Grand National

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31 Mar 18 12:24
Date Joined: 16 Jun 11
| Topic/replies: 3,390 | Blogger: GoldCupWinner's blog
In Market Order

Total Recall - Stayed on well to win the Hennessy, 9lb higher here. Form of the Hennessy has been OK with Regal Encore and Missed Approach both going on to win decent races. Being ridden into contention when falling in the Gold Cup, hard to say how he would have fared but for me Anibale Fly was travelling better at that stage. Can't rule out but at the prices I will be looking elsewhere.

Blaklion - Carrying more weight and is higher in the handicap than when his stamina ebbed away last year. Can't see any obvious reason why he will improve his placing this time around (other than it looking a weaker race). I'm avoiding at the price.

Tiger Roll - In Form Cheltenham Festival specialist who clearly stays. His form this year looks very similar to that of Cause of Causes when he finished second last year. Hard to say if he is well handicapped off 150, no-one will be surprised if he wins but at the prices I'm leaving alone.

Minella Rocco - Has twice finished in front of recent gold cup winner Native River. Clearly has plenty of ability and will stay. However his completion record and poor run last time out and subsequent wind surgery make him one to avoid.

Anibale Fly - Improved for the extra distance in the testing conditions last time. Officially 9lb well in here and a reproduction of his last effort would see him win this. Did fall on his penultimate start but jumping seems generally fine. The big question is can he reproduce such an effort only a month later? I'm betting that he can.

The Last Samuri - 10lb higher than when second two years ago, can't see any reason why he would fare better here.

Seeyouatmidnight - Some great form in testing conditions a couple of years back involving blaklion and Bristol De Mai. Got outstayed towards the end of the Scottish National although he was keen at the beginning. The biggest concern is that he has only had one run in the past year. National winners are usually very race fit and for that reason I am out.

Gold Present - Improved this year, staying on well to win two handicaps over 3m. On his highest ever rating as a result. Broke blood vessels, falling last time he tackled these fences and being from a yard that is not known for producing too many stayers are reasons why I will be passing.

Vieux Lion Rouge - Doesn't seem to stay the full trip, can't see it being different this year.

Ucello Conti - Well beaten two years ago from 2lb higher, fell last year, not for me.

Regal Encore - Inconsistent horse who was well beaten last year. However he is going into this race in better form. His debut national run was also very similar to that of Cause of Causes who improved greatly last year. He's officially 4lb well in here and has a 9lb swing for just over a 9 length defeat with Total Recall in the Hennessy where he was staying on at the end. I think he outruns his odds.

Gas Line Boy - Loves the fences and ran admirably last year, another year on his back and 4lb higher in the handicap. May run well at a price but won't be winning.

Rathvinden - Very similar profile to Rule the World with very classy novice hurdle/chase form, officially 4lb well in and proved he stays last time. Generally jumps well, apart from unseating 2 starts back.  If he runs he will be my main bet.

I just Know - He will stay but winners generally have much better form than he has displayed so far.

Milansbar - Obviously stays well but seems to be out of his depth in the very top staying chases.

The Dutchman - Poor run last time and nothing in his form to suggest he will win this.

Vintage Clouds - Tends to get outpaced in his races and not always the best jumper. However heavy ground at this extreme distance should bring about improvement. If it comes up heavy I will be onside at the price, otherwise I won't be backing him.

Warriors Tale - Consistent this year at 3 mile without winning. Hard to say if trip will bring about improvement but he did place over 3m 2f over hurdles. I wouldn't completely rule him out but I prefer others.

Raz De Maree - If it comes up heavy he could do a vics canvas and give everyone a scare. I just can't see him winning from his highest ever winning mark at the age of 13.

Baie Des lles -  Very experienced for a 7 year old in these staying chases and shaping as though the step up in trip will suit. Only 4lb higher than winning over 3m 4f last year and it looks as though this has been the aim all year, which you can't say about many of the others. Will probably need it soft but no obvious jumping issues is one to have on your side at the price.

