17:15 Aintree Sat 6 April 2019
- Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1)
- 4m 2f 74y, Good to Soft
- 40 Runners
- Surface: Turf
Placed again in this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup when a staying on second. Plenty to like about his fourth in this last year, jumping well in the main and while this is no easy task off top-weight, he's officially well in and has solid place claims.
Made a very promising start for this yard when bolting up at Ascot (soft, 3m) but made several jumping errors when pulled up at the Festival and didn't look an obvious contender for this race when tried over 3m6f in France. Has plenty on his plate.
Jumped well bar a mistake at the second last when winning this last year. Would have won further if he hadn't idled close to home and impressive this season, most notably when bolting up in the Cross-Country race at the Festival; solid claims.
Smart on his day, a winner of three Grade 1 chases but his form this campaign has been poor, tailed off on his last two runs. He's either been pulled-up or tailed off on his three career starts further than 3m1f and others hold stronger claims.
Hasn't won since 2015 and not the most enthusiastic performer. Had given the impression this race could suit several seasons ago, but he seems to have lost his way since returning from a lengthy absence last year and he looks opposable.
In good form since joining this yard this season and travelled strongly when stringing the field out at Doncaster last time. Stamina must be a question mark (yet to run over 3m1f) and has a couple of falls to his name. Not an obvious contender.
Beaten favourite last time out at Down Royal (3m2f, soft to heavy) in a race he won in 2018. Pulled-up on his sole try at a longer trip and looks vulnerable from this sort of handicap mark. Best form has all come in testing conditions.
Won the four-mile race at Cheltenham back in 2016 but hasn't won since, failing to complete on five occasions including two falls and an unseat. Capable from this mark and stays the trip but needs to bounce back in a big way.
Has relatively few miles on the clock and was staying on well when third in the Ultima at Cheltenham last time (3m1f, soft). Has stamina to prove over this new trip but he's on a nice mark, goes well in big fields and versatile with regards ground.
Ninth in 2017's renewal of this race and runner-up last year, just failing to reel in Tiger Roll. Out of form in two runs this season but the ability to act around here counts for plenty and could bounce back. Each-way claims from a revised mark.
Finished a respectable fourth in 2018's RSA before going on to a narrow defeat in the Scottish Grand National. Hasn't jumped all that well in three starts since, the best of which a sixth in the Welsh National and the handicapper refuses to relent.
Bounced back to form in good style at Punchestown in February when trying a trip exceeding 3m4f for just the second time in his career. 7lb higher in a deeper contest leaves him needing more and not the most consistent type.
Only start this campaign was a Fairyhouse success and he won the four-mile race at Cheltenham last season. Jumping isn't always fluent but the fact that he both stays and goes on any ground is in his favour. Yard's first string on jockey bookings.
2017's impressive winner of this contest but missed all of last season through injury and hasn't looked the same horse in two starts this campaign, unseating on both occasions. Needs to leave that form well behind off his career high mark.
Won a 3m3f Cheltenham handicap in November and goes well in races that call for an extreme test of stamina. Lack of Aintree experience is a slight concern but gives the impression this test will suit, and his effort last time out is best forgiven.
Impressive when winning over these fences in December but he's struggled in two starts since and pulled-up in this race last year. Best efforts have come over shorter than 3m and looks up against it here.
Eighth in this race in 2017 and 2lb higher in the ratings this time around, despite largely struggling for form of late. Can make jumping errors, as seen last time out and others hold stronger claims.
Has looked progressive in the last 12 months but signs the handicapper has caught up with her in recent starts. Unplaced on both attempts further than 3m and has no Aintree experience; not an obvious type.
All his best form has come over 2m4f but has shaped okay in a couple of hurdles starts over 3m of late. Stamina for this trip is an unknown and the handicapper hasn't taken any chances with him.
Has won three of his 11 races over fences, getting the better of Mala Beach last time out when stepped up to 3m2f. Didn't look like he was relishing a marathon trip before unseating in the four-mile race at Cheltenham in 2018 though.
Missed all last season and made his return over these fences in December, jumping well before understandably tiring. Jumping wasn't all that slick when well beaten at Cheltenham subsequently though and down the order on jockey bookings for the yard.
Has a good overall strike-rate (6-16) under Rules but hasn't been at his best this campaign. Can jump right, as seen last time out (obvious negative around here) and has finished tailed off on both his starts over further than 3m2f.
Looked like a promising stayer last year and has been in good form all season, runner-up in the Welsh National before another close second in the trial for this race at Haydock. Wants conditions as testing as possible and yard in flying form.
