Grand National Betting News

Saturday 9th April 2016

Feb 06 Titanbet made Carlingford Lough 25/1 for the Grand National after completing back-to-back wins in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown. Still last turning into the home straight, Carlingford Lough stayed on supremely well to pull clear on the run to the line to suggest he is worth a go at the Grand National. Titanbet certainly think so after he was cut from 50/1 into 25/1 for the Aintree showpiece.

Feb 07 Lucy Wadham believes the Crabbie's Grand National dream is very much alive for Le Reve following his third course victory at Sandown on February 6.

Le Reve
© Racehorse Photos
Le Reve

While the Newmarket handler reckons the bet365 Chase back at the Esher track in April is the obvious race to target with the eight-year-old, she feels the time is right for him to take his chance in the Aintree showpiece earlier that month.

She said: "Le Reve is back on track. The Grand National dream is still alive and I think that's where we are looking at going. The obvious race is the bet365 at Sandown, but I'd love to have a crack at the National and I think this is the year for him. It will be massively competitive, but we might as well have a go."

Wadham added: "I was hoping to give him an outing over the Aintree fences beforehand but nothing has gone quite according to plan, although lots of horses have run in the National without going over the fences before. That will probably be it now and I would think we will wait for the National."

Reflecting on his second successive victory in the Betfred Masters Handicap Chase, which arrived just a week after he finished sixth in the Sky Bet Chase, Wadham was quick to praise the efforts of winning jockey Harry Skelton.

She said: "At Doncaster they went off so quick he never got an opportunity to recover from his mistake at the first and he was on the back foot after that.

"He didn't have much of a race there and as he came out of it really well, we didn't want to miss an opportunity at Sandown. He was carrying more weight in the race than last year so it was a good performance.

"It was a great ride from Harry Skelton. He said to me he thought he was going to win as soon as they started and that is a nice feeling for a jockey to have. He got him into a nice rhythm and jumped well, while the blinkers just helped him focus better."

Irish handler Pat Fahy is hoping talented performer Morning Assembly will make the National field on April 9 after finishing second at Fairyhouse last month on his return from a long absence.

Morning Assembly
© Caroline Norris
Morning Assembly

The nine-year-old was Grade One-placed as a novice chaser but missed all of last season through injury.

Fahy said: "The Crabbie's Grand National is the long-term plan for Morning Assembly.

"I was delighted with his run at Fairyhouse. You would have to think he would come on an amazing amount for that effort as he was never off the bridle and we never really pushed to get him fit. We used that race to get him fit and it did. He had been off for almost two years and he wasn't under any pressure, so hopefully is back to his best.

"He is not too high in the handicap at the moment so we are thinking of going for one of the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival and then on to Aintree. He is in the Gold Cup and the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham but we will have a good look at the handicaps as he seems on a good mark at the moment.

"He is also in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock Park (February 20) which we have considered, but if he ran there he wouldn't be able to go to Cheltenham and I think the owner (Clipper Logistics Group Ltd) would like to take in Cheltenham and Aintree with him.

"I won the Grand National Trial with Nuaffe (1994) and would love to win it again, so it is always an option.

"I think he is exceptional on soft ground. He beat Don Cossack over two and a half miles on goodish ground so he is capable on it, but he wouldn't want any jar on the ground.

"When he was third in the RSA Chase it was good ground and I think he just hasn't got quite the pace when it is like that whereas he can really cruise on softer ground. He got very jarred when he was third at Punchestown on his last run as a novice and had to miss last season, so I wouldn't want to run him on that kind of ground again.

"I would say he would get the trip fine in the Grand National and is such a good lepper, although you never know how they will take to the fences at Aintree.

"I hope we can get to Aintree with the horse 100 per cent, the right sort of ground and a decent weight. If we do, I think he would have a good chance."