Grand National Runner Profiles 21 – 30
Frank Monkhouse | 8 April 2017
10 of the field that shouldn’t be winning, but could at a big price
We’ve arrived at the second-half of our look through the Grand National runner profiles, and we are getting our teeth into some big prices now. The Aintree spectacular, for casual racing fans, is about taking a shot in the dark at a nice horse with a nice price. Do any of these grab your attention?
Number 21 in the betting pecking order for the big race, and Ziga Boy can be picked up at 33/1 with Coral. Alan King’s grey arrives in eye-catching form, and followed up a third-place finish at Doncaster at the tail-end of last year with a win around the same track last time out. He made one or two little mistakes along the way, but once ahead he wasn’t for catching. Worth considering at a price.
Arrives with a record of five wins and four placed efforts from 16 starts. He hasn’t booked a place in the winner’s enclosure in over a year, and has gone nowhere near it in recent starts, his last four reading fell – 12th – pulled up – 13th. Inexperienced at this level, and I’d put a line through his chances. 40/1 if you like the name.
An old hand at this game, Saint Are is no stranger to the Grand National course and was second behind Many Clouds in 2015, you may recall. Not beaten by much that day, he couldn’t live up to the hype last year, eventually being pulled up. It looks like his chance to win this race has come and gone. 40/1 tells a story.
Vyta Du Roc
Nicky Henderson knows a thing or two about the game and wouldn’t enter Vyta Du Roc unless he thought he’d, at least, get around. I reckon he could do more than that, but his recent efforts ensure he’s available at a chunky 40/1. Last won a Novices Chase at Ascot in 2016 and was second at this track behind Thistlecrack earlier in his career.
Also judged to be a 40/1 crack, it has been a while since we’ve seen Alvarado in winning form, too long for him to be considered a danger to the leading contenders, for Coral traders anyway. He warmed up for this race last month when being pulled up at the Cheltenham Festival, in a race won by Domesday Book. Really poor effort that day, and I’m surprised he goes here.
Another for David Pipe, but I think Doctor Harper going back to the yard as a National winner would catch even the great trainer by surprise. You never know, but we do have a fair idea given the fact he has thrown the towel in twice in his last four goes. Did nothing in the same race at the festival as Alvarado, but at least he finished, ending seventh. On that showing he’s better than Alvarado, but goes at the same odds.
Far from the most battle-hardened runner of the field, he has been doing the business recently though, and followed up a win at Kempton over the festive period with a second at the same track on his last go. He’s been a profitable horse to follow for punters, and has had an easy time of it for a seven-year-old. 40/1 gamble – there’s worse out there, we’ll say that.
Raz de Maree
Now, here we have a genuine contender at a tempting 40/1. The experienced campaigner may have seen better days, but he has been rolling back the years this season, winning the Cork Grand National late in 2016 and finishing second behind Native River in the Welsh National, not beaten much either. That form will be enough to impress each-way punters.
I’d be telling fibs if I said I thought this horse had a shot at glory. A 40/1 go, I’d make him bigger, and you probably would do too after learning that he has finished just two of the last eight races he has started. Pulled up six times, we can’t ignore that. Was woeful last time out at Cheltenham, making mistakes and calling it a day.
50/1 shot, and it’s beyond me how he’s a bigger price than Regal Encore. When this fella is in the mood he is a very capable horse, and you won’t get caught out for fitness or stamina on him. Won a Grand National Trial last year, and placed at Haydock in good company in January. Ticks a few boxes for the price.