The waiting is finally over and we now are pretty sure of which horses will line-up in the Grand National 2014.
The only way the final forty will change hereafter is if there is a non-runner between now and 9am tomorrow morning. If there is a non-runner then Jim Dreaper’s Goonyella will be drafted into the field. After that cut-off time the field will just reduce in size if there are subsequent non-runners.
Last year’s third placed horse Teaforthree is clinging on to favouritism under strong pressure from former Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude. Teaforthree looks a great bet to finish in the money again but previous placed horses that return do not have a great winning record and I just wonder if he might not have the pace to get home in front.
The inevitable AP McCoy price slide began yesterday when it was announced the champion jockey was leaning towards Double Seven and that plunge looks set to continue now that the champ has confirmed that will be his ride this year. McCoy didn’t seem to be overly confident about any of his possible rides when interviewed lately and it could be that Double Seven‘s early season winning streak has weighted him out of hitting the frame on Saturday.
The 2014 Grand National has a classy look to it this year with former King George and Gold Cup winner Long Run due to take his chance along with former Arkle and Bet365 Gold Cup winner Tidal Bay. The handicapper has given Tidal Bay in particular a really good chance at the official ratings but it’s a touch ask for a thirteen-year-old to carry top weight to victory in a Grand National. Don’t be surprised if he makes the frame though.
There has been money in recent days and weeks for Burton Port and The Package but both have questions to answer.
Burton Port was always thought to be on the small side to win a Grand National by former trainer Nicky Henderson and despite finishing second last time out he has to prove that a recent wind operation will provide enough improvement to be competitive in the world’s greatest race.
Similarly David Pipe’s The Package has been very fragile over recent years and has appeared to run his best races when fresh. He also seemed to not enjoy himself when tackling these fences in 2010 and he looks a risky proposition at the current odds.
Richard Newland appears to have worked the oracle once again with Pineau De Re, improving the eleven-year-old considerably in his last two races. If the improvement continues he looks to have a fine chance of this rating and the price looks decent.
The changes in the fences over the last few years has started to increase the chances of those horses who are prone to making mistakes and this appears to have played into the hands of Michael Scudamore’s Monbeg Dude. Blessed with plenty of stamina and at home on all surfaces, Monbeg Dude‘s jumping has always been a concern although he has fallen just once in his career. That said he does tend to make mistakes and whilst an error strewn round will not be good enough with the changes to the fences he may be able to get away with the odd mistake. The nine-year-old gelding will be ridden by Paul Carberry and as long as his pilot does not get too detached from the leaders, he looks to have an excellent chance in the 2014 Grand National.
2pts win Monbeg Dude
1pt EW Pineau De Re
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