FORM FACTS AND STATS FOR SATURDAY’S GRAND-VALUE NATIONAL Pro punters put the stats and facts into their computers and ask the algorithms to tell them the Grand National winner. Here the basic feeds are given a key letter by Daqman to produce his ABC Guide to Saturday’s big race. Use it as a form preview: add your favourite jockeys; tie in your own secret formula. But remember the one certainty of the race is the fantastic value from BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE VALUE, and the Saturday pledge of No Commission.
DAQMAN LANDS ANOTHER NAP AND PREPARES FOR AINTREE FIGHT Daqman’s Aintree countdown got off to a winning start yesterday when he landed his nap, Waldkonig (WON 5-4) at Pontefract. Aintree’s three-day meeting opens tomorrow with Daqman 3-2 down to Pricewise in early skirmishes. He’s beaten Pricewise for 15 consecutive seasons so expect fireworks as he fights back.
NATIONAL UPDATE: RACHAEL’S RIDE Henry De Bromhead, who landed all three main championship trophies at Cheltenham, announced last night that Minella Times is a confirmed runner in Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree, with Rachael Blackmore riding for J P McManus.
DAQMAN’S GRAND NATIONAL ABC
⭕ 5.15 Aintree, Saturday (Grand National)
A Carrying 11st or less (95%)
B Chase winner over 3m+ on quality track (92%)
C Aged nine to 11 (85%)
D Last ran no more than 35 days ago (78%)
E Won or placed in a race named ‘National’ (60%)
F Trainer who does well in Nationals
++ Trainer in form
xx Last ran more than 55 days ago (96% against)
ABCDEF++ CLOTH CAP
Ticks all the boxes for Jonjo O’Neill and is remarkably well placed in the handicap off 10st 5lb, as Scottish National third (2019) and third to Frodon (2020) before winning the Ladbrokes Trophy – the former Hennessy – at Newbury in November and shrugging off 12lb weights rise to take the Premier Chase at Kelso (2021) the last day.
ABCDEF++ CABARET QUEEN
Won Ladbrokes Munster National 2019 and Kerry National 2020 with Irish National winner Freewheelin Dylan only ninth; but poor form this year and has to bounce back for Willie Mullins.
ABCDE++ MAGIC OF LIGHT
Mares Chase winner at the Punchestown Festival and Ladbrokes Troytown Chase third (2018) before 2019 Grand National runner-up to Tiger Roll. Kept mainly to mares events over shorter since and up just a pound in the weights. ‘Dynamite jumper.. still improving,’ says the Jessica Harrington stable.
ABCD ANY SECOND NOW
A Spring horse. Kim Muir winner at Cheltenham (3m 2f) on good to soft in 2019, but 2020 was moderate despite Leopardstown Chase third in the February. Back-to-form winner of the Webster Cup at Navan last month. Long-time targeted for the race by wise-owl Ted Walsh, who won it with Papillon (2000).
From the same stable as Magic Of Light, down 13lb in the weights since a solid round over the National fences in the Becher Chase (3m 2f) in December, when one bad error cost him his chance. Second to Al Boum Photo at the Fairyhouse festival (2018) and beat Alpha Des Obeaux in a Grade 3 at Punchestown in 2020.
ABCD LAKE VIEW LAD
Won Rehearsal Chase and Rowland Meyrick in 2018 and third in the Ultima at the 2019 Cheltenham festival. Grade-2 2020 winner at Aintree (Mildmay course); poor this year.
ABCD OK CORRAL
Modest form since Albert Bartlett runner-up (2018), excepting Great Yorkshire Chase of 2020 when he landed a gamble on drying ground.
ABCD SHATTERED LOVE
Won the JLT at Cheltenham and second to Al Boum Photo at Fairyhouse in Spring festivals of 2018. Runner-up to Chris’s Dream and third to The Storyteller (2020). Travels well and brave third in the new Mares Chase at Cheltenham last month.
ABCE++ ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS
At his best at Fairyhouse. Third to Burrows Saint in the 2019 Irish National but, in winning back-to-back Bobbyjo Chases, beat Burrows Saint last month as favourite.