Final Nudge - Travels well through the races but doesn't seem to stay as strongly as the others once push comes to shove.

If I haven't mentioned a horse it's because I don't think it's worth mentioning. I am hoping Rathvinden runs particularly if there is good in the going description. If it's testing I will be backing Vintage Clouds and Baie des lles at the prices. I'll also be having a saver on Anibale Fly on any going.
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Report Makybe_Diva March 31, 2018 3:09 PM BST
Interesting post, thanks Happy
Report Trendy March 31, 2018 8:56 PM BST
Good write up.
Report sixtwosix March 31, 2018 10:49 PM BST
Good stuff , will read it all.
My number one pick right now is Baie Des Iles , nice to see you haven't written it off .Grin

I do similar on the Friday before the race , with 4 marked as probables and the rest being possibles , unlikely and no chance ......the last 3 years have been very kind.
ONE FOR ARTHUR    The further he goes the better he goes , could be a rare winner coming from the back.    Probable
Report sixtwosix March 31, 2018 10:50 PM BST
Rule The World    People already forgeting his terrific second in Irish National , possibly the best outsider imo.    probable
Report Bindaree April 1, 2018 12:26 AM BST
I applaud your work GoldCupWinner but you do realise you have come up with the most unlikely double based on stats. Rathvinden ? , has any horse ever won the most competitive handicap without previously contesting a handicap ? Rule the World was a novice but was battle hardened by running in handicaps and indeed finished 2nd in the 2nd most competitive long distance handicap. And of course we all know the record of 7 yr olds, not one has come anywhere near winning the race despite some being supposedly something like 7 lbs well in.
Report GI MAC April 1, 2018 10:11 AM BST
Pretty much agree with all of that summary, there’s a couple at big prices worth a mention.

Pleasant Company was cruising last year when coming down, similar mark this time around and the race appears to be the plan from the start of the season. 40/1 is generous.

Alpha Des Obeaux is a decent horse, his early season form is pretty good and I get the feeling this has been a plan for a while. His mark is fair, but I think he is better than Gold Present for example and they have the same weight. Whether he takes to the fences is the question, but worth a go at 66/1 given who trains him.
Report Bindaree April 1, 2018 11:45 AM BST
I hope I'm allowed to point this out because people like Fabulous seem against discussion but Pleasant Company actually finished ninth last year. He is also entered in the Topham.
Report GoldCupWinner April 1, 2018 11:52 AM BST
I do know 7 year olds and novices don't have the best record and would usually avoid them but I have made allowances in these cases. In the case of Rathvinden he was unfortunately out for a few years with injuries, this means he is now older than the average novice and is fairly experienced, although admittedly not in handicaps. Looking at those horses who are under 11 stone I think he is the potential class act, at the weights.

I will only back Baie Des lles if it comes up heavy. I do appreciate what you say about 7 year olds, Cause of causes and Saint Are both improved greatly on their 7 year old National runs. The reason I made this allowance is because she ran with great credit in both the Welsh and Irish nationals considering she was only 5 when contesting them, already looking as though she would appreciate a step up in trip. After disappointing in the Grade 3 last season I firmly believe that each race she has run this season has been for the sole purpose of being primed for the national and as such we can not be quite sure how much she has improved from 5 to 7. However I do believe her latest run was a fine weight carrying prep run and should leave her spot on for this. There is also the price to consider, she is 65-70 on the exchanges and think she is worth the gamble if conditions fall right.

