Friday, February 18, 2022

Haydock's Grand National Trial 2022

Tomorrow's card at Haydock is subject to an early morning inspection with the going currently described as heavy; rain is forecast.

Following the release of the weights for the 2022 Randox Grand National earlier in the week, 11 have been declared for the William Hill Grand National Trial which is due off at 2.40.

Secret Reprieve won the 2020 Welsh Grand National and on his next run finished fifth behind Iwilldoit in the 2021 renewal. That was a decent effort after such a long layoff; he has a nice racing weight here (10-05) and is the clear market leader. 

Evan Williams' charge missed the cut for last year's Aintree showpiece and there's every chance the same will happen again this year too. 

As an aside, unfortunately it looks as though a similar fate awaits my early Aintree fancy. 

Hill Sixteen was beaten a nose by Snow Leopardess in the Becher from four pounds out of the handicap 10 weeks ago yet is 66/1 with several layers while the likeable grey mare is priced up 16/1 joint favourite. 

I digress.

Pulled up in last year's Grand National, Bristol De Mai loves Haydock and has underfoot conditions to suit but has to concede nine pounds and upwards to his rivals; since 2000 three horses have carried 11-12 to victory: Shotgun Willy (2003); Miko De Beauchene (2008); and Silver By Nature (2011).

Four weeks ago Sam Brown was beaten half a length by Royale Pagaille in the Peter Marsh here (Kalooki fifth, Lord Du Mesnil sixth). 

The winner took all the plaudits that day but with a couple of cleaner jumps at the final two flights Sam Brown could easily have come home in front. 

The handicapper raised Anthony Honeyball's charge just two pounds for that effort which looks on the lenient side - the extended trip here is an unknown but his chance is very much respected.

At 13 years of age what a wonderful horse Blaklion is!

In 2017 he went off 7/2 favourite for this race to come home second behind Vieux Lion Rouge before finishing fourth behind One For Arthur at Aintree. 

At odds of 50/1 he finished sixth in last year's National and has demonstrated this term he still retains all his enthusiasm for the game with two victories at this track. The oldest horse to come in front was 12-year-old Giles Farnaby in 1958.

Enqarde beat Remastered 10 lengths here in the Tommy Whittle just before Christmas. 

That form reads well although Remastered didn't appear to stay the same trip when fading into fourth behind Royale Pagaille and Sam Brown last month. 

Dr Richard Newland's charge was sent off the 4/1 favourite for this race last year but appeared to weaken after the last finishing fourth behind Lord Du Mesnil. 

On his first run for over 12 months The Galloping Bear made all to carry top weight to victory on heavy ground in the Surrey National at Lingfield four weeks ago. 

Ben Clarke's charge is unbeaten over fences and, after reassessment, is rated five pounds higher. That looked a hard race the last day - and this looks a better race.

Sidi Ismael is another to try a step up in grade. 

David Pipe's charge won the Lincolnshire National at Market Rasen on Boxing Day; his fall next time out in the North Yorkshire National at Catterick is a cause for concern. 

Time To Get Up beat Mighty Thunder in last year's Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter; he returns after suffering a setback following his run in the Grand Sefton in November. 

I'm not sure this trip is going suit Mint Condition.

Going back to the Peter Marsh last month both Kalooki and Lord Du Mesnil were soundly beaten behind Royale Pagaille. 

To my mind Kalooki's jumping isn't always foot perfect but I was disappointed by Lord Du Mesnil - I'd tipped him for the race - who was beaten as soon as they turned for home. 

Although the official going that day was reported soft, the night before the race handler Richard Hobson indicated he was concerned the ground may not be deep enough after a drying week.

Provided the course passes its inspection tomorrow, there should be no concerns on that front this time. Lord Du Mesnil races off a mark just one pound higher than when he won last year's renewal (four pounds higher if  Paul O'Brien's three pound claim is taken into account).

I'm hoping the extended trip and deep ground will show Lord Du Mesnil in a better light. 

Betfred, Coral and William Hill are amongst layers paying four places; 11/1 at the time of writing, Lord Du Mesnil is the each-way suggestion.   

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Bristol De Mai (11/2) made a gallant effort to carry top weight to victory on heavy ground but the grey was reeled in by gamble of the race The Galloping Bear (9/2f) between the final two flights.

Tipped up by Pricewise, Ben Clarke's charge showed no ill effects from his recent Surrey National win, passing the post six lengths ahead of Bristol De Mai with Time To Get Up (22/1) the only other runner to complete a further 26 lengths back.

With conditions to suit selection Lord Du Mesnil (12/1) raced prominently in a share of third / fourth for the first circuit where he missed a fence or two. He started to struggle with the pace set by Bristol De Mai and a shuddering error midway down the back straight effectively put paid to his chance; he was pulled up before the thirteenth flight.