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Bookies entering the fray with trepidation.

Byline: Jack Haynes

BOOKMAKERS will be crossing fingers, toes and everything else in the hope of avoiding further accumulator hell after a torrid Cheltenham Festival, and their fate for the three days at Aintree will be edging one way or another based on the four short-priced favourites today.

Multiples including Ivanovich Gorbatov, Cue Card, Annie Power and On The Fringe will have firms trembling in advance of the Crabbie's Grand National on Saturday.

The action at the meeting is also likely to have a major bearing on the trainers' title, with Willie Mullins generally 4-11 to secure his first British championship, with title-holder and table-topper Paul Nicholls 2-1. Coral's David Stevens said yesterday: "We took an absolute hammering at Cheltenham and many punters will head into the National meeting playing with our money.

"Many of the Cheltenham winners are going to be in action again and, on day one, three festival winners plus Cue Card will all be hot favourites, with the four-timer paying more than 16-1. "We'd expect the feelgood factor from last month to boost business this week."

William Hill are offering just 7-4 about Willie Mullins saddling seven or more winners at Aintree, although the firm are convinced Don Poli will not be among them in today's Betfred Bowl.

Spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke said: "We're out to get Don Poli. We don't fancy him at all and, while we'd normally be shortening him up given the amount of cash he's attracting, we're happy to lay him."

Don Poli was an 11-2 chance with Hills last night.

There is no betting on leading jockey at Aintree, but whoever it is - very likely Ruby Walsh - will collect PS1,500 and an Inkermanproduced trophy, with the runner-up receiving PS1,000, the third PS750, fourth PS500 and fifth PS250, while PS500 goes to the leading conditional. Racing UK is sponsoring the award.

Willie Mullins winners at Grand National meeting William Hill: 7-4 seven or more, 2 six, 11-4 five, 9-2 four or fewer.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 7, 2016
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