April 9, 2017 at 09:52 #1296184
Might as well get cracking, and like last year, I’ll just look at a few who didn’t take in this years renewal. Unlike last year though, when I bet 3 of them to kick things off, I’ll hold fire just now.
I’m never in that much of a rush to automatically go to The Topham for National horses, but there was plenty to like about the way Ultragold, and Katnap did it on Friday. I thought the pair of them looked well worth considering for a step up in trip, and they look worthy of a mention.
Sizing Codelco was a very impressive winner yesterday, and he looks a realistic contender. If pushed, he would be the one I’d be most interested in at this stage. He jumped well, and I just loved the way he seen off a number of challengers as they turned for home, and he kept finding more. Connections clearly think the world of him, they made no secret of it before Cheltenham, and with Tizzard admitting he made a mess of that plan, at 33-1, he’d be high on my shortlist.
We still have The Irish & Scottish Nationals, The Bet365 Gold Cup, and Punchestown to contend with, and there’ll obviously be a few candidates emerge from those meetings.
In the Irish National, I’m quite keen on General Principle, who can afford to win at Fairyhouse, and still have some juice left in his mark for Aintree next year, while I’d be very interested to see just how much ability Minella Foru retains, though I have the suspicion that he’ll be kept for Irish Prizes.
I’m a huge fan of Tiger Roll, but I’m not sure I’d want to see him round Aintree, he’s tiny, while depending on his mark, A Toi Phil could be of huge interest. After working wonders with Champagne West, I’ve got a few concerns about the way some of the De Bromhead horses have been running, and that tempers enthusiasm a little for Marinero, at this stage anyway, and I’m patiently waiting to see what he can do with Gangster.
There’ll surely be loads of Gigginstown horses entered, and there’s also the likes of Lord Scoundrel, & Alpha Des Obeaux, and the big Giggs names who were controversially withdrawn this year. If they could work on his breathing, then 66’s about Alpha Des Obeaux could look huge.
Oscar Knight could be another one to keep an eye on, he has time on his side, while I’d be fairly sure Aintree will be on the agenda for Polidam. One horse to definitely consider would be Mall Dini. Connections have been pretty good at laying one out for big handicaps, and though he fluffed his lines at Cheltenham, I reckon he’s worth another go, while Abolitionist looks progressive.
Other Irish challengers to consider are Festival Winners, Tully East, and Road to Respect, though you could easily question whether or not they want a massive step up in trip at this stage. They look a pair to keep on side of anyway.
I don’t think it’s the hottest set of entries for The Scottish National, but there’s 2 or 3 who could run well before targetting Aintree next year. Seeyouatmidnight is one who I think could be quite a sight round there, especially as his campaign won’t, surely, be interrupted this time around with entertaining G1’s. Yala Enki has time on his side, and he’s another who could feature in build up to Aintree next year.
I’m not one for considering Whateley horses for Aintree, but the entry for Sausalito Sunrise changed things, and Rock The Kasbah could be interesting, and I think he has a live chance at Sandown at the end of the month, and a good run there would really bring him into things.
I’m not sure of just how ground dependent Otago Trail actually is, but he just looks a bit high in the weights just now anyway, though I’ll certainly bear him in mind.
That’s more than enough for now, but last but not least has to be Three Faces West. After a dismal start to the campaign at Carlisle he burst into life, and the manner of his wins couldn’t go unnoticed. He has his own unique style over the jumps, but he looked massively progressive, and looks to have tons in hand of his current mark. If over the slight setback he met in January, I would have to have him down as my #1 at this stage, but you just don’t know with these injuries.
Always a lot of guesswork involved a year off (obviously), and I don’t think anyone would have put up One For Arthur last April, but thought I’d put a few up anyway.
Shortlist for me just now, but no money down, would be Three Faces West, Sizing Codelco, and General Principle. Three Faces West has to come back and show he’s still sound, General Principle has to have his jumping brushed up, so gun to my head, my early #1 would be Sizing Codelco at 33’s.April 9, 2017 at 10:04 #1296187
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Agree with you Bob on Sizing Codelco i like him as well though Nicky Henderson has bad record in this race any views on
BEWARE THE BEAR and WHISPER.April 9, 2017 at 13:03 #1296222
Yeah Darren, Sizing Codelco looks a natural for this. I’ll do my Annual, post Aintree, Ante-Post Mug 63 for Aintree & Cheltenham tomorrow, and he’ll be on it if properly priced up.
I really like Beware The Bear, and happy to overlook that Cheltenham run, while I really think Whisper will go Gold Cup and might be too high in the weights just now.
I’d be wary of any Henderson horse though. Although he wouldn’t publicly admit, I’ve suspected for a while, despite the prize money, that The Grand National is not high on his list of priorities. I’ve suspected this since Shakalakaboomboom was run in it in 2014, when he had clearly regressed significantly, and that was on top of clearly not staying in 2012. Of all the horses he had for yesterday, he ran Cocktails of Dawn, who looked as unlikely a contender as you could hope for.April 9, 2017 at 14:16 #1296233
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You don’t let the grass grow under your feet Bobby
I think Sizing Codelco is an interesting one, I’d backed him when he finished 2nd behind
Top Notch at 20/1 at Ascot and also in the Betbright Chase at Cheltenham where he finished
4th at 25/1. I thought he had looked tired at the Festival and because of that I left him
completely alone at Aintree yesterday….was kicking myself a bit. He could be the type for
the National, but the 2 I’m most interested in at this time I’m pretty sure will be aimed
at next year’s event.
