January 20, 2008 at 13:39 #6336
Under another guise I have been known to produce analysis on the race during the build up. I have produced a sample below and if you wish I can continue once the entries/weights are know.
ALEXANDER TAIPAN: I was shocked to find that the National may be the target for this one. Has only had six chase starts and has unseated and fallen in two of those, which really does not bode well. Has never run over 3 miles so this is where knowledge of pedigree can be very useful. Nevertheless he was giving MISTER TOP NOTCH a race when he took a crashing fall at the last at Leopardstown in February 2007 and looks to have improved when stepped up in trip. His sire Taipan has so far produced the likes of Snakebite, The Reverend, Aztec Warrior. Earth Magic and The Real Deal none of which have looked world beaters but Celestial Wave, another by Taipan, did. The Reverend is the only Taipan to have run over four miles and he didnâ€™t stay but that may be more to do with him being just average. Taipan won most of his career earnings abroad for John Dunlop all his Gr.1 successes coming overseas winning at up to 1m 4 Â½ f. He was nothing like as good on home soil. I just get the impression that Taipanâ€™s progeny, and they are still in their infancy really, will not produce marathon stayers. Alexander Taipanâ€™s damsire Top Ville has produced Un Desperado (Best Mate, Nil Desperandum, Dead Eyed Dick, Philson Run) and Beneficial (Gungadu, GVA Ireland) and this may assist him to see out much of the trip but I canâ€™t see him flying up the run in to be honest but if you like Mister Top Notch then this one MUST be on your list.
A NEW STORY: Has not won since November 2005. Currently on a mark of 127, which should see him miss out. Didnâ€™t stay in the Scottish National, there were seemingly no excuses, was weakening when unseated in the Irish National and I always remember his run in the Red Square behind Ossmoses where he refused. Heâ€™s got round Aintree at his one pace and even if he did get in the race I canâ€™t see him being a threat to the principals. There is absolutely nothing in his pedigree that suggests he will stay beyond four miles. His sire Fourstars Allstar had the favourite for the 2006 Scottish National, All In The Stars but what a disappointment he has become. He is the sire of potential star Aces Four, whom I think would stay four miles but weâ€™ll leave that one for another day. Has won a Cork National in his day and finished a one pace third in Point Barrowâ€™s National but if A New Story won the National Iâ€™d give up!
BACKBEAT: Backbeatâ€™s sire Bob Back produced has yet to provide us with a winner over four miles. Back In Business did win over 3m 7f at Perth in April 2007 in a low graded affair but the record of Bob Backâ€™s in staying chases over 3m 4f is nothing short of woeful. I did have the statistics, have lost them, and am unwilling to purchase them from Weatherbyâ€™s again (!) but I assure you it was not good. On paper he has a lot going for him. His last win was very impressive, heâ€™s on a really nice mark of 139, ideal for the National nowadays but heâ€™s by Bob Back and thatâ€™s really end of story for me! Wouldnâ€™t touch him with someone elseâ€™s bargepole! Thisthatandtother was going extremely well in last yearâ€™s race before crying enough very quickly and they definitely have their limitations.
BEANTOWN: Finished only Â¼ length behind Hot Weld in the 2006 NH Chase at the Festival and in front of the ill fated ante post favourite for the 2007 race Far From Trouble. Had a long spell on the sidelines following that race but came back at Punchestown on New Yearâ€™s Eve with a decent effort over 3 miles on ground that was not ideal. Stays four miles is bred for the job, his great grandsire is Cantab who was responsible for Scottish and Aintree National hero Little Polveir. His maternal sire is Avocat who was also the same maternal sire of Grey Abbey. Hasnâ€™t many miles on the clock for a 10 year old but then neither did Philson Run in last yearâ€™s renewal. Needs his handicap mark (124) to increase to get in the race but a very lively outsider if he does.
