Friday, April 13, 2018

Aintree Grand National 2018

With the going on the National course now heavy, soft in places, Minella Rocco, Vicente and Beeves have been withdrawn; three of the four reserves, Thunder And Roses, Delusionofgrandeur and Walk In The Mill, are set to take their chance.

The weights rise one pound; Blaklion heads the handicap.

When Red Marauder won the 2001 running of this famous race just four completed - and two of those were re-mounted. The picture of winning jockey Richard Guest splattered in mud remains one of the most evocative in sport.

It's anyone's guess what the going stick would have shown that day; readings became obligatory in 2009.

Ballabriggs won in 2011 over a trip of four miles four furlongs, came sixth the following year and was then pulled up in 2013, the first running in modern times over the revised trip of four miles two and a half furlongs.

Geraldine Rees was the first female rider to complete the course, finishing eighth on Cheers in 1982.

Katie Walsh currently holds the best placing by a female rider (third on Seabass in 2012); along with Bryony Frost on Milansbar and Rachael Blackmore on Alpha des Obeaux, Katie will be aiming to go into the history books as the first female jockey to win the race - she rides the seven year old grey mare Baie Des Iles.

Those who like to make their own selections may find The Sporting Life's horse-by-horse comments useful.

For everyone else, here's a view. Note that Paddy Power and BetFred are amongst the layers paying one fifth the odds six places.

1. Seeyouatmidnight (14/1 BetFred) - Talented but fragile individual. Has beaten Bristol De Mai in a match at Carlisle and finished third behind Vicente in the 2016 Scottish National off this mark. Sold to present owners for an undisclosed sum after qualifying for this race at Newbury three weeks ago. Slight concern over form of the yard (58 days since win).

2. Raz De Maree ( 22/1 Paddy Power) - Thirteen years of age and the last thirteen year old to win was Sergeant Murphy - in 1923! Won the Welsh National off a mark of 140 with James Bowen claiming five so effectively starts here off a mark eleven pounds higher. Relishes a slog in the mud and he's likely to get it here; finished eighth in 2014 and was unlucky to unseat at Becher's last year. Thirteen year old Vics Canvas (100/1) finished third behind Rule the World in 2016.

3. Baie Des Iles (14/1) - Jumps, stays and acts on the ground; at seven years of age the youngest horse in the race. Tipped up by Jim McGrath on Sunday at odds of 50/1. Last seven year old to come home in front was Bogskar in 1940.

4. Regal Encore  (25/1 BetFred) - A bit of a law unto himself and certainly not one to trust implicitly but he appeared to enjoy himself over these unique fences last year, staying on from out the back to claim eighth; races off the same mark tomorrow. Third in the Hennessy last November reads well enough - on a going day he has the ability to make a place.

Couple of quid to spare? Quixotic reverse forecast - Raz De Maree (together with Maggio the oldest horse in the race) and Baie Des Iles (youngest horse in the race).

Good luck to one and all!


Anonymous said...

4m2½f Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (7yo+)

Reagal Encore and Walk In The Mill now non-runners.

RTG,Horse,% WC,Fair Odds
177,ANIBALE FLY(FR),7.48,13.5
175,GAS LINE BOY(IRE),5.04,20
172,VIEUX LION ROUGE(FR),3.28,32
176,ROAD TO RICHES(IRE),3.22,32
174,UCELLO CONTI(FR),3.08,34
175,SHANTOU FLYER(IRE),3.05,34
172,RAZ DE MAREE(FR),3.01,34
173,FINAL NUDGE(IRE),2.82,36
170,THE LAST SAMURI(IRE),2.79,36
172,BAIE DES ILES(FR),2.64,38
173,WARRIORS TALE(GB),2.49,42
172,BLESS THE WINGS(IRE),2.36,44
172,DOUBLE ROSS(IRE),2.29,44
173,ALPHA DES OBEAUX(FR),1.95,55
172,SAINT ARE(FR),1.9,55
169,TOTAL RECALL(IRE),1.47,70
168,CHASE THE SPUD(GB),1.3,80

The top 4 from the system are Anibale Fly (AF), Gas Line Boy, Houblon Des Obeaux (HDO) and Milansbar (MB).

AF looks one the improvers in the field and ran a great race in the Gold Cup. But this is a new kind of test, questions over trip & ground, Mr Geraghty is still flagged as out of form and odds of 12/1 just do not appeal. GLB, 5th last year but 4lb higher today and question marks against the going. MB ticks most of the boxes and if he can cope with the unique demands of this course then he can get involved [1/2 PT EW 33/1 5 places ¼ odds].

The main bet is HDB, not an original choice as he has been tipped up in a few places. 10th in the race last year he goes off 5lb lower today, arguably comes in to the race in better form and will find today’ conditions more suitable than last year [1PT EW 40/1 5 places ¼ odds].

Good luck.


Anonymous said...

Going into Day 3 4PTS down so very much on the back foot. I’m hoping for a bit of luck in the Grand National and for Dan Skelton to have a good day at the office.