Looks well-handicapped on his best form but he's not always the most fluent jumper, as seen when unseating this rider at Cheltenham last time. Still needs to prove his stamina for this sort of test and he's been seen at his very best on good ground.
Well beaten in two previous attempts at this race and yet to as much as place in five Aintree starts over fences. Not getting any younger and well beaten on his long-awaited return on yard debut last time in the Becher. Hard to fancy.
Very impressive when winning a valuable handicap (3m4½f) at the end of last season but he can jump right, as seen on both starts this season and those runs suggest the handicapper may have hold of him now.
Tailed off before being pulled-up in the Cheltenham Cross Country and didn't seem to stay at Warwick the time before (3m5f). Yet to finish out the first three in four runs over these fences so not one to discount but stamina doubts are the concern.
In no sort of form of late, pulled-up on two of his last three starts and tailed off on the other. Hard to fancy having never been over further than 3m and down the order on jockey bookings.
Returned with a promising run at Gowran Park (3m1f) and jumped well in the main at Cheltenham last time when eighth of 24. Every chance he's on a nice mark and not ruled out but has stamina to prove over this sort of trip.
Not easy to win with (idles when hitting the front) but he's been in good form this season and worth forgiving his run last time when given too much to do. Stays well, jumps well and could put in a big run at a likely big price.
Yet to place in three attempts at this race but has got around on each occasion at least. Seemingly doesn't truly stay this trip and his two pulled-up efforts on his last two starts is obviously concerning coming in to a race this competitive.
Eighth in this race last year but has been struggling for any sort of form subsequently over a variety of trips. On a better handicap mark this time around but others have stronger claims having only won once since 2015.
Placed in two Scottish Nationals. Won on return at Haydock and while he struggled with his jumping in the Chepstow National when pulled-up, he was better at the Festival when runner-up in the Ultima last time; each-way player.
Well suited to strong stamina test, as seen when winning the Irish National in 2018. A reproduction of his third behind Dounikos in a National Trial at Punchestown shouldn't see him far away and worth forgiving his run on Cheltenham debut last time.
Having just his eighth start over fences and all his best form is around 2m4f/2m5f. Well beaten when stepped up to 3m2f at the Festival last month and needs to jump better if he's to be involved here. Jockey rides this course well at least.
Impressive winner of the Becher in December with a couple of these in behind and handicap mark has been protected since with two respectable runs over hurdles. Not always as fluent over his fences as that day though and yet to try further than 3m2f.
Won last year's Punchestown National trial (career best) but looks held by the handicapper on his runs in both the Welsh National and Midlands National. While he's one of the more likely candidates to get around, he will do well to place.
Unseated his rider in last year's renewal of this and only win since came in a match race at Kelso two runs back. Yet to prove his stamina over this far and doesn't look well-handicapped.
Excellent third in this race last year but very much in the veteran stage now and this looks like an even stronger renewal. Hard to fancy after two below par performances of late, most recently when pulled-up in the Cross Country at Cheltenham.
2018's Scottish National winner but won't survive the jumping errors he got away with that day here. Tends to jump right, as seen at Newbury last time and while stamina and handicap mark are no concern, his suitability to this test is questionable.
Last Year's Winner
|T: G ElliottJ: D N Russell|
Tiger Roll (4/1), Rathvinden (8/1), Anibale Fly (10/1), Jury Duty (10/1), Vintage Clouds (11/1), Pleasant Company (12/1), Lake View Lad (14/1), Joe Farrell (14/1), Dounikos (16/1), Rock The Kasbah (16/1), Ramses De Teillee (20/1), Walk In The Mill (25/1), One For Arthur (25/1), Livelovelaugh (25/1), Ballyoptic (25/1), Step Back (25/1), Tea For Two (25/1), General Principle (33/1), Go Conquer (33/1), Mala Beach (33/1), Minella Rocco (33/1), Up For Review (33/1), Singlefarmpayment (50/1), A Toi Phil (50/1), Bless The Wings (50/1), Ultragold (50/1), Vieux Lion Rouge (50/1), Monbeg Notorious (50/1), Noble Endeavor (50/1), Magic Of Light (66/1), Regal Encore (66/1), Outlander (66/1), Valseur Lido (66/1), Captain Redbeard (66/1), Folsom Blue (66/1), Valtor (66/1), Don Poli (66/1), Blow By Blow (66/1), Warriors Tale (66/1), Just A Par (100/1)
- Ramses De Teillee
- Tiger Roll
- Lake View Lad
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