Grand National

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05 Apr 18 06:09
Date Joined: 05 Apr 07
| Topic/replies: 510 | Blogger: Alkeyhole's blog
Seems to be fashionable to say that 11st or more is no longer a barrier to winning.  Whilst that's true strictly speaking, it ignores the overwhelming trend.  In the last 5 years, two horses carrying 11st finished in the top TEN the year Many Clouds won.  Every other year only one horse carrying 11st+ managed a top ten finish.

11st is still basically far too much weight for most horses.  The exceptions that prove the rule are just that.
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Report Bindaree April 5, 2018 10:26 AM BST
I personally don't tend to go for horses over 11 stone but whereas a few years ago they would be giving away at least a stone nowadays it's usually considerably less. Last year the bottom weight was 10-6 and there were only two of them. Might be a bit different this year if a few sneak in around the 10 stone mark as in the past.
Report contrary45 April 5, 2018 4:35 PM BST
Maybe make a judgement on Official ratings. Many Clouds won rated 160. This years field has nothing within 7lbs of MC.So maybe the winner is lurking153 or less taking the 12 at the top out
Report contrary45 April 5, 2018 4:38 PM BST
2 competing in high class races(listed) finishing in 1st 2 but rated in the 150s Regal Encore and Warriors tale
Report Bindaree April 6, 2018 10:23 AM BST
The problem with Regal Encore it seems impossible to predict how it will run and also didn't show last year. On one of Nicholls stable tours early in the season he didn't talk of Warriors as a stayer, I think he quoted him as a 2m 6f horse. I may be wrong but fairly sure he did. I'm a little surprised, assuming it to be testing going that Raz De Maree seems the forgotten horse. I know it's 13 but is still able to run to it's ability judged on the Welsh Nat and is guaranteed to be staying on better than anything and jumps the fences well..
Report sewter lives again April 6, 2018 3:45 PM BST
I posted something similar Bindaree on one of the other threads about Raz de Maree. The ground is the key for me if its heavy or soft/heavy it has a huge chance.

To me the age is ok as the Welsh National win was only a few weeks ago.

Last years Welsh National 1.5 length second to the Gold Cup winner doesn't look too bad now either.
Report Bindaree April 6, 2018 7:43 PM BST
Sewter, I must admit it wasn't on my radar but struggling to find something with a chance I looked at it's 2 attempts at the National. The 1st attempt it was well placed and dropped right away. I feel that Davy Condon looked a nervous jockey but when they cleared the last this horse absolutely flew up the run in. That in itself wouldn't persuade me to give it a chance but last year it was well placed and jumping really well when it swerved to avoid Ucello Conti and the jockey was unseated. I just feel any horse that stays as well and has proven it can jump round has to be considered.
Report GoldCupWinner April 7, 2018 10:48 AM BST
The negatives for raz de Maree is that it's been longer since a 13 year old won than it has for a 7 year old. Plus he is on highest ever mark and jockey won't be able to claim. That said I do think in the likely conditions (it is raining very heavy today) and perceived lack of competition that he will run really well. Definitely place bet material but surely something will beat well handicapped enough to beat him.
Report GoldCupWinner April 7, 2018 4:23 PM BST
I backed houblon des obeux last year and knew my fate before the start as the ground became too lovely but on the plus side he did complete the course. He will have his ground this year and whilst I don't think he is the same horse as when winning the Hennessy he does have some decent enough weight carrying performances last year, most notablely in the Welsh national, at uttoxeter and in the Warwick chase won by one for Arthur. It is possible getting his conditions with a lighter weight on his back could bring about ok improvement. He performed better last time in first time blinkers after pulling up beforehand. Obviously feeling the need to put the blinkers on this late in his career is a sign he may be falling out of love with the game but an extreme stamina test with a light weight could be just what he has been waiting for.
Report GoldCupWinner April 7, 2018 4:25 PM BST
Too lively*
Report sixtwosix April 7, 2018 4:30 PM BST
Raz De Maree has already had two attempts. He was going nowhere on the final bend at Chepstow. The ground  at Aintree will be nothing like that and he will not be sighted.
Houblon Des Obeaux is a shadow of the horse he was .
Report Bindaree April 7, 2018 10:19 PM BST
You may be right but Raz De Maree has won a good class handicap on good going and when it was second to Native River the time was only 18 seconds above average which when you compare to other Welsh Nat times suggests the going was not that soft. The second attempt which you refer to, the horse swerved to avoid Ucello Conti and the jockey went out the side and can hardly be held against it. Normally a 13 yr old wouldn't be considered but Vics Canvas ran a terrific race and like Raz it was another that showed before the race that it still retained a lot of ability.
Report GoldCupWinner April 7, 2018 11:34 PM BST
Houblon is not the horse he was but if you are going to give milansbar and Baie des lles a chance then surely  the  current version is still worth considering. He finished just behind regal flow giving it lumps of weight at Hereford who in turn was 10 lengths ahead of milansbar at uttoxeter. I know they were different distances but stepping up in trip should suit houblon. He is also Welsh national placed just last year carrying a lot of weight and is now 8lb better off with Baie des lles for finishing in front of her. He is a very inconsistent horse but if on form he could go well.

I should add I haven't backed anything yet, still provoking discussion before I do so.
Report Bindaree April 8, 2018 9:58 AM BST
I agree Houblon would be a serious contender if it came up really heavy albeit it seems to be a shadow of it's former self although there have been brief glimpses that a little spark remains. Stable form is also a big issue.
Report wondersobright April 9, 2018 4:33 PM BST
since mon mome won in 2009 horses carrying 11-0+ have won 5 times which is more than market expectation and horses carrying under 11-0 have won 4 times which is less than market expectation
Report Bindaree April 9, 2018 6:46 PM BST
Stable form doesn't appear to be an issue anymore after today  !!
Report charwell. April 12, 2018 11:33 PM BST
All the talk about whether a horse can win or not with 11 stone is a red herring.

When the ground is heavy forget it and look at the lower weights. When the ground is good then back the class horses at the upper end of the weights.

The effect of the weight on the ground is the key to the marathon trip.
Report J.J.Cale...pedrocadiz April 13, 2018 12:17 AM BST
Just want to say something re raz de maree. I remember when he was 8th in 2014 and i think he jumped the last about 18 if memory serves. He seems even better now. on good/soft ground i think similar fate befalls him but if it comes up soft then he'll have big chances. The only other horse i think with similar staying powers is vintage clouds andi'm still gutted he's not made the cut. Lurk over the back button for Maree and if he's within 12 lengths of the leaders turning into the straight then get on.
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