Neptune Collonges, who is trained by Paul Nicholls, produced a major upset to beat off the field and win the John Smith’s Grand National on Saturday and is now 25/1 with bet365 to repeat the feat next year.
The 11-year-old was an outsider going into the race, starting the day at 33/1, but in true National style, he upset the odds to give Nicholls his first Grand National winner as a trainer.
The grey, who is owned by John Hales, looked strong throughout the race and jockey Daryl Jacob rode him perfectly as he remained amongst the leaders going into the final turn.
Sunnyhillboy looked set for the win after breaking free in the closing stages before Neptune Collonges caught up with him to nip ahead of the nine-year-old and claim the biggest win of his career.
Jacob was understandably overcome with emotion at the end of the race and said it was up there with his best moments in racing.
“You can’t beat this,” he said. “I was on a tough horse and I said to Paul that one day I would ride you a National winner.
“That was two years ago and now I’ve done it.”
Sunnyhillboy is 16/1 joint favourite with bet365 to win the 2013 Grand National along with third placed Seabass.
Jockey Tom Scudamore believes Junior is perfectly suited to Aintree and has tipped the 12/1 shot with bet365 to win Saturday’s big race, the Grand National.
The nine-year-old has been gearing up for this race for the past 12 months having already crossed the line first at Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival.
Junior would become the first horse to complete a hat-trick of that type and the David Pipe-trained entry looks to be in with a serious shout of success.
Junior has run in a Newbury hurdle race and finished a close second in Doncaster’s Grimthorpe Chase this year, two performances which have given his stable hope he can land the big one.
Scudamore is optimistic about his chances of riding the winner, claiming his ability to cope with the big occasion could make the difference.
“He’s always struck me as an ideal National type. He’s very similar to the likes of Blowing Wind and Bindaree in that he’s a very intelligent horse to ride and very straightforward,” he told At The Races.
“He can cope with the big occasion having won at Royal Ascot and at the Cheltenham Festival – he’s just a big occasion horse and thrives on it.
“Junior is certainly a very intelligent horse and I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t take to Liverpool and thrive on it.”
Gold Cup champion Synchronised looks set to go off as the 7/1 favourite with bet365 as the Jonjo O’Neill-entry looks to emulate Golden Miller by winning the two big steeplechases of the year.
Elsewhere, female jockeys Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry could make history as they bid to become the first women to ride a National on Seabass (20/1) and Organisedconfusion (14/1) respectively.
Tags: aintree, David Pipe, grand national, horse racing bet, horse racing betting, horse racing odds, Jonjo O'Neill, Junior, katie walsh, nina carberry, organisedconfusion, outright betting, seabass, synchronised, Tom Scudamore
Aintree Grand National | Horse Racing Betting News | April 13, 2012 18:43 |
Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised is now the new 8/1 favourite with bet365 for the Grand National after previous favourite Prince De Beauchene was pulled out after suffering a hip injury.
The nine-year-old was well fancied for the Aintree steeplechase after a convincing victory in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February.
However, concerns were raised by rider Ruby Walsh after a sluggish ride at Fairyhouse last week.
Scans have since revealed a stress fracture to the hip, ruling the Willie Mullins trained horse out for the season.
“He went to Fairyhouse a few days ago and Ruby [Walsh] rode him, but he wasn’t happy afterwards,” said owner Graham Wylie.
“Willie got him scanned and it showed that he had a hairline fracture to his hip, so he is going to need 12 weeks’ box rest and unfortunately, that means he’s going to have to miss Aintree.
“It’s disappointing, but that’s horses for you. It’s better we’ve discovered it now than during the race. We’ll give him a bit of time and hopefully he’ll be back next season.”
Junior is now 9/1 second favourite with bet365 for the April 14 race, with last year’s winner Ballabriggs 12/1 joint third favourite with Burton Port.
