1.30 Shattered Love EW
2.10 Acapella Bourgeois
2.50 Tombstone and also an each way on Hawk High who looks big at 33/1
3.30 God’s Own EW
4.10 Cantlow NAP
4.50 Diable De Sivola EW
5.30 Irish Roe EW
There are three here worth a small stake EW Patent – Hawk High, Diable De Sivola, and Irish Roe are all 33/1
I won’t bore you with the workings
Bet them each way except Melon (Skybet offer cash back on all losers in the 1.30 up to £20 stake which is returned as a free bet)
Don’t put too much on
Enjoy the racing
1.30 Melon 3/1 Freely available
2.10 Charbel 12/1 Betvictor/Betfair/Power
2.50 Singlefarmpayment NAP 15/2 Freely available
3.30 Brain Power 7/1 Freely available
4.10 DebDebDeb 150/1 Hills/ Betvictor/Power
4.50 Bells N Banjos 66/1 Betway
5.30 Captain Redbeard 22/1 Power/Betfair/Betway
She’s only 7 and unexposed in general. She’s very game and could well be on a nice mark for her first attempt at this trip. The yard’s in good form and she has run 4 times in February, winning three and second in the other one. In comparison she has just one victory from her 15 outings outside of February.
I suspect she’ll be the gamble of the race.
For about a week after he won the Betfred Classic Chase over 3m 5f at Warwick, bookmakers continued offering 33/1 for the National about One For Arthur (he was 40/1 for 48 hours). This seemed a daft price and although he’s come in now to 20/1 there’s a fair chance he’ll go off half those odds.
He has a light burden (10.6), he’s improving, and has experience over the fences without having to face the white-hot furnace of the National itself (those who’ve run in it before are at a disadvantage these days, imo) and he jumps and stays.
Crucially, from a price viewpoint, he is trained in Scotland and will have lots of support from us natives and from the Scottish media. Perhaps more importantly, he has a name which will be latched onto by anyone with a relative or good friend, dead or alive (the former more likely, I’m afraid) called Arthur. These apparently small factors can drive significant gambles from the general public.
But the Braveheart factor and the housewife’s blessing of an old man’s name is far from all he has going for him. His jockey, Derek Fox, who has ridden him in all three runs this season reportedly told Lucinda Russell, the trainer, after the Becher that the horse ought to be tried with a tongue tie. Luke Harvey (ex-jockey) speculated that this suggested Fox had heard the horse make a noise during the race and Fox looked after him that day (he was a 3 lengths 5th of 22).
The tongue tie went on for the Warwick race and despite being quite badly hampered early, One For Arthur was unfazed, as was Fox who hacked him round at the back before taking closer order in effortless fashion with about 6 to jump before steadily drawing clear. His leap at the last suggested there was quite a bit in the tank although Fox took no chances, driving him out to the line.
You’d have to assume that had the tongue tie been on in The Becher, you’d be looking at a horse unbeaten in three races this year. He’s 8 and improving. Just how much difference the tongue tie has made, we will find out at Aintree although there has to be a worry that one needed fitting and his breathing is not A1.
But, all in all, I very much doubt that 20/1 will last once the publicity around the race begins in earnest.
Don Poli is another who should run well with evidence continuing to build that he needs to go left handed (I suspect you can add flat tracks and good ground to that but there’s not yet enough data to say for sure).
As mentioned earlier, I’ll be avoiding horses who have run in previous Nationals. In the old days, a proven appetite for the fences was a bonus. But since those jumps were seriously softened, the race has become a high octane test of stamina and big-day temperament. Visually the fences will still leave their mark on an animal, but I suspect that all the razzmatazz coupled with adrenaline-fuelled jocks asking their mounts for everything over such a long trip leaves an indelible mark on 90% of those who contest the race.
Here’s hoping the horses all go home after it and that no jockey need the services of the sponsors.
Should arguably have won the Old Roan but for running into the back of the blundering Royal Regatta who beat him next time when GO must have been trading very short before stopping to nothing. Trainer then said he’d been close to withdrawing him that day because of the ground.
There should be no ground complaints tomorrow, so he’s given another chance. Sandown hill should suit his finishing effort to a T over this trip. Sandown is also his last chance saloon!
Charbel is superb antepost value at 33/1 for The Arkle chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He’s due to face Altior on Saturday and that one beat him easily in the Supreme, where Charbel finished 5th. But Charbel looks to me a more natural jumper of fences than Altior and I’ve backed him in the Henry VIII on Saturday.
The form of Charbel’s debut win has been strengthened by Top Notch who was 3rd to him at Uttoxeter and has won his next two. Runner-up Le Prezien won a Grade 2 next time out.
I think 33s (William Hill) is way too big. His trainer says the JLT might also come into the picture so I’ve had a saver at 75 on Betfair for that, but he looks a two-miler. I still hold to the belief that Altior’s jumping might let him down and he’ll be rerouted to the Champion Hurdle. If you want a related-contingency bet that is without penalty, you can bet Altior at 33s and Charbel at 25s in a double with Paddy Power.
The usual warning applies: antepost betting is hazardous. Much can happen between now and raceday (though that works both ways), and if your horse doesn’t run, your stake is lost. Bet for fun and beware of tipsters who promise the earth,
The last time he ran at a a trip this long in the UK he won a decent race at Aintree (he had a poor run over this trip in France, but quite a few horses are upset by international travel). He has mixed chasing and hurdling but began this campaign with a nice run over hurdles (back at Aintree) where he conceded 10lbs and upwards to all rivals. The forecast soft ground should suit him and he looks excellent EW value at 14/1 – about half a dozen online bookies currently offer that price.
God’s Own looked an improver at the back end of last season and confirmed that – to me at least – in the Old Roan where a touch of bad luck at the 3rd last (he ran into the back of the blundering Royal Regatta) just as he was building momentum. Arguably that cost him the race.
He should make amends today unless the Tizzards have pulled off another miracle with Third Intention and can get him to win back-to-back races for the first time in his career.
Dodging Bullets has never been this far. His 2 runs over 20f saw him thoroughly trounced each time, although he might well enjoy going right-handed here.
I don’t like Vibrato Valtat much. He’s another with a flattish jumping style, which could catch him out.
Skybet offer money back as a free bet if your horse is 2nd in this race – 2.05 Ascot. I strongly recommend taking up that offer with God’s Own.