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Saturday 6 April 2013

The Grand National 2013

This is it! Today is the day of the Grand National and what a race we have in propect as we have a full field of 40 runners with some running off 10st. But first, what a performance we saw from both Sprinter Sacre and Cue Card. I’ve not calculated my personal ratings yet for the race, but that performance by Sprinter Sacre was the best I’ve seen from a horse over the jumps given the quality of the opposition. Make no mistake, Cue Card ran a phenomenal race too so where this puts Sprinter Sacre is in the realms of the all-time greats.

Today is all about the big race, but there are other races on the card the best of which looks to be the John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle over 3-mile at 2:50. The interesting runner in this is GRANDS CRUS who returns to hurdles for the first time since coming 2nd in the World Hurdle in 2011. He’s not quite as good a chaser as a hurdler, but what a hurdler he was back then. I think the form he’s shown over fences suggests he’s still got the ability and speed he had as a hurdler. He is still only an 8yo, and so long as this race is run at a true pace then I cannot see anything in this race coming close to him. Odds of 6/1 look very generous to me.

I've been studying the Grand National form for several days and there are several in this race that keep coming to my attention. They are Cappa Bleu, Chicago Grey, Quel Esprit, and Viking Blond. As I wrote yesterday, with a bottom-weight of 10st this year I am not expecting a winner to carry more than 11st. I think that last horse to carry more than 14lbs greater than the bottom weight to victory was 3-time winner RED RUM. Weight in the National stops horses from winning. Those under 11st that I expect to be there at the finish are CAPPA BLEU, CHICAGO GREY and VIKING BLOND.

Before I go any further, BetVictor are paying each-way on the 1st-6 places and that cannot be ignored.

CAPPA BLEU ran a cracker at Ascot LTO and he was 4th off this same mark in last year’s National when doing all his best work in the final mile. He looks good value to be in the 1st-6 at odds of 11/1.
CHICAGO GREY never really had a race in this last year as he was brought-down early on. This year he comes into it with a perfect preparation and, running off a lower rating, he looks to have a great chance. There has been a lot of market support for him and he’s now 12/1 with BetVictor.
VIKING BLOND carries just 10st He's been running well all season without winning and he should be in the front-rank thru'out the race. He did fall at the 1st fence last year and that is probably why he’s 100/1, but I expect him to run a lot better than his odds.
Although I don’t expect the winner to carry more than 11st, there are several carrying 11st-plus that will run well.  One horse that looks to have slipped under the radar is QUEL ESPIRIT at 40/1, tho' his big weight of 11st 7lb may prevent him winning he could be in the 1st-6 home.

Aintree 2:50, GRANDS CRUS, 1pt win @ 6/1 (available generally)

Aintree: The Grand National at 4:15 – all bets with BetVictor who pay quarter odds a place on the 1st-6 finishers:
CAPPA BLEU, ½pt win @ 11/1
CHICAGO GREY, ½pt win @ 12/1
I'm expecting one of these two horses to win.

CAPPA BLEU, ¼pt eachway @ 11/1
CHICAGO GREY, ¼pt eachway @ 12/1
VIKING BLOND, ¼pt eachway @ 100/1
QUEL ESPRIT, ¼pt eachway @ 40/1
Total 5pts staked today

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