GRAND NATIONAL HORSE-BY-HORSE ABC GUIDE: Daqman’s ABC guide to the Grand National has it all. He presents the stats and form facts, but also the jumping ability (what’s never fallen or unseated rider? what can jump the big fences at Cheltenham and Liverpool?) in a survey of Saturday’s entire card.
FIVE BEST BETS WIN OUT OF EIGHT: Laurium (WON evens by 13 lengths) was a runaway winner for the nap yesterday, landing a fifth best bet from the last eight, three of them bankers:
WON 4-7 FATTSOTA (banker nap)
WON 13-8 HINT OF GREY (nap)
WON 6-4 THE SKY IS BLAZING (banker nap)
WON 4-7 DREAM CASTLE (banker nap)
WON 1-1 LAURIUM (nap)
CHARM OFFENSIVE IN NATIONAL
5.15 Liverpool, Saturday (The Grand National)
A Ages 9, 10, 11 three wins each in the decade (9/10)
B Has run in Graded chases (9/10)
C Five out of last eight rated between 148 to 160
D Ran at Cheltenham or over National fences (7/10)
E Raced 10 times over fences but under 20 (10/10)
F Won chase over at least three miles (10/10)
X Stable in form or has done well in the race before
? Long absence to overcome
P Poor recent form
♦ Never fallen or unseated rider
♦ABCDEFX Wonderful Charm
Not bred for a trip and pulled up National on soft last year but won Scottish Foxhunter in a canter and, staying on well, beaten neck in Cheltenham Foxhunter. Both 3m 2f+ Could be ridden by Katie Walsh.
♦ABCDEF Perfect Candidate
Good efforts last Spring but unplaced in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham, returning to form there December in first-time cheekpieces, and impressive from the front on the last day, seeming ideal style for Aintree
ABCDEF Regal Encore
In and out, but jumps well on a sounder surface, runner-up Punchestown Festival and won Ascot Silver Cup (December) with late run, though not well in now with third and fifth, Tenor Nivernais and Le Mercurey.
♦ABCDEF? Drop Out Joe
Family of dour Loch Derg. Useful up to last Spring and raised 19lb. Down the field Sandown Gold Cup but winner of 3m 2f John Smith’s Summer Cup at Uttoxeter. Long absence to overcome.
♦ABCDEF? Highland Lodge
Fourth in 2013 Hennessy Gold Cup. Revitalized since moving yards, with win (2015) and second (2016) in Becher Chase over the National fences.
ABCDEFP O’Faolain’s Boy
Has failed to score since winning 2014 RSA but only 11 chases on his CV and dropped 17lb.
ABCDFX Cause Of Causes
Has won NH Chase, Cross Country and Kim Muir in fabulous three-year sequence at Cheltenham, and eighth in 2015 National. Not the biggest but jumps economically and has speed surge on fast ground.
ABCDFX More Of That
Described by Jonjo O’Neill as the best horse he’d ever trained but has needed two wind operations before bouncing back, unseated challenging at the last Irish Gold Cup, before sixth for the Cheltenham gold.
ABCDFX Tenor Nivernais
Late developer has stepped up rating 10lb in the last year. Third Ascot Silver Cup and placed in Grade-3 races at Cheltenham. Prefers it soft.
♦ABCDF Pleasant Company
W.Mullins winner of Punchestown Grade B and Bobbyjo Chase but just eight chases on his CV, so may be short on experience.
ABCDX Ucello Conti
Off lower mark than when sixth in the National a year ago, bad blunder not helping his chances. Fourth back over the big fences in the Becher, and Thyestes second and Leinster National fourth this year.
Prominent four out before unseating rider in the National last year. Good form in the summer but collected three consecutive parking tickets at Cheltenham
ABDEFX The Last Samuri
Runner-up last year but hiked 12lb and giving weight all round after beaten less than a length in the Becher (December) and Grimthorpe runner-up.
Headway but bad blunder 24th last year’s National. Not seen again until narrowly run out of it in the Kim Muir after being three lengths up at the last.
ABDEF Lord Windermere
The 2013 RSA winner and 2014 Gold Cup hero has lost his way since but dropped 19lb
ABDEP Cocktails At Dawn
Useful novice but poor recent run for Nicky Henderson. Fell in the Topham here a year ago.
♦ABDFX Just A Par
Tailed off 2016 National but short-headed Sandown Gold Cup same month. Recent veterans win
ABDFX Rogue Angel
Won the Irish Grand National last Spring but not in the same form since at big prices.
ABDFX Thunder And Roses
Second Grade B (3m 5f) at Fairyhouse but well beaten Thyestes and Leinster National.
