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.

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1,405 Responses to Grand National 2018: Early thoughts

  1. Seven Towers says:

    Cause Of Causes and Noble Endeavor

  2. Seven Towers says:

    If only because Elliott’s carrots are laced with slightly superior ingredients than Mullins at the moment

  3. kj says:

    Ohhhh Billy. Raz, Rocco and Go Conquer?
    any suited to the task weight for poor little Vintage clouds?

  4. kj says:

    the carrots here en france are cracking too! :D

  5. Lucky Vane2 says:

    “mike campo says:
    February 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm
    Betfred, totesport & Bet365 reducing prices on several horses this afternoon.
    Suggests their acting on the advanced ‘embargoed’ information which is meant to be forbidden.
    Outrageous that bookmakers are openly afforded such an advantage over punters.
    What’s the justification for it ?”

    Bookmakers might be reducing prices, Mike, but let’s not forget that 7 winners in the past decade started at 25/1 or greater, including a 66/1 & 100/1. So the could be value to have on the day. ;)

  6. daniel edwards says:

    So top weight 165….

    Last Samurai?

  7. Corbiere says:

    Billymag is there no easy way to cut and paste full list of weights for us?
    Or are you more or less embargoed ?

  8. Mike N says:

    Apparently in London where the event is takijng place they’ve had a power cut. lol
    A quote from the media…

    This is all very unfortunate and not the fault of Jockey Club/Aintree. Workers are trying to restore power to BAFTA HQ (and other parts of Piccadilly) mindful that the Grand National weights need revealing. Owners and trainers are being watered in a room powered by a generator.

  9. billymag says:

    Last Sam 159 11-04
    Raz 146 10-05
    Rocco 162 11-7
    Go Con 151 10-10
    Cause of Causes 153 10-12
    Noble End 154 10-13

    Def red top weight

  10. Seven Towers says:

    There you go then. Cause Of Causes it is.

  11. billymag says:

    1)

    DEFINITLY RED (IRE)

    9

    11-10

    165

    Phil & Julie Martin

    Brian Ellison

    2)

    BRISTOL DE MAI (FR)

    7

    11-09

    164

    Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

    Nigel Twiston-Davies

    3)

    EDWULF

    9

    11-09

    164

    J P McManus

    Joseph O’Brien IRE

    4)

    OUTLANDER (IRE)

    10

    11-08

    163

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Gordon Elliott IRE

    5)

    MINELLA ROCCO (IRE)

    8

    11-07

    162

    J P McManus

    Jonjo O’Neill

    6)

    BLAKLION

    9

    11-06

    161

    Simon Such & Gino Paletta

    Nigel Twiston-Davies

    7)

    SUB LIEUTENANT (IRE)

    9

    11-05

    160

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Henry de Bromhead IRE

    8)

    ANIBALE FLY (FR)

    8

    11-04

    159

    J P McManus

    Tony Martin IRE

    9)

    THE LAST SAMURI (IRE)

    10

    11-04

    159

    Paul & Clare Rooney

    Kim Bailey

    10)

    MALA BEACH (IRE)

    10

    11-03

    158

    Chris Jones

    Gordon Elliott IRE

    11)

    VALSEUR LIDO (FR)

    9

    11-03

    158

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Henry de Bromhead IRE

    12)

    AMERICAN (FR)

    8

    11-02

    157

    The Jago Family Partnership

    Harry Fry

    13)

    TOTAL RECALL (IRE)

    9

    11-01

    156

    Slaneyville Syndicate

    Willie Mullins IRE

    14)

    ALPHA DES OBEAUX (FR)

    8

    11-00

    155

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Mouse Morris IRE

    15)

    GOLD PRESENT (IRE)

    8

    11-00

    155

    John & Barbara Cotton

    Nicky Henderson

    16)

    NOBLE ENDEAVOR (IRE)

    9

    10-13

    154

    Chris Jones

    Gordon Elliott IRE

    17)

    PERFECT CANDIDATE (IRE)

    11

    10-13

    154

    ISL Recruitment

    Fergal O’Brien

    18)

    SIZING CODELCO (IRE)

    9

    10-13

    154

    Ann & Alan Potts Limited

    Colin Tizzard

    19)

    CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA)

