Grand National 2018: Early thoughts

One For Arthur was an impressive winner of the 2017 Grand National but will have to overcome a likely hefty rise in the weights if he is to become the first horse since Red Rum to defend his crown in 2018.

Do you think he can do it? Or can one of the beaten horses comeback and take next year’s race? Cause Of Causes would almost certainly be campaigned with Aintree in mind next year and the third horse, Saint Are, looks set to be running in hunter chases next year so could he finally win the Grand National. Could Blaklion find the extra stamina he seems to need with another year on his back?

Some of the horses that failed to get round this such as The Young Master, Vicente, Saphir Du Rheu and Ucello Conti could also train again in 2018. Could any of them have a say in next year’s finish?

The bookies are putting forward the likes of Minella Rocco, Don Poli, Noble Endeavour and Our Duke as the horses likely to be involved for the first time in 2018.

Please add your early thoughts and selections for 2018 to this thread.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1,402 Responses to Grand National 2018: Early thoughts

  1. miinnehoma says:

    Re wts – LV posted them on the Tues night.

    Lucky Vane says:
    February 14, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Grand National: as the weights are unveiled
    The weights for the £1 million Randox Health Grand National were unveiled on Tuesday evening. Here is the full list
    Number Horse Weight Trainer

    1 Outlander 11-10 (166) Gordon Elliott IRE
    2 Champagne West 11-09 Henry de Bromhead IRE
    3 Empire Of Dirt 11-08 Gordon Elliott IRE
    4 Don Poli 11-07 Gordon Elliott IRE
    5 Carlingford Lough 11-06 John Kiely IRE
    6 The Last Samuri 11-05 Kim Bailey

    I see Final Nudge is down a pound to OR 143 – not good.
    Houblon Des Obeaux is up 2lbs to OR 144 which should be safe & about 61st or so on the wts list.
    Thunder And Roses on OR 141 could do with win on Sunday or some help from Phil.
    Pleasant Company and Ucello Conti out of Sunday’s race.

  2. mike campo says:

    Thanks Miinne/ Corbs.

  3. Lucky Vane2 says:

    Will post weights and any relevant items to National when possible.

    This was posted in Racing Post last December

    Cause Of Causes
    Grand National
    33-1 generally
    Gordon Elliott is such a master at priming a horse for one big day that Cause Of Causes, runner-up to One For Arthur in 2017, makes huge appeal at 33-1 to go one better next spring. Form over the National fences is not quite as important as it once was, but the fact Cause Of Causes jumps them so well adds to his appeal. Blaklion’s victory in the Becher Chase obviously stamped him as a leading candidate, but the handicapper has taken notice and it did appear that lack of stamina was the biggest reason for his defeat in April.
    Richard Birch

  4. mike campo says:

    Thanks LV
    That would be most appreciated.
    Getting to study the full weights list quickly can give us an advantage in the betting markets.

  5. Lucky Vane2 says:

    Seen an advert for Grand National Pricewise (online). He will reveal his tip on Wednesday night (8pm).

  6. Kevski111 says:

    Been getting a bit giddy as I do a few months before the race but last night put my practical head on. Baie des iles, wounded warrior and total recall, interested in all of them. But the one for me and especially as connections have been protecting the handicap mark, is Abolitionist. No need for me to jump in at the moment, will wait to see where it’s entered (can’t find anything), will be looking forward to lumping on though :)

  7. pablo says:

    Segal will tip Irish horses I think or at least ones with form in Ireland

    Possible exception of Gold Present if Hendo makes the right noises

  8. Corbiere says:

    Don’t bother spending your hard earned on Native River.
    Trainer states if all goes well today, going for Gold Cup then the Bowl at Aintree.

  9. daniel edwards says:

    I love your optimism Mike but the bookies get an embargoed list a day before we do so they’ve got all the time they need!

  10. Mike N says:

    We know that already Corbs. They took him out at the last entry stage. ;)

  11. Mike N says:

    Kevski Abolitionist has been injured that’s why he’s been absent.

  12. Corbiere says:

    Hadn’t realised there was a last entry stage recently Mike. Do you have a list of any others that came out please.

  13. Mike N says:

    I only know who’s left in by referring to oddschecker Corbs.

  14. kj says:
    Better list of runners, Native wasn’t entered this yr.

