Grand National: Is Godsmejudge the answer to punters’ prayers?
Godsmejudge is 20/1 with Coral to win the Crabbie’s Grand National and become only the fourth horse to land the Aintree race and the Scottish equivalent.
The legendary Red Rum did the double in the same year in 1974, Little Polveir won the Scottish National in 1987 before winning at Aintree in 1989, while Earth Summit won the Ayr contest in 1994 before landing the big race on Merseyside in 1998.
Alan King’s charge certainly seems to have the right attributes to follow in their footsteps judged on his exploits last season.
The eight-year-old progressed with every run, finishing an excellent second to Rigadin De Beauchene in the Betfred Clasic Chase at Warwick and a fine third in the 4m National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival before landing the Scottish National at Ayr.
He jumped really well in the latter, and after taking up the lead at the 20th stayed on strongly from three out to beat Big Occasion by four lengths off a mark of 139.
It was a fine effort for a young horse, and one which marked him out as a potential big player for Aintree honours if continuing on his upward curve.
There was certainly lots to like to like about his reappearance run this season when he finished close up fifth of 13 to Alvarado in the Grade 3 Murphy Group Handicap Chase at Cheltenham, but he has run way below par and been pulled up in two subsequent starts.
He will need to bounce back from those efforts is he is to land the National, but if doing so would be a big contender on the pick of his form – despite being asked to race off a mark of 148 by BHA handicapper Phil Smith when his current official rating is 145.
The 4m 4f trip should certainly hold no fears for the dour stayer, and he is a quick and economical jumper whose attacking stytle looks tailor-made for the unique Aintree fences.