Aintree Grand National 2014 – Tips and Preview

The 2014 Aintree Grand National takes place this year at 4.15 on Saturday the 5th of April. I preview and provide my tips for the race. If you want my best bets every day, check out my Premium Advisory Service which is +395 points, for a return on investment of a remarkable +33.2% since launch 6 months ago.

Race trends are of very dubious worth at the best of times, especially when only winners is used, but even trends using placed horses, are almost worthless in a predictive capacity for this years National. The reason being is the race has changed so much over the last ten years, with the fences now much easier, the weights are compressed, and a better class of horse runs in it now. To use stats for future predictions, you need a good sample, and you never have that using one race in isolation. You also need the sample to be reflective of the race you’re trying to predict. The only sample you could use for this years race, would be last years, and you simply can’t read much, if anything into the result of one race. It does seem the fences got easier again though, with only 2 fallers in the race.

Teaforthree is favourite at the moment, and considering horses who have run well here in the past, tend to do so again, then the fact he runs here off a mark of 149, having been 3rd off 151 last year, he must have a good chance. He also shaped better than the result last year. Travelling well thoughout, but having sat close to what looked a very fast pace, he kicked for home a long way out, while the winner was given a slightly more patient ride. He was still just in front jumping the last, but weakened from the elbow to get beat 9l.

I think he’d have gone very close if ridden a little more patiently, and I don’t think the trip is any problem, he stayed 3 mile 6 furlongs really well  in bottomless ground in the Welsh National. His weak finish was just a product of going for home too soon. It doesn’t matter how far you stay, if you use  all the petrol up too early. Teaforthree ran in the Gold Cup last time, when the pace was far from breakneck, and he got left behind when they went for home. He ran allright just fading out of it from the 2nd last, and probably didn’t have too hard a race. He has an obvious chance of winning, but I don’t think there’s any value in the current top price of 10/1.

Monbeg Dude won a Welsh National off a mark of 138, he won at Cheltenham in December off 138, before being given a lot to do when 5th of 12 at Doncaster last time, off his National mark of 146. He made mistakes that day, and while the fences here are easier these days, his jumping is still a worry. Considering he wouldn’t look overly well in on his park course form, he’d need to improve for tackling these fences, and as such I don’t really see why he’s second favourite, as there’s surely much more likely winners.

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Long Run was rated 182 after winning the 2011 Gold Cup, and runs off 160 here. On that basis he would look potentially thrown in, but he doesn’t look to be anywhere near as good as he was, and that mark off 182 looked very dubious to begin with, given as it was, on the assumption that Kauto Star and Denman were at their best that season. At his best he would still have a great chance off 160, and it may be he’s just lost his speed, and needs a real stamina test now.

He’s always jumped quite low over his fences, but while that caused a few mistakes over stiff park fences, theses fences might be a little bigger, but they certainly don’t seem stiff. Brushing through the top might just be the best way to take them. His price looks fair at the moment, although I just wonder would he be a better bet in running if still there after the chair.

Tidal Bay is a 13 year old now, but you could argue he’s just as good as ever this season. He was 3rd, beaten just 3/4l of a lenght in the Welsh National off a mark of 163, and I thought he should have won that day. He was travelling supremely well for him when he had cover early in the straight, but Daryl Jacob appeared to panic and pulled him out wide. Had he kept creeping him into it, the way he was doing before that maneuver, I think he’d have won.

Last time Tidal Bay was outpaced when they quickened, after a slow pace in the Irish Gold Cup, but stayed on really well to grab 2nd. The National trip will be right up his street, and while he didn’t jump great, before unseating at the 10th, when trying this course before, the fences are a good bit easier now than in 2011. The ground was also good that day, and that wouldn’t have helped him at all. As I write this the ground is good to soft, but with rain forecast it could be on the soft side come Saturday. That would slow them down a bit, and give him a good chance to get into a nice rhythm. If Sam Twiston-Davies can manage that, then he must have a great chance off a mark 2lb lower than that Welsh National run.

Burton Port was rated 166 at his best but was off injured for 18 months, until reappearing for Jonjo O’Neill in October 2013. He didn’t show much in his first 5 starts for him, but last time at Newbury, with checkpieces on he went with much more zest, going through the race like much the best horse, looking to have everything in trouble from a long way out, but in the end an overly aggressive ride told, and he got beat 7l. He ran off 141 that day, and based on what he showed, 145 looks a very good mark. While he had a hard race, I doubt there’s a better trainer out there, than Jonjo,  for getting his horses spot on for the big day, and while he’s not overly big for these fences, if he takes to them, he must have a great chance. He could do with the rain staying away, as although it was heavy for that Newbury run, he is probably better on decent ground.