VICENTE was bought just before the National by Trevor Hemmings, and I thought
he was in with a real shout. It didn’t quite work out, he is down as falling at 1st but I think
that’s a bit harsh on him as he was all but brought down by Cocktails At Dawn. Hemmings and the
National are joined at the hip, so I expect him to be aimed at this for next year, and at 9 years
he should be ideal. He won’t be 40/1 (Bet365 & PP) if he makes it to the race.
Vicente is my good ground horse, but I’m sticking one in that would need it on the soft side to
give myself a chance regardless of ground conditions. FOXROCK strikes me as the
right type for this. I had a bet on him, which went south, for this year. He goes instead for the
Irish version on Monday week. I’ve backed him at 20/1 with Paddy Power and I hope he wins there.
His owner Barry Connell had already stated that he could go for the Irish this year and the National
next. He doesn’t appear to be priced up yet, but I’ll inquire before he runs in The Irish National to
see if anyone is going a stupid price.
I could do with Foxrock bolting up at Fairyhouse on the 17th to lick my wounds, the Festival (normally
my strong suit) and Aintree were both a bit brutal to me this yearApril 9, 2017 at 15:22 #1296239
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Kim Bailey could have taken a bit of a downturn in form which would account for the dismal display of The Last Samuri yesterday. If campaigned astutely Phil Smith might just lower him to mark in the mid 150’s where he could be eachway value for next year. He is 50/1 and I think that is quite good value. Particularly as the performance of Saint Are yesterday showed that horses can bounce back from disappointing national runs.April 9, 2017 at 19:19 #1296287
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I’ve had my first bet for next year’s race. I know he’s small, but if Tiger Roll’s jumping holds up, and if we don’t see a repeat of this year’s Great Irish Sulk Off, then I’d think he’d be there or there abouts. Stays well, as we saw at Cheltenham, wins big handicaps and has a touch of class. 50s is way too big.
If you could see the wreck I am these days
You'd have new reasons to stay away
Just hold my hand for a little while
Misery never goes out of styleApril 10, 2017 at 02:22 #1296328
I’m a huge fan FLD, and if he goes, I’ll be with him. I’m just no sure I want to see him round there, considering his size.
He put in 2 huge performances this season, and another reason I don’t want Aintree to be on the agenda is that I want to see him try Graded Chases, and I’ve bet him for The Gold Cup at 250’s. Big ask, but based on his runs in The Munster National, and 4 Miler, he’s got to be worth a chance.
Whatever happens, I might have to sacrifice the 50’s, but I won’t let him go unbacked in this.April 10, 2017 at 10:52 #1296341
He definitely needs to get him down a few pounds Krypton. I initially thought he’d manage to nab minor honours, but he was one of four horses I re-assessed** in the 24 hours preceding the race, and I quickly put a line through him. Admirable as he is, I just thought he had little chance off of that mark. I think he’s a tough character though, and I don’t see any reason why he can’t grab some decent pots in the next couple of seasons, if “managed” correctly.
**In the interest of balance, I got the other 3 wrongApril 10, 2017 at 10:58 #1296343
No point hanging about Graham lol, and good to get the chat started, albeit for a couple of weeks, before the thread goes into hibernation.
Vicente definitely fell of his own accord Graham, but I’d totally agree, now that he’s with Hemmings, he’s one horse who you can 100% guarantee, will have next year geared towards Aintree. I was really keen on him for Aintree, until I seen that jumping display round Haydock. Hopefully Nicholls will realise he has a proper issue with his jumping, and do some proper work on it. I don’t know how far he ran loose for at Aintree, so don’t know how hard a time he had of it, but do you like him for Ayr?
Good luck with Foxrock next week, it’s still some line up for Fairyhouse, and be interesting to see who all stand their ground on Wednesday. Lovely horse Foxrock, and he’ll be sure to get another entry for Aintree.
I’m glad I didn’t top up on The Young Master, and though he’s well on the radar again for Sandown, I don’t know about you, but he won’t be high on my list for Aintree for the timebeing.April 10, 2017 at 13:35 #1296364
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Kim Bailey could have taken a bit of a downturn in form which would account for the dismal display of The Last Samuri yesterday. If campaigned astutely Phil Smith might just lower him to mark in the mid 150’s where he could be eachway value for next year. He is 50/1 and I think that is quite good value. Particularly as the performance of Saint Are yesterday showed that horses can bounce back from disappointing national runs.
I really do think SA is ground dependent. With a bit more luck he could have been a National winner but came up against the toughest horse of the century. The ground went totally against him last year but ran a cracker again this year, which to me was no real surprise and had a small EW on him. I expect him to be back next year, if healthy and will probably give another good account if he gets his ground.April 10, 2017 at 15:13 #1296383
Homer, He’s definitely one to consider for The Becher, I’d love to see him finally win round here.April 10, 2017 at 16:01 #1296388
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Cheers Bobby, I didn’t see it clearly at the start of the race, I thought that he was behind CAD when
he came down. I watched the the race a couple of times again on the Sportinglife site, but the angle
of the camera didn’t show it clearly. That doesn’t bode well I suppose if he went down that easily, I’ll
need to keep an eye on him to see how his jumping is at the start of the season. If he does get it sorted
out, and doesn’t show too much to the handicapper, he should get in off a low weight next year. A watching
brief is probably the way to go with him now.April 10, 2017 at 16:08 #1296391
He’s a decent chaser Graham, but I bet him at Haydock the time before, and he fair bulldozed a couple of them. If they can sort that out, you might actually get a decent price on him during the summer. A lot will depend on how he gets on at Ayr, I do think he’ll go there.April 10, 2017 at 17:40 #1296401
Vicente confirmed for Ayr Graham, certainly according to Racing Post anyway.April 10, 2017 at 22:10 #1296424
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I will definitely be putting a few pounds the way of Roi Des Francs next year, I thought he really took to it this year, and had no luck at all either.
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