Grand National – Aintree – Saturday 9th April 2022

Who was the unlucky loser?

Any Second Now @ 16/1

Any Second Now made quite a bad mistake at the 10th and it was a good sit and that was the only mistake Any Second Now made but that’s not why he was unlucky. Any Second Now takes off at the 12th 1/2 length behind the eventual winner Minella Times in 9th & 10th place. Upon landing he is hampered by the fall of Double Shuffle and ends up back in 18th and about 10 lengths behind Minella Times. He then had to make his effort to close on the winner and runner up coming to the 2nd last. This effort arguably cost him his chance at the finish and yet he was still only beaten 8 1/4 lengths, less than what he lost by being hampered. He’s clearly being targeted at a return having run once already this season over hurdles and runs again tomorrow over hurdles. Don’t expect him to run well until the weights are out.

Who could get the trip this year?

Cloth Cap @ 40/1

Cloth Cap was sent off the 11/2 favourite having raced off an effective mark of 148. He’s now rated just 147 and yet can be backed at 40/1. He ran a good race for a long way before a mistake at the 26th when he emptied rapidly after and was pulled up before the 28th. He had been ridden prominently here and a slightly more conservative ride and the experience over the fences should be positives this year, whilst if that mistake where he landed funny caused him to go lame, it would be no surprise if he came back this year and went much closer. His effort when 6th in a Ladbroke Trophy this season was a good one whilst he appeared to go too hard at Ascot last time out. If the National is the plan then I’m sure connections wont have been too disappointed with his runs this season. I fully expect him to go to Kelso again this year and win that and suddenly look interesting for the Grand National again.

Who looks perfect for the National?

Escaria Ten @ 33/1

Escaria Ten finished 3rd last year in the National Hunt Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival behind Grade 1 Hurdler Next Destination, behind subsequent Grade 1 chaser Galvin, in front of Becher Chase winner Snow Leopardess and in front of Remastered who was running a big race in the Ladbroke Trophy when falling and has since finished 2nd and 4th in good handicaps.

This form looks very strong and he was then sent off 12/1 for the Irish National over the 3m5f trip but after being messed about at the start he ended up towards the back of the field, hated it and pulled up. That race is worth ignoring. He’s going to run tomorrow over 3m1f in the Thyestes Chase on his return for the season and hopefully he’s here for a fitness run and not to win. In fact in the last few years both Pleasant Company (2018 and beaten a head by Tiger Roll) & Any Second Now (2021 and was unlucky not to win) have pulled up in this race before going on to place (2nd beaten a head by Tiger Roll and 3rd and unlucky) in the Grand National. So even if Escaria Ten pulls up on his return against race fit opposition, don’t be too disappointed.

Who was still in with a shout last year?

Chris’s Dream @ 66/1

Chris’s Dream came down 4 out when joint 5th alongside Blaklion, Discorama & Cabaret Queen. He didn’t jump particularly high and it actually went down as unseat. He’s only had 1 run this season and again unseating over the National fences in the Becher Chase in a strange unseat as it appears the horse turned at the canal turn but the jockey forgot. He was still going well in 5th that day and would have surely played a big part in the finish even against the very impressive winner Snow Leopardess. He’s down to 162 from 164 which he ran off in the Grand National and if he disappoints in the Thyestes Chase then he’s likely to be dropped again. If he was running off 160 or less come the National he would be very interesting.

Premium Membership

You really should be signed up for the BEST RATINGS & Analysis around!

Premium Membership