CHARACTER BUILDING: The trainer asked everybody to blame him for this oneâ€™s run at Ayr in April, which was very lacklustre, so we should! Has come back with a solid effort in the Hennessy however, without ever threatening but he stayed on the through the field in a pleasing fashion. He has the beating of Butlerâ€™s Cabin now. Beaten Â¾ of a length off levels he will now be in receipt of 11lbs. That should see him reversing the placings. However, as I will explain in Cornish Settâ€™s analysis I am not that smitten with his Sadlers Wells sire Accordion. That quirkiness in the progeny is probably what lost him the NH Chase on the run in. The dam though is by Roselier and you know what an important influence he can be over four miles. The grand dam is by Raise You Ten sire of the great Ten Plus and 170 rated four mile winner Twin Oaks so on the dams side there is a lot to suggest he will go close. Itâ€™s the sire that makes me think Aintree might not be to his liking. Nevertheless, his mark of 138 is just about perfect, the last two winners have won off the same mark.
CHURCH ISLAND: Seagramâ€™s sire (Balak), Rough Questâ€™s sire (Crash Course) and Silver Birchâ€™s sire (Clearly Bust) were all by Busted. Busted was also in the pedigree of Bobbyjoâ€™s sire and also in the that of runners up Whatâ€™s Up Boys and Supreme Glory. Busted also produced Erins Isle, sire of Church Island, so he has a good solid base. His dam sire is Kalaglow the classy winner of an Eclipse Stakes and a King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and it is this class that may assist him to get home over a distance that may be stretching his limits. He dictated the pace in the Irish National for a long way and got collared at the last and I think he needs to be ridden with more restraint if heâ€™s to get home. If the Irish National had been run over four miles then a lot more would have gone past him that day as he just had no more to give and that has to be the worry. He has class in his blood but does he really have the stamina? The big plus is Church Island like Character Building is another currently on that magic mark of 138 and will be weighted to now beat Butlerâ€™s Cabin.
CORNISH SETT: As someone who sent me a private message on here said this horse has the family ties to entitle him to some respect. Cornish Settâ€™s grand dam Smooth Lady was the dam of 1988 Grand National and 1985 Irish National winner Rhyme N Reason. The dam Smooth Lady was herself by the dam Dandy Hall who produced 1984 hero Hallo Dandy so Cornish Sett has a lot going for him in that respect. His sire, however, Accordion does put me off. Generally speaking Accordion is renowned within the Bloodstock industry for producing horses that can be extremely quirky. If I list some names you may begin to see what I mean, Darkness, Billyvoddan, His Song, Oâ€™Muircheartaigh, Craven, According To John, An Accordion, Character Building (as you already know) and even old Flagship Uberalles. By and large they can be an extremely moody bunch as liable to spit the dummy out as they are to run a big race as Billyvoddan showed in last yearâ€˜s race. Enigmatic might be the word! His mark of 140 looks good in terms of him getting a nice racing weight but he looks a little too small for Aintree and to the naked eye he didnâ€™t get home in the Betfred in April nor in The Welsh National in December albeit both being on completely different ground to one another. Not to be trusted as I told the private messenger!January 20, 2008 at 15:36 #136580
As someone who, as I have said before, lives for the Grand National [and feels desperately miserable at the thought of having to wait another year for the next one] anything that can extend the build up to it is fine by me! I’m also fascinated to know more about the breeding side of it all. Last year I thought was the most difficult year ever to work out who was going to win, and my short list just got bigger and bigger although it was reduced somewhat when I eliminated Silver Birch [damn].January 20, 2008 at 16:59 #136595davidbradyMember
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Welcome to the forum KendalCavalier
That’s for that mini-preview – any chance of your early thoughts of the only 5 who are < 25/1 at the moment, namely,
I’d also be interest in the Peter Bowen pair of Mckelvey & Dunbrody MillarJanuary 20, 2008 at 17:14 #136598carvillshillParticipant
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Haven’t looked at the race yet (usually get interested about the time the weights come out) but ante-post support for Snowy Morning IMHO is badly misplaced. He just doesn’t have the experience over fences to be considered this year.January 20, 2008 at 18:13 #136604
Hello and thank you. What’s the crowd on here like?
