As Grand National Fever sweeps the nation ahead of Saurdays big Aintree race, Aspire Business Support chat with the Bestmate Racing Club who gave followers the 2017 winner One for Arthur and prevew the preview this years race for us, also providing their 1-2-3-4 forecast pridiction....
First run in 1839 and won by the aptly named horse Lottery, the Randox Health Grand National is the most valuable jump race in Europe, with a prize fund of £1 million on offer with over £500,000 to the winner and a guaranteed £1000 for completing the stamina sapping course. Last year One for Arthur became only the second Scottish winner of the Grand National, beating Cause of Causes and Saint Are.
The annual race is prominent in British culture, and is followed by 600 million people around the world and popular amongst many people who do not normally watch or bet on horse racing at other times of the year, with over £300M in bets expected to be placed on the race.
This year’s race is expected to be a competitive affair, and the horses at the top of the betting certainly hardly split by price with the current favourite ANIBALE FLY priced at odds of 10/1. Interestingly four horses out of the top five in the betting are trained in Ireland, which is epicentre of the horseracing world at present, whether it is Aiden O’Brien and his Ballydoyle operation dominating global flat racing, or Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliot currently dominating jump racing as they did at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.
Gordon Elliott has made the transition from journeyman jockey to top rated trainer in a short period of time over the last 12 years or so, gaining Grand National success with SILVER BIRCH very early on in his training career back in 2007 at odds of 33/1. Elliott appears to have the magic touch of transforming mediocre horses into jump racing sensations, and recently saddled eight winners of the Cheltenham Festivals 28 races. Willie Mullins trained 6 winners meaning that between them the trained exactly 50% of the festival winners, and followed up by training the winner and runner up and four of the first five passed the post in the Irish National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday.
Gordon Elliott runs TIGER ROLL in the Grand National on Saturday, after success in the long distance Cross Country Race at the Cheltenham Festival, which involves a full range of running and jumping challenges including an Aintree Grand National style fence. The racing calendar has given Cheltenham runners an extended rest period between the two meetings this year, and this is vital to a horses chances with the success of Might Bite at Aintree on Thursday showing us that even those horses who were involved in tough stamina sapping races at Cheltenham have come out of their races well and are ready to run well again. Tiger Roll carries a decent weight of 10st 13lb on Saturday and is ridden by the Cheltenham Festivals top jockey Davy Russell. We are therefore making TIGER ROLL our top selection for this year’s Grand National.
Other horses we feel are the most worthy of note in the race are BAIE DES ILES, a 7 year old grey mare who is ridden by the excellent Katie Walsh and trained by husband Ross O’Sullivan. The odds have tumbled for this horse during the week and given that the horse is a grey, a mare and ridden by Katie who looks to give the race a winning lady jockey for the first time, we are expecting it to be a popular bet on the day which could see it challenging for favouritism at the off. However if we look at the form book and remove the fairy tale of emotions, the horse ran a great race in 3rd place over in Ireland at Fairyhouse last time out, with the two horses that beat it that day both running excellent races in the Irish National last week. Another big run is surely on the cards.
SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT is another that we feel will run a big race. Stamina is proven over the longer distances and was 3rd in the Scottish National over a 4 mile trip in similar ground conditions at Ayr two years ago when only 8 years old and was carrying over 11 stones that day. Trainer Sandy Thompson has ensured his horse comes to Aintree fresh, and has been lightly raced only having one run this season at Newbury 3 weeks ago. Available at odds of around 14/1, SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT is another that has been well backed during the week, and carrying under 11 stones must be in the mix.
Finally Gordon Elliott also runs ten year old UCELLO CONTI who is ridden by the in-form jockey Daryl Jacob who won the Grand National in 2012 aboard Neptune Collonges in a thrilling photo-finish. We know that UCELLO CONTI handles the unique fences at Aintree having finished 6th in the Grand National two years ago when just an 8 year old, and was unlucky to unseat Daryl Jacob at Bechers Brook on the second circuit when in a challenging position last year.
Here is how we see the race finishing on Saturday with our predicted 1-2-3-4……
1st TIGER ROLL
3rd BAIE DES ILES
4th UCELLO CONTI
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Enjoy the race tomorrow and good luck!
Aspire Business Support & Bestmate Racing Club
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Member since: 7th September 2017
Based in Pontypool, Aspire Business Support, owned by Gareth Joliffe, brings over 20 years of corporate experience into your business, offering an affordable and fully flexible support service based on...