    10

    10-12

    153

    J P McManus

    Gordon Elliott IRE

    20)

    SHANTOU FLYER (IRE)

    8

    10-12

    153

    Carl Hinchy

    Richard Hobson

    21)

    CARLINGFORD LOUGH (IRE)

    12

    10-11

    152

    J P McManus

    John Kiely IRE

    22)

    O O SEVEN (IRE)

    8

    10-11

    152

    Christopher Hanbury

    Nicky Henderson

    23)

    TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR)

    11

    10-11

    152

    Boultbee Brooks Ltd

    Venetia Williams

    24)

    GO CONQUER (IRE)

    9

    10-10

    151

    Paul & Clare Rooney

    Jonjo O’Neill

    25)

    TRAFFIC FLUIDE (FR)

    8

    10-10

    151

    Galloping On The South Downs Partnership

    Gary Moore

    26)

    VICENTE (FR)

    9

    10-10

    151

    Trevor Hemmings

    Paul Nicholls

    27)

    ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS (FR)

    8

    10-09

    150

    Slaneyville Syndicate

    Willie Mullins IRE

    28)

    RATHVINDEN (IRE)

    10

    10-09

    150

    Ronnie Bartlett

    Willie Mullins IRE

    29)

    REGAL ENCORE (IRE)

    10

    10-09

    150

    J P McManus

    Anthony Honeyball

    30)

    TIGER ROLL (IRE)

    8

    10-09

    150

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Gordon Elliott IRE

    31)

    VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR)

    9

    10-09

    150

    Prof Caroline Tisdall & John Gent

    David Pipe

    32)

    A GENIE IN ABOTTLE (IRE)

    7

    10-08

    149

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Noel Meade IRE

    33)

    AS DE MEE (FR)

    8

    10-08

    149

    The Stewart Family & Judi Dench

    Paul Nicholls

    34)

    CHASE THE SPUD

    10

    10-08

    149

    Christine Banks

    Fergal O’Brien

    35)

    ROCK THE KASBAH (IRE)

    8

    10-08

    149

    Diana Whateley

    Philip Hobbs

    36)

    SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT

    10

    10-08

    149

    Quona Thomson

    Sandy Thomson

    37)

    WARRIORS TALE

    9

    10-08

    149

    Michelle & Dan Macdonald

    Paul Nicholls

    38)

    BELLSHILL (IRE)

    8

    10-07

    148

    Andrea & Graham Wylie

    Willie Mullins IRE

    39)

    FLYING ANGEL (IRE)

    7

    10-07

    148

    Rob Rexton

    Nigel Twiston-Davies

    40)

    GAS LINE BOY (IRE)

    12

    10-07

    148

    The Three Graces

    Ian Williams

    41)

    PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE)

    10

    10-07

    148

    Malcolm C Denmark

    Willie Mullins IRE

    42)

    THE DUTCHMAN (IRE)

    8

    10-07

    148

    SprayClad UK

    Colin Tizzard

    43)

    BEEVES (IRE)

    11

    10-06

    147

    Paul & Clare Rooney

    Jennie Candlish

    44)

    SAINT ARE (FR)

    12

    10-06

    147

    David Fox

    Tom George

    45)

    UCELLO CONTI (FR)

    10

    10-06

    147

    Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

    Gordon Elliott IRE

    46)

    VYTA DU ROC (FR)

    9

    10-06

    147

    Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

    Nicky Henderson

    47)

    CAROLE’S DESTRIER

    10

    10-05

    146

    Carole Skipworth

    Neil Mulholland

    48)

    LONG HOUSE HALL (IRE)

    10

    10-05

    146

    Carl Hinchy

    Dan Skelton

    49)

    POLIDAM (FR)

    9

    10-05

    146

    Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

    Willie Mullins IRE

    50)

    RAZ DE MAREE (FR)

    13

    10-05

    146

    James Swan

    Gavin Cromwell IRE

    51)

    ABOLITIONIST (IRE)

    10

    10-04

    145

    Mark Albon, John Provan & Chris Stedman

    Dr Richard Newland

    52)

    BAIE DES ILES (FR)

    7

    10-04

    145

    Zorka Wentworth

    Ross O’Sullivan IRE

    53)

    BUYWISE (IRE)

    11

    10-04

    145

    T Hywel Jones

    Evan Williams

    54)

