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Rip Van Winkle, who has been confirmed as the mount of Johnny Murtagh, has joined Craven winner Delegator at the head of the market (7/2) for the stanjames.com 2000 Guineas with the sponsors as 17 colts stood their ground at this morning's 48-hour declaration stage.

Sponsors Stan James eased Craven Stakes winner Delegator from 3s to 7/2 for the stanjames.com 2000 Guineas on Saturday as money came for Rip Van Winkle 9/2 from 4s.

I watched an old episode of The Young Ones recently and thought how dated it looked. At the time I remember thinking it irreverent and brilliant; now I would put it in Division 1 of my history of British comedy far removed from the Premier League (Father Ted, Fawlty Towers, Blackadder and The Office would be the Big Four by the way).

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Despite a spirited comeback against Everton last weekend the bottom line is that Villa have now failed to win in their last ten games and have now conceded 11 goals in their last three games.

My Will and Rambling Minster are the 17/2 co favs less than 30 mins before the 161st running of the Grand National.

The waiting is almost over for the 161st Grand National which is due off at 4.15 tomorrow. Rain is forecast tomorrow and all eyes will be on the overnight and morning conditions to see if the ground eases.

What happens at Craven Cottage this evening will have a big bearing on the atmosphere inside Old Trafford tomorrow where two sides with dented confidence meet in a vital Premier League game. If title rivals Liverpool have gained all three points against Fulham there is sure to be a tense atmosphere at the Theatre Of Dreams for the visit of Villa to a United side minus Rooney, Vidic and Scholes.

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Aintree Festival Day 2

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Tony McCoy confirmed that he would ride Butlers Cabin over Can’t Buy Time and L’Ami in Saturday’s John Smith’s Grand National and that horse was cut by Stan James to 8/1 joint favourite for the National with My Will who was eased from 7s to 8/1.

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The first day of what promises to be three wonderful days of racing in the spring sunshine of Aintree begins with The Grade 2 Liverpool Hurdle 3m 110y at 2:00. To cut straight to the chase, you can see all of Aintree's betting markets now at stanjames.com.

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The overnight defection of War Of Attrition has led to a shake up this morning in the betting for the 2009 John Smith’s Grand National. Trainer Mouse Morris wasn’t happy with the former Gold Cup winner and he will now be targeted at the Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown.

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