3m½f Gaskells Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)
RTG,Horse,% WC,Fair Odds
157,SHANNON BRIDGE(IRE),14.06,7.2
156,NO HASSLE HOFF(IRE),6.28,16
155,PRIME VENTURE(IRE),5.83,17.5
157,FIXE LE KAP(FR),5.57,18
156,RED INDIAN(GB),5.22,19.5

Shannon Bridge (SB) and No Hassle Hoff (NHH) both look to have good chances in the opener. SB is unexposed and looked to be a horse going places before being pulled up in heavy ground at Haydock. The Mildmay course should not be as testing today and perhaps SB can get back on track in this. [1PT EW 16/1 6 places 1/5 odds] NHH has dropped a few lbs, Bridget claims 3lbs, ground should suit and the step back up in trip a plus. NHH shortened overnight so a bit of after timing here but the bet placed was [1PT EW 22/1 5 places 1/5 odds].

2m4f Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+)
RTG,Horse,% WC,Fair Odds
171,ON THE BLIND SIDE(IRE),36.31,2.76
167,BLACK OP(IRE),15,6.8

Only minor grounds for hoping the mare Momella can reverse placings from her last meeting with On The Blind Side (softer ground, both still improving, it’s a horse race!) but she does look sure to run another good race, finish at least a close as last time and grab a place. [1PT EW 12/1 3 places 1/5 odds]

Good luck.


GeeDee said...

Just watched the Mersey Novices' Hurdle, TW; good run from Momella to claim third.

Anonymous said...

An entertaining 3 days, an enthralling finish to the Grand National and an emotive win for connections of Lalor.

Betting wise, not the best meeting for me as I finished -4.975 PTS.


GeeDee said...

Prior to the race opinion appeared divided as to whether Tiger Roll (10/1), the smallest horse in the field, would jump these fences. In the event he jumped like a stag, went clear on the log run-in and then just held on as Pleasant Company (25/1) came with a late rattle.

The official winning distance was a head; another stride and the result would have been reversed. Neptune Collonges beat Sunnyhillboy a nose in the 2012 running.

Bless my old boots, the thirteen year old that I omitted to count in the preview, Bless The Wings, made a place in third at odds of 40/1 while clear form selection Anibale Fly (10/1) finished fourth.

Bryony Frost and Milansbar finished best of those trained this side of the Irish sea in fifth.

Three of the top four from TW's ratings finished fourth, fifth and seventh.

And on to the fate of the blog's selections...

Seeyouatmidnight (11/1) - seemingly there with every chance three out, he went backwards at an alarming rate over the last half mile, eventually finishing eleventh.

Raz De Maree (20/1) Held up, he made some progress from five out but was unable to get competitive - he passed Seeyouatmidnight to finish tenth.

Grey mare Baie Des Iles (16/1) was hampered at Valentine's on the second circuit and struggled thereafter. She was the last to complete in twelfth while Regal Encore was a non-runner.

Anonymous said...

Poetic Rhythm runs at Cheltenham tomorrow and the system suggests he has a great chance [40.57%, fair odds ~ 6/4]. Opened 5/1, now 9/2 there is still some value at those odds.

Fergal O'Brien, trainer: ""We took him to Aintree but the ground went very soft to go over three miles and we always had the option of going back to Cheltenham instead. He's got a penalty but he'll take his chance. Nothing came to light after the Albert Bartlett, where you could blame the ground or whatever you want but he was disappointing."

RTG,Horse,% WC,Fair Odds
163,POETIC RHYTHM(IRE),40.57,2.48
157,DIESE DES BIEFFES(FR),12.91,7.8
150,BOREHAM BILL(IRE),3.94,26
149,SILVER KAYF(GB),3,34
140,MISTER MALARKY(GB),2.88,36
142,LE MUSEE(FR),2.75,38
143,DELL ORO(FR),2.36,44
125,QUARRY LEADER(IRE),2.01,50


GeeDee said...

Thanks for this, TW; have been away past couple of days and haven't had time to catch up / study the form.

Poetic Rhythm (PR) comes out top on official ratings, Racing Post ratings and your system ratings; the gelding has winning form at this track and the step back in trip looks a plus.

The race still has a competitive feel; PR gives weight to his rivals and there's always the chance something could pop out of the pack on the back of the drying ground.

To me Theclockisticking still has to prove he stays the trip but I saw Harry Fry's runner Onefortheroadtom nominated by Warren Greatrex as one to keep onside at the beginning of the season. As the RP points out, his defeat of Lalor at Exeter looks good after Aintree.

9/2 is generally available at the time of writing and the value is certainly there. I'm tempted but as I haven't had time to do the 'hard yards' homework I'm going to sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

A tamer effort than expected from Poetic Rhythm, the favourite, Diese Des Bieffes, won under a hands and heels ride.


GeeDee said...


Didn't get an opportunity to come back to this race so didn't play in the end. Popped into a couple of shops around 1.30 and saw PR priced 4/1 and 9/2. With going officially good, RP suggests he was tapped for toe after the final flight.

Sounds a decent performance by the winner.