    Wonder why someone here doesn’t make a punters site featuring GN info like…as long as Native River is wearing those silks he ain’t never runnin in no GN!.. save everyone repeating.
    A site that includes extras, best guess work, whispers, trainers comments turning out to be rubbish ;) owner unlikely to let a horse run, first time blinkers winners, first time dam/ sire win over 4m. Little horse, awkward jumper, staying on end of races …etc
    You know, the ‘ultimate layered table’…a site that can accomodate tables! a side street to this site where the main features are all our stats, qualifiers and nr misses, who has dosage CMP within perimeters… with link to idiots (like me) deciphering key ;)

  15. Corbiere says:

    Thanks Mike & KJ

  16. Corbiere says:

    Sadly think that’s it for Cogry this year.

  17. kj says:

    He made a typical error today, jockey went to sleep a bit before it… but error or not seems to make little difference, looks to be a correctly handicapped stayer to me.

  18. Systemsman says:

    End of the GN road for Cogry this year for sure. Ran in a race far too short today.

  19. miinnehoma says:

    Poor Cogry, I like Cogry but his CMP gave him no chance.
    TOTAL RECALL – 1 yr before
    Chases —- 6 / 1 – 0 – 0 = 17%
    Life Runs – 16 / 3 – 0 – 2 = 31%
    24 GN winners -
    Left out Lord G. cause he won chases in NZ.

    Number of chase runs with 1+2+3

    14; Party Politics———-5-3-0
    09; Miinnehoma———–4-2-1
    16; Royal Athlete———6-1-1
    23; Rough Quest———5-9-2
    25; Earth Summit———7-5-1
    17; Bobbyjo—————–5-3-0
    24; Papillon—————–6-3-1
    13; Red Marauder——–5-1-0
    15; Bindaree—————3-2-3
    41; Monty’s Pass———7-11-9
    37; Amberleigh House—-5-7-5
    11; Hedgehunter———-3-3-2
    10; Numbersixvalverde–3-1-2
    13; Silver Birch————4-3-1
    14; Comply Or Die——–4-3-0
    24; Mon Mome————5-6-1
    12; Don’t Push It———4-2-1
    12; Ballabriggs————4-5-0
    27; Neptune Collonges–11-3-2
    23; Auroras Encore——–5-2-1
    14; Pineau De Re———3-2-1
    10; Many Clouds———5-2-0
    13; Rule The World——0-7-1
    10; One For Arthur——-3-1-3

    16/24 had run in 9 – 17 chases.
    the other 8 had run in 23 – 41 chases.

    I wonder are we due one from the 30 – 40 chase range ?
    Like maybe Houblon Des Obeaux (37) on wet tyres.

  20. daniel edwards says:

    If they’ve got wounded warrior right and his last run wasn’t a fluke, then he’s weighted to win tomorrow

    If he did he’d probably get a mark in the low mid 140s

    Might be about 10lb lower than last year when he was clearly out of form.

    A horse who was 3rd in the RSA and didn’t disgrace himself in good company the following year running off something around bottom weight…. Could be interesting.

    Or of course he could tank tomorrow and he’s one less to worry about!!

  21. Seven Towers says:

    Didn’t Mon Mome finish 10th before going on to win too?!! Dear old Houblon gets outpaced in the paddock these days but you’re right, if it came up like Ypres then you couldn’t discount him.

  22. daniel edwards says:

    Yes Mon mome was 10th the year I backed him…..

  23. Seven Towers says:

    Williams could do with a big race winner too. Another stable seemingly on the decline. Terrible season for her thus far.

  24. Kevski111 says:

    Shame Sandy Thompson hasn’t been able to get a couple of runs out of Seeyouatmidnight, obviously has problems, would be very attractively weighted I think, desperately short of time?

  25. NTS says:

    Kevski111 According to web link below
    Thomson said: “Seeyouatmidnight is coming along nicely and will go to Kelso on March 3.” Hope this is a chase and not a hurdle as trainer also spoke of a hurdle race at Newcastle February 24 and rule change mean he needs the chase.

    See web link below

    Interesting Novice Chase 6/12/2015 featured Seeyouatmidnight, Silsol and OFA.

  26. daniel edwards says:

    That’s that for Wounded Warrior then

  27. Lucky Vane2 says:

    Was impressed by Baie Des Iles but was out battled by Folsom Blue and Isleofhopendreams. Nevertheless a good show of front running. Surely she can’t repeat it come April, clearly deserves another look. What are other peoples opinion?

