Grand National Form: Comply Or Die

Between now and the day of the big race we will try and analyse the Grand National Form chance of some of the major players in greater depth.

Comply Or Die.

I can fully understand the attractiveness of Comply Or Die for the National at some of the fancier prices that some of the shrewdies on our forum have availed themselves of but I’m not sure that 12 or 14/1 makes much appeal, even for a horse with confirmed stamina.

Stamina he undoubtedly has but there must be some question marks about the chances of him consistently repeating his positive performances over a longer trip. The facts show five attempts at 28 furlongs or further and form figures of: P, 6th, P, P, 1st

Undoubtedly there were excuses for the poor runs but inconsistency must be a worry.

Eider Chase

According the stats that I can find going back to 1989 no winner of the Eider Chase has gone on to contend the Grand National in that same season. However, eight placed horses from the Newcastle marathon have gone on to try their luck at Aintree in the same year and have finished as follows: 6th, 9th, UR, 7th, 3rd, 5th, PU, PU.

Only two of the Eider placed horses were under 20/1 when lining up in the Grand National and both got round finishing 9th and 3rd respectively. This could indicate that whilst Eider horses undoubtedly have the stamina required for the Grand National perhaps the February date of the Newcastle race does not leave enough time for horses to fully get over the exertions of a four mile race and then to head to Aintree with a winning chance?

These exertions may be particularly relevant in the case of Comply Or Die. Off for nearly two years before returning to the course in October 2007, he has had a couple of hard races since December with the defeat behind Cloudy Lane at Haydock and the victory in the Eider. I am always concerned about just how fragile a horse with a history of injury problems may be in the future? Granted, one who can win so impressively over four miles with nearly twelve stone on his back gives every indication of being 100% recovered but his ability to recover quickly from a hard race MAY be more under question.

I can also not forget that Timmy Murphy, when interviewed on tv after the Eider, commented something along the lines that ‘it did not ride like a great race’ – so perhaps whilst it was an impressive weight carrying performance there might not have been a great strength in depth to the race?

The positive angle to Comply Or Die is that he could be a much better horse than he is currently handicapped. His two narrow defeats by Trabolgan in the Sun Alliance Chase and Hennessy might suggest a horse who should have over 11 stone on his back in the National. In a novice chase in Oct 04 he received 5lb from Ollie Magern and got beat 2 and half lengths. If both turn up in the National, Comply Or Die will receive 1st 2lb from the Twiston-Davies horse. This suggests that the Pipe horse still has some scope to move up the handicap.
At 25/1 or bigger Comply Or Die looks a great addition to your Ante-Post National bets. However, for me, the value has now evaporated and he should be given the swerve, especially if the price continues to contract.

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13 Responses to Grand National Form: Comply Or Die

  1. Stephen says:

    I see the points you are making and some of them are very valid ones. Come April 6th we all might look very foolish having backed him. But these facts still remain and make him an excellent bet for the National…..

    > 11lbs ‘well in’ on current BHB rating
    > 2nd in a Championship race at the Cheltenham festival
    > Comfortable winner of a 4m 1f race under a huge weight
    > Fits virtually all trends associated with recent Grand National winners

    On those four facts alone he has to be hugely respected.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Thanks very much for the reply.

    Yes, of course, all of the things you mention are huge positives but, for me, the value has gone and I am concerned about a fragile horse handling two four mile races within the space of two months.
    He does have to be hugely respected but whilst I love trends and stats as much as anyone, I think we have to make sure we look through the boxes that have been ticked and ensure that the horse warrants a bet based on price and form.
    For me, at the odds available, he doesn’t.

  3. admin says:

    Hi Silver Birch,

    Thanks for your positve comments re the above post from the big trends thread.
    I will try and look at the horses you have mentioned that have received lots of comments on that thread i.e. D’Argent, Point Barrow and Cloudy Lane and look forward to having a space where we can discuss each horse.

  4. Stephen says:

    I respect your views totally admin and you are probably correct in saying that at his current price he looks unbackable.

    I am happy I got on at 25′s back in February before the price crumbled to what it is today.

    Having said all of that both he and Cloudy Lane represent the best bets based on a handicap point of view due to their current marks being much higher. They are both going to give anyone that backs them a real run for their money come April 5th.

  5. admin says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Yes, 25′s is a great price – if you want to lay a bit off, let me know!!!!
    But seriously, good luck to all who have got the value on COD and Cloudy Lane (more on him later in the week!) – building a good set of ante-post wagers is a great tactic and is perhaps something we can look at in greater detail for 2009 – how many horses should we try and get on our side, what sort of price range, staking plans, when to invest and when to wait etc etc. Keep the ideas flowing!

  6. Systems Man says:

    Well i was on at 25/1 and advised others to get on at that price.

    I seee no problrm with 14/1 if you can find any(!) if he drops to 7/1 or 8/1 before the off (I think we would all be happy to have a 14/1 winner on a normal Saturday!. I predict he will be 10/1 or under on the day.

  7. Miinnehoma says:

    Your analysis of Comply Or Die is spot on. I have had the exact same thoughts for some time.
    Although 3/17 National winners were off the track up to 14 months at some stage before winning, I think C.O.D. 22 months off and his first 2 runs this season 0. and P. are a big worry. He did PU. in the Scottish National when 4/1 fav. and also in the Welsh – not sure if he was injured in this race. Any of the last 17 National winners that ran in the Welsh National finished 1st., 2nd. or 3rd. The other problem is the Eider – shocking record. Other than that he is a good bet.

  8. Brody says:

    I’ve got a small E/W investment on COD at 25′s think at that price he is a worthy bet to be in the frame come the shake up. Despite Eider winners having a poor win record Philson proven last year they can definitely make the frame. Unfortunately 12′s paying 3-1 is not a good EW price so I definitely will not be having anymore invest in this horse at the offered price.

  9. NilDesperandum says:

    My namesake would have reversed the Eider trend were it not for his tragic death..I’m on Comply or Die at 40s..backed it as he jumped the last in the Eider..was very (pleasantly) surprised Ladbrokes left the market up..must have got on just in time..I hope he runs well

  10. admin says:

    Well done Nil. 4os is a great price and always good to hear about people getting the value! Sounds like someone at Ladbrokes HQ made a rick there!

  11. NilDesperandum says:

    Yes, it did seem quite careless to leave up the National betting whilst the Eider was being run..although maybe Ladbrokes saw the Eider – National stats and weren’t bothered :-)

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