ABCE ANIBALE FLY
Power Chase winner (2017), second and third in 2018-19 Cheltenham Gold Cups before excellent efforts in the National: 4th 2018, 5th 2019. Down a stone since then and clearly well handicapped but, shrewd trainer that he is, Tony Martin hasn’t had a jumps winner for 200 days.
ABCExx KIMBERLITE CANDY
Fifth 2019 Eider Chase and won 2020 Warwick Classic (3m 5f). Second two years running in the Becher Chase over the National fences.
ABCExx POTTERS CORNER
Won Midlands Grand National (2018) and Welsh Grand National (2019) and ‘winner’ of the ITV computer-simulation National when the real race was cancelled 12 months ago, though in reality lost form last year and this.
ABCFxx GIVE ME A COPPER
Fourth Sandown Gold Cup and won the Silver Trophy at Wincanton (2019)
ABC DOUBLE SHUFFLE
Completed the course in the Topham (2019) over the National fences and won class-2 at Kempton in January.
Won the Sandown Gold Cup two years ago but has added nothing since.
Uttoxeter specialist now runs in veterans’ chases (won one at Aintree on the Mildmay course).
Fourth 2017 Grand National (brought down 2018) and won the Becher Chase but poor form and changed stables twice since second in 2018 Haydock Park Grand National Trial.
ABD++ TOUT EST PERMIS
Ladbrokes Troytown Chase winner (2017); eighth in Irish National (2019) and best form is over hurdles since (third Pertemps Final at Cheltenham).
Scored 3-6 in 2020. Won the Rowland Meyrick and fourth in the Great Yorkshire.
ABD MILAN NATIVE
Kim Muir winner 2020 who lost his form and had wind surgery in January; never figured in his comeback race, the Ultima at Cheltenham in March.
ABE++ BURROWS SAINT
Raised 12lb for winning 2019 Irish National. Then kept mainly to hurdles until second in the Bobbyjo Chase in February.
ABE LORD DU MESNIL
Winner and second Haydock Park Grand National Trial (2020-21) and runner-up in the NH Chase at Cheltenham last season.
ABExx VIEUX LION ROUGE
Finished the course in four Grand Nationals: sixth, seventh, ninth and 15th. First (twice), second, seventh and ninth in the Becher Chase over the National fences.
AB++ SUB LIEUTENANT
Kept Graded-race company until runner-up in the Topham over the Grand National fences in 2019. Moved yards to Henry de Bromhead in November.
AB MISTER MALARKY
RSA fourth and sixth Ladbrokes Trophy (2019). Ascot Silver Cup winner in December; first and third Kempton Grade 3 (February 2020-21).
NH Chase, Cheltenham, runner-up 2019, and Ultima third there last March. Money for this one during the week.
Scottish Grand National star of 2019 (good ground). Back to form the last day when surprise winner of the Great Yorkshire.
ACD++ BALKO DES FLOS
Galway Plate winner in 2017 and good form 2018-19 (won the Ryanair) but has slipped 17lb down the handicap since then.
ACD ALPHA DES OBEAUX
Placed in the Bobbyjo (twice), Thyestes and Down Royal Champion Chase but poor form since third in the Becher Chase (2019) over the National fences.
ACD CLASS CONTI
Second and third (2020-21) in the Thyestes, and fourth last day in the Leinster National.
ACD HOGAN’S HEIGHTS
Modest form until winning the Grand Sefton over the Grand National fences in December, 2019. No show since.
AC AMI DESBOS
Six times second in the last two years or so, including in veterans’ chase the last day.
Improving seven-year-old. Third Power Chase and fourth Leopardstown Chase before runner-up in the Plate at the Cheltenham Festival.
A++xx MINELLA TIMES
Eight-year-old who stepped up a stone in his last two starts; second in the Power Chase at Christmas and in a Grade A on the same Leopardstown course the last day.
A THE LONG MILE
Young improver 2020-21. Grade B winner at Gowran Park and Limerick.
