Friday, April 07, 2017

Aintree Grand National 2017

Mrs Tips likes a flutter on the Grand National. We've made some progress this year - she only wants to bet half the field.

A number of the fancied runners in this renewal come with niggling doubts.

Vieux Lion Rouge has looked very good this season, pinching the Becher from Highland Lodge and then winning Haydock's Grand National Trial with just a hint of something to spare. The worry is he ran out of petrol two from home last year, eventually finishing seventh. Has he strengthened up sufficiently?

Definitely Red has improved leaps and bounds this season and deserves plenty of respect but jumping was his Achilles heel last year and I think he prefers more cut underfoot.

One For Arthur is another who revels in the mud; connections are worried their charge may struggle to lie up early on in the race.

Blaklion is a street fighter who looks to have benefitted from a wind operation after the Hennessy; however he's not the biggest of individuals and these are big fences...

And all those mentioned to this point are aged eight; in the past decade the winners have been aged between nine and eleven apart from Many Clouds in 2015.

It's the Grand National and anything can happen; since Lottery won the inaugural running in 1839 it frequently has.

Fifty years ago 100/1 chance Foinavon dramatically won following a pile-up at the fence after Becher's; the fence was officially named after the horse in 1984.

More recent big-priced winners include Silver Birch at 33/1 in 2007; Mon Mome at 100/1 in 2009; Neptune Collonges at 33/1 in 2012; Auroras Encore at 66/1 in 2013; Pineau De Re at 25/1 in 2014; Many Clouds at 25/1 in 2015 and Rule The World at 33/1 last year.

You pay your money and take your choice. The BBC's Pinstickers Guide is a popular, useful tool; for those interested, here's my stab at the impossible...

1. Ucello Conti The only one of my picks to perform with much credit last year, eventually finishing sixth, and racing off the same mark this time. Fourth behind Vieux Lion Rouge in the Becher, he meets that opponent five pounds better off for two and a half lengths (20/1).

2. Blaklion Second behind Vieux Lion Rouge at Haydock, he's three pounds better off for three and a quarter lengths. First time he has raced beyond three and a half miles (14/1).

3. Thunder And Roses Beat last year's winner Rule The World in the 2015 Irish National and I'm hoping he can bring that sort of form to the table here... (33/1)

4. Perfect Candidate Likes to race up with the pace and possibly a little high in the weights but progressive this year (50/1).

5. Vieux Lion Rouge With a clear round and luck in running I'm still not totally convinced he sees out the marathon trip... (12/1).

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

My Grand National pin has landed in Double Shuffle at a best priced 50/1. As a 7yo yet to race over further than 3 miles or the challenging National Fences it is probably a mistake but he does look progressive and will relish the ground. IF he can get round safely & stay the trip he might make the frame.

Away from the big race Golden Doyen and The Tourard Man both look over priced, both qualified early for the Pertemps Final and were kept for that race and one or the other might gain some compensation here. Messire Des Obeaux might take the wheels of the Tizzard Aintree wagon. Contrary to Kim Bailey’s view Charbel was unlikely to win the Arkle if he’d stayed on his feet and looks a poor odds on bet where as San Benedeto at 9/1 looks a cracker. I’m also keen to take on Yanworth and I happy to give Snow Falcon the chance to put a rather flat run in the Stayers Hurdle behind him.

Thanks for your Aintree posts and good luck today.


GeeDee said...

One For Arthur (14/1) passed the post first in the Grand National, winning in much the same manner he had at Warwick in mid January. Practically unnoticed out the back, he made significant progress as the race unfolded to jump into contention (and Blaklion) two from home, from where he powered on to keep Cause Of Causes (16/1) at bay with Davy Russell and St Are (25/1) passing Blaklion (8/1f) on the run-in to claim third. Gas Line Boy finished (50/1) fifth and Vieux Lion Rouge (12/1) sixth.

Of the other selections Daryl Jacob looked a slightly unlucky to unseat from Ucello Conti (20/1) following a blunder at Becher's on the second circuit when still in contention but that ill luck was trumped by Thunder And Roses who was hampered by a loose horse, in the process unseating Mark Enright at the ninth. TW's selection Double Shuffle (33/1) was prominent for a long way but gradually lost his position and was pulled up before two out.

The good news is all horses returned safely; I'm sure we'll do it all over again enxt year.