ABDF Bishops Road
Won 2016 Haydock National Trial on heavy but in rear in Topham over the big fences. Placed in the Peter Marsh in January after struggling in Welsh National.
ABDF Gas Line Boy
Fell 2015 National. Fourth to Drop Out Joe in the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter, third in the Kerry National and fourth in the Haydock National Trial.
ABDF Saint Are
Wins ordinary races but finished ninth and second in the National and third in the Becher.
Only seven chases, third in Cheltenham four-miler (2016) but moved from Willie Mullins.
ABDX Doctor Harper
Hot favourite, fell in 2016 Kim Muir. Short head defeat in big field in January. No 41 on card.
In and out for burgeoning Kerry Lee yard. Best when second to One For Arthur in the Warwick Classic (3m 5f) with Houblon des Obeaux fourth.
ACDFX Houblon des Obeaux
Nearly horse in marathons: sixth Hennessy Gold Cup, ninth Gold Cup, third Welsh national, fourth both Warwick Classic and Midlands National
♦ADE Stellar Notion
Moved from Tom George to Paul Nicholls, Paul Nicholls to Henry de Bromhead, for whom seconds in both Munster National and Leopardstown Chase
BCDEFX Saphir Du Rheu
Grade-1 novice but not realise his potential so far. Best when third Ascot Gold Cup Handicap
♦BCDEFX Roi Des Francs
Ratings have flat-lined in 11 chases so far. Fifth Punchestown National Trial. Has tried hood, cheekpieces and blinkers in turn.
With Twiston-Davies National winning yard. RSA winner last year, lost his way until Haydock Trial second to Vieux Lion Rouge. Not much between them now.
BCDEF Double Shuffle
Third in novices handicap at Cheltenham 2016. Back-to-form second Grade 3 at Kempton
♦BCDEF One For Arthur
Stayed on well fifth to Vieux Lion Rouge in Becher over National fences. Won Warwick Classic.
BCDEF Shantou Flyer
4-5 for Colin Bowe and won Grade 3 when switched to Rebecca Curtis. Kept to shorter trips.
BCDEFP The Young Master
Third 2016 Ultima (Cheltenham) and won Sandown Gold Cup (3m 5f). But poor recent form.
BCDEFP Wounded Warrior
Very smart novice has not stepped up. Sixth Irish Gold Cup 2016; sixth Thyestes 2017
BCDEX Le Mercurey
Very young for this and raced only in small fields, except fifth of 14 Ascot Silver Cup in December.
BCDFX Vieux Lion Rouge
Becher Chase and Haydock National Trial wins set him up for a big show here but only two winners aged eight have scored since 1992
BCDF Definitly Red
Came to notice in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby. Beat The Last Samuri in the Grimthorpe
♦BDEFX La Vaticane
Wins only in small fields but (with ear plugs) jumped National fences well enough in the Topham
Scottish Grand National winner but still only eight. Sixth Welsh National but struggled in Haydock Trial
BDF Raz De Maree
Eighth in 2014. Better than ever at 12, winning Cork National (good) and second Welsh National
MON PARRAIN WELL IN THE HUNT
4.25 Wincanton This week in 2015, Mon Parrain was giving young Sean Bowen his first ride in the Grand National.
Sean partnered Just A Par last year and is hoping Le Mercurey will be his ‘third time lucky’ mount this time around.
Meanwhile, Mon Parrain, festooned with aids, has swapped the high life for a hunter-chase career this year, with three runs, one win so far.
Though tongue-tie and blinkers are a bit off-putting, this ought to be number two on his local track, as he is 7lb well in with Toby Lerone on official ratings.
4.55 Wincanton Diamond Guy would complete a hat-trick in this for Paul Nicholls but the word is for Harry Fry’s Shall We Go Now under Noel Fehily.
Noel has accepted bookings on hurdles and bumper rides only to stay safe for the National. Eight of his last nine mounts will avoid a steeplechase. There is one exception.
He partners Silviniaco Conti – in tomorrow’s Aintree Bowl – on whom he pulled up in last year’s National.
6.45 Kempton April Fool if you didn’t back Mick Channon’s winner, Masterson, under Silvestre De Sousa on the first day of the month.
The combo is back together at Chelmsford tomorrow when they try to sneak Masterson under the handicapper’s radar.
Meanwhile, they team up at Kempton this evening with Koeman, given a lot of backend education (didn’t appear until September) and could be ready to ‘go’ now, despite offers of 19.0 on BETDAQ this morning.
DAQMAN’S BETS (staked to win 20)
BET 12pts win (nap) MON PARRAIN (4.25 Wincanton)
BET 12pts win SHALL WE GO NOW (4.55 Wincanton)
BET 1pt win and place KOEMAN (6.45 Kempton)
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