Irish Grand National Preview: Cantlow can collect under McCoy (17:00)
Cantlow has slipped to a career-low mark over fences, and looks weighted to take all the beating in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse today (17:00).
This Paul Webber trained gelding is on a long losing run, having not scored since beating Easter Meteor in a competitive class 2 contest at Newbury back in November 2013 off a mark of 140.
The 10-year-old got put up 8lb for that success, and ran a cracker of a revised mark of 148 to finish runner-up to Double Ross at Cheltenham.
Cantlow also ran very well in this contest last year to finish eighth of 26 to Shutthefrontdoor off 150, and is now able to race off 14lb lower (136).
It gives the son of Kay Tara major claims from a handicapping perspective and, although Cantlow has been out of form all season, he now gets fitted with the tongue-tie for the first time.
That may well make a huge difference and, if it has the desired effect, Cantlow is potentially thrown-in at the weights.
Another plus is that Cantlow has the services of champion jockey AP McCoy in the saddle so, with ground conditions fine, everything points to a massive run.
There are plenty of dangers in a wide open contest, and two that made my shrotlist are The Job Is Right and Vics Canvas.
The Job Is Right had some very useful form to his name as a hurdler, and opened his account over the larger obstacles in good style when beating As De Ferbet by 1 1/2 lengths at Punchestown back in December.
This Michael Hourigan trained seven-year-old also ran a cracker last time out in the 4m National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival when third of 17 to Cause Of Causes, and the drop back in trip looks sure to suit.
Judged on that run the gelding is not badly treated off just 4lb higher, so The Job Is Right remains relatively unexposed over fences and open to further improvement.
Vics Canvas is an out-and-out stayer who easily landed the Cork National by 10 lengths on his penultimate start off a mark of 118.
The handicapper hit the 12-year-old with a 13lb rise for that success, but Vics Canvas ran a blinder off his revised rating last time out when third of 26 to Living Next Door in a 3m contest at Leopardstown.
Dermot McLoughlin’s charge has been raised another 7lb for that effort, but remains feasibly treated on the pick of his form and will relish this stamina sapping test.