Morning everyone. It’s amazing how quickly this day seems to come around each year. We will do well to top last year with Neptune Collonges doing the business for us in grand style at 40/1!! Anyone remembers the hangovers from this Saturday 12 months ago?
4.15 Aintree – John Smith´s Grand National Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) (CLASS 1) (7yo+)
Another top quality maximum field assembled for the feature jumps race of the year. Let’s hope for a clean start this time around. I’ve narrowed the field down to five and will play them all.
JOIN TOGETHER – For a long time he has looked like a marathon trip will suit him down to the ground. You can safely put a line through his last run and the most eye-catching piece of form is he fast finishing 2nd in the Beecher Chase in December. He got a little out-paced as they upped the pace that day before staying on strongly. There will be no quickening today and all his main attributes will come to the fore especially when they turn for home. If he can steer a clear passage and jump safely he will be a massive player late in the day and is much too big a price.25/1.
ON HIS OWN – Travelling like a travelly thing when coming down at Beecher’s on the second circuit last year. He has been lightly raced since and has been prepared for this with absolute perfection. Ruby rides who knows the course so well and if he jumps round has to be a big player. 10/1.
IMPERIAL COMMANDER – All the stats are against him. He’s missed so much of the last 18 months through injuries that it seems very unlikely that you put the top weight up in the national. On the plus side he jumps like a stag, loves going right-handed, will relish the ground and is so well handicapped on his old form that he actually could make a mockery of this mark. Time and time again the class horses come to the top in this race and even if top weight stops him winning, he will go very very close if he’s fit and well. 16/1.
ROBERTO GOLDBACK – Bought completely with this is mind at the start of the season and duly bolted up on his first start for Nicky Henderson at Ascot. He won so well that day that he looked like a really well handicapped horse. He has run in bottomless ground since then and hasn’t looked the same. There is every chance that he has been completely laid out for this and is actually only 4lbs higher than when winning at Ascot. 25/1.
SEABASS – The last one to creep onto the short list! Ran a blinder in this last year when up with the pace throughout and given a lovely ride by Katie Walsh. He’s up 5lbs this year which makes life tougher but he looks to have been given a perfect prep and I really couldn’t leave him out.
Of the others I thought that Balthazar’s King was likely to go well and it will be fascinating to see how Chicago Grey goes under the patient Carberry. If you were to ask me to name one at a massive price that will give you a run for your money you could do a lot worse than SWING BILL at 100/1 (170’s on BF). He will relish this in amongst horses and will travel way for a long way, he could realistically be in the shake up and I might play him in a few of the special markets.
All in all it should be a classic. Let’s hope they all come back safe and sound and we are cheering home the winner!
Away from the main event I will also be having a decent go on CANTLOW (3.25). Most of you will know how long he has been on my radar and I was hoping to have a thick bet on him at Cheltenham but he bled down at the start and didn’t take part. He has been absolutely crying out for three miles plus and finally gets ot here today. He’s on a really good mark and this type of race should really suit him. This is also a race that JP likes to target and I think he has a massive chance and I’ll be having a decent bet. 3 pts win @ 7/1 generally.
I am a little bit baffled by the entry for VAN DER NEER in the listed race at Lingfield. He is in my top three horses to follow on the flat this year and looks a real exciting prospect. His run in the Racing Post Trophy was so eye-catching on ground that he didn’t seem to appreciate. On a good surface this summer he could prove to be very smart indeed and maybe this is just a prep to put him bang on for the guineas? He’s 1/2 and no sort of bet today but I’ll be watching with real interest as I think he is very high-class.
I have to give one more chance to KINDIA (5.20 Lingfield) who has caught the eye a couple of times since coming over from france. This drop back to seven might suit her a little better today and with the visor swapped for cheek pieces she is starting to look nicely handicapped. She is 25/1 on Betfair but she is likely to pop up at some point. Last chance for me today. 1 pt win @ 25/1 on Betfair.
I will be throwing a few darts at KEEP IT DARK (5.35 Newcastle) too. Mussleburgh clearly didn’t suit last time and has a decent pull in the weights with the winner today too. Completely unexposed and should go well. 1.5 pts win @ 7/1.
The booking of Kieren Fallon on ALBAQAA (9.20 Wolverhampton) looks interesting as he is seriously well handicapped and should be included in your multiples today.
Good luck with all your bets. It is a cracker jack days racing. Fingers crossed for the National winner once again!
All the best,