Good morning all,
We're just three days from the world’s most famous horse race. History has been written about the runners and riders who have gone onto success in the great race. The one thing they all share is an exciting combination of human effort and equine bravery.
From the triple-winning success of Red Rum, through to Aldaniti & Bob Champion and more recently double winning Tiger Roll, who sadly won’t be attempting the hat trick this year, there’s always a story to be told.
Granted the race isn’t the same as when the likes of Red Rum and Aldaniti were winning it. In 2013 several changes were made to the race to make the fences more ‘horse friendly’ and moving the start. However, I suspect for the casual viewer and the once-a-year punter they don't care about the changes. The thrilling spectacle of watching 40 runners, jump 30 fences over two circuits remains. Oh and that great feeling when you have picked the winner of the race.
Inside today’s main piece I’m going to look ahead to the National. Plus, I have an each way selection from Gowran Park.
Aintree Grand National Festival
The Aintree Grand National meeting begins tomorrow and I will be looking at Thursday’s card in tomorrow’s column.
As I mentioned last week the track is being watered and there doesn’t look to be much in the way of rain in the forecast either.
There were 68 horses left in at the five-day stage, with only 40 allowed to run. The connections of the well fancied Some Neck (42) and Secret Reprieve (43) will be praying that a few drop out before the day.
When I first looked at the race in detail about six weeks ago. My ten strong shortlist contained: Cloth Cap who was 16/1, Any Second Now 25/1, Burrows Saint 20/1 and Discorama 50/1. I didn’t back any of them ante post and they’re now all much shorter in the betting.
I’m assuming that the ground will be no worse than good to soft. Since 2008 ten renewals of the race have been run on good/good to soft. Those results include – 10 winners from 399 runners 40 placed.
A sounder surface means I’m concentrating on horses with the following traits:
Age: 8yo to 11yo
Weight: 11-0 to 11-9
Best in Last Three Runs: 1st or 2nd
They have produced 6 winners from 71 runners +121 13 placed. That’s 60% of the winners from 18% of the total runners.
Using the above trends, I have a small list of potential qualifiers which include the likes of:
Lake View Lad
Top weight Bristol De Mai carries 11-10 and Magic Of Light & Burrows Saint both carry 10-13. Magic of Light is 5lb higher than when finishing runner-up in the race in 2019. Whilst Burrows Saint won that year’s Irish Grand National as a 6-year-old and has winning form on good ground.
The ground has come for Cloth Cap (10-4) who wouldn’t want the going worse than good to soft. He’s another who fails the weight trend but he’s now officially rated 14lb higher than his National mark. Discorama has been well backed in the last few days only carries 10-8. He’s back from a 145-day layoff but interestingly he’s 2 wins from 4 runs when racing between 121 to 365 days since his last run.
I’m hoping that this year’s winner is among the above group of horses. We shall know by 5:30pm on Saturday afternoon if I’m right or not.
Today’s principal meeting is at Nottingham. There’s also flat turf action at Catterick & Gowran Park and all-weather cards at Lingfield & Newcastle.
The feature race at Nottingham is the Further Flight Stakes (Listed Race) (4:10).
4:10 – MansionBet Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) – 1m 6f
Sir Ron Priestley is the short-priced favourite. The 5-year-old is having his first start since finishing runner-up in the 2019 St Leger. He’s the class horse of the race and if fully tuned surely wins.
At the prices Laafy rates a bit of value. The 5-year-old is a previous C&D winner and has won first time up for the last two seasons. If the ground isn’t too quick, he could take advantage should fitness be an issue with the favourite.
4:40 – Nugget won two of his four starts last season, including his seasonal reappearance. He’s 5lb higher than for his last win but could be capable of a bit better as a 4-year-old.
4:30 – A couple of promising 3-year-old’s here including likely favourite, the Aidan O’Brien trained filly Elizabethan.
Galtee Mist won a C&D maiden on her seasonal reappearance two years ago. She’s now 7lb higher than when winning a 7f Curragh handicap last November but has each way claims, as does Silver Service who made a good start to the season when 2nd of 16 at Naas 10-days ago.
4:30 – Galtee Mist – 12/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes (EW).
Good luck with your Wednesday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk