Friday, April 08, 2022

Aintree Grand National 2022

The success of Irish trained horses in recent years has been well documented; the going for tomorrow's renewal, due off at 5.15, is currently described as good to soft. 

21 of the 40 runners are trained in Ireland; Gordon Elliott saddles seven - Davy Russell is aboard Run Wild Fred - and Willie Mullins four. 

The form of Gordon Elliott's string has been a cause of some concern recently while earlier in the week Willie Mullins was uncharacteristically downbeat about the chances of his charges.

Three of the four reserves - Commodore, School Boy Hours and Romain De Senam - will take their chance following the withdrawals of Phoenix Way (temperature), Easysland (bad scope) and Lord Du Mesnil (ground).  

Rachael Blackmore renews her partnership with last year's winner Minella Times. 

Henry De Bromhead's inmate heads the weights this year; the last horse to carry top weight to victory was Red Rum in 1974. Since then only three have collected first prize with a burden greater than 11-05: Red Rum 11-08 (1977); Neptune Collonges 11-06 (2012); and Many Clouds 11-09 (2015).

Minella Times hasn't been in such good form this term but nonetheless, at the time of writing, shares favouritism with Any Second Now (unlucky in third last year), Delta Work (denied Tiger Roll to win the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham 24 days ago) and grey mare Snow Leopardess (won the Becher Chase in December).

The last seven-year-old to come home in front was Bogskar in 1940 which doesn't augur too well for Coko Beach and Noble Yeats; the latter will be the last ride for amateur Sam Waley-Cohen who announced his retirement from race-riding earlier in the week.    

It's 99 years since 13-year-old won Sergeant Murphy won; 13-year-old Blaklion tries to repeat the feat tomorrow. 

Dan Skeleton's charge finished fourth behind One For Arthur in 2017, sixth last year and won the 2017 Becher Chase over these obstacles. Quoted at 100/1 with Paddy Power at the time of writing, to my mind he looks the best value longshot. 

Those who like to make their own selections may find the Racing Post's pinstickers' guide of some use; for everyone else, there's this:

1. Fiddlerontheroof

Placed in all 10 chase starts to date. Finished second in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in November, making up a lot of ground up the long home straight. Two pounds well in at the weights.

2. Enjoy D'allen

Third behind Freewheelin Dylan in last year's Irish National and looks to have been laid out for this. Another placed in all 10 chase starts to date. 

3. Any Second Now

Unlucky last year finishing eight lengths third after being badly hampered by a faller at the 12th fence. Set to carry 13 pounds more than last year. 

4. Fortescue

Four pounds well in at the weights but regular rider Hugh Nugent can't use his five pounds claim. Finished well beaten in seventh in the Ladbrokes Trophy but beat Fiddlerontheroof in the Swinley Chase at Ascot seven weeks ago. Looks the type to appreciate a marathon test.

As always, check each-way place terms with your bookmaker - most High St. firms are paying six places; Sky Bet are paying seven.

It just remains for me to wish you all the very best of luck!


TW said...

1. Fiddlerontheroof
2. Enjoy D'allen
3. Any Second Now
4. Fortescue

I take it these four are your selections?

My three against the field are:

Eclair Surf: An easy selection given his 2nd to subsequent Scottish Grand National winner Win My Wings in the Eider off today’s mark of 143, looks capable of running a big race. I’ve taken 16/1 6 places 1/5 odds with VC.

Two For Gold: Needs to prove himself over this extended trip but his sire Gold Well provides some hope through such as Galvin and Win My Wings. He’s also not certain to take to the National fences or a field of 40 runners. Those, not insignificant, negatives aside he has a nice progressive profile and his 2nd to Fakir D’oudairies in the Ascot Chase off level weights leads the system to believe that he is the best handicapped horse in the race so perhaps worth a punt at 50/1 6 places 1/5 odds.

