The modern day Grand National is very different to the race that was run back in the day.
Modification to the fences and increased prize money have made it a wide open handicap, with the vast majority of runners having some sort of chance.
A brief look at some of the major contenders. I will be analysing the race in greater detail Friday/Saturday when we have a clearer picture.
Last year’s winner Many Clouds is favourite at around 8/1.
He appeared to delight everyone with his latest success at Kelso, where he travelled and jumped well and was visually impressive. However the form of that Kelso race is suspect.
This year’s renewal looks stronger than the 2015 race and at the current odds Many Clouds is of no value.
Silviniaco Conti returned to form at Ascot when blinkered for the first time following the previously worn cheek-pieces. A high class horse that is handicapped to win, it is his possible stamina limitations that concern me.
The Last Samuri put in a career best run when winning at Doncaster on latest start and could improve again. He looks to have a good mix of speed and stamina and jumps well.
At the 10/1 on offer I would keep him onside.
Holywell and Cause Of Causes were in action at Cheltenham, both horses returning to something near their best.
Cause Of Causes is a thorough stayer who was never nearer than at the finish in last year’s National. At the time of writing he is not sure to get a run as he needs a few above him in the handicap to drop out. If he does take part and his jockey can keep him closer to the leaders he will be staying on at the finish. Around 20/1 is fair.
Holywell was beaten by a very well handicapped horse at Cheltenham and if staying the National trip must go well.
Bishops Road comes from the in-form Kerry Lee stable. He stayed on strongly to win the National trial at Haydock. Soft ground would bring him into the reckoning. Currently best priced 25/1.
Back tomorrow morning for a look at the Friday card.