TRENDING GRAND NATIONAL WINNERS! Daqman has a regular feature, ‘See How They Won’, in which he analyses past results of the Cheltenham Festival races to try to spot the future winners. Before he launches the series, here’s an example today which spotlights a growing trend for the preparation of Grand National horses.

MONSTER COOKIES: DAQMAN’S Fortune Cookies are 655 points up (to 20 point stake) as outlined yesterday CLICK HERE. He has Fidux running today (4.15 Taunton) with the standard 20 point stake applied.


Banks and ditches have not featured in the Grand National for many years. But the nearest thing, the cross-country or banks race, is fast becoming the best test for Aintree.

The trend was started by Silver Birch in 2007, second for Gordon Elliott in both the Punchestown and Cheltenham cross-countries on his way to National glory.

Elliott continued the trend with Cause Of Causes, winner of the Cheltenham Festival cross-country before running second in One For Arthur’s Grand National (2017).

The following year, last year, the same trainer went for the same double and this time pulled it off: Tiger Roll won both the Cheltenham festival cross-country and the Grand National.

Earlier, Philip Hobbs had also followed the formula and gone close: Balthazar King won the 2014 cross country at the festival and ran second in the National.

This season the Cheltenham cross-country in March has a very strong potential line-up, with six at the front of the market all possible for the National afterwards.

❇️ AUVERGNAT 6-1 cross country, 33-1 National (43.0 BETDAQ)
Punchestown banks winner; PP Chase winner

❇️ DON POLI 16-1 cross country, 50-1 National (66.0 BETDAQ)
RSA winner, Lexus winner; Gold Cup third

❇️ ONE FOR ARTHUR 16-1 cross country, 28-1 National (41.0 BETDAQ)
Won the 2017 Grand National; disappointing since

❇️ RATHVINDEN 16-1 cross country, 33-1 National (29.0 BETDAQ)
NH Chase winner (4m at Cheltenham)

❇️ TEA FOR TWO 16-1 cross country, 66-1 National (66.0 BETDAQ)
Aintree Bowl winner; King George third

❇️ TIGER ROLL 5-4 cross country, 12-1 National (11.0 BETDAQ)
Cross-country and National double last year


2.25 Wetherby Just the three runners in yet another novice chase that has cut up but at least this remains an interesting betting heat with the BETDAQ market priced at 2.42, 2.7 and 3.9 at the time of writing.

Heading that market is the Philip Hobbs (1 winner from last 16) trained Little Miss Poet who looks a little vulnerable to me under her penalty for her Ludlow win which ended up being a match. She made quite a few mistakes and the Wetherby fences are much less likely to be forgiving.

Kalahari Queen ran OK on good ground at Worcester and returns after a wind operation in December, she might be the one for this and is preferred to Graceful Legend whose recent wins have all come with give in the ground.

2.40 Taunton Montestrel is clearly highly highly of by connections. After a debut win at Chepstow he was then sent off favourite for the Grade 2 JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham but finished last of the six runners.

He was disappointing but not entirely disgraced at Cheltenham and is surely worth persevering with on just his third career start. This is a significant drop down in class to a race which looks much more within his comfort zone.

Sofia’s Rock was a four time winner on the flat when trained by Mark Johnston and made a winning start at Worcester. The runner-up has done little for the form since but Sofia’s Rock rates a big danger alongside Scaramanga who will improve for his debut third at Ludlow when he was sent off an odd-on chance. He hails from Paul Nicholls’ in-form yard.

6.30 Wolverhampton This class 4 handicap is as good as it gets at Wolverhampton but beggars can’t be choosers – there was no racing this time last week.

Three early non runners including Joegogo have changed the face of the race and I’ll stick with the Michael Appleby trained Something Lucky who was only beaten a head at Lingfield on Saturday and over the same trip hopefully the decision to run again so soon will be rewarded – especially if he gets away from the stalls a little quicker.

DAQMAN”S BETS (staked to win 20 points)
BET 11.2pts win KALAHARI QUEEN (2.25 Wetherby)
BET 12.6pts win (nap) MONTESTREL (2.40 Taunton)
BET 6.25pts win SOMETHING LUCKY (6.30 Wolverhampton)

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