    CHILDRENS LIST (IRE)

    8

    10-04

    145

    Susannah Ricci

    Willie Mullins IRE

    55)

    I JUST KNOW (IRE)

    8

    10-04

    145

    M B Scholey & the late R H Scholey

    Sue Smith

    56)

    MAGGIO (FR)

    13

    10-04

    145

    Douglas Pryde/James Beaumont

    Patrick Griffin IRE

    57)

    PENDRA (IRE)

    10

    10-04

    145

    J P McManus

    Charlie Longsdon

    58)

    VIRGILIO (FR)

    9

    10-04

    145

    C J Edwards, D Futter, A H Rushworth

    Dan Skelton

    59)

    CAPTAIN REDBEARD (IRE)

    9

    10-03

    144

    Stuart Coltherd

    Stuart Coltherd

    60)

    HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR)

    11

    10-03

    144

    Mrs Julian Blackwell

    Venetia Williams

    61)

    LORD WINDERMERE (IRE)

    12

    10-03

    144

    Dr Ronan Lambe

    Jim Culloty IRE

    62)

    SILSOL (GER)

    9

    10-03

    144

    Michelle & Dan Macdonald

    Paul Nicholls

    63)

    THIRD INTENTION (IRE)

    11

    10-03

    144

    Robert & Sarah Tizzard

    Colin Tizzard

    64)

    THREE FACES WEST (IRE)

    10

    10-03

    144

    Paul & Clare Rooney

    Philip Hobbs

    65)

    WILD WEST WIND (IRE)

    9

    10-03

    144

    Simon Clarke

    Tom George

    66)

    BLESS THE WINGS (IRE)

    13

    10-02

    143

    Adrian Butler & S P O’Connor

    Gordon Elliott IRE

    67)

    DOUBLE ROSS (IRE)

    12

    10-02

    143

    Options O Syndicate

    Nigel Twiston-Davies

    68)

    FINAL NUDGE (IRE)

    9

    10-02

    143

    Corbett Stud

    David Dennis

    69)

    MILANSBAR (IRE)

    11

    10-02

    143

    Robert Bothway

    Neil King

    70)

    MORNING ASSEMBLY (IRE)

    11

    10-02

    143

    Clipper Logistics Group Ltd

    Pat Fahy IRE

    71)

    DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR (IRE)

    8

    10-01

    142

    McGoldrick Racing 3

    Sue Smith

    72)

    ROAD TO RICHES (IRE)

    11

    10-01

    142

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Noel Meade IRE

    73)

    THUNDER AND ROSES (IRE)

    10

    10-01

    142

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Mouse Morris IRE

    74)

    SAMETEGAL (FR)

    9

    10-00

    141

    John & Barbara Cotton

    Paul Nicholls

    75)

    VINTAGE CLOUDS (IRE)

    8

    10-00

    141

    Trevor Hemmings

    Sue Smith

    76)

    WALK IN THE MILL (FR)

    8

    10-00

    141

    Baroness Harding

    Robert Walford

    77)

    GENERAL PRINCIPLE (IRE)

    9

    9-12

    139

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Gordon Elliott IRE

    78)

    VIC DE TOUZAINE (FR)

    9

    9-12

    139

    Andrew Brooks & G Moore

    Venetia Williams

    79)

    VIEUX MORVAN (FR)

    9

    9-12

    139

    M L Bloodstock

    Joseph O’Brien IRE

    80)

    WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE)

    9

    9-12

    139

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Noel Meade IRE

    81)

    ARBRE DE VIE (FR)

    8

    9-11

    138

    Susannah Ricci

    Willie Mullins IRE

    82)

    BALLYALTON (IRE)

    11

    9-11

    138

    John Westwood

    Ian Williams

    83)

    BONNY KATE (IRE)

    8

    9-11

    138

    Patricia Hunt

    Noel Meade IRE

    84)

    COGRY

    9

    9-11

    138

    Graham & Alison Jelley

    Nigel Twiston-Davies

    85)

    MISSED APPROACH (IRE)

    8

    9-11

    138

    Alan & Andrew Turner

    Warren Greatrex

    86)

    MYSTEREE (IRE)

    10

    9-11

    138

    Mrs Lynne Maclennan

    Michael Scudamore

    87)

