Grand National Runner Profiles 11 – 20
Frank Monkhouse | 8 April 2017
A look at the handy outsiders
The latest from our look through the Grand National runners, we take you from 11 to 20 in the betting, that covers More Of That to Thunder And Roses. The 10 in front of us go at a handy price, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see any of them winning. Isn’t that what the Aintree showpiece is all about? No one wants a favourite.
More Of That
The Jonjo O’Neill trained nine-year-old hasn’t been spotted in the winner’s enclosure since December 2015, when scoring at Cheltenham. That’s a six-race barren spell, which includes a pulled up and a fall. O’Neill labelled him the best horse he’s trained, and that’s sure to hold weight with punters. 20/1 will sweeten the deal.
Saphir du Rheu
Nicholls’ experienced sort has raced once a month this year, including a win at Kelso in February by a sizeable margin. That sharpness will come into play at Aintree, but he fell in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. That can be easily forgiven, he’s a big race veteran, and can be found at 20/1 with us. One for each-way backers.
Always popular with punters, he has six wins and three places in 19 starts. A winner of the Coral Scottish Grand National last year, has every chance of progressing on to a Grand National prize. Followed that with a sixth in the Coral Welsh National in December. That’s form worth keeping close, and we go 25/1.
Probably the gamest horse of the field, he loves doing it the hard way and has shown us his fondness for a heavy ground slog in the past. It’s unlikely he will get the conditions to his liking, and in backing him you’re also taking a punt on the weather. Take 25/1 then learn a rain dance.
Last won in March 2016 in the Irish Grand National – that is sure to win him a bit of favour here, but he hasn’t done an awful lot since, and warmed up for this race with a fifth in the Goffs Thyestes Handicap at Gowran in January. Any winner of the Irish National deserves our respect, especially at 33/1.
One of the more interesting runners at a big price, Coral are currently handing out as much 33/1 as you can get your hands on for the 11-year-old to win the Grand National. He pulled up in the Scottish National, but that’s his only finish outside of the top-two in four starts. Most notably, he was runner-up in the Becher Handicap Chase here last time. I like his chances and wouldn’t put anyone off a go.
We had him backed at Leopardstown in the Irish Gold Cup last time, but he failed to deliver, finishing fourth in a race won by Sizing John. He made a couple of mistakes that day, and found little when asked going for home. There are better 33/1 shots out there for me.
Drumming up O’Faolains Boy is a hard sell and he arrives at Aintree with a recent record showing he has pulled up in three of his last five, and each of his last two. Does have talent, that’s a given, but as far as out of form horses go, he’s up there. I’d want more than 33/1 to get my interest. Winning this would be a massive upset.
The Crafty Butcher
Another for Willie Mullins, The Crafty Butcher has placed in three of his last four, falling in the spare at Punchestown. He went off as race favourite that day, and was going well enough when coming down. Backers will get over that, and take heart from his third at Wexford last time. 33/1 makes the experienced campaigner easier to give a chance to.
Thunder And Roses
Another who has not been doing an awful lot of winning of late, although he has placed second in two of his last three starts. That includes a runner-up at Fairyhouse behind Pleasant Company, beaten ½ a length. With the narrow winner a 16/1 shot here, Thunder And Roses looks overpriced at 33/1.