Friday, April 09, 2010
The Grand National-A Guide to all the runners
Well, that’s enough about Britain’s Tweedledum v Tweedledee General Election, now let’s focus on a much more meaningful and interesting contest: tomorrow‘s Grand National. Chris H has asked me if I have any tips for tomorrow’s race. Well, here’s my Punter’s Guide to all 40 runners from today’s First Post. I hope it might help you make a bit of money. The very best of luck with whichever horses you decide to back. And let’s hope all the runners and riders come back safely.
Even though the first winner of the Grand National, back in 1839, was called 'Lottery', the world's most famous steeplechase is not quite the totally random event many believe it to be. Last year's winner, Mon Mome, may have been a 100-1 shot, but he had solid form and should really have started at around a quarter of those odds. Finding the National winner is never easy, but by focusing on some key race trends we can prune the field of 40 down to a more manageable shortlist.
First, concentrate on horses aged between eight and 12. No seven-year-old has won the race since the year Hitler invaded France, no 13-year-old since 1923. Then look for a horse carrying 11st 1lb or lower - no horse has carried more to victory since Corbiere in 1983.
Even though the fearsome National fences have been modified in recent years, the race, run over the extreme distance of 4m 4f, is still a severe test of stamina, and special attention should be paid to horses who have won, or run well in other top staying chases, such as the Scottish, Welsh and Irish Nationals.
Finally, when it comes to Aintree, there's no form like course form. Five of the last seven Grand National winners had safely completed a race over the course on a previous occasion, including last year's winner, Mon Mome.
So, here's The First Post's intelligent punter's guide to the runners in the Grand National, more prosaically known as the 4.15 at Aintree, in weight order:
**** A LIKELY WINNER
*** EACH-WAY POSSIBILITIES
** ONLY OUTSIDE CHANCE
* NO HOPER
MADISON DE BERLAIS ** Classy performer but has it all to do off top weight.
MON MOME *** Last year's winner looks sure to run well again, but carrying 7lb more this time may scupper his chances of a repeat.
BLACK APALACHI *** In the lead when unseating his rider at second Becher's last year; good each-way chance if putting in a clear round.
JOE LIVELY * Veteran who is not so lively these days and is better suited to Cheltenham.
VIC VENTURI **** Irish raider who has never fallen and who won over the Aintree fences in November. Solid chance of at least making the frame.
COMPLY OR DIE *** Winner in 2008, and runner-up last year, the Aintree specialist has a good chance of another first-four finish.
You can read the rest of my Punter’s Guide to all 40 runners in tomorrow’s race, here.