Friday, April 03, 2009

Aintree Grand National selections

Forty go to post at 4.15 tomorrow for the Grand National marathon run over a distance of four and a half miles. Those who like to make up their own minds may want to use my Twitter Guide to the Grand National runners as a starting point; for everyone else, after hours of deliberation, here's how I see them finishing...

1. Rambling Minster Jumps, stays, has a racing weight and is in the form of his life. Provided he can stay out of trouble, he should be on the premises at the business end of the race; Mrs Tips' selection.

2. Butler's Cabin Tony McCoy doesn't need me to tell him this horse offers him a serious chance of winning his first National at the fourteenth attempt. The horse was going ominously well when coming a cropper at Becher's (second time) last year, having had a scare at the same fence on the first circuit. Mr. McCoy will be doing his utmost to ensure there's no repeat performance this time.

3. Himalayan Trail Won the Midlands National for Sue Smith last year; this has been his target since that day. Has a nice racing weight and is now trained by Jimmy Mangan who won the National with Monty's Pass in 2003.

4. Comply Or Die Last year's winner is now rated fifteeen pounds higher than when he won -he has a big task on his hands here. Has been badly out of form for much of the season but showed much more interest when running a decent trial in the William Hill Trophy at Cheltenham three weeks ago. Many think the re-fitting of blinkers at Cheltenham helped; provided he's in the mood I think he can make a place.

For those who like a dabble at bigger prices, Knowhere strikes me as overpriced at 66/1; this horse was close enough last year when falling at Valentine's on the second circuit - stable jockey Paddy Brennan takes the ride. Cornish Sett is a bit of a character but if he consents to put his best foot forward he looks certain to stay the distance and is currently available at around 33/1.

I wish you all the very best of luck!

The John Smith's People's Race is scheduled to take place before racing proper begins. Ten amateur jockeys have been in training over the winter and will race over a distance of one mile one furlong (I think) in front of the National crowds. This year the Tote is offering prices on the contestants. A couple of pointers for those who may be tempted... Of the ten jockeys, Clare Balding picks out Craig Brown for his fitness - Craig rides Thunder Rock. A quick look through the official handicap ratings of the horses shows there doesn't seem a lot to choose between Summer Soul, Some Touch, Thunder Rock and Mith Hill; Thunder Rock appears the percentage call.

PS - Today this blog is three years old; would have liked to celebrate with a winner at Aintree but, as I'm sure regular readers will recognise, I'm just not up to the job...


Anonymous said...

Three years? Is that all? It seems like a lifetime of evenings have passed by, allowing me to watch whatever I want on the TV! Keep it up Mr Tips.


GeeDee said...

A fantastic story with 100/1 outsider Mon Mome winning the National; it was jockey Liam Treadwell's first ride in the race. Mon Mome is the joint biggest priced winner - Foinavon was 100/1 when winning in 1967. Here's how the selections fared...

Rambling Minster may have been in the form of his life before the race, but he never got into this one; practically the first mention in commentary was when he was pulled up as they started out on the second circuit - a most disappointing effort.
Butler's Cabin (7/1f) finished seventh; a decent display but the leaders were always going half a stride too fast for him...
Himalayan Trail got no further than the first fence - what more is there to say?
Comply Or Die (14/1) put up the best show, finishing second but having no answer to Mon Mome's finishing burst up the run-in; still it was a huge effort carrying 11st 6lbs.
Knowhere struggled to keep tabs on the leaders and was pulled up around the same point as he departed last year while Cornish Sett (33/1) finished in his own time and was the last to complete in seventeenth.

In the People's Race Droitwich jeweller David Griffiths, riding Mith Hill, stole a march on his rivals at the start and never looked back, winning the event by fifteen lengths; Thunder Rock was second.