Tags: Ballabriggs, bet on horse racing, bet on the Grand National, Burton Port, Cheltenham Gold Cup, Graham Wylie, Grand National bet, Grand national betting, grand national odds, horse racing bet, horse racing betting, horse racing odds, Junior, Prince De Beauchene, ruby walsh, synchronised, Willie Mullins
Aintree Grand National | Horse Racing Betting News | April 1, 2012 13:51 |
Robert Waley-Cohen, owner of last season’s Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run, has confirmed that his charge will not be asked to turn out at Aintree in April to bid to regain his place at the top of the chasing tree, but could instead take his chance at either Punchestown or even Auteuil later in the season, writes Elliot Slater.
There had been some expectation that the smart seven-year-old might bid for the Grade 1 Totesport Bowl, but after running a slightly disappointing third to Synchronised in this month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, connections appear to have taken the view that the French bred gelding would benefit from a little extra time between his races before being asked to go into battle once again. People betting Grand National money should bear this in mind.
Many observers felt that Long Run underperformed at Cheltenham having been given a gilt-edged opportunity to defend his title once his old sparring partner and main market rival Kauto Star pulled up before halfway, and rounding the home turn Sam Waley-Cohen’s mount was within a length of the lead and had every chance to do the double. Upside The Giant Bolster at the last, it came as a shock when the Nicky Henderson-trained star failed to pick up on the uphill run to the line, and in the end he could only keep on at the one pace in eventually finishing third as Jonjo O’Neill’s Synchronised scooted by to land the spoils. Fans will now be looking at the betting for Grand National though.
Long Run’s connections will not be rushed into making a quick decision on his next outing, but Waley-Cohen confirmed that both the Punchestown and Auteuil and very much under consideration as too is the third option of calling it quits for the season and letting the high-class performer have a summer at grass before coming back to try and regain his crown in 2013, for which he is currently on offer at between 6/1 and 10/1 in the ante-post market.
Nicky Henderson has suggested that Burton Port (14/1 bet365 antepost betting) will head to Aintree for the Grand National after a solid performance at the Cheltenham Festival.
The eight-year-old finished fourth in the Gold Cup under Barry Geraghty, just behind stablemate Long Run who had to settle for third.
Burton Port has won seven of his 15 starts and now looks set to head to Liverpool, where he won a Grade 2 Novices Chase back in 2010.
Speaking after the festival’s showpiece, Henderson revealed: “I’ll have to talk to Trevor Hemmings (owner) but you’d say there’s no reason why he wouldn’t go to the National as it’s the only chance he’ll get to run off 11st 7lb.”
2011 Gold Cup winner Long Run (5/2f King George VI Chase) is also expected to run at Aintree, but in the 3m Betfred Bowl race after just falling short of retaining his Cheltenham crown.
This year’s winner Synchronised is available at 8/1 with bet365 to win this year’s Grand National, but his future plans are yet to be revealed by trainer Jonjo O’Neill or owner JP McManus.
Connections of Fruity O’Rooney, who finished second in the JLT Speciality Handicap Chase on day one of the festival, will also be aimed at next month’s National.
Tags: 2012 grand national betting, 2012 grand national odds, aintree, barry geraghty, betfred bowl odds, burton point, Cheltenham Gold Cup, fruity o'rooney, horse racing odds and betting, jp mcmanus, Long Run, Nicky Henderson
Aintree Grand National | Horse Racing Betting News | March 17, 2012 09:55 |
Mudlark Bluesea Cracker looks set to make her seasonal reappearance at Chepstow in late-December where a bid for the Coral Welsh National Handicap Chase could be on the cards for the Irish mare who was last seen finishing 14th in the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree in April, writes Elliot Slater.
Trained by James Motherway in County Cork in Ireland, the nine-year-old daughter of Buster King jumped to prominence when proving four-and-a-half-lengths too good for subsequent Aintree Grand National runner-up Oscar Time in landing the 2010 renewal of the Powers Whisky Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on heavy ground, and duly became a solid fancy for last season’s Aintree spectacular. Those looking for Aintree tips should remember this.
