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Barry Geraghty: My top tips include 11-1 shot I think could be thrown in for shrewd Emmet Mullins

IT seems like a Lifetime ago since I won the Grand National on Monty’s Pass but it was one of the biggest thrills in my career.

Jumping those famous Aintree fences — they were even bigger and tougher back then in 2003 — is a buzz I miss.

Geraghty knows a thing or two about winners at Aintree and he’s picked out a few for Saturday

So I will just be a little bit jealous when I see the jocks lining up for our first sight of them this season in today’s Grand Sefton.

If I could pick one to be on it would be LIFETIME AMBITION (2.11) trained by the brilliant Jessica Harrington.

He won at Down Royal first time up last year where his jumping was electric.

He beat Beacon Edge and Vanillier that day and the National fences should suit him. Sean O’Keeffe should enjoy it.

I fancy BREWIN’UPASTORM (2.45) to win the feature hurdle race again. He bolted up in it last year and it’s the ideal race for him.

Langer Dan is a good horse and won really well at the Grand National meeting, but he is rated 10lb below my fancy and he must give Olly Murphy’s star 4lb. That will be tough.

I’ll be rooting for my fellow Favourite columnist Bryony Frost on FRODON (1.50) in the big one at Wincanton, the Badger Beers.

Paul Nicholls has won this three times in the last five years and Frodon has been given a sniff at this by the handicapper as he now runs off a mark of 158, down from 169.

He’s suited to good ground on a flat track and I think this will be ideal for him.

KNIGHT SALUTE (3.00) can fight it out with Sceau Royal.

Alan King’s veteran is going for a third Elite Hurdle win and loves it here but my tip had good form in his juvenile season and ran well at Cheltenham. He’s open to lots of imp-rovement and is the value bet.

I don’t normally put up horses on the Flat, but there are a few jumping types in the November Handicap and I think Emmet Mullins’ TEED UP (3.13) could have been, excuse the pun, teed-up for this one.

He won nicely over hurdles at Galway in the summer and then ran well for a long way in the October Handicap at Leopardstown.

Gordon Elliott can bag the Champion Chase in Ireland — but he might do it with his so-called ‘second string’.

Galvin is the hot favourite but the race may play into the hands of CONFLATED (2.32).

Galvin has the benefit of a run and definitely has the strongest form. He only just got touched off by Frodon in this race last year and then beat A Plus Tard at Leopardstown over Christmas, with Kemboy not far behind.

The slight negative for Galvin is soft ground and a likely steady pace as he is best on decent ground with a strong gallop to aim at.

Conflated has form on soft and won the Irish Gold Cup last February. Kemboy could make the running and, if it is a controlled pace, it will play to Conflated’s strength.

Finally, don’t write off Ahoy Senor. I think he still has plenty to offer this season.

I know he was stuffed out of sight in last week’s Charlie Hall but Peter Scudamore said the horse has got more relaxed at home.

In my experience, when a horse gets more relaxed in his work his fitness levels suffer, so I’d expect a massive improvement.

I will be backing him at Newbury on his next run. He was brilliant there last season on his second start and he will bounce back.

Barry was speaking in association with 888sport


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