    SIR MANGAN (IRE)

    10

    9-11

    138

    Frank McAleavy

    Dan Skelton

    88)

    SPLASH OF GINGE

    10

    9-11

    138

    John Neild

    Nigel Twiston-Davies

    89)

    BRAQUEUR D’OR (FR)

    7

    9-10

    137

    Corsellis & Seyfried

    Paul Nicholls

    90)

    MINELLA DADDY (IRE)

    8

    9-10

    137

    Roddy Owen & Paul Fullagar

    Peter Bowen

    91)

    PAIROFBROWNEYES (IRE)

    9

    9-10

    137

    Fibbage Syndicate

    Willie Mullins IRE

    92)

    RELENTLESS DREAMER (IRE)

    9

    9-10

    137

    Nigel Morris

    Rebecca Curtis

    93)

    KNOCK HOUSE (IRE)

    9

    9-09

    136

    Tim Leslie

    Donald McCain

    94)

    THE YOUNG MASTER

    9

    9-08

    135

    Mike Burbidge & The Old Masters

    Neil Mulholland

    95)

    ALFIE SPINNER (IRE)

    13

    9-06

    133

    Alan Beard & Brian Beard

    Kerry Lee

    96)

    HENRI PARRY MORGAN

    10

    9-06

    133

    Ednyfed & Elizabeth Morgan

    Peter Bowen

    97)

    PHIL’S MAGIC (IRE)

    8

    9-06

    133

    Lyreen Syndicate

    Tony Martin IRE

    98)

    BRAVISSIMO (FR)

    7

    9-05

    132

    Susannah Ricci

    Willie Mullins IRE

    99)

    DANCING SHADOW (IRE)

    9

    9-05

    132

    The Dancing Shadows

    Victor Dartnall

    100)

    ROGUE ANGEL (IRE)

    10

    9-05

    132

    Gigginstown House Stud

    Mouse Morris IRE

    101)

    THEBARROWMAN (IRE)

    8

    9-04

    131

    D Keys

    Adrian Keatley IRE

    102)

    OUT SAM

    9

    9-03

    130

    D Charlesworth

    Gordon Elliott IRE

    103)

    KRACKATOA KING

    10

    9-00

    127

    JC Harrison Lee & T Howard Partnership

    Kerry Lee

    104)

    GOODTOKNOW

    10

    8-13

    126

    Burling Lee MacEchern Nolan Potter

    Kerry Lee

    105)

    POORMANS HILL (IRE)

    7

    NQ

    120

    V Caldwell/Mrs K Caldwell

    Gordon Elliott IRE

  12. Mike N says:

    the weights inevitably go up a few pounds once top horses don’t go. would like to see who’s up top.

  13. Mike N says:

    up 4lbs then with Blaklion top weight.

  14. Gavman says:

    Definitely Red a likely non runner then Mike N?

  15. Mike N says:

    I reckon so.

  16. Lucky Vane2 says:

    Gavman says:
    February 13, 2018 at 7:43 pm
    Definitely Red a likely non runner then Mike N

    They made no secret about fancying the Bowl instead of the National, reading the articles about Gold Cup & National double, I got the impression it was media hype.

  17. Gavman says:

    Thanks for the info/update Mike N and Lucky Vane2

  18. Lucky Vane2 says:

    Round 2 of the voting is now open. It will close on Sunday Night. I’m waiting for racing on Saturday before casting my vote as the are quite some National contenders running.

  19. Corbiere says:

    On behalf of everybody on here thanks Billymag.
    Sounds like with the power problems we may have been waiting forever for the Official announcement.
    So no great shocks I don’t think.
    Think Total Recall has a very good chance based on a quick assessment. But a few lurkers there on likely low weights. Very Interesting. You would now expect the High weights to drift a bit now.
    Think it will depend very much on whether Definitrly Red, Minella Rocco & Edwulf have a hard Gold Cup as to whether they run in GN.

