Will it be Boom time in the Grand National?
Shakalakaboomboom has proven ability over the Grand National fences, and is a 25/1 chance with Coral to put that to good effect and land the Crabbie’s sponsored contest at Aintree on Saturday, April 5th.
The gelding is one of four Nicky Henderson-trained horses left in the race, the others being Trio D’Alene, Long Run and Hunt Ball.
The Seven Barrows’ handler is yet to win the prize having saddled 33 runners in the race since 1979, but has had three horses make the frame.
Zongalero finished second in 1979, Classified came third in 1986 and The Tsarevich finished runner-up in 1987.
In Shakalakaboomboom he has a horse that is yet to fall in 14 starts over fences, winning four times and being placed on two occasions.
The gelding has also run well on the two times he has tackled the unique National fences.
On the first of those he finished seventh of 30 to Always Waining in the 2011 running of the Topham Chase, and he then ran far better than his finishing position suggests when 9th of 40 to Neptune Collonges in the 2012 Grand National.
He was sent off the 8/1 joint-favourite in the latter, and having raced up with the pace throughout led at the second last until weakening to be beaten 28 lengths.
The 10-year-old was then off the track for 21 months with a leg injury and only returned to action in January.
The son of Anshan ran well on his first start back when sixth of 14 to Caulfields Venture in a jumpers’ bumper at Kempton but then failed to build on that when pulled up in a handicap hurdle at Doncaster.
He was then well beaten on his latest start at the Cheltenham Festival over the larger obstacles, but should now be spot on to do himself justice with those three runs under his belt.
The handicapper has certainly given him a big chance at the weights in the National, in which he is due to carry just 10st 3lb.
He was officially rated 149 when finishing ninth in 2012 and is now set to run off 9b lower in this year’s renewal.
The fact that he has proven course form to his name has to be a big plus, and another positive is that five 10-year-olds have won the race in the last 11 runnings.