It’s been a tough year for the Monday column on the tipping front but last week’s Tuesday selection One Style won at Hereford and Tiger Roll won the Grand National on Saturday.
In the 19th February column, I noted four key trends for the Grand National:
Age: 8 to 11-year-olds
Won A Race 3m 1f+
Runs in 90 Days: 1 to 3
Handicap Chase Wins: 1 to 3
I also wrote this:
“At the moment I will be noting all horses 10-10 or higher in the weights in addition to those trends above. Looking at the horses who take my eye at the moment and they are both trained by Gordon Elliott. The first is the 8-year-old Tiger Roll who last season won the 3m Munster National and the 4m National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He isn’t the biggest horse in training but as he showed at Cheltenham if he gets in a good jumping rhythm he’s a really decent horse. At the 50/1 available with William Hill looks worth a modest each way bet at this stage”.
Hopefully some of you followed me in.
Grand National Look Back
Onto the great race itself. Thankfully, all horses and jockeys returned home safely which was the best news to come from the race.
Tiger Roll was given a great ride by Davy Russell who got the 8-year-old into a good jumping rhythm from the off and despite the jockey briefly losing an iron during the race. Coming to two out it just looked a case of how far he would win by and went six lengths clear after the last. But the Elbow at Aintree has produced plenty of dramatic finishes in the past. He started to tire on the long run which gave the eventual runner up Pleasant Company a hint of a chance and he rallied bravely to run get within a head of the winner at the line. If he hadn’t had made a mistake two out, he may well have won the race and a few strides after the line he was in the lead. No doubt like the winner he will be back for next years race.
Ironically, given the fact the Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins have been fighting out for The Irish Champion Trainer Title that he should have the first three home in the race.
Of the rest the well backed Anibale Fly found his big weight of 11-8 just too much on this ground against some stronger finishers. Still it was a great run from the Tony Martin trained 8-year-old to give the Irish the first four home in this year’s race.
Milansbar ran well but lost his place at important stage of the race but stayed on to take 5th.
Road to Riches was held up to get the trip but just didn’t stay on this ground and plugged on to be 6th.
The well backed ante-post Baie Des Iles was badly hampered at Valentines second time around and had no chance after and eventually finished last of the 12 finishers. She’s only a 7-year-old, so has time on her side and will no doubt be aimed at this race again next year.
I don’t think there were any real unlucky horses in this year’s renewal. Blaklion was brought down at the 1st so never got the chance to see if he stayed the trip.
The quietly fancied Colin Tizzard trained The Dutchman was still in with a chance but he unseated his rider at Foinavon second time around and the 8-year-old is another who will no doubt be aimed at the race.
Ucello Conti like the winner trained by Gordon Elliott is a guilty pleasure in this race with plenty of punters and he was in with a bit of a chance when unseating his rider four out but my suspicion is that his stamina was about to run out when he came to grief.
Grand National Tracker Horse:
One horse to take out of the race with the future in mind is the Willie Mullins trained Childrens List who travelled well for a long way but didn’t seem to stay this far on heavy ground and was pulled up coming two out.
The 8-year-old has only had five starts over fences so he lacked experience of most of the field so could be open to a bit more improvement next season.
Being by Presenting he would probably have preferred less testing ground and his record when good is in the description 3 wins from 5 runs 4 placed seems to back up that view and he’s 1 win from 13 runs 4 placed on all other going.
Given how well he ran here he would be a very interesting contender on a sounder surface next year.
Monday Racing and Selection:
We have jumping cards at Kelso and Tramore today but you can tell Summer isn’t far away as it’s the first Windsor Monday meeting of the year which looks like it will be run on heavy ground and there is also a late afternoon flat meeting at Leopardstown which will also be run on testing ground.
6:35 – Alcatraz doesn’t have the best of win records 1 win from 28 runs 12 placed but there is no doubt the 6-year-old has dropped down to a winning mark.
All five of his starts for trainer Richard O’Brien have come on the all-weather this winter and he showed three starts back when beaten just a length into 3rd at Dundalk that he retains ability and indeed but for a slow start, may well have won. Two lesser efforts back there since but it is worth remembering that he has form on heavy and his sole win came on soft ground Chepstow back in May 2015. Last May he was beaten just a head on soft ground at Newmarket off 5lb higher.
Stall 12 isn’t ideal and step back in trip maybe required but if he gets off on good terms he has each way claims.
Alcatraz – 10/1 @BetVictor & Bet365 (each way)
All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable weeks betting.
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