  20. Lucky Vane2 says:

    Don’t know Tom’s selection yet, but here are a few of his colleague’s

    Richard Birch : Cause Of Causes

    Paul Kealy : I Just Know

    Tony O’Hehir : Total Recall

    Graeme Rodway : The Last Samuri

  21. Mike N says:

    Ive added another one. Its a risky one but Abolitionist off 10 4 at 40-1 was too good to turn down. ;)

  22. daniel edwards says:

    I know it’s each to their own, but bearing in mind he got his perfect conditions two years ago, bearing in mind the vast majority of horses don’t improve on their third run, and bearing in mind he’s up a full 10 lb compared with 2016…..i just don’t get how anybody can be thinking Last Samuri can win this year!

  23. Seven Towers says:

    The ones that look like they have got off lightly but neither has run yet are Bellshill and Pendra. I thought Pendra had gone up to 150, am I wrong? Same mark as the Kim Muir again.

  24. Mike N says:

    don’t think Bellshill will run and I backed pendra before in the race before and disappointed.

  25. Mike N says:

    Gordon Elliott has spoken..

    The handler said: “I’d imagine I will run Cause Of Causes, Noble Endeavor, Ucello Conti and Tiger Roll. They would be the four at the moment.

    “You’d have to imagine Cause Of Causes is the principal one. He was second in the race last year and he looks like he has a lovely weight with 10st 12lb there again. I’m not complaining and I’d imagine he will go for the cross-country again at Cheltenham.

    “Noble Endeavor will have one run and then go for the National and that will definitely be in Ireland.

    “Ucello Conti is going to go straight to the race and Tiger Roll will run in the cross-country race at Cheltenham, all being well.”

  26. Mike N says:

    I have backed my 4 for the race now so can sit back and relax for the coming weeks barring accidents. Hopefully the first 5 places will have this lot in there somewhere.

    Cause of Causes 20-1
    Total Recall 25-1
    Abolitionist 40-1
    Ucello Conti 50-1

    good luck all with whoever you choose to go with. :D

  27. galileo says:

    Hi gang,
    I’m happy with my 3 against the field;
    TOTAL RECALL – 40/1
    GO CONQUER – 50/1
    TIGER ROLL – 50/1
    the weights will obviously rise with some pulling out,
    Got to agree can’t believe people are tipping THE LAST SAMURI,he is a major lay along with BLAKLION…

  28. pablo says:

    From BBC:

    Phil Smith of the BHA said: “In terms of getting a run on 14 April, I would say you have a reasonable chance if you are in the top 70, which is down to 10st 2lb.”

  29. Lucky Vane2 says:

    Just looked at Sporting Life’s Website and they say that Sky Bet is non runner no bet.

    Here are their tips.

    Paul Nicholls has a live chance of landing a second Grand National success at Aintree on April 14, according to our antepost racing expert Matt Brocklebank.

    Randox Health Grand National recommended bets
    1pt e.w. As De Mee

    AS DE MEE looks to have been underestimated ahead of a potential first crack at a marathon trip in the Randox Health Grand National.

    Aintree experience has always been a fairly significant pointer when it comes to races over the famous fences on Merseyside and Paul Nicholls’ eight-year-old has become a bit of a regular there over the past couple of seasons, with four previous outings over the National course under his belt in total.

    Two of those have come in the Topham Chase in April, where he has run with credit on each occasion – finishing seventh to Eastlake in 2016 and fifth behind Ultragold last spring – while his best performance arrived when slamming his rivals in the Grand Sefton over the same two mile, five furlong trip in December 2016.

    That impressive five-length victory was achieved from a mark of 137 so he’s got a significant task on his hands as he looks to defy 149 now, but there are reasons to believe he has improved again this season.

    Firstly, he was beaten just two lengths into second by Go Conquer on his seasonal return at Fontwell in October, a rival with whom he would be 5lb better off should they both make it to the National, and he immediately went one better at Kelso later that month.

    It was an important victory for several reasons, not least the fact he beat Wakanda who has since franked the form with his subsequent second in the Rowland Meyrick and hard-fought victory in the Sky Bet Chase.

    But the most obvious aspect to take from that Kelso win was that it was the first time that he’d raced beyond three miles and he appeared to get the trip really well, despite carrying his head a little high which he’s always had a tendency to do.

    Stamina shouldn’t be a surprise asset to As De Mee. His sire Kapgarde is not a prolific producer of stayers but there are staying chasers on the dam’s side of the pedigree and he did win Sandown’s EBF Final as a novice hurdler, a race known for throwing up decent performers over longer distances.

