Ante Post Grand National 2017

He everyone,

believe it or nor not the Grand National is now only just over two weeks away and the bookies will be rubbing their hands at stuffing their tills with all the housewifes £1 ews and their children's favourite silks colours selections.
The race has changed over recent years as the fences have got easier (still a very daunting task for horse and Jockey) and a horses form tends to play a much bigger part in finding the winner.

We have two selections against the field and they can both be backed presently at juicy EW prices. I have no doubt that both selections will shorten considerably prior to the race.

NB when choosing to use a bookmaker make sure you get NRNB and 5 Places

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Good luck

The team at Cleeve


5.15 Aintree Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (CLASS 1) (7yo+)


Pleasant Company 1 point each way at 18/1 with Bet365 (NRNB and 5 Places) Pendra 1 point each way at 50/1 with Bet365 (NRNB and 5 Places)

Race Analysis:

Cleeve’s top 4 rated:
1) Vieux Lion Rouge – 316
2) Saphir Du Rheu – 306
3) More Of That – 293
4) Carlingford Lough – 268

Those of you who have been with Cleeve for a while will know the success we have had over the years in tipping both the Grand National winner and getting big priced horses placed. I use a mixture of our unique ratings combined with fifteen key trends, which invariably pinpoint both the winner and at least a couple of the placed horses.

The top-rated horses on the fifteen top trends are as follows:
1) Meeting 12 trends  – The Last Samuri, O’Faolains Boy, Pendra
2) Meeting 11 trends – Wounded Warrior, Pleasant Company, Bishops Road, Just A Par, Measureofmydreams, Thunder and Roses, Doctor Harper

I will be surprised if the winner does not come from that list, and below I have listed the reasons why some of the contenders on the list were ruled out, leaving me with our selections:

Too much weight – The Last Samuri
Age – Wounded Warrior
Out of Form – O’Faolains Boy, Measureofmydreams, Doctor Harper
Poor Form at Aintree – Just A Par
More than 5 runs this season – Thunder and Roses

The last horse I ruled out was Bishops Road for the two main reasons for that is a) he is soft ground dependent, and b) his jumping at the end of last season was sketchy with an unseat and a fall. He has also been off course for longer than I would like – 77 days rather than having had a run in the last 52 days.

Pendra was just pipped  in the Kim Muir last week at Cheltenham, he jumped the last 3 lengths clear but ran out of steam badly which is excusable given he’d had over a year off. He has been called some names before but his form is actually impressive with two National (Irish and Grand) finishes to his name at the ages of seven and eight as well as an impressive victory in the Sodexho Gold Cup at Ascot. At the age of nine with eleven chases under his belt, he now has the right level of maturity to feature here at a very generous price. His trainer Charlie Longsdon has spoken highly about his chances in this, especially if the ground is good to soft or better. He did finish tailed off in last year’s race but the ground was soft/heavy which definitely would have been against him, he is also a couple of pounds better off this year and I expect the ground to be much more in his favour.

Pleasant Company has an impressive set of form figures, but the main concern I have is his lack of experience over fences. Saying that in his six chases he has already won a Grade 3 Bobbyjo Chase and finished second in a Novice Grade 2 Chase. Based on this I think he will turn out to be a lot better than his current handicap rating indicates, and he gets in here on a very raceable weight even if 4-5 of the horses above him come out.
I feel that the main threats to our selections will be The Last Samuri, O’Faolains Boy (if coming back to form, which is a big if) and Rogue Angel.