  28. daniel edwards says:

    I just wonder if she has done all the improving she’s going to do and that the handicapper might have her in his grasp

    But certainly got a better chance than some of the other names being thrown around

  29. kj says:

    Folsom was identikit Vics Canvas today wasn’t he!? more looks and cheek pieces and alot more umph in his finish than VC… and after 28chases. I think he could go on to have a classic Old Vic renaissance! I hope he does, I hope he slips into a future GN and stuns us with a 13yr old win (no of races then would be against him though) Saw he was nicely prepped and turned out primed for a win today, I tipped him! I never tip him! had a feeling on 3 races today, 3 wins ;) its one of those days…. its a shame my feelings GN wise at the moment are telling me it is as clear as mud. Still hooked on the top / bottom/ lurking in the middle weight /OR thing ;) honestly its impossible unless a feeling comes to me.
    Now, today, Folsom only OR 133, Baie who also won this before but up nearly a stone on last yr, OR 145 did well enough as she did in WN last season, but I don’t see her winning as a 7yr old. She is a nice jumper but today, Folsom showed who the best old daddy is ;)

  30. Pollyowls says:

    I know this goes against the conventional wisdom, but I think Baie Des Iles would do really well on better ground… not fast ground but on no quicker than good jumping ground (which I presume it will be at Aintree) I think she comes into the reckoning. I was most impressed with her jumping today and I thought that it was very impressive to run from the front on very soft ground
    Time was 25 seconds slower than when she won last year, and she carried a stone more today. If she runs off her Irish OR of 145, she’ll probably end up with around 10st 7lb – and at 80/1 with Ladbrokes she’s of interest to me.
    Didn’t see anything else in the race relevant to the GN…

  31. daniel edwards says:

    Agree she’s not an 80s shot

  32. Mike N says:

    Pollyowls the trainer of Baie Des Iles has taken out the horse when the going hasn’t been soft or heavy so don’t expect them to turn up without a deluge.

  33. Pollyowls says:

    I presume Seeyouatmidnight is being aimed at that Premier Chase at Kelso on March 3 (same day as the Grimthorpe at Doncaster)
    Also noticed the good Doctor has had 2 wins from 3 runners this weekend – lets hope Abolitionist gets out soon..!!

  34. Pollyowls says:

    Mike N
    Connections took Baie Des Iles out of the Irish National for being off her feed… not because of the ground.
    Provided the ground was no faster than good to soft, I think she’d run..
    They have looked after her very carefully to date, but I’d just like to see her have a go… she’s only run on good to soft once – in a French bumper, which she won

  35. kj says:

    Interesting pedigree battle today, but both Baie and Isleofhopendreams fragile. Baies only run on good once she won, noticed before Mikes comments about running her, obviously needs protecting. Islesofhope career blighted by injury but a chip off the Alleged block on ocassion. Baie has Ela Mana Mou in there. Got to consider todays ground and the extra stone I agree. If it wasn’t for all the fading careers of others I feel you could get a better read on it. Seemed very good performances in the careers of the front 2, Baies 3rd simply suffering the weight burden. I thought she was the pick of the 7yr olds before, I know a bit more about her now, nothing has changed still my choice of 7yr olds given conditions, doesn’t seem to make it to March very often in career which makes sense now….less weight, softer national 80-1 not beyond the realms 12chases in her 7yrs. Need to revise one of her wins for further comment.

  36. kj says:

    I believe todays racing is the cut off point for Phils evaluation.

  37. ESB says:

    Yes, today was the cut-off. For what it is worth, this is my idea of what Phil’s ratings will turn out to be:

