A much briefer than usual focus on the National than I was able to afford last year but hopefully a few pointers can be found.
Time constraints prevent from doing a full preview but last year’s blog details some of the more important stats that have mattered historically in pinpointing the winner. https://thefinalfence.org/2015/04/10/grand-national-day-2015/
Last year’s winner, Many Clouds, broke all of the rules from a statistics point of view. He carried too much weight and was too young but that didn’t stop him putting in the kind of performance that hasn’t been seen since the heyday of Red Rum et al in the 1970s.
He’s a year older now and so fits the profile much better – the large weight he carries is the only minus point. However, as he’s done it already and should theoretically be a better horse for this race at 9, he has to be the one they all have to beat.
He’s got proven stamina (more than usual have that to prove here this year) and we know he can jump round here. Given the usual luck in running he should be there at the business end once again.
From the points basis I used last year these are the other main protagonists.
Goonyella, Rule The World and Saint Are all come out with the best ‘fit’. Right age, right weight and stamina boxes all largely ticked.
Goonyella won the Midlands Grand National in very soft ground and if anything might find this trip too short. He has been aimed at the race since but I’d be a little concerned that conditions aren’t soft enough for him here. If heavy rain did come and the ground were to deteriorate his chance would increase considerably.
Rule The World is unusual at the age of 9 for coming here having not won a chase (admittedly unlucky not to win one at Galway). His second in the Irish Grand National last season is a good pointer here and his trainer Mouse Morris is in good form having recently won that race with Rogue Angel this year. The better the ground the more he appeals as an outsider here.
Saint Are was second in this race last year and his profile ticks every box to make him look a fairly solid each way bet. The only thing that puts me against him is that I’m not sure his 2 lb pull with Many Clouds is enough for him to reverse the form. His stable bagged the big race here on Friday so are definitely in form.
Others who score well for me and are just missing something on one of the criteria but are on my shortlist
The Druids Nephew. Travelling best of all when falling at Valentines last year – thats too far out to know how he would have fared with his stamina. Unlike last year he looks to have been specifically prepared for this race and so he could be a little better than he was then. His trial run behind The Last Samuri was eyecatching (looking the best horse in the race until getting tired close home). The Last Samuri is fancied here but a little too young and without the chasing experience this year for me. I’m also a bit concerned that he might get too far behind early on in the race.
Holywell. Very well handicapped on the best of his form and signalled a revival of that last time at Cheltenham. He’s a little quirky and possibly on the small side for a race like this. He does always come good at this time of year but stamina is yet to be proven over marathon trips.
Shutthefrontdoor. Last year when fav (wholly because AP McCoy had his final National ride on him) he just didn’t quite stay the trip close home and that has to be a bit of a concern again. He gets ticks on most stats except he hasn’t had the number of runs this season that is normally required.
Morning Assembly. Another not proven over this sort of trip but looked to be running a great trial at Cheltenham until making a crucial mistake approaching the home turn. Stamina and possibly jumping are the little niggling question marks here
Unioniste. Well fancied last year but ultimately was badly handicapped and too young. He has a much better weight this year and although he hasn’t got the required previous form in marathon events he looks for all of the world a real stayer now. His two previous attempts on this course haven’t ben impressive but if he can get round the first circuit I can see him being one of the stronger finishers up the home straight. Has had this race as his target all season
Vics Canvas. As the old man of the field and a 13yo stats will tell you he has no chance of winning. He is a strong stayer though and a previous winner of the Cork National. Also he ran well over the National course before Christmas. It’s a stretch to see him winning but I do rate his chances of finishing in the frame. He reminds me a little of Hello Bud who consistently performed well on this course up to age of 14.
Most important here to search out which firms are paying ¼ odds 12345 or even better ¼ first 6. The firms only paying first 4 are best avoided unless win odds are significantly higher
Odds can be found here.http://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/2016-04-09-aintree/17:15/winner
Note that if you have to open up a new account with a firm there may well be free money/bets available to tempt you in. Check under the bookies name on Oddschecker to see what they have and go through to them by clicking on their banner to find the link. Always take a price when Best Odds Guaranteed if offered as you will get the SP if it ends up being higher
Don’t leave bets until the last minute on line. Its the busiest day of the year and sites have been known to crash late on due to the sheer weight of people logging on!
For the bets:
I’m ruling out Goonyella for now as I think they may just go too quick for him on the current ground. If it did happen to go soft or worse he would be interesting though.
Shutthefrontdoor’s preparation puts me off his chance and I just have a little niggle about Morning Assembly’s jumping after such a bad mistake at Cheltenham.
This leaves the shortlist as
RULE THE WORLD
THE DRUIDS NEPHEW
They all need some luck in running but Many Clouds is a deserved favourite and I’m struggling to see him out of the frame .
I can see Saint Are placing again but maybe not quite winning. His chances of placing again are high.
The Druids Nephew is the main danger and if his stamina holds out (and he gets round this time) is a serious threat to the selection.
Rule the World appears slightly better value to me at 50/1 than Holywell at 16s and Unioniste at 25s.
Vics Canvas is the best of the outsiders for me. I can’t see him winning with 6 places available a place is really what I’m after here. I’ll be looking at him tomorrow on Betfair for top 6 and any firms that offer a top 10 finish at decent odds
It’s common to use a scattergun approach to betting on this race so the recommendations are:
2.5 pts ew Many Clouds (look for 8/1 with firms paying ¼ 12345 or more)
1pt ew Saint Are (look for 16/1 with firms paying ¼ 12345 or more)
1 pt ew The Druids Nephew (look for 16/1 with firms paying ¼ 12345 or more)
0.5 pts ew Rule The World (look for 50/1 with firms paying ¼ 12345 or more)
0.5 pts ew Vics Canvas 80/1 (Betvictor paying ¼ odds 123456)
That is 11pts staked in total
Backing so many in the same race isn’t always a good thing but when firms offer extra places it pushes the advantage into the punters favour much more in this regards
Good luck with whatever you back – and above all lets hope all of the runners come home safely!
A great day for the blog with Rule the World victorious and Vics Canvas running an almighty 3rd after a monumental mistake at Bechers first time round (amazing recovery by Robbie Dunne). Vics returned at 100/1 so with best odds guaranteed the suggested each way bet should be paid at those odds
11pts staked on the race yielded a return of 45.25 pts (34.25 pts profit)