WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE LIKELY AINTREE LADS? In the week of the Becher Chase, Grand Sefton and Many Clouds Chase, two of them over the big fences, the Aintree Grand National is the talking point, and punters will be asking of their favourite recent Liverpool winner: ‘whatever happened to……?’ Daqman finds some disturbing answers.
CLOUD OVER THE NATIONAL WINNERS
Can they beat the National hoodoo? The last two Aintree Grand National winners, One For Arthur and Tiger Roll, are due to appear within a week of each other.
One For Arthur skips the National fences of Saturday’s Becher Chase to run instead on the Mildmay Course in the Many Clouds Chase on the same card.
The Saturday after, Tiger Roll is scheduled to continue his prep the same way as last year, taking in another Cheltenham cross-country.
But the fate of National winners is very much against their picking up where they left off. In fact, you wonder will they ever win another race?
Here, cataloguing the winners’ subsequent results in the 10 years before Tiger Roll ( a total for the decade of winners of just four successes from 65 races), we see that only Many Clouds was tough enough to train on and win more chases.
The way that Tiger Roll has been trained via banks events to target the National may break the trend, though the last horse to take that route – for the same stable – won only a point-to-point after his National in 2007.
2008 COMPLY OR DIE second the following year but never won again in 11 attempts.
2009 MON MOME never won again in 18 tries, including fell and pulled up in two more Grand Nationals
2010 DON’T PUSH IT had six more starts including third in the National the following year. No wins.
2011 BALLABRIGGS sixth and pulled up National in six races after his win. Also drew a blank.
2012 NEPTUNE COLLONGES never raced again
2013 AURORAS ENCORE was unplaced three times then quit.
2014 PINEAU DE RE won a hurdle race from 13 subsequent starts
2015 MANY CLOUDS the only winner to score again over fences in the 10 years; in fact 3-7.
2016 RULE THE WORLD unplaced at Punchestown three weeks later and retired
2017 ONE FOR ARTHUR not raced since; due to reappear on Saturday
(2018 Tiger Roll has had one run since; unplaced in a Cheltenham cross-country when reappearing last month)
GRAND DESIGNS ON ARCHITECTURE
12.50 Haydock Soft ground at Haydock this afternoon with an interesting maiden hurdle here over 2m 6f which will develop into a test of stamina.
Halloween Harry is a runner to note from Philip Hobbs. He is a winning point to pointer but on good ground, so is probably best watched on his hurdling debut.
A safer bet might be the Tim Vaughan trained Modern Warfair who ran better than his 40/1 SP indicated at Exeter over a similar trip last time out when he was fourth to Russian Hawk. It was good to soft ground that day and a similar effort may prove good enough.
Newtide (fourth at Chepstow) has a similar profile but he looks a little short in the market for a horse where this trip might stretch him.
6.30 Kempton (Wild Flower Stakes) Listed action at Kempton tonight with the Wild Flower Stakes – a race that has gone to horses drawn 1232 in the last four seasons.
The interesting runner is the Nicky Henderson* (* this is not a mis-print) trained runner Verdana Blue. The mare is still warming up for her jumps campaign but picked off a flat race at Chelmsford a couple of starts ago, winning easily and has since finished a creditable fourth in the Greatwood at Cheltenham when she was sent off favourite.
With six career wins from 18 runs over the jumps she is without doubt a talented mare but surely looks too short in the market for this big step-up in grade on the flat?
The trip is always likely to prove on the sharp side for her and she may be tapped for toe against some more experienced rivals – the best of which might be the Hugo Palmer trained Architecture.
She finished second to Kasperenko over a shorter trip here last month in another Listed contest but pulled nicely clear of the third and the extra distance tonight and first time cheekpieces will hopefully combine as positives and she looks a solid options as today’s nap.
7.15 Newcastle The best race in the north-east tonight can go to Nick Vedder who is out again quickly after his excellent second to Royal Prospect in class company last week.
He finished strongly that day suggesting the extra furlong here will suit and this is unquestionably an easier ask.
BET 4.2pts win MODERN WARFAIR (12.50 Haydock)
BET 7pts win (nap) ARCHITECTURE (6.30 Kempton)
BET 8.3pts win NICK VEDDER (7.15 Newcastle)
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