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John Smith's Grand National - 14th April 2012 

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Synchronised Team Ponder Grand National Assault
19/03/12

Synchronised, the horse bred to win a Derby who won Friday's pulsating Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in the bravest possible fashion, could bid for a unique double and attempt to life the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree on April 14, writes Elliot Slater.

Tony McCoy and Synchronised
after winning the
2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup
© Caroline Norris

Synchronised and AP McCoy

The gelded son of the great stallion Sadler's Wells never actually made it onto the racecourse on the Flat but has proved himself a horse of tremendous guts and stamina in a career that seems to be getting better and better with every race. Originally seen as an out-and-out Grand National horse having landed the Midlands Grand National in 2010 on desperately heavy ground before adding the more prestigious Welsh Grand National to his collection in beating Giles Cross in January of last year on equally gruelling terrain, the Jonjo O'Neill-trained nine-year-old shocked most observers when proving classy enough to win the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting and came into the Gold Cup a well backed 8/1 chance. Many people looking at the Grand National betting will have assumed the race was going to be something of a warm up for him.

From early in the Cheltenham contest it seemed that Tony McCoy's mount would be outclassed as he was flat to the boards, but as stamina came into play in the final mile the JP McManus-owned grinder came through menacingly before jumping into the lead at the last to beat the gallant The Giant Bolster and defending champion Long Run in sensational fashion.

Now the question is being asked as to whether or not the allotted top weight will take his chance at Aintree and bid to complete a remarkable double in the space of four weeks? There is no doubt Synchronised will stay, he can handle himself on anything other than a quick surface, and he has always jumped well. Immediately shortened up from 25/1 to a top price of 12/1 in the Grand National 2012 odds following his Cheltenham win, the presence of O'Neill's charge would add an extra unexpected dimension to an already fascinating affair.


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