BUTLERS CABIN: Never anticipated this one would have won the NH Chase but his damsire Bering was also responsible for Betfred winner Puntal so the stamina was there. Again hindsight is a wonderful thing. Started last season on a BHA rating of only 102 and is now an incredible 149. Up 14lbs for his Fairyhouse win Butlers Cabin is going to find life a little more difficult as a result of his excellent end of season form. It pays to note that Hedgehunter won his National off a mark of 144 and was then runner up a year later off a mark of 156. Butlers Cabin would need to be an extremely good animal to win at Aintree and I am not sure he is. Nevertheless his run at Leicester was interesting in as much that at no point during the race was he asked a serious question by McCoy but he still stayed on eyecatchingly at the end. Butler’s Cabin will be looking to break Sadlers Wells duck in the National. Nothing with SW in its pedigree has ever been placed in the race.
NINE DE SIVOLA: Reportedly being aimed at the Scottish version again but it would not surprise me if there was a change of heart with this one now Hot Weld is out. Now rated 141 for incessantly finishing runner up he will no doubt be weighted to reverse his narrow defeat to the above. If weighted on current ratings Nine de Sivola will have a 4lb pull for a 1l defeat by Butlers Cabin. The thing with running all these horses in one marathon after another is that at some point they will have been gone to the well with once too often. With Nine only being seven though there may yet be more improvment to come. His sire Video Rock is very versatile producing CH hope Osana but more importantly some decent stayers such as Welsh National hero Edmond and RSA winner Hussard Collonges. Like Cornish Sett however may be too small and does make mistakes during a race.
SIMON: Didn’t really give this one a chance last year and it was too far out to say whether he would have stayed no matter what anyone now says. The interesting thing with this one, for me, is that connections elected to bypass another tilt at the Welsh National, which for me is a big plus as so many horses can leave their season’s behind at Chepstow. He was running last year off his old mark of 143 as the National is an early closing race and that could have been his big chance. Nonetheless his run behind Over The Creek last month was eyecatching but he has gone back up to a career high mark of 152. Moreso than Butlers Cabin this one would have to be Gold Cup class to triumph and given some of the horses that have finished in front of him during his career you wouldn’t think he is. I like his pedigree though. His sire Overbury is now covering much better mares than in his early days and has produced a Festival winner (the sadly departed Missed That) and a couple of winners over 3m 5f namely full brothers Bannister Lane and Another Club Royal. His damsire Buckskin did of course produce National winner Amberleigh House and 4m 1f Eider Chase winner Hollybank Buck. He’s also related to National 4th Kingsmark. He has a lot to do but I like him.January 20, 2008 at 18:55 #136610
what can you tell me about Hi Cloy?January 20, 2008 at 19:47 #136620graysonscolumnParticipant
- Total Posts 6965
Hello and thank you. What’s the crowd on here like?
I presume there’ll be a few TRFfers in the chatroom later tonight (maybe including myself, if I hit a brick wall with my work and need distracting!), so you could meet a few there and then.
In the meantime, I for one am very much enjoying this deconstruction of the National market leaders. More, please!
The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.January 20, 2008 at 20:33 #136629madgicMember
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Mr Pointment will prob get a national, but would leave it this year as silver birch took sane route wirh nicholls but took a few years an trainers to come to fruitionJanuary 20, 2008 at 22:44 #136659Gazs Way De SolzenMember
- Total Posts 2440
Welcome to the forum!!!
Nice write up there.
I was on Simon last year for the National (backing, not riding), and i thought he was travelling superbly well until coming down.