    Definitly Red 163
    Anibale Fly 162
    Bristol De Mai 162
    Edwulf 162
    Blaklion 161
    Minella Rocco 161
    Outlander 161
    Sub Lieutenant 161
    The Last Samuri 161
    Mala Beach 159
    Valseur Lido 159
    American 157
    Total Recall 157
    Cause Of Causes 155
    Gold Present 155
    Noble Endeavor 155
    Tiger Roll 155
    Alpha Des Obeaux 154
    Perfect Candidate 154
    Seeyouatmidnight 154
    Sizing Codelco 154
    Bellshill 153
    O O Seven 153
    Shantou Flyer 153
    Tenor Nivernais 153
    Vieux Lion Rouge 153
    Carlingford Lough 152
    Acapella Bourgeois 151
    Go Conquer 151
    Rathvinden 151
    Traffic Fluide 151
    Ucello Conti 151
    Vicente 151
    A Genie In Abottle 150
    As De Mee 150
    Gas Line Boy 150
    Regal Encore 150
    Chase The Spud 149
    Rock The Kasbah 149
    Warriors Tale 149
    Flying Angel 148
    Pendra 148
    Saint Are 148
    The Dutchman 148
    Abolitionist 147
    Baie Des Iles 147
    Beeves 147
    Vyta Du Roc 147
    Caroles Destrier 146
    Long House Hall 146
    Road To Riches 146
    Buywise 145
    Childrens List 145
    Double Ross 145
    I Just Know 145
    Pleasant Company 145
    Polidam 145
    Raz De Maree 145
    Virgilio 145
    Captain Redbeard 144
    Houblon Des Obeaux 144
    Lord Windermere 144
    Silsol 144
    Third Intention 144
    Three Faces West 144
    Wild West Wind 144
    Final Nudge 143
    Maggio 143
    Milansbar 143
    Bless The Wings 142
    Delusionofgrandeur 142
    Morning Assembly 142
    Vieux Morvan 142
    Arbre De Vie 141
    Bonny Kate 141
    Sametegal 141
    Thunder And Roses 141
    Vintage Clouds 141
    Walk in the Mill 141
    General Principle 140
    Knock House 139
    Vic De Touzaine 139
    Alfie Spinner 138
    Ballyalton 138
    Missed Approach 138
    Mysteree 138
    Sir Mangan 138
    Splash Of Ginge 138
    Wounded Warrior 138
    Braqueur Dor 137
    Cogry 137
    Minella Daddy 137
    Pairofbrowneyes 137
    Relentless Dreamer 137
    The Young Master 137
    Henri Parry Morgan 135
    Dancing Shadow 132
    Phil’s Magic 131
    Rogue Angel 131
    Out Sam 130
    Bravissimo 129
    Krackatoa King 127
    Thebarrowman 127
    Goodtoknow 126
    Poormans Hill 121

  38. Mike N says:

    Pollyowls see trainer comments below following the horse’s effort in the Welsh National last season…

    “She is great since Chepstow, there is not a bother on her and she came out of the race really well,” he said.
    “Katie (Walsh) just felt that if the ground had been softer she would have even been a bit closer. Most years it’s a lot heavier than what it was the other day. It was yielding to soft the other day, not heavy which she loves.”

    Not sure how much convincing you require. lol. ;)

  39. miinnehoma says:

    crisp73 says:
    March 2, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Kayf Tara- On paper it does look as though it could just be a matter a time before a 32f+ h’cap comes his way. And I suppose that is what he needs, a ‘well handicapped’ offspring. KT posted an RPR127 over 14f on the track which sits very well when looking at this jumping generation’s (current 7-12yrolds) sires and sires of recent 32f+ h’cap winners.

    His dosage looks just as good if not more favourable than that of some sires in producing a GN winner going on what we’ve seen over the past few years.
    Miinne – going back to the ‘Trempolino’ post. Looking through info I’ve collected at 32f+ hcap chase winners it appears as though having a damsire with a dosage tilting towards speed is a good thing. I say appears because I suppose until we’ve looked at all the runners etc.

    Recent GN winning damsires; Persian Bold, Bob Back, Abdonski, Rainbow Quest, Little Bighorn, Alleged, New Target, Furry Glen all had more speed than stamina in dosage. That is 8/9 GN winners in these modern ‘average OR144+, virtually everything running from inside the handicap’ renewals.

    In the last 9 GNs the damsires of 13 of the other 18 top3 placed horses also had damsires with more speed than stamina in their dosage. Of those 5 My Will was 50-50.

    The Last Samuri, Balthazar King, Sunnyhillboy and Oscar Time were the others. The one winner who went against the grain was Neptune Collonges.

    I wonder if being handicapped well propelled this bunch. Just a thought. Neptune Collonges was 11lbs lower than his highest ever h’cap chase OR having been compressed 2lbs in the weights. He then posted an RPR>GNOR14 after weights. I don’t expect connections got anything else for xmas that year.