    It would be folly to focus too closely on the fact that last year’s winner of the Kelso race (EDF-ER Chase) was One For Arthur, but it can’t be a bad indicator and surely gave connections some extra encouragement in terms of how they may look to campaign him this time around.

    Things haven’t gone swimmingly for As De Mee since then, but he ran a lot better than the bare form indicates when last of four in the Intermediate Chase at Sandown won by Might Bite prior to his King George victory, while it was too early to say what would have happened when he made a mess of the 10th and unshipped Sean Bowen in the Becher Chase when last seen.

    He didn’t look to be travelling particularly comfortably before departing, which was probably down to the heavy going, so freshening him up with the spring in mind looks an ideal move given his liking for decent ground.

    He’s got plenty of time to have a warm-up before a return to Aintree, where his jumping has generally been excellent on the whole, and a positive showing – possibly back at Kelso in early-March – could see his huge odds shorten for the big one on April 14th.

    The winner of this year’s Becher was obviously Blaklion and he’s the general 10/1 favourite after the unveiling of the weights, but Total Recall seems sure to put pressure on Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge at the head of the market, especially if his trainer Willie Mullins has a good Cheltenham.

    Total Recall has already won two huge handicap prizes this season in the Munster National at Limerick and the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury, while he was well placed to comfortably score back over hurdles at Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival.

    His revised National mark of 156 is hardly a gift but he’s another that is unexposed over extended distances and his Newbury effort suggested another mile wouldn’t pose many issues.

    The one that appeals most nearer the top of the weights, though, is the imposing Gold Present, who has really flourished over fences this season.

    His form has worked out well too, with Newbury victim Warriors Tale going down narrowly at Doncaster and Frodon, who followed him home at Ascot last time, bolting up at Cheltenham on Trials Day subsequently.

    Nicky Henderson’s big hope fell at the Canal Turn in last year’s Topham but had looked the part prior to that and is definitely more the finished article this term. He stays well but also doesn’t look short of the natural pace required to stay competitive in a modern-day National.

    Among the dangerous-looking lurkers are Gordon Elliott’s classy Noble Endeavor, who has been absent so far this season but may yet have a part to play, and the Tom George-trained Wild West Wind.

    The latter fell when quite well fancied for the rescheduled Welsh National but had previously won in the style of a well-handicapped stayer at Chepstow. He’ll need plenty to drop out but should ultimately make the cut despite officially being number 65 on the list as things stand.

  30. Mike N says:

    I reckon the winner will be in the top 60 on the list somewhere.

  31. Mike N says:

    Jonjo not overly keen on his two at the moment…

    “Minella Rocco will go for the Gold Cup first and we’ll see what happens. You’d think he would make a decent National horse but he’s been a bit disappointing really and is not as economical as you would like. He’s good when he’s good, but you need a bit more consistency for the National.

    I wouldn’t know if Go Conquer would get the trip, I’m just training him to win whatever comes up. He’s in at Ascot on Saturday, but if it’s too soft to run there he would probably go to Cheltenham. Both horses want good ground really.”

  32. Lucky Vane2 says:

    Tipped as one to follow by James Pyman.

    Captain Redbeard
    Trainer: Stuart Coltherd
    2nd, Haydock, January 20
    This second-season chaser took his career Haydock form figures to 31212 with this strong showing, finding only The Dutchman too good, and is on an upward curve. The nine-year-old’s Haydock stats illustrate how he is suited by flat courses. He is high enough in the ratings to get in a Cheltenham Festival handicap, but he pulled in the novice handicap chase at the meeting last season and connections may be thinking about targets for him at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.
    Advice Back on next three starts

    Priced at 100/1 (you never know ;) ) .

  33. daniel edwards says:

    Alpha des Obeaux getting a 17lb pull with Total Recall for a 7 length defeat by Total Recall in the Munster National earlier this season (granted total recall eased down so could have won by more)

  34. daniel edwards says:

    … And if you think LS can’t win (and of course you don’t have to) I don’t see how you could like Ucello Conti…

    2016 – finished 30 lengths behind LS off level weights in the GN

    2016 – finished a length behind LS getting 11lb from him (suggesting maybe LS is roughly 10-12 pounds better than him at that point

    2017 – they run in the GN again, LS giving him 12 pounds, so on the Becher run they should finish close. LS finishes well down the field.

