Bullseye – we target a Grand National winner at 50/1+
Frank Monkhouse | 8 April 2017
Stats support a big price in the Aintree headliner
Punters love the Grand National for its unpredictability, almost as much as they love it for its big price winners. Aintree history books are filled with stories of no hopers who defied logic to win the nation’s favourite race.
Rule The World claimed last year’s title for Mouse Morris and David Mullins off a 33/1 SP, proving the rumours of the race getting easier and the favourites winning more often as nonsense. Joint-favourite Don’t Push It scored back in 2010 at 10/1, since then we’ve not had a champion shorter than 14/1, with each of the last five renewals giving 25/1 or bigger. Will this year fall into line?
Those race stats certainly put you off a bet on the shorter prices, with Definitely Red going into the morning as a 10/1 favourite. If you’re going to back the winner of a National you’ll want to do it at bigger than 10/1. So, with that in mind, we take a look at something heavier, with a real chance of pulling off an upset. Below you’ll find a mention for three at odds of 50/1 or higher.
Lord Windermere @ 50/1
Pulled up in the Grand National in 2015, and hasn’t been seen doing an awful lot since, running just three times. He was second in a comeback at Thurles late in 2016, beaten just a head by Champagne Fever, proving there’s still a bit of that old magic in him. He carried top-weight in that failed effort two years ago, which goes some way to explaining the outcome, but he won’t be anywhere near that this time. Sharpened up with a spin around Fairyhouse in the Bobbjo Chase in February. His best days may have been and gone, but we can’t forget the talent of his prime, and if he can roll back the years, he’ll teach his younger rivals a thing or two here.
Perfect Candidate @ 50/1
Fergal O’Brien’s 10-year-old sat out of the Cheltenham Festival to give himself the best chance of doing something here. He won on his last outing at Exeter in February in a race that saw him written off before the start, going to post as a 12/1 also-ran. It was a real gutsy performance however, and he made all that day, serving it up to his rivals, and showing punters a glimpse of his fitness. Over three-miles but he had plenty left to give at the conclusion and what also caught the eye was a steady round of jumping. Has been given a lot to do in the weights, and that is reflected in the price.
Shantou Flyer @ 66/1
The last of our trio, and my favourite of the bunch. Rebecca Curtis sends out her experienced seven-year-old in great nick, and he was last seen finishing runner-up behind Cue Card in the Ascot Chase a couple of months ago. Although never getting near the winner that day, he did keep his head down and worked away to get the silver medal. A lot shorter trip, granted, but he does appear to have been shaken back to life and I’m confident he can stay the trip. He won’t do anything extraordinary, but will plug away and looks one for each-way players.