Grand National Runner Profiles 31 – 40
Frank Monkhouse | 8 April 2017
The final 10 – is winning out of the question?
We get stuck into the final 10 in our Grand National runner profiles. The following are strictly for dreamers. Don’t study the form, don’t check out the breeding, just pick a name you like or a colour on the jockey’s jersey and get your £1 on. They can’t win, can they?
We start with a 50/1 shot and Kerry Lee’s nine-year-old has impressed so far this year, finishing second at Warwick before going on to bag a winner’s medal at Hereford in a handicap chase over three-miles one-furlong. Was pulled up in a National trial last time, and traders are in an unforgiving mood.
Houblon des Obeaux
Falls into a couple of the right categories, including being trained by Venetia Williams. If you are wanting big race experience on your side, this 10-year-old is the pick for you. Was last seen in the Midlands Grand National last month, coming home a respectable fourth. One for an each-way play at 50/1, perhaps.
Just A Par
Winner last time out, which will catch the eye of some, Paul Nicholls’ outsider scored over three-miles one-furlong at Newbury off a double-figure SP. He was seen with plenty in the tank at the end of a tough race, and should have the fitness to get home, at least. 50/1, if you want a shot.
Can he stay the trip? That remains to be seen, and is probably why Coral traders have stuck a 50/1 price tag on his head. His recent results are impressive enough, and he has been in the top-three in two runs this year already. Runner-up in the Denman Chase at Newbury on his penultimate go. That’s not to be overlooked.
The 11-year-old is also a 50/1 go, and if he runs to the best of his ability then that price will look massive come the end of the race. Unfortunately, it does look like his best form is in the past, and he’s not been seen in action much of late. Only out three times since pulling up in the 2015 National.
Vastly experienced 12-year-old at 50/1, connections have prepared him like they fancy an upset. I wouldn’t have a free bet on him personally, but that’s not to say he isn’t a good horse, sometimes. Fourth of four at Kelso last time, I’ll say no more.
Won at Exeter in February over three-miles in a handicap chase, but that doesn’t do much to impress our traders, who write him off as an also-ran at 50/1. He did earn that victory in convincing fashion, and sat out the Cheltenham Festival, so will be fresh.
Yet another 50/1 shot experts don’t believe will be capable of doing much on the big day. Last saw placing third at Auteuil in November, the eight-year-old for Mullins really doesn’t do an awful lot to impress me. I’d be surprised if he was a finisher. Too many question marks over his head.
Roi des Francs
Gordon Elliott sends this eight-year-old gelding into action, and followers of the scene caught him winning last month at Down Royal over 3m 2f when short-priced fav. Did it with plenty to spare, and in terms of confidence, that would’ve done him no harm. Think he can double up? We’ll give you 50/1.
A bit of a surprise to see Shantou Flyer in mixing it with the other 50/1 runners. He has come right back into form of late, and was runner-up behind Cue Card in the Ascot Chase on his last appearance. Much shorter trip, but connections obviously rate his heart. Shouldn’t be at this end of the market in my opinion.