Saturday 14 April 2018
Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
Class 1 | 4m 2f 74y | Heavy (Soft in places) | 38 Runners | Turf
Off time: 17:18 | Winning time: 9m 41.3s
Not won for over three years and failed to complete on latest three efforts. Fell on last two of those and hardly an ideal preparation coming into this.
Looked the likely winner of this last year before fading late, finishing fourth. Runner-up to Bristol De Mai in the Charlie Hall and won back here in the Becher but beaten favourite in the Trial at Haydock last time. 9lb higher for this year's race.
Plugged on well to finish third in the Gold Cup this year but fell in the Irish version of that race the time before. Yet to run over further than 3m2½f and needs to jump better if he's to make his presence felt here.
Finished runner-up in 2016 and has been running well since, though did finish down the field in this race last year. Well backed favourite when third in the Cross Country at Cheltenham last time but others probably on better handicap marks.
Multiple Grade 1 winner and very talented on his day. Could prove to be very well-handicapped if bouncing back to form here and he's a sound jumper who can't be ruled out. The concerns would be his form this season and question marks over the trip.
Improved since joining this yard and he was very well-handicapped earlier in the campaign. Disappointed in the Gold Cup when jumping was under scrutiny last time but versatile from a ground perspective and not ruled out if he puts in a clear round.
Grade 2 winner earlier this year but didn't take to it here on the Mildmay course when last of four next time. Limitations possibly exposed since and is up against it from this sort of mark. Down the order on jockey bookings and not certain to stay.
Inconsistent but his win at Cheltenham in November over 3m3½f was a career best. A repeat of that effort would give him each-way claims, but his recent form is a worry, he pulled up in this race last year and hard to imagine he's well-handicapped.
In the form of his life, arriving 4lb well in after a narrow defeat at Cheltenham last time. Didn't get home last year but jumped these fences well and that experience will hold him in good stead. Conditions should suit but needs to prove he stays.
Well beaten in this race last year off the same mark and he's shown nothing in two starts this campaign. Conditions no problem but stamina and current form have to be a major concern.
Has no fewer than five Grade 1 wins to his name including two Irish Gold Cups. Well-handicapped on old form but with good reason after a poor couple of seasons and while he stays 3m well, he was pulled up on only previous start over a marathon trip.
Useful 3m chaser who stays further. No course experience though and finds himself on a career high mark.
Impressive winner of the Cross Country at the Cheltenham Festival and won the four-mile race at the 2017 Festival. Could be the type to take to this test and likely well-handicapped off this mark but doesn't always jump as well as he did last time.
Won over these fences in the 2016 Becher Chase and has finished seventh and sixth in Grand National's either side of that run. Has not been in quite the same form this campaign and may struggle from a 1lb higher mark than last year's renewal.
Won the 2017 Midland's National and returned in fine form winning at Haydock on seasonal return. Pulled up on two runs since, including the Welsh National, and handicap mark looks a shade stiff but not completely out of this if he can bounce back.
Consistent sort, unseated around here on the Mildmay course in November but in good form since with two placed efforts. Arrives on a career high mark and stamina has to be a major concern having never run over 3m2f.
Beat subsequent dual Grade 1 winner Bristol De Mai in a match-race in 2016 but only run three times since. His third off this mark in the 2016 Scottish National proves he stays and he was entitled to need the run on return from an absence last time.
Got no further than the first in 2016 but he was a valiant fifth in last year's renewal of this race. Fell on seasonal return when winning over these fences in the Sefton in December and work to do off a career high mark at this stage of his career.
Stayed on strongly to win the Peter Marsh at Haydock on just his third start for this yard but pulled up back at that course having been hiked up 13lb in the weights by the assessor. Hard to know if he will stay this far and mark looks stiff.
Useful stayer who won a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse last year before going on to finish ninth in this race, going well until making a bad mistake. 1lb lower this year but recent form has to be a major concern, tailed off on return and pulled up last time.
Becoming a concern that he's not won since joining this yard but tends to run well in defeat. Having his third crack at this (sixth in 2016) but made a bad error in last year's renewal; while he's on a fair mark, he's not for the faint hearted.
His form in this race reads 92P3, running a stormer last year, finishing as well as any rival. Doesn't usually arrive in such poor form - pulled up on his two starts this season, but can't be ruled out if a return to these fences sparks a revival.
