Handicapper Martin Greenwood on the Randox Health Grand National

Rathvinden jumps to the front ahead of Ms Parfois
Rathvinden jumps to the front ahead of Ms Parfois

Bristol De Mai, Anibale Fly, Tiger Roll, Rathvinden and Jury Duty are among the horses who are officially "well-in" for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree next month.

Senior BHA chase handicapper Martin Greenwood handicapped the race for the first time and it's the only event in the calendar where he is allowed to deviate from official ratings.

No penalties are applied to horses who won after the weights were published on February 12 and with the Cheltenham Festival and other leading Grand National trials having now been staged, over half the field could have had their weight changed.

Greenwood said: "In total, over 50 per cent of the ratings have changed one way or another since the weights came out. This includes over 50 per cent of horses who are currently in the top 40.

"Working downwards from the top of the weights, I thought Bristol De Mai ran very well in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He possibly didn't get home over such a stiff track and is 4lb well-in for Aintree.

Bristol De Mai: Trainer insists he's effective at Cheltenham
Bristol De Mai - four pounds well in

"Anibale Fly ran a personal best to finish second in the Gold Cup and is going to be 8lb well-in, with his rating now 172. He was 9lb well-in last year, when finishing fourth, but, as I said at the time, I think he ran better than the bare result suggests.

"I have possibly underestimated Tiger Roll's win in the Cross Country, putting him up another 8lb to a rating of 167. His hurdle success before Cheltenham (the G2 Boyne Hurdle at Navan on February 17) suggested that he was on the way back and his Cheltenham performance has backed that up.

"Looking further down the weights, I thought Vintage Clouds and Lake View Lad both ran excellent races in the Ultima Handicap Chase. I have put up Lake View Lad 3lb and Vintage Clouds 5lb. As things stand, Vintage Clouds needs five horses above him to come out to get a run in the Randox Health Grand National. There are currently five horses on a rating of 144, but three of those have already dropped in the ratings which will work in Vintage Clouds' favour.

Beware The Bear leads Vintage Clouds over the last at Cheltenham
Vintage Clouds (right) does battle with Beware The Bear at Cheltenham

"Rathvinden ran a personal best when winning the Bobbyjo Chase. He has never actually run in handicap and is 8lb well-in.

"An under the radar horse could be Jury Duty, who won at Down Royal on Saturday (a conditions chase over three and a quarter miles). He won in America last year and is going to be 6lb well-in.

"Ramses De Teillee is 5lb well-in following his second in the Grand National Trial at Haydock, while Ms Parfois is 7lb well-in for her excellent second in the Midlands Grand National last weekend.

"Pairofbrowneyes is 10lb well-in after hacking up at Naas and, other than Potter's Corner, who is 13lb well-in but very unlikely to get a run, is the horse who has seen his rating rise the most since the weights were published."

Sporting Life - the home of racing
Sporting Life - the home of racing

Looking ahead in general terms to the 2019 Randox Health Grand National, Greenwood continued: "What already looked a hot race, now looks even hotter if you take all the well-in horses into account. If I was a punter, I am not sure where I would go as you could make a case for so many horses.

"At the moment, 10st 2lb (a rating of 146) is the cut-off point. You would imagine some horses will come out. I suggested at the weights launch that a rating of 142ish would be required to obtain a run and I think the horses down there still have a sneak of getting in.

"Tiger Roll is a very short price and, as I say, I could have underrated him - Cross County races are probably the most difficult to assess. He never came off the bridle at Cheltenham and it was an incredibly impressive performance.

"His claims for a second Grand National look very strong, although you could argue there are several other horses in the race with strong claims given what they have achieved since the weights came out."


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