In the event the ground was probably quicker than Motherway’s mare would have preferred but she ran with credit over the awesome spruce fences plugging on to finish the course in her own time, but a long way adrift of the principals. Easy ground is a prerequisite for Bluesea Cracker to be seen at her best and connections are hopeful that the Welsh Grand National will live up to form and produce very soft round.
Prior to her run in the ‘world’s greatest steeplechase’ at Aintree, Bluesea Cracker attracted the attention of the legendary gambler and leading jumps racehorse owner JP McManus, who managed to persuade her original owners to part with her for an undisclosed sum only one week before her run at Aintree. The Liverpool event will once again be a target for the mare, and if she returns to her best form and the ground comes up soft on Merseyside she could be very much in the thick of the action come the big event in April. Those following the Grand National betting should bear this in mind.
Bookmakers rate Motherway’s mare a 50/1 shot to be the first of her sex to win the great race since Nickel Coin in 1951!
The 2010 John Smith’s Grand National winner Don’t Push It put up a highly satisfactory performance on his first outing of the term when coming home strongly up the Cheltenham hill to finish sixth of the 19- runners behind Dorset Square in the listed Jardine Lloyd Thompson Handicap Hurdle and looks set to remain over timber for the time being, writes Elliot Slater.
Jonjo O’Neill’s popular 11-year-old was having his first outing since running at tremendous race at Aintree in April where he carried a massive 11st 10lbs into a gallant third place behind Ballabriggs, once again confirming his love affair with the Merseyside marathon contest. O’Neill will be tailoring the JP McManus-owned gelding’s campaign around a repeat assault on ‘the world’s greatest steeplechase’ and could not have been more pleased with the way the staying chaser performed on his seasonal returning, staying on nicely through the final half-mile of the three-and-a-quarter-mile affair having been outpaced when the field quickened after the fourth last. The best Grand National betting odds reflect the fact he was in need of the outing.
Connections are in no rush to have the Old Vic gelding back in action too quickly and he will be given a few weeks to recover before thoughts turn to his next outing, but Frank Berry, racing manager for McManus suggested that he will almost certainly remain over timber for the time being following what has now become a fairly traditional route of keeping fit in hurdles races without prejudicing his chasing handicap mark by winning over fences before the publication of the Grand National weights.
Only the legendary Red Rum has regained the Grand National title so it is asking a huge amount of Don’t Push It to score again at Aintree in April, but there is no doubt he loves the place, remains a capable performer, and is amongst the ante-post market principles for the great race at a general offer of 25/1.
Although he was only two days short of his 81st birthday, the sudden death of legendary racehorse trainer Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain, the man who almost singlehandedly saved the Grand National from oblivion through his exploits with the mighty Red Rum, has come as a massive shock to all in the tight-knit racing community and for many much further afield, writes Elliot Slater.
The effervescent McCain was always the centre of attention at Aintree and had remained active in his retirement in assisting his son Donald Jnr who has risen rapidly to be one of the very best jumps trainers in Britain and has already scored a Grand National winner. As recently as a few weeks ago McCain was still going racing and was always available for a few words of wisdom, a strong opinion, and plenty of laughs, and his absence from the racecourse leaves a void that will never properly be filled.
McCain’s rags-to-riches tale is the stuff of fairytales. The second-hand card dealer who bought a slow Flat-bred racehorse called Red Rum and trained him out of the backyard of his car showroom, taking the gelding to Southport sands to swim in the sea and exercise while the locals were eating their ice-creams and making sandcastles, and went on to send him out to be the only horse in history to win the Grand National three times (1973, 74 & 77), as well as finishing runner-up in both 1975 and 76. Fans of Grand National free betting will know how good he was.
The Red Rum story took the great race from the edge of bankruptcy and disillusion to be a world headline-maker and gave the impetus for the financial rescue package of the race and indeed, Aintree racecourse itself. His fourth win in the race with Amberleigh House in 2004, proved that McCain wasn’t just a one-horse trainer and served to only enhance his already iconic status.
