Arthur Takes the High Road to National Glory
Well, last week I gave you my five horse strong shortlist for horse racing’s greatest contest the Aintree Grand National and fortunately the winner One for Arthur was on it. This is what I wrote about the Lucinda Russell trained 8 year old back in January in this column.
“There was some good horse racing last Saturday, with the highlight for me being the win of the Lucinda Russell trained One For Arthur in the Betfred Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick. The race over 3m 5f is a definite test of stamina but even more so when the ground is as soft as it was at the weekend. One For Arthur jumped really well throughout the race and once he took up the running two from home he was not for catching. His rise in the weights for this comprehensive win, now means the 8 year old could well get into the Grand National in April. As he showed in the Becher Chase the big Aintree fences hold no terrors for the horse and he is a definite contender should he go for the big one!.
Then on Monday, I gave this Kelso selection exclusively to Eycatcher Pro subscribers:
Scotswell – “The 11 year old is 2lb higher than for his last win over C&D last May. This is very much his going being 6 wins from 24 runs 10 places on good ground or quicker and is 2 wins from 6 runs 4 places around Kelso at around this distance. A reproduction of his 6 length 2nd to Saturday’s Grand National winner One For Arthur, over C&D last October, would see the selection go close today. If today’s jockey Danny Cook can get the horse out in front in a good jumping rhythm he will be tough to catch. Returns from an 88 day break but has gone well fresh in the past. Worth bearing in mind the race he won last year could well be his target and he should be noted for that race back here next month. Still solid each way claims if in going mood”.
A 9/1 advised winner that was sent off at odds of 5/1. Happy days indeed, as one correspondent said to me.
Not long now till the Flat season really kicks into gear and I have to say I have had enough of the jumps for now as I turn my attention to the flat. Last week there was a shortage of flat racing action with the only UK flat turf racing being at Leicester on Friday. That all means not much in the way of horses for your notebooks this week.
This Weeks Eyecatchers
This week I have just the one eye catcher for you.
Saturday 8th April
Hyperdrive – Jessica Harrington – Trainer has her horses in good form at present and it showed with the performance of Hyperdrive. The three year old hadn’t shown anything in his three starts in maiden company as a juvenile but this was a much improved performance to stay on into 2nd at the finish. He has trained on from 2 to 3 and the gelding operation that he had over the winter looks to have done the trick. Step up to a 1m 2f suited him well and he could stay a bit further. He will no doubt go up for this run but should still be on a workable mark after. There is a small handicap in this one in the coming months.
Due to the lack of eyecatchers this week I thought I would take a quick peek at next week’s Irish Grand National which is the highlight of Fairyhouse’s three day Easter festival.
The Boylesports Irish Grand National Day – Fairyhouse – Easter Monday
With Easter being late this year the Irish Grand National takes place 9 days after the Aintree Grand National. Last year’s race was won by the ‘Mouse’ Morris trained Rogue Angel who was sent off at odds of 16/1. It’s a race that often throws up a big priced winner so if you fancy one between 16/1 & 50/1 you have a decent chance of finding the winner of the race.
Looking at the 10 renewals of the race, there have been 10 winners from 268 runners 38 placed.
Let’s focus on some of the more interesting trends for the race:
Odds SP Last Race: 17/2 + – 9 winners from 132 runners 25 placed
Odds SP: 16/1 to 50/1 – 9 winners from 169 runners 26 placed
Best In Last 5 Runs: – 9 winners from 170 runners 27 placed
Official Rating: 128 to 137 – 9 winners from 174 runners 30 placed
Runs Last 90 Days: 1 to 2 – 9 winners from 176 runners 26 placed
Weight: 10-6 & under – 9 winners from 182 runners 32 placed
Age: 6 to 8 year olds – 8 winners from 147 runners 21 placed
Ran in National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham:
Notable Trainer Records in the Race:
‘Mouse’ Morris – 2 winners from 9 runners 5 placed
Jonjo O’Neill – 2 winners from 8 runners 4 placed
Arthur Moore – 1 winner from 8 runners 2 placed
Michael Hourigan – 0 winners from 12 runners 5 placed
Willie Mullins – 0 winners from 20 runners 2 placed
Verdict: A race where it often pays to go with the less exposed chasers. The horses that I have on my shortlist at the moment are, in no particular order, Minella Foru, Abolitionist, Haymount, The Crafty Butcher, Baie Des Iles and Tulsa Jack.
All that’s left is to wish you an enjoyable week’s punting and a very Happy Easter