Kidisart: Coming back from a 462 day absence he ran a race full of promise over an inadequate 2 ½ miles at Newbury LTO. Though by top class miler Dubai Destination he has always looked an out and out stayer and as the sire has not prevented the likes of Elegant Escape and Screaming Colours performing well over extended trips I’m hopeful it will be to his liking. A mark of 148 is doable, the re-application of cheek pieces a plus and I have a vision of him making up a lot of ground in the closing stages. Another big priced one that might pay dividends at 50/1 6 places 1/5 odds.

Best of luck, let’s hope they all horses and jockeys get back home safe and sound.


GeeDee said...

My idea of the first four home, TW!

Looked at Eclair Surf but, prior to his Classic Chase win at Warwick, he'd miss a fence every now and then and that just worried me a bit.

Good luck!

Sandracer said...

Left out Two for Gold Geedee. Won't get many 50/1 shots like it..

GeeDee said...

Fair comment, Sandracer.

Just wondered whether he'd want a bit more dig in the ground.

Good luck!

GeeDee said...

You'd struggle to make it up.

In his final ride before retirement amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen rode Noble Yeats to win the 2022 Grand National at odds of 50/1. Noble Yeats, a novice, became the first seven-year-old to collect the spoils since Bogskar in 1940.

And trainer Emmet Mullins won the Grand National with his first runner in the race.

In a distinguished riding career, Sam rode Long Run, owned by his father Robert and trained by Nicky Henderson, to win the King George VI Chase at Kempton in 2010 and 2012 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2011.

Two placed and two unseated in the blog's attempt to name the first four home.

Any Second Now (15/2f) led narrowly at the last and raced clear with the winner but ultimately was unable to concede 12 pounds and went down by two and a quarter lengths.

Fiddlerontheroof (12/1) sat behind the leaders for much of the trip but was being pushed along from three out. A mistake at the penultimate flight didn't help the cause and he stayed on to finish fifth behind Delta Work (10/1) in third and Santini (33/1) in fourth.

Espoir D'allen (20/1) got no further than the first while a mistake by Fortescue (28/1) four from home left Hugh Nugent on the floor.

Unsurprisingly bookmakers have reported 'an excellent Grand National day'...

TW said...

Enjoy D'allen

Given he only got as far as the 1st fence at Aintree, 18/1 EW 7 places in the Irish National of interest?


GeeDee said...

Yes; I'm surprised by that price, TW.

Third last year but six pounds higher this time.

Slight worry - quite a lot of travelling in a shortish time.

Good luck!

TW said...

In the end, to try and take some advantage of those enhanced place terms, I plumped for Run Wild Fred at 14/1. Got further than Enjoy D'allen at Aintree but only made it to the Canal Turn, was sent off 8/1 2nd fav that day and while Davy Russell is not taking the mount Scottish Grand National winning jock Rob James claims 7lb so perhaps not a bad deputy!

Save caveats you note re travel time plus well-being etc apply.


GeeDee said...

Started a post on the Irish National, TW, but those family obligations took over and then I went and blew my moolah at Haydock on Saturday... :)

This stat caught my eye:

In 1990 Desert Orchid won the Irish Grand National carrying a weight of 12-00 and five years later Flashing Steel repeated the feat. Since then only three horses have won carrying more 11-00: Bobbyjo 11-03 in 1998; Commanche Court 11-04 in 2000; and Our Duke 11-04 in 2017.

Both ED'A and RWF are set to carry 11-02.

I see Lieutenant Command and Samcro are now non-runners.

It just looks decidedly difficult this year given the proximity of Aintree - five started in the National and Battleoverdoyen finished tenth in the Topham. And then there's Gordon Elliott - at the time of writing responsible for 10 of the 28 runners.

I'm going to sit this one out.

TW said...

Lord Lariat (IRE) 10-5 before the jockey's 7lb allowance!

Oh well....


GeeDee said...

What a race, TW!

Sandown on Saturday next.