Racing tips: Templegate NAPS Sir Alex Ferguson's horse to win the big race on day one of Grand National Festival

TEMPLEGATE looks to start the Grand National Festival with a bang thanks to some winners on Thursday.

He brings you a pick in every race plus his reasoning for it as he looks to build the bank for Saturday's big race.

Check out his selections below and don't forget you can back a horse simply by clicking their odds.

PROTEKTORAT (2.55 Aintree, nap)

He can make it three out of three chase wins at Aintree. He won the Manifesto with ease at this meeting 12 months ago and has done very little wrong since.

He was a close second in the Paddy Power Gold Cup on return before a 25-length hammering of his rivals back here in the Many Clouds Chase.

He was then an excellent third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup where he just faded a little up the hill. He’s only seven so has improvement in him and returning to this flat, speed track will bring out his best.

EPATANTE (3.30 Aintree, nb)

She looked right back to her best when giving Honeysuckle a minor fright in the Champion Hurdle.

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She would have been a closer second but for rattling the final flight before staying on well to suggest this trip will be no problem.

She travels well and can take this nice prize.

ILIADE ALLEN (5.15 Aintree, treble)

She has moved from Nick Williams to Paul Nicholls since running a close second in a Listed contest at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. She doesn’t need much improvement to strike on debut for new connections.

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Templegate's tips for every race on day one of Grand National Festival

1.45 Gin On Lime

Grade 3 winner who has had a break since lucky Cheltenham win.

2.20 Pied Piper

Good third in Triumph Hurdle and should be suited by track.

2.55 Protektorat (nap)

Cracking Gold Cup effort and loves it at Aintree.

3.30 Epatante (nb)

Back to best when second in the Champion Hurdle last time.

4.05 Jett

Loves this unique test and this trip is more suitable.

4.40 Before Midnight

Another good run at Donny and trainer in excellent form.

5.15 Iliade Allen (treble)

Good Listed second at Cheltenham on latest outing.

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