4m2½f (4m2f74y) (Grand National) Randox Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (7yo+)
ESCARIA TEN – 5.15pm AINTREE
SMALL STAKES EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 18/1 WITH THE FOLLOWING FIRMS WHO ARE PAYING 6 PLACES
ANY SECOND NOW – 5.15pm AINTREE
SMALL STAKES EACH WAY BET ADVISED AT 11/1 WITH BET365 WHO ARE PAYING 6 PLACES
Hi guys, this years renewal of the Randox Grand National looks wide open but rather than going in to loads of detail about the 40-runners I thought I would try to keep it simple giving you a few negatives, a couple I think could go well at a price, and my two selections for win purposes.
Here are 4 horses near the head of the market that could still win but I am against for the reasons given –
Minella Times (10/1) – won this so very easily last year and was well-backed yesterday in to Favouritism but has hardly had an ideal preparation falling at Punchestown in December before pulling up at Leopardstown 62-days ago. Up 15lb from last year there are surely better handicapped horses this time round and he doesn’t seem to offer much value at 10/1 in such an open renewal.
Delta Work (11/1) – Ran a blinder to beat an in form Tiger Roll in the 3m6f Cross Country at the Cheltenham Festival but that was on Heavy, he had a fairly tough race, and he’s yet to prove he stays this far. He would also want easier underfoot conditions than he will face today and is near the top of the weights but his class could still see him go close.
Snow Leopardess (11/1) – She looks under-priced being the “Housewife’s Choice” as a grey and a mum and no mare has won the race since 1951. She is 1lb worse off with Escaria Ten for a 14 length beating over 3m6f at the Cheltenham Festival in 2021 and generally looks a little too high in the weights.
Longhouse Poet (16/1) – This 8 year old is the Nap of the Racing Post and has been tipped up by several other top publications but he wants much easier underfoot conditions than he is going to face today so I’ve gone against him for win purposes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he managed to prove me wrong.
I also think the ground could play a major part this year with drying conditions at the track and the Going looking sure to be much better than many of these horses have shown their best form on. This looks like it will suit Commodore (33/1 with William Hill) best of all and the 10 year old who has been kept fresh for this since December looks worth an each way interest to finish in the first 6.
Of the other outsiders, I liked the 50/1 for Two For Gold who had his last time out 1.75 lengths 2nd to Fakir D’Oudairies franked yesterday with that one taking the Grade 1 Melling Chase impressively by 5.5 lengths. The Kim Bailey trained 9 year old is due to go up 5lb after this so could still be relatively well-treated and has hinted he could be suited by marathon trips. Probably won’t be good enough to win but it’s not impossible and at his current 50/1 odds looks worth a small each way interest.
I think it is well-worth noting that the Irish filled 10 of the first 11 places home in last years National with only Blaklion trailing home 37 lengths back in 6th and, while I think the English have made up ground, it will be a major surprise if the Irish don’t take the race this year again with the form of their horses generally looking stronger.
So, for win purposes, I am with Escaria Ten & Any Second Now.
The Gordon Elliott trained Escaria Ten is an 8 year old second season chaser who put in an improved performance for the application of first-time blinkers (retained) when going down by a nose to Any Second Now over 3m1.5f at Fairyhouse 6 weeks ago. It was a nice prep run for this and with form in the book over 3m6f finishing 3rd to Galvin at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival he looks one of the likelier winners. Still looking fairly handicapped on a mark of 152 with scope for further improvement he could be set for a big run so looks a bet at his current 18/1 odds.
Any Second Now finished 8.25 lengths 3rd in the race last year despite not having the best of runs. He made a bad mistake at the 10th before being badly hampered (nearly brought to a standstill losing lots of momentum) by a faller at the 12th. Did well to finish so close to winner Minella Times despite giving him 6lb and he is receiving 2lb from him this time round. He looks a rock solid each way bet at 11/1 and should go close with a clear round.
My first memory of the Grand National is 1975 where, as a 5 year old, my Mum put me 50p each way on winner L’Escargot who prevented Red Rum from making it 3 in a row and I’ve watched the race every year it has been on since then. I love it so please enjoy it for the awesome spectacle it is and let’s hope we get a result!
P.S. Just a reminder that while I suggest bookies to bet with because they have the best price available or are offering to pay extra places on a race these are purely for your benefit and I receive absolutely nothing from them. I’M NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY BOOKMAKERS!
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