Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

What a Friend we may find in Fergie at 12-1

There are many elements to finding a Grand National winner and every year another is added to make punters' lives more complicated. Weight has usually been one of the parameters for excluding a horse, with 11st being the limit for a likely winner. Don't Push It scotched that analysis by carrying 11st 5lb to victory last year. He runs again, under top weight – but repeat winners are rare.

The class horse is What a Friend, fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, who also has a ready-made "story" – often something to consider – as he would be trainer Paul Nicholls' first National winner, and is part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, on duty at Old Trafford today. A £10 interest goes on at 12-1.

I tipped Backstage last year and he travelled well until being hampered at the 20th fence and unseating his rider. He has been carefully prepared this year in Irish point-to-points by his rising trainer, Gordon Elliott, already a National winner with Silver Birch in 2007. The big prices have gone but £10 each-way at 12-1 will look fine if he wins.

Arbor Supreme unseated at The Chair last year but recently finished a close second, at level weights with one of those vying for favouritism, The Midnight Club, in Ireland and is now 10lb better off – £10 each-way, at 22-1.

Bets of £5 each-way go on Quinz (18-1), the Racing Post Trophy winner and King Fontaine (66-1) who could slog on for a place.

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