Our top punting team turn their eyes to Merseyside for Aintree's Thursday meeting

It’s Grand National week in Liverpool at last! The streets are running orange with the fake tan and every man, women and over 18 year old is looking for a tip. But it’s not all about the 40 horses and 30 fences that await us on Saturday afternoon. The Aintree Festival kicks off in spectacular style on Thursday, when we get to see a number of Cheltenham heroes back in action.

And what better way to prepare for Saturday’s showdown than by pocketing a few mid-week pennies?

Our crack team of tipsters are back to bring you the best bets for all three days of Aintree. Top jock and two-time Grand National winner Ruby Walsh is joined by the boss, Paddy Power, racing pundit Matt Chapman, and our very own mysterious Power Tower trader.

There isn’t a unanimous vote in sight on the C4 races on Thursday, but Annie Power is getting plenty of support in the 3.25pm. Paddy himself is the only one swimming against the tide, by picking out Nichols Canyon to upset the odds. He may well be talking through his pocket on that one…

Elsewhere Footpad gets a couple of nods in the day’s opener, while both Paddy and Matt Chapman fancy Don Poli to improve on his Gold Cup third and take the 2.50pm. Cheltenham winner On The Fringe won’t have Nina Carberry on board due to her ban, but Ruby Walsh and our mysterious trader fancy the Enda Bolger-trained gee-gee to romp home. In the final race on TV Minella Present gets a couple of nods, while Paddy Power says Dandridge’s run at Cheltenham caught the eye.

Here’s hoping we can get Aintree off to a flyer!