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Rocky Creek is still unexposed over fences, with just 7 starts, and having been 2nd in the Hennessy off 151, before coming 2nd in the grade 2 at Cheltenham he could still be a good bit better than his National mark of 156. He jumps well and goes on any ground. The doubt about him is the trip. Last season he looked like he’d appreciate further than 3 miles, but he seemed to get outstayed close home in the Hennessy, and again at Cheltenham last time, he finished a little weakly having looked like he might win. On the plus side he seems to have been trained for this, and there certainly isn’t enough evidence to say he won’t stay. He still has the potential to be a top class chaser, he jumps well,  and is running off just 156, so deserves the utmost respect.

Prince De Beauchene was trained for this race the past two years, but injury intervened both times. His form this year doesn’t look as good though, and while the handicapper has given him a chance after dropping him to 147, he doesn’t make much appeal at the current 20/1.

Double Seven stayed on well to win over 3 miles 1 furlong at Killbeggan last summer, and has since won another 3 races. This trip is a big step into the unknown though, and its also a big step up in class for him. He’s only 20/1, and there are horses around a similar price, whose chances I’d much prefer.

Pineau De Re ran well over hurdles at Cheltenham, and won a handicap chase off 133 before that. He could easily run well, but he’s an 11 year old, running off a career high mark of 143, and I’d be surprised if he was well enough handicapped to win a National.

Balthazar King is very tough, consistent, and a great jumper. He ran well for a long way under an overly aggressive ride last year, and while more patience from the saddle could see him last longer, he was beaten before Beecher’s last year, and is 4lb higher now.

The Package has plenty of good efforts under similar, or higher marks, and ran very well back from a year’s break at Cheltenham last time. He didn’t jump great when he ran in the National before though, and his best recent efforts have come when fresh, so he may not reproduce that effort, when he’ll need to better it to win.

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Triolo D’Alene beat Rocky Creek in the Hennessy, but while he stayed on strongly that day, and may be the more likely to stay the trip between the two, he is 5lb worse off, and ran poorly in the Gold Cup. On that Newbury effort he would have a chance, off just 10lb higher and can’t be discounted.

Big Shu came from Hunter Chases into the Cross Country Chase arena, and while he’s done very well in that discipline, he has never ran in a proper handicap chase. While such a type might have done well in past Nationals when the fences proved a great equalizer, I think he’s going get some shock at the pace these will go, after sauntering around in cross country races. I really wouldn’t fancy him much at all off 145.

The Rainbow Hunter put up a career best last time to win a decent handicap at Doncaster, but he’s another 8lb higher here, against some much classier animals and he’ll do well to figure.

Colbert Station unseated at the Chair in last years National when near the back of the main group. He ran off 149 that day, and while he’s likely been trained to peak for this day again, he was in much better form prior to last year, and off a 2lb higher mark this time, he doesn’t make much appeal, as I’d have big doubts about his stamina too.

As I write this Night In Milan is only 43rd on the list, and not sure to get a run. He won off 136 last time, and runs off 137 here, which makes him look well treated, but this is a much better race, and I’m not overly interested in him.

Chance Du Roy won over the National fences back in November, over 3 miles and 2 furlongs. He had previously came 2nd in the 2 miles 5 1/2 furlongs Topham over theses fences, and as such you could see him running well. He is 8lb higher than that November win, but is still running off 5lb lower than the Topham 2nd. The doubt with him is the trip, but if he does get it, he’s one of the bigger priced horses that could be thereabouts.

Shakalakaboomboom ran a cracker in the 2012 National when giving a very aggressive ride. It told in the end though when he faded from the 2nd last. He still has to prove his stamina, and hasn’t shown much form since returning from injury this season, but there’s a good chance he’s been trained for the race, and off a mark 9lb lower than that 2012 effort, he could be well enough in.

Across The Bay ran much better than the bare form in last years race, fading having been up in the firing line for a long way. None of the others jump out at me, although Lion Na Bearnai who is 12 now,  won in February over a trip short of his best, and this former Irish National winner could run well.

Teaforthree clearly has a good chance, but he’s only 9/1, and I think Tidal Bay, Rocky Creek and Burton Port are just as likely to win. I think Monbeg Dude and Double Seven are much too short, and of the bigger prices Chance Du Roy makes some appeal.  Tidal Bay is 16/1 with 888, with 5 places, you can get 20/1 on Burton Port with Betfair Sportsbook, who are also 5 places, while Rocky Creek is 20/1 with Betfred, who are going 1/4 the odds 6 places, which is a great concession. I think all 3 are worth each way bets.

2014 Aintree Grand National Tips – 4.15 Saturday

1 PT EW Rocky Creek  at 20/1 with [adrotate banner=”43″] [adrotate banner=”44″]

 

1 PT EW Burton Port at 20/1 with [adrotate banner=”16″] [adrotate banner=”25″]

 

1 PT EW Tidal Bay at 16/1 with 888

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By |2018-09-11T13:36:01+00:00April 3rd, 2014|Free Horse Racing Tips|Comments Off on Aintree Grand National 2014 – Tips and Preview

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