04/01/2009 11:00PM

Rambling Minster may have an edge at Aintree


Rambling Minster can take advantage of a relatively low weight to win the $1.3 million Grand National Handicap Chase at Aintree in Liverpool on Saturday when 40 jumpers set out on the 4 1/2-mile odyssey over 30 of the world's most daunting fences.

Trained by Keith Reveley and ridden by his son James, Rambling Minster is proven over long distances, as he won a four-mile chase at Kelso in December 2007. Moreover, he has won his last two starts, a 3 1/4-mile handicap chase at Cheltenham and a Grade 3 handicap chase over the same distance at Haydock. Nicely weighted at 149 pounds, he also goes well on the National Course's prevailing good to soft ground.

The favorite at 7-1 is My Will (158 pounds). Trained by Paul Nicholls, the man who sent out four of the first five finishers in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month, My Will was the fourth of them and will have the red-hot Ruby Walsh aboard.

Defending champ Comply or Die (160 pounds) has been off form this season, as has Hear the Echo, winner of the 3 5/8-mile Irish Grand National Handicap Chase.

Kilbeggan Blade (147 pounds) and the Nicholls-trained Big Fella Thanks (155 pounds) have solid upset chances.