With the weather likely to play havoc with the national hunt meetings over the coming days, I thought it was worth having a quick look over the Grand National field after entries were made on Wednesday. Although there have normally been 40 runners in this race, since three long’ish priced winners in the late 1980′s (29.00 x2, 51.00) seventeen of the last 21 winners of the race have started at 17.00 (16/1) or less.
During this period the quality of the field has improved and this years’ select number of 82 entries again highlights that fact. Another seemingly key factor has been the age of the winner, 9 and 10-y-o horses have provided 13 of the last 16 winners. So whilst we are still waiting for the official weights to be announced (February 12th) I think an initial race assessment can be made.
At the head of the market are Junior and last years’ winner Ballybriggs, which I wouldn’t argue with, but neither especially appeal to me at this stage. Slightly further down the bookies list is Welsh trainer Evan Williams’ Cappa Bleu, he has come back from a long absence to run two cracking races this season. On comeback he won a decent staying chase at Haydock and then was placed third in the Welsh National giving weight to the first two. Trainer Williams was quoted after that Chepstow race “”Paul (Moloney – jockey) said that Cappa Bleu hated the ground and under the circumstances he has run a terrific race. The Grand National springs to mind as an obvious target. He jumps and he stays and the Aintree ground will be more to his liking.”
Williams has got good recent National form having saddled State Of Play, who may also run this year, to be placed in the last three renewals. It would not surprise me to see the 10-y-o Cappa Bleu go straight to Aintree and at reduced odds to those currently available, fulfilling the requirements mentioned above. So at a generally available 26.00 Cappa Bleu should be backed each-way, I recommend Bet365 200£ Free bets! as they offer standard place terms on the first five home.
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