Yes twosixtwo I know you love the National as much as I do and I do look out for your posts year on year. It's a race which has been kind to me down the years. I remember being on Amberleigh House, Numbersixvalverde, Comply Or Die, Auroras Encore (Which I posted on the forum, only two I backed that year was this and Cappa Bleu but didn't do the forcast) and One for Arthur (Along with Vicente and Houblon Des Obeux) last year. Also had a few placed horses in The Last Samurai, Double Seven and most gut wrenching of all Sunnyhillboy. I am finding this year a bit tougher to have a strong opinion which is why I don't mind going for a couple I usually wouldn't.
Report Bindaree April 1, 2018 12:02 PM BST
I respect your opinion and reasoning although I don't necessarily go along with it, especially regarding 7 yr olds. They seem to replicate humans who also seem to be a lot older before they become successful marathon runners. You have provided a good source of discussion and if I don't bet the winner (haven't that much idea what it will be yet !!) I certainly won't begrudge a 7 yr old winning for you. Good Luck.
Report GI MAC April 1, 2018 12:54 PM BST
Your right of course Bindaree, my mistake. I just have it in my head that Pleasant Company fell, but it was a poor jump and a bad stumble at Valentines 2nd time round that seemed to take the stuffing out of him.
Report Bindaree April 1, 2018 2:15 PM BST
It certainly looked a big player until that mistake. Just a nagging feeling that maybe it didn't quite see out the trip. I would put Gas Line Boy in that category as well as it looked to be going as well as anything approaching 2 out.
Report GI MAC April 1, 2018 2:46 PM BST
I guess I'm taking a more positive view, as I thought he stayed on reasonably well given that jolting error. As for the Topham entry, Mullins has said consistantly in all of his stable tours this season that PC is being aimed at The National, so if he ended up in The Topham it would not surprise me at all!
Report GoldCupWinner April 1, 2018 2:49 PM BST
I also think it didn't quite see out the trip, although it's up to a person's interpretation of the mistake as to how much it would have affected this.

I seen someone make a good point the other  day that all 3 times winners carried 11st 5lb to victory it was quick going so it's possible we can narrow down the field quite significantly if it is testing.

Another trend that also seems to stand the test of time is the 4+ season runs prior to the National.

I know I have given him a hard time about often getting outpaced but of it is testing then vintage clouds may be one of the few to tick all the boxes.
Report Bindaree April 2, 2018 10:07 AM BST
I also think Vintage Clouds is the one to beat. I look at the so-called being outpaced that many raise from a different angle. I think it's more a case of making a slow jump because on the Mildmay course last Oct it did a demolition job and ran away from the field. It had plenty of pace but the jumps in the straight were dolled off because of the sun. In the National there is also that long run in to help. I'm also hoping that the bigger jumps eliminate the occasional slow ones because it is basically a sound jumper.
Report GoldCupWinner April 2, 2018 6:09 PM BST
I have watched back some Vintage Clouds races and he seemed to jump ok for the most part last time out but in the Welsh National his jumping was awful. I do agree having watched them that his jumping is the main reason he tends to get behind. If the bigger obstacles do bring about improvement he will be hard to beat. At 50/1+ it's got to be worth the risk.

The Irish national provided a bit of a boost to the form of a certain 7 year old :-)

I think testing ground is very likely as been raining all day today, I looked on long range forecast and it says they are due 9mm the day before.
Report sewter lives again April 2, 2018 6:24 PM BST
they have had 29mm in last 24 hours
Report Callisto-moon April 3, 2018 7:56 AM BST
they didnt think gas line stayed the trip just got a bit lucky.
no reason that he will change this year and like the trip.
Report The Dragon February 14, 2019 5:48 PM GMT
be inyterested in a similiar thread for 2019 gcp
Report GoldCupWinner February 16, 2019 7:21 PM GMT
Yes I'll do a thread this year as I really enjoy doing it. Depending on time may do an earlier one and then a later one when more evidence is available.

A bit of after timing but I have ended up backing the last 2 winners and they've both been immediately before the race because I couldn't rule them out no matter how hard I tried. I only mention it because I would like to take the same philosophy this year and make it my main bet.

It's a shame Robinsfirth is not entered as experience aside he would tick all the boxes for me and even then his age may have made up for it.
Report the old nanny ;-) February 16, 2019 11:39 PM GMT
The orse who may well have won Today is  at 103 in the Weights ,Destrier was minding its own Business in about 7th or 8th when Faller took him out Sad
Report the old nanny ;-) March 2, 2019 3:27 PM GMT
Grin  Justice ,would have won last time Happy
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