    It’s not an exact science of course, but given UC is getting 12lb from LS again in the GN this year, I don’t see how he can win.

  35. Seven Towers says:

    There is no way Vicente will bypass the race if Vintage Clouds is not certain of getting in. Hemmings will put his foot down with the trainer once again.

  36. daniel edwards says:

    VIRGILIO looks like one who might be ahead of the handicapper

    Last run was hopefully too bad to be true. Will be interesting to see how he runs next time.

    2nd in the Kauto Star novices chase last season and 3rd behind Whisper and Mighty Bite at Aintree, so his mark is potentially very generous. Likely to be bottom weight or thereabouts

  37. Seven Towers says:

    I don’t see the problem with backing Ucello Conti. Keeps getting placed in some of the top staying handicap chases. I don’t think he will win and if his half sibling wasn’t exactly a true stayer either albeit he was a top notch G1 horse but 10/1 for a place isn’t a bad price. It’s better than what you get in the Betfair TBP market for him and that’s only four places. The Paddy Power at Christmas is essentially the Irish version of our Hennessy/Ladbrokes Trophy and he runs well in it every time. Not for me at the moment but I can see why his solidity appeals.

  38. Seven Towers says:

    Plus I am always mindful when it comes to Ucello that Anthony Bromley singled this horse out for Munir and Souede to specifically win the Grand National. I don’t think they got it quite right with this one but they more often than not do get things right.

  39. Lescargot says:

    Phil Smith seems to think that an or of 143 will get in.

  40. daniel edwards says:

    I don’t doubt UC has a solid top 6 claim, but I don’t see how he can win it

    POLIDAM is the one scaring me. Apparently sent to Mullins yard for the sole purpose of the National. The way he ran over 3m this season suggested he’s crying out for further. Is off a featherweight so that shouldn’t be a problem either.

  41. daniel edwards says:

    If you want to know what connections say about your fancy:

    https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/grand-national:-what-connections-say/142926

  42. Mike N says:

    Polidam won’t stay for sure.

    Daniel leave my Ucello alone. Lol ;)

  43. Mike N says:

    Daniel would also like to add that The Last Samurai bled in last year’s race and Alpha Des Obeaux has done in the past too. So pounds to lengths stats become meaningless if those traits return.

  44. daniel edwards says:

    For sure…

    I’m not convinced on Alpha DO either by the way, just thought it was worthy of note.

    Can’t make up my mind with total recall

    Will probably have a saver on him nearer the time, unless I’ve backed a few already

  45. Mike N says:

    UC was worth backing at 50s ew for me i think because when he was 6th 2 years ago the ground got very soft on the day. Didn’t back him that year but noted Elliott comments. Backed him last year and he was loving it until he got taken out and I was a bit gutted.
    He’s now 10 so not that old for the race and I had to back him again after what happened in 2017 especially as he’s 50s. That’s 10s a place. No rain please.
    Whilst 1 or 2 may outstay him at the end this has always been the target and it’s telling they are going straight there a fresher horse this time.

  46. daniel edwards says:

    Are you basing that on Polidam’s breeding Mike?

  47. Mike N says:

    No I’m basing it on his run on 27 December.

  48. daniel edwards says:

    Re: UC and the ground, if you think he’ll come alive on better ground there’s a chance he could improve on his 6th two years ago.

    In terms of his ground preference, either his trainer knows best, or trainers and jockeys are doing what they sometimes do and making excuses for horses.

    Maybe he really does want good ground. If that’s true he’ll be one heck of a horse given on soft ground he has come 6th in a national, a very close 4th in the Becher, and 2nd in a Thyestes

    And on heavy ground he’s come 2nd in the Paddy Power, 3rd in the Thyestes, and 4th in the Leinster National!

    It’s possible, but I’m sceptical, and I think without the ground changing things he can’t have improved enough from his 6th two years ago

    And remember, they’ll water so we’ll get good to soft at best…..

  49. daniel edwards says:

    That’s why this is all so subjective! I didn’t think Polidam didn’t stay that day, looked like he got outpaced to me!

  50. Mike N says:

    Go on then. Back him. Dare ya. ;)

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