    Prior to the increase in average OR pre 2008, the damsire dosage of GN winners was more varied. From 90-99 when there was also a high average OR because of a lot of runners running from out of the handicap and during this time only Mr Frisk and Earth Summit fitted 2008-16 figures. From 2000-07 there was a drop in average OR and Bindaree, Montys, Amberleigh, and Hedgehunter had damsires with more speed than stamina in dosage.

    I wonder if it’s just a result of what is being bred or is it a premeditated breeding pattern because some breeders believe they might be producing more successful stayers.

  40. Mike N says:

    Can I have people views on the breeding and dosage numbers of Warriors Tale please and whether they are a positive or negative. Thanks.

  41. Lucky Vane2 says:

    Hi Mike N, I’m no breeding expert but Warriors Tale Dosage figures are 5, 0, 6, 2, 1 making a total of 14. His dosage index is 1.33 which seems a little high to me and his centre of distribution is 0.43. A minus figure usually show stamina. However his Conduit Mare Profile looks more encouraging 2, 6, 4, 10, 4 making a speed figure of 8 and a stamina figure of 14. An index value of 0.64 and triads figures of 12, 20, 18.

    He’s by Midnight Legend who also sires Seeyouatmidnight in the race, and gold cup winner Sizing John.

  42. Mike N says:

    Warriors Tale last run comments from Paul Nicholls…

    “Warriors Tale come tantalisingly close to completing a double for Team Ditcheat on Saturday in the Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster. After jumping into the lead four out he looked all over the winner until he was just caught close home by Wakanda in a tremendous bunch finish after idling in front which he has done before. It was still a really fine effort by Warriors Tale whose turn should come before the end of the season at a flat track like Doncaster, Newbury or Liverpool and will definitely have an entry in the Grand National, a race that could really suit him.”

    He’s had at least 3 preps.
    Unlucky the last twice.
    Looks like he’s going to run.
    Trainer says he prefers better ground.
    OR149 looks a good mark for a National.
    Has run 2nd over 26f on soft over hurdles where comments in running was staying on.

    So i thought I would check the stamina side.

  43. Pollyowls says:

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the info on BDI… wouldn’t be at all surprising if I was completely wrong!! And I’m sure the trainer knows his horse better than I do!!
    There’s just something nagging away at me that makes me think she might handle better ground OK… have nothing to base it on other than looking at the way she runs. I suppose it’ll take a run on good to soft ground to get it out of my head.
    However, I think we can both agree if it were to come up really soft, or even a day similar to Rule The World’s race, then she’d definitely figure…

  44. miinnehoma says:

    Fair Dinkum ESB.
    -U22 Warriors Tale – 9 yrs old.

    Chase – 13 / 3-4-2
    Life – 24 / 5-7-2
    OR 149, RPR 154, TS 119.
    Best RPR 154 in last chase.
    OR 143 > OR 130 = 13, 6 chases ago.
    At this stage RPR 154 > GNOR 149 = 5.
    Hard to fault his numbers.
    Triads = 12-20-18
    Triad No’s a wee bit odd – 1/26 GN winners (Mon Mome).
    DI 1.33 a wee bit high than norm.
    Like OFA has Sharpen Up on Dam side.
    Dam sire has more stamina than speed which is 1/10 GN winners.
    Sofar a 24f – 26f horse.
    No runs above 26f.
    In 2015 he was 2nd to One For Arthur in a 25f c4 hurdle.
    Has only won a 13k C2 Hcap but nk 2nd in a 25K & hd 2nd in a 46K Hcap chase.
    Seems to go on any ground.

  45. daniel edwards says:

    For me Warriors Tale is one where you couldn’t say he was likely to be well handicapped….

    Although you couldn’t say he was badly handicapped either

    Given we have no clue yet how he goes beyond 3 miles I’d be looking elsewhere at the moment

  46. Mike N says:

    If top weight is 162, Warriors Tale will have 10 stone 11.

  47. miinnehoma says:

    Vyta Du Roc ( had colic ) not in final 15 for Saturday’s Haydock GN Trial, so not looking good for Aintree.

  48. daniel edwards says:

    It’s his mark not his weight that I’m concerned with Mike…

  49. Mike N says:

    that wasn’t aimed at you Daniel I was just letting everyone know. ;)

  50. daniel edwards says:

    Although if he were to be competitive in the Racing Post at Kempton you’d say maybe 147 is about right for him.

    2nd season chaser, 12 chase runs, so in the sweet spot and open to improvement in that respect


Leave a Reply