BCD++ CHRIS’S DREAM
Navan specialist (3-3), including Ladbrokes Ten Up Novice Chase and Ladbrokes Troytown in 2019. Beaten a neck by The Storyteller, Ladbrokes Champion Chase, Down Royal, in November.
Scottish Grand National runner-up and Coral Welsh Grand National sixth (2018). Fell 2019 Grand National and tailed off Becher Chase. Poor form since winning at Ascot in February last year.
BCEFxx YALA ENKI
Won Haydock Grand National Trial 2018 and third same race in 2020; also third three years out of four in Coral Welsh Grand National (2018-19, 2021).
BCFxx BRISTOL DE MAI
Haydock specialist (won Peter Marsh, Lancashire Chase three times). Third in the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
BD DEFINITLY RED
Won northern stamina tests (Rowland Meyrick, Grimthorpe, Charlie Hall) before Grade-2 Aintree success on the Mildmay course (December, 2018). Fourth in the Becher Chase over the National fences (December, 2019).
ABCD SOME NECK
New lease of life when changed stables and switched to banks race at Punchestown and marathon cross-country racing at Cheltenham (won December 2020) and third to Tiger Roll last month.
ABExx SECRET REPRIEVE
Had won only a novice hurdle until dramatic improvement to take the Coral Welsh Grand National Trial (heavy) and then the race itself in January (soft). Not run since. Still only seven.
LAAFY ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK
⭕ 3.40 Nottingham What should a trainer do with a horse which is too high in the handicap but which is a nearly horse in the top conditions races, not quite able to live with the smartest company.
The answer is to get him ready early and pinch a prize while the others are using the race as a prep.
One of these is Muker (BETDAQ 2.9), unlikely to be a contender for championship sprints, but winner first time last season and ended the campaign a neck down in a big-field Group-3 at Dundalk.
⭕ 4.10 Nottingham Laafy is another early bird. Won first time out in 2020 but a stone higher in the handicap now. Catching him fresh to win this level-terms Listed would be an ideal start. His trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, has had a 50% strike rate on AW this year.
Sir Ron Priestley is top rated after winning the Ladbrokes March Stakes at Goodwood as part of a summer hat-trick before running second in the St Leger. He also won first time back.
But all that was in 2019 and we can’t be sure he’s the same horse after missing out the whole of 2020, and may need the run this time around.
Ocean Wind, who has always needed a run close to his target race, won the Cesarewitch and may need further than today’s trip on top of the ground. Win O’Clock needs cut.
BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE VALUE value 5.8 Laafy
BETDAQ 8.0 ENCOURAGES MY BET
⭕ 5.10 Nottingham The riding skills of Lincoln-winning jockey Benoit De La Sayette will be put to the test on Albert Camus, with – in theory – his 7lb claim swinging the form in his favour.
Racing Post analysis says that beaten-favourite Albert Camus twice failed to get a clear run trying to get to the pacesetting Annandale at Newcastle in November, and went down a length and a half over a mile.
But my man in the long grass warns me that Albert Camus is an outsider among horses who backs off from those in front, so probably caused his own trouble and a wide sweep down the Colwick Park straight might be Benoit’s best bet.
Annandale was beaten over today’s trip of 10 furlongs on his reappearance at Doncaster, despite being in receipt of 13lb from the winner, and Albert Camus was beaten favourite again at Lingfield on the last day.
It all has me looking for something likely to go forward, not going backwards or treading water.
Gordounstoun is up in the weights and has to prove he’s as good on top of the ground as he was with his soft-surface double on today’s course in the autumn.
So I took a fancy to the royal runner Encourage, who made his handicap debut over shorter on this course and has been gelded since. A bit each way.
BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE VALUE value 8.0 Encourage
3.40 Nottingham (win 20, nap)
BET 10pts win MUKER
4.10 Nottingham (win 20)
Bet 4pts win LAAFY
5.10 Nottingham (win 10, place win 10)
BET 1.4pts win and 4.6pts place ENCOURAGE
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