6th April 2011, 5:24am
Grand National Countdown: Don't Push It now only 7/2 to start Grand National favourite
With just 24 hours to go before the Aintree meeting gets going on Thursday the field for the Grand National has become a lot clearer after the latest declaration stage. No major surprises from the withdrawals and the highest profile runners now missing the race were the JP McManus owned Synchronised and 20/1 shot Notre Pere who will now be aimed at the Irish equivalent. Both horses needed soft ground and with the warm weather forecast for the weekend the ground will be good to soft at worst.
Nina Carberry has been confirmed to ride John Quinn’s Character Building, so we now have two female jockeys in Saturday’s line up, Blue Square are offering 20/1 for a lady jockey to win the race.
There will be plenty of novelty bets offered by the bookmakers this year and a housewives favourite will be backing a Grey horse to win the race, there are 4 grey’s in the line up this year; Character Building, Silver By Nature, Quolibet and Piraya, the first named two have a chance and the four combined are just 10/1 with Stan James.
Among the other usual markets will be how many finishers, weight of the winner, first fence fallers and so on, there is even a market on who will start favourite for the race in which The Midnight Club is best priced 5/2 with Sporting Bet. I think they are expecting a late flood of money for last year’s winning partnership in AP McCoy and Don’t Push It, they are only a 7/2 chance to start favourite.
The outright betting for the race seems to have settled down now with few market movers in the last couple of days, The Midnight Club is now as big as 10/1 with Blue Square. Of the outsiders Arbor Supreme has been clipped into 20/1 with most firms now he has a definite starting place, there were worries about him missing the cut.
The three day meeting starts with a bang on Thursday, the opening race features the re-match between Big Bucks and Grands Crus, the three mile race sees Big Bucks as the 4/7 favourite at the moment. On the same card Denman takes on just 5 opponents in the Totesport Bowl and he is best priced 5/4 with Bet365.
The first race over the Grand National fences this year is the john Smith’s Foxhunter’s Chase, the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Baby Run will be a popular winner with the handler’s son Willie in the saddle again after his unlucky fall when going well at the Cheltenham festival.
It promises to be a thrilling three days of top class action and all the races will be covered in detail each day plus the latest news on the big one on Saturday.
Author: Graham Sarson