Unlucky in this last year when badly hampered and unseating. He's returned to form this season and he was an impressive winner of the Welsh National when last seen. Worthy of the utmost respect having only gone up 6lb now some rain has arrived.
Made easy work of the Yorkshire National at Catterick on first start over 3m1f but given a 14lb hike to deal with here and a beaten favourite over hurdles last time. Interesting to see if he is as effective with plenty more competition for the lead.
No match for Might Bite at this meeting last year but won on the Mildmay course here next time in calmer waters. While he's still lightly raced, his preparation for this race has been poor and he's yet to run over 3m1f. First start since wind op.
The subject of ante-post support in the lead up to this and won the 2017 National Trial at Punchestown impressively. Form has been a little hit and miss since and doesn't do anything quickly but usually jumps well and likely to stay the trip.
Won a Listed Chase here on the Mildmay course but has shown nothing over fences and very little over hurdles since. Not guaranteed to stay this trip and best days likely to be behind him.
Only seen once last season when narrowly denied in the Kim Muir at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. Entitled to need the run on his return but well beaten on both starts over 3m2f, including this in 2016. First start since wind op. Others preferred.
Infrequent winner over the past three years, with just one win to his name in a veteran's chase at Sandown two starts back. Didn't appear to take to the fences when well beaten in 2016's renewal of this race.
Lightly raced over fences with just four starts, sole win came at Punchestown in 2016. Ran okay on seasonal return at Limerick but didn't jump particularly well when pulled up in National Trial at Punchestown last time. Not an obvious sort for this.
2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner but not won since. Pulled up in this in 2016 and well beaten seventh last year. Fell in the Becher on only start since and hard to imagine him improving on 2017's position from just 3lb lower.
Three wins from 12 starts over fences and warmed up for this with a win over hurdles last time out. Doesn't always jump well and only been over 3m once when runner-up in the Peter Marsh so stamina has to be a concern; won't mind conditions at least.
Useful stayer over marathon trips and placed in the 2017 Midland's National before finishing a well beaten 10th in this race last year. Better off at the weights this time around but his jumping has been a cause for concern on his last two starts.
Won the 2017 Cross Country at Cheltenham in 2017 but has failed to finish on four starts either side of that effort. Stamina no issue but best days possibly behind him, may want better ground and the handicapper hasn't taken any chances.
Very impressive when winning at Warwick Grade 3 by a wide margin and probably did too much too soon in the Eider. Good second in the Midlands National last time and ground versatile. While he has no course experience, he ticks plenty of other boxes.
Third to Raz De Maree in the Welsh National and gets a 13lb swing in the weights with that rival after two poor subsequent efforts. Went well for a long way in the 2017 Midlands National and seemingly suited to a marathon trip. Not out of this.
Pulled up in this in 2016 (rider lost his irons). Ran well in three runs last season but struggled this campaign. While his fourth in the Kim Muir at the Festival was more encouraging last time, he has more on here and not getting any younger.
Won two Grade 1 races at the back end of 2014 but on the decline since and not shown anything in four starts in the last year. While on a very nice handicap mark if he can return to any sort of form, there's been very few signs of encouragement.
Total Recall (7/1), Tiger Roll (10/1), Anibale Fly (10/1), Seeyouatmidnight (11/1), Blaklion (14/1), I Just Know (14/1), Baie Des Iles (16/1), Ucello Conti (16/1), The Last Samuri (16/1), Raz De Maree (20/1), Captain Redbeard (20/1), Regal Encore (20/1), Shantou Flyer (20/1), The Dutchman (20/1), Pleasant Company (25/1), Milansbar (25/1), Gas Line Boy (25/1), Vieux Lion Rouge (25/1), Houblon Des Obeaux (25/1), Chase The Spud (25/1), Road To Riches (33/1), Warriors Tale (33/1), Thunder And Roses (33/1), Alpha Des Obeaux (33/1), Carlingford Lough (33/1), Final Nudge (33/1), Bless The Wings (40/1), Saint Are (50/1), Perfect Candidate (50/1), Virgilio (50/1), Delusionofgrandeur (50/1), Walk In The Mill (50/1), Buywise (50/1), Lord Windermere (50/1), Valseur Lido (66/1), Double Ross (66/1), Tenor Nivernais (66/1), Childrens List (66/1), Maggio (66/1), Pendra (80/1)
- Tiger Roll
- Raz De Maree