I would expect him to run another big race this year, seemed to take well to the larger obsticles at Aintree.January 20, 2008 at 22:50 #136663carvillshillParticipant
- Total Posts 2778
Hi Cloy’s form beyond 2 1/2 miles is less than convincing. OK he won a poor novice chase over 3m but he’s looked best at 2 1/2 miles. The old adage that you need a good 2 1/2 miler to win the National is a load of cobblers and he won’t stay.
I’d be against Mr Pointment for the same reason as Snowy Morning- lack of chase experience. OK he jumped well winning the Becher but it’ll be a different story in a field of 40 thundering down to the first in April- he’s likely to be significantly overbet given his connections.January 21, 2008 at 19:25 #136846
IRISH RAPTOR has a beautiful staying pedigree. His sire Zaffaran should have already produced a National winner but remember Beau coming to grief in 2001 and Llewellyn running after him! His damsire Buckskin has produced a couple of 4 mile winners as mentioned with SIMON.
However there are a few things against him with perhaps the most important being his BHA rating of 134. I think I’m right in saying that Joes Edge had the lowest BHA rating in last year’s race with the same mark of 134. With the prize money going up again I expect to see an equally strong if not better race than last year and therefore 134 may be too low for him to get in the race. The other problem is that although he has got round Aintree twice he’s not challenged at the business end so that has to be a big negative. All his runs while he has been rated in the 130’s have been very disappointing and I understand NTD is trying to find him a race before the weights are published to try and get his mark up an extra couple of lbs, which won’t assist him in winning on past evidence.
BEWLEYS BERRY has been helped by the handicapper thus far. He has been raised only six pounds for his second in the Beecher Chase whilst Mr Pointment was raised 9lbs for giving him in 1l beating. He has a lot going for him but he hasn’t got his head in front since November 2005.
His sire Shernazar has not had many runners over 4 miles. I recall one, Silver Steel, being placed in the 2002 NH Chase behind Rith Dubh and subsequently a well beaten 5th in the Midlands National. However Shernazar was himself by the mighty Busted. Busted has produced some exceptional NH sires that have gone on to sire Grand National winners as advised in the Church Island analysis. Therefore there’s no reason why Shernazar cannot produce a National winner.
Bewleys damsire Orchestra is also a good source of stamina producing the likes of Dorans Pride, Fiddling The Facts, Rince Ri, Midlands National winner Miss Orchestra and NH Chase winner Relaxation.
Last but not least he also possesses a third significant stamina influence in Giolla Mear. He was the sire of old Lastofthebrownies who ran in three Nationals finishing 4th and 5th. Giolla Mear was also the damsire of last year’s winner Silver Birch. So, all in all there is a lot going for Bewleys Berry but can he get his head in front??? I hope he gets round and we can then say once and for all whether he truly stays.January 21, 2008 at 20:54 #136872
Interesting comments about Irish Raptor; looked up ante post prices today, and the ones I made a note of were Irish Raptor, Philson Run, Rambling Minster, Ossmoses [is he injured?], Hi Cloy, Longshanks [was foot perfect last year, know he came out of it with a bit of a leg but his jumping was superb] Cloudy Lane and Point Barrow . Bewleys Berry not much of a price to back ante post @16/1 but going brilliantly when he came down last year.40/1 for Irish Raptor might be worth the risk of him not getting into the race.Would love Simon to win it, however…January 21, 2008 at 21:07 #136874crizzyParticipant
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I think someone has asked this before but how is McKelvey and wiil he run or is he injured? Where will he possibly run before hand? Any info at all, most welcome. There’s got to be a National in this animal.January 21, 2008 at 21:12 #136877LUKEMember
- Total Posts 271
I am told that Snow Morning is being aimed at the Irish National-the person that told me is connected to the connections.January 21, 2008 at 23:17 #136911
Isn’t McKelvey going straight to the National having recovered well from his injury? I read last year that no horse had ever won the National wearing cheekpieces; however, I don’t think they’ve been used for that many years have they so perhaps it’s just a matter of time.
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