Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Friday 7th April 2017

Racing UK

All aboard Cause Of Causes in Grand National

When the Grand National meeting comes around punters are faced with some difficult decision making.

The main problem lies in assessing just how horses will perform after competing at Cheltenham. Will they be able to repeat a good effort or recoil?

There is no definitive answer as every horse is an individual and some will have raced harder than others. Video study of how horses had to race at Cheltenham is important, as is an appreciation of the fact that it looks like they will be racing on faster ground at Aintree.

Causes Of Causes
© Caroline Norris
One horse who to my eye did just what he had to at Cheltenham was Cause Of Causes. He won the Cross Country Chase without over exerting himself and he is my sporting selection for the Randox Health Grand National. At a general 14-1, with regular rider Jamie Codd on his back, he is worth backing each-way. Here is my reasoning:

1. He was eighth in this race in 2015 behind Many Clouds. In a race where it paid to race prominently he was set a huge task, being held up at the back of the field. However, he did finish the race strongly in the face of a hopeless task. That experience will not be lost on him and while previous experience over these fences can be somewhat exaggerated, as an asset, it certainly will not do him any harm.

Mathematician Betting

2. Cause Of Causes seems to enjoy cross country racing, which shows that he is very capable and well suited to handling the rigours of the Grand National course. The reason he is so good at the cross country discipline is that he is a neat jumper and somewhat lazy, which means he pops around the first couple of miles without using up too much energy. If he can do the same at Aintree, and not get too far behind, he will surely be bang there in the latter stages of the race.

3. He is a triple Cheltenham Festival winner and while this shows that he is well suited to that particular track it also proves he has the ability to handle a fiercely competitive heat like the National. Partly the reason for his good record at Cheltenham is due to him being a clever horse who seems to be able to avoid trouble whilst conserving energy.

4. Gordon Elliott is a superb trainer and famously won this race with Silver Birch, which really launched his career. With this in mind I am sure that he would not be running Cause Of Causes if he felt that Cheltenham had got to the bottom of him.

5. These days the Grand National is a fiercely competitive heat, which nearly any horse can win. To find the winner you need some kind of edge and in this horse we have an ideal National horse given his ability to go through races without over exerting himself. It may be that he will get behind again but if he can sit in mid-division early on and just hunt away he looks sure to be able to finish the race off strongly and at least make the frame.

Angus McNae’s Grand National selection

5.15 Aintree Cause Of Causes at 14-1 each way