It’s very rare for the top jockeys not to get a ride in the Grand National and all of the top names will be featured again this year. But while a lot of attention is focused on the experience and record of the horse around the Grand National course very little notice is taken of the jockeys record or experience and is that a factor?
The roll of honour contains nearly all of the top and famous names, but it has taken some jockeys a while to get there, even Champion Jockey AP McCoy had to endure several disappointing and heart-breaking rides before scoring at his 15th attempt last year.
But if we look a little further there are plenty of surprises amongst the names that have won the National some at their first attempt – Liam Treadwell won the race at the first time of asking on board Mon Mome in 2009, as did Niall ‘Slippers’ Madden on Numbersixvalverde in 2006, while Graham Lee finished 3rd and then 1st on his first two rides in the race on Amberleigh House for Ginger McCain. So it would seem that having your first experience of the fences is not much of a drawback for the men on top. All of those named above though were professionals and used to riding day in day out, how about the amateurs?
Well their record looks good winning 41 of the 163 Grand Nationals that have been run, although their record is swayed by the number of victories that they had before 1940 when far more of their ilk used to take part. Those looking for Grand National 2011 tips should remember this. Nevertheless, amongst their ranks they number Dick Saunders the oldest jockey to win the National aged 48 and Daily Telegraph journalist Marcus Armytage won the race in record time on Mr Frisk in 1990, while another amateur Chris Bonner finished twice in the frame in the Nineties (3rd on Over The Deel in 1995 and 4th on Sir Peter Lely in 1996).
There have also been some notable performances by lady amateurs and with both Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry having rides this year and with the latter in particular having ridden well around here before neither should be written off, as anyone looking at the Grand National racing betting will know.
However, the most interesting amateur is Sam Waley-Cohen who stands to win three of the season’s biggest prizes if he could land the Grand National with Oscar Time having already been successful in the King George and Gold Cup on Long Run. Although he remains an amateur rider, Sam’s record over the National fences is in fact quite impressive. Not only did Waley-Cohen land back-to-back Foxhunters victories on board Katarino (in 2005 & 2006), he actually won both of the non-National races over the famous birch obstacles in 2006 (the other being the Topham Chase). In fact before his first ride in the Grand National in 2007 his record over the big fences was five rides, five completions and three victories. Not a man who can be written off lightly over these big fences.
Our overriding impression is that if the horse underneath you is good enough then the man on top is going to get the job done and like some horses first time out is the time to catch some jockeys at the Grand National.
Howard Johnson has reported that his ante-post 66/1 chance Frankie Figg will not be declared for the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday and will instead take his chance in the John Smith’s Topham Trophy Chase some 24 hours earlier, writes Elliot Slater.
Five of the County Durham-trained nine-year-old’s last eight runs have been at Aintree where he has enjoyed mixed fortunes over the last couple of seasons, and the decision to scratch him from the Grand National is surely based on the big doubt surrounding his ability to see out the marathon four-and-a-half-mile trip. Anyone looking to place a Grand National online bet will have to look elsewhere.
Last seen in action at Wetherby in February were he unseated his rider whilst leading at the eight fence, the Portrait Gallery gelding won the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase in November at Aintree over the Grand National fences, landing the two-and-three-quarter-mile event by five-lengths from Nikola. That victory was due compensation for some bad luck in previous outings at the Merseyside track, including when unseating his rider whilst still leading narrowly at the second from home in last year’s Topham Trophy and when falling on his two previous attempts over the giant spruce fences, both times when leading in the Grand Sefton Chase and the Topham Trophy of 2009.
Johnson is now likely to saddle two runners in the Grand National for his principal owners Andrea and Graham Wylie, with the mercurial Tidal Bay set to run off second top weight of 11st 9lbs, and Santa’s Son off 10st 5lbs. Veteran Royal Rosa is the third possible contender from the Johnson yard, but he currently stands at number 49 in the weights and with only 40 runners set to take their chance it will be touch and go as to whether he makes the starting line-up on Saturday.