The Cheltenham Festival hangover may soon be easing and that means The Randox Health Grand National is just days away. All eyes will be on Aintree for the showpiece event of the National Hunt season with £561,000 on offer to the winner.
40 horses including last year’s winner Tiger Roll will line-up on Merseyside to tackle the gruelling 4-mile 2-furlong course and 9-million of us will be watching from home. Many punters will call it a “lottery” however in recent times there maybe a lot more to it than that.
Indications on which horses will run well maybe hard to find but in this ParkLifeSport report I believe some telling clues came from The Cheltenham Festival. I’ve picked out three runners from The Festival who all have live chances at Saturday’s feature event.
Vintage Clouds– Finished 2nd in the Ultima Handicap at Cheltenham behind Beware the Bear, will carry a low weight and looks set to contend here having been travelling well when made an error at The Welsh Grand National. Looks a good price at 12/1 for Sue Smith who is bullish of the 9-year-old’s chances.
ParkLife Sport Rating: 5/5
Tiger Roll– Winner of the Grand National last year will be back to Aintree to try and retain his crown. Won smartly at Cheltenham in the Cross Country Chase after bolting up over hurdles in Navan just a month previous. Price way too short at just 7/2. Will be attempting to be the first to retain the title since Red Rum in the 1970’s but may struggle with the 4lb increase in weight due to Bristol De Mai’s withdrawal.
ParkLife Sport Rating: 4/5
I’ve never seen a horse have such an engine and turn of foot over 4 miles. The scary thing about the legend Tiger Roll is that I think he has more to show us. There’s improvement to come, he really could be one of the greatest of all time 🏇🏻pic.twitter.com/ShrhnXORmF
— RacingJosh🏇🏻 (@TheRacingJosh) March 20, 2019
Anibale Fly– Very impressive 2nd in the Cheltenham Gold Cup when keeping on past other key contenders. 4th in the Grand National last year behind Tiger Roll and is a very eye-catching price. 12/1 considering performances both at Aintree and in the Gold Cup
ParkLife Sport Rating: 3/5
Thinking to myself how under appreciated Anibale Fly has been over the past year or so, placed in 2 Gold Cups and a National off top weight, such a straightforward, professional horse, really hope he goes well in the National again this season, getting a soft spot for the boy😎
— Lewis Tomlinson🐎 (@LTRacing_) March 21, 2019
Verdict: It looks to be a hotly-contested race on Merseyside however I do believe that the winner will come from one of these three horses. More specifically Vintage Clouds, would be my best bet to outlast Tiger Roll due to the significant weight difference between the two. At an each way price I do think Anibale Fly has a good chance to run into the money with Barry Geraghty on board albeit at top weight.
One thing is for certain however, it is all set to be a scintillating event on Saturday afternoon.