big price in the National. Ran really well for a long way over the national fences earlier in the year and seems to be coming into form at the right time!"
Can see where you're coming from re Prospect Wells Chris. He's only got a length to find with Darlan on Fez form and it's fair to say the race didn't pan out perfectly for either that day. As for Rare Bob....wait for my unmissable annual (I did it last year) horse-by-horse guide in the morning.
0950: Ah - wonderful to have Falbrav here and he says: "Pity me old friend...I have just read of your gargantuan repast and sympathise re disturbed night and acid indigestion. However, as I'm sure I have previously divulged, Mrs F is Russian and today is the Russian equivalent of Good Friday.
"Consequently, I am joining her in a religious fast...nothing but water for me today. Still, the racing looks exciting and I have a tasty (unfortunate adjective) each way double on Vulcanite (10-1) and Cotton Mill (5-1) to set the juices flowing (oh, stop it!).
" I've also had a nibble on three outsiders Kalacurry King in the Smelling, Act of Kalacheesy in the Punters Club Sandwich Handicap and Matasuey in the Topbacon Chase. I should have picked one more out for a Heinz, but never mind - here's to a top punting day!"
Good luck with the fast F. I once had to do 24 hours for a blood test. Torture it was. Yours though for a much worthier cause. Now as for the food puns...
0945: I think I've just passed the last of the Reverend. I feel like a new man (not literally).
0930: I blame the Reverend James but I've stuck on a Round Robin covering Darlan, Silvinaco Conti and Fingal Bay. The game can't be that easy - can it?
0920: Dunk Frae Scotland is one of the good guys and says: "Morning Dave, 4 fancys today, Darlan in 1st with stable companion filling 2nd spot Oscara Dara. Like Knock in hand to make the frame in 3mile novice hurdle. I feel Forpaddytheplasterer may run a huge race in 2mile 4 event. Champion court in the other race."
Massive Champion Court fan myself Dunk but just feel Silvinaco Conti may have his legs today.
0905: AM in NewcastleGaviscon may be a bigger seller AM given the blazing sunshine and the perils of Reverend James.
0900: Paul Nicholls' Betfair column is always worth a read - and today he reveals Robinson Collonges has had a breathing op since his last run. He's potentially interesting here today. Also well worth a read is our Richard Fahey column which is now live. He's dreaming of Classic glory with one of last year's top two-year-olds.
0855: Phil In Misty Northampton is going to join hands with MQ and myself in one final bid for rain. He writes: "Do you think they will pull Giles Cross out - they have made it very clear he has to have soft ground haven't they? Officially it's still Good to Soft though... I'm praying for a deluge!
"I'm all over Albertas Run, Gonebeyondrecall and Golden Call today. Another cracking day in store! Didn't you have one from Leicester for us today?"
Oh I did P! Lady Loch is an each-way bet to nothing in the maiden at 1715...
0845: Mike Q also has that sinking feeling re the Nash. He writes: "I'm on Giles Cross too. What a nightmare these weather men are. On Monday they forecast rain everyday. Now we've had virtually three dry days! Is there any chance of some rain before tomorrow afternoon?"
If there is it will be today apparently and we have clear blue skies. They may even end up watering the Mildmay track...
0835: Chopper Harris is up and at em today. He says: "Feel it will be the punters day today with the 3 big jollies going in : Darlan, Finninans & Fingal Bay. Well i certainly hope so as i have wrapped them up in 3 doubles and a juicy treble."
Would be a bonus after yesterday CH but I have one or two reservations over Finian's and Darlan. Well one, the way the Henderson horses ran yesterday although as Nic Doggett points out Burton Port and Master Of Hall performed with plenty of credit.
0828: My searing stomach pain of the early hours meant I was able to watch Ladbrokes' David Williams on Daybreak today. He's resplendent in an 'egg-shell blue' suit, almost like a young Christopher Biggins.
0825: Two early observations. Little Josh, my Topham fancy along with Aimgayle , has been put up by Pricewise so it'll be a surprise if we can snare a double-figure price. Secondly the sports presenter from BBC Breakfast (not the one who won Strictly Come Dancing) is in the press room. He's much shorter than I thought. Never forget when you watch TV, the camera adds ten pounds, and in some cases on the Morning Line, three chins.
0815: It seems Reverend James took a terrible toll last night. He was the only cask ale on offer in my establishment and while a little stronger than ideal, he drank well., in fact too well. Instead of an early night and hours of studying the formbook I tore into a huge platter starter and a bowl of bottomless chips with the biggest burger on the menu. As a result I've been wide awake with acid ingestion since 0345. Oh Reverend, you are naughty.
Despite my camp rain dance in the Ormskirk Premier Inn (think a naked floral dance with moobs and you're close) Aintree again avoided the overnight showers. Giles Cross I think we're done for. Anyway before the great race we have another cracking card to get stuck into. As ever get your emails over to firstname.lastname@example.org. It's Ladies Day today which means even the Matalan men sporting only trunks during the fashion show will feel over-dressed. It's no good for the Ord blood pressure.