Hi everyone, every year we have an antepost tilt at the Grand National and have had great success in the race in the past. We use a combination of key trends and form analysis to pinpoint our selections.
We have narrowed the field down to two with very different profiles which we'll take against the field. Both are quoted at decent each-way prices and we do think the market leaders are vulnerable and worth taking on, although it will be amazing if Tiger Roll wins 3 in a row, and we won't be able to help cheering him on if he does!
We'll only be getting 4 places compared to up to 8 on the day, however, they could go off at less than half the price they are at the moment.
We have erred on the side of caution and only recommended bookmakers who are going Non-Runner No Bet (NRNB) as one of them has entries for this weekend, and anything could happen between now and the Gand National.
The team at Cleeve
Saturday 4th April - 5.15 Aintree 4m2½f Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (7yo+)
Cleeve Top 4 Rated:
1) Tiger Roll – 374
2) Native River – 325
3) Delta Work– 299
4) Magic Of Light – 278
As normal with the Grand National, I start out with the full field and start eliminating runners by looking at a number of key trends. These trends have been successful in pinpointing several winners and placed horses over the years.
The final six horses I was left with were Magic Of Light, Ballyoptic, Kimberlite Candy, Any Second Now, Potters Corner and Saint Xavier.
Moving on to a more detailed analysis we eliminated the first four for the following reasons:
• Magic of Light – mares’ have a poor record win in the race in recent times (the last mare won in 1959)
• Ballyoptic and Any Second Now – we have concerns about their jumping although both will be dangerous if staying upright and can make the frame.
• Kimberlite Candy – slight concern over his lack of experience in big handicaps and the fact that he pulled up in a similar profile race when tried in the Irish Grand National last season.
Now to the top-rated runners; the trends say both Tiger Roll and Delta Work have too much weight although Tiger Roll was a trend buster last year and will bring the house down if he does it again, he will be the housewives choice and even though he is far too short he will inflict a massive financial blow to the bookies. Delta Work has a lot of weight for what he has achieved, and it is very hard to see him turning up here never mind challenging for places.
Other challengers could come from course expert Walk In The Mill, Anibale Fly, Elegant Escape (if heavy) and the inexperienced Burrows Saint.
Potters Corner has won the Midland and Welsh Nationals in the last year and will be especially dangerous here if the ground comes up soft or heavy. I still think he can run well on good to soft but he wouldn’t really want it any quicker than that. His jumping is very sound and Christian Williams has proven adept at winning high profile chases this season. If Potters Corner gets into a rhythm, he will prove a danger to all.
I must admit that Saint Xavier is a riskier proposition; however, his price could look very generous after the race. Saint Xavier has not jumped a fence in the UK yet and has only had three hurdle runs for Paul Nicholls since moving from France.
He is a Graded chase winner in France and Paul Nicholls has spoken about the main aim for the horse being the Grand National. I can only think that Saint Xavier has been run over hurdles to protect his handicap mark and he now only needs five horses to come out to be sure of a run. Paul Nicholls is a multiple champion trainer, so I am happy to bow to his judgement, and I am sure that Saint Xavier will have been well-schooled at Ditcheat. Paul Nicholls has Saint Xavier entered for the Ultima at Cheltenham, which will mean he holds a qualifying chase run which also suggests the horse is on track for the Grand National.