Grand National News
Looking Forward to Aintree: what are the bookies saying?
The 2017 Grand National looks set to be on the most open renewals in recent times with any number of horses that might go off favourite.
That current accolade belongs to Vieux Lion Rouge, who is generally on offer at around 10/1 but may be trumped in the market as race day approaches.
The eight-year-old has a couple of decent wins under his belt and those have caused the bookmakers to take note but does he really have the credentials to take the world’s greatest steeplechase?
Victory at Aintree late last year and at Haydock in February caught the public’s attention but he was a long way behind 12 months ago and that might cause many punters to steer well clear.
According to the Grand National experts at Tipsters review, Gavin Cromwell’s Raz De Maree is one to watch.
Admittedly, at the age of 12, the gelding has reached a stage in his career when the stats suggest winning a National will be tough, but he was only a length and three quarters behind Native River in the Welsh National at Chepstow on December 27.
Currently around 40/1 in the market, the son of Shaanmer would ideally like some rain in the lead up to the race and a bit of cut in the ground but certainly represents each-way value.
Another possible contender is The Young Master who missed the National last year but is very much in contention to cause a splash this time around.
The eight-year-old fell in the Becher back in December and disappointed in the Cleeve Hurdle but was much better at Cheltenham last month, managing a sixth-place finish in the Ultima Handicap Chase.
More of That (14/1) is another animal who might be coming to the boil at the right time after a few poor displays.
Jonjo O’Neill’s charge was sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and is moving in the right direction for a serious tilt at the big one on Merseyside, although his last win was in a Novice Chase back in December 2015, with only three in the field that day.
Ucello Conti is hovering around the 20/1 mark at the moment and must be worth consideration at the weekend.
The nine-year-old has yet to win since moving over from France but has been there or there abouts in some decent handicaps over the past few months.
The son of Martaline was fourth in the Leinster National at Naas and that race should be ideal preparation for what awaits him at Aintree on Saturday.
Definitly Red is near the top of the market and on offer at 12/1 in some places and it is impossible not to mention the eight-year-old as a possible winner.
The gelding took care of The Last Samuri to win the Grimthorpe Handicap Chase at Doncaster on March 4 while also winning at Wetherby on Boxing Day last year, and it likely that his odds will be in single figures by the time the starter lets them go.