OVERNIGHT rain has come to boost the chance of BLACK APALACHI in today's John Smith's Grand National, writes Flared Nostril.

The Irish-trained raider pulverised Snowy Morning on his eye-catching return at Fairyhouse, romping in by 17 lengths and is able to oppose on the same terms here.

The only concern would be that he has done all his winning on soft ground - but now that the ground has eased it is worth taking a chance that he will not get outpaced early on.

The Old Vic gelding is a powerhouse and has been trained specifically for this race and showed a liking for these big Aintree fences when scoring here from Mr Pointment last year.

Veteran chaser Rambling Minster ticks most of the boxes and is on great terms with himself.

Off a light weight and proven to stay he must enter calculations.

Darkness is probably the best handicapped horse in the field and Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber's horse has a touch of class but is prone to making mistakes - not what you want around here.

Others to consider are State of Play, who looks well treated for a Hennessy winner, while Irish Invader has the right stats in front of his name but is unproven over long distances, though unlikely to have made the trip without some sort of a chance.

Parson's Legacy is lightly raced and hard to assess and is a lively outsider at a big price.

Flared Nostril's verdict is: Black Apalachi, 2 Rambling Minster, 3 State of Play,4 Parson's Legacy