Grand National: Can Colbert Station make it second time lucky?
Irish trainer Ted Walsh knows what type of horse is required to win the Crabbie’s Grand National and looks to have a major contender for this year’s renewal in the shape of Colbert Station.
Walsh saddled Papillon to land a massive gamble in the race back in 2000, and also went to close winning the race in 2012 when Seabass finished third to Neptune Collonges.
Colbert Station has a similar profile to both those horses and is a 20/1 with Coral for the 4m 4f contest on Saturday, April 5th.
The 10-year-old will be bidding to make it second time lucky in the race having unseated Tony McCoy at The Chair last year when sent off at just 12/1.
He is now due to race off a 1lb lower mark, and the fact that he failed to complete is not a negative according to the stats as Red Marauder, Hedgehunter and Silver Birch all fell in previous Grand Nationals before winning the race.
Another plus is that four 10-year-olds have won the race in the last 10 runnings, and Colbert Station has strong form in the book and has clearly been brought along this season with the race solely in mind.
The JP McManus-owned gelding was a really progressive sort last season, and ran out the impressive 5 length winner of the Paddy Power Chase over 3m at Leopardstown where he stayed on strongly in the hands of McCoy to win going away.
His best run this season came in the Troytown Chase at Navan where he fisnihed third to Cootamundra, and although he fell last time out in the Carrikcmines Chase at Leoparstown he was still in contention and yet to be asked a serious question.
Providing he is none the worse for that tumble he looks weighted to go close in the National off 11st.
It will be interesting to see if McCoy will choose to partner him again, as he is one of eight JP McManus-owned runners in the National, but early rumours are that the 18-times champion is likely to do so.