This is the website of Neil McDougall, a musician/blogger/podcaster/bookie from Ayrshire.

The Grand National

The World’s Greatest Steeplechase is tomorrow, and the usual forty runners will thunder their way over four-and-a-bit miles of Aintree’s unique fences, while every man and their dog cheers on their chosen nag, myself included.

Here’s some thoughts on some of the runners. 


My Will

A deserved ante-post favourite, if only due to the powerhouse trainer/jockey combo of Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh, the offical Bestest Cheltenham Festival Jockey EVAR.  It’s got decent 3m+ form on quick ground (which Aintree should be a bit tomorrow – avoid soft/heavy ground-loving horses like the plague), scored a decent 5th place in the Gold Cup behind some truly great horses (i.e. Denman, Kauto, the late Exotic Dancer), is well-handicapped and has been targeted for the race by its trainer.  If you back it, back it to win.

Butler’s Cabin

The other ‘Housewife’s Choice’ of the race, due to the legendary Tony McCoy on its back.  It’s won an Irish Grand National, ran well last year before it fell on the last circuit, and you don’t need to worry about the jockey not trying – AP is gagging to win a Grand National.  Should be in the frame if he gets round.  Place-only bet?  Or maybe on the nose for sentiment’s sake?  I know I’d love to see McCoy finally do it – he deserves it.

Rambling Minster

Has decent long-distance form from the ’07-08 season, winning over 4m, and has come into some fine form this season too.  Might want a bit more juice in the ground, but apparently jumps well.  I’m not so sure about it myself, given the ground, but I might stick a quid on it as a nod to the Reverend Neil McDougall days.

Black Appalachi

Won very nicely over the Grand National fences in November, but that was on bottomless ground, a massive difference to this weekend’s Aintree.  Has some decent form on quicker ground though, so it might have a chance.  Fell last year though – got a bit ahead of itself with first-time blinkers and crashed out early doors.  Think I’ll swerve it.

Hear The Echo

The big Irish chance for me.  It’d’ve been nice to see War of Attrition in the race, but Mouse Morris’s ‘other’ National Chance is a fine stand-in.  Won an Irish National on similar ground by twelve lengths.  There’s some concerns about its jumping, but I have a wee gut feeling it might do well.

State of Play

Should be fresh after being rested for three months (last time out was the King George, if memory serves).  Some concerns as to wether he’ll get the trip, but there’s a Hennessey win in the form line, so the horse has some class, albeit that was a couple of years ago.  Won a Grade 2 more recently, so ya never know.

Big Fella Thanks

Paul Nicholls’ other main chance in the race.  A novice over fences, but seems to want a longer trip.  Might not get it done this year, but definitely one for the notebook for future Nationals.

That’ll probably do for a post just now.  With any luck, I’ll back the winner again.  I’ve done it twice before.  🙂

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on April 3, 2009 at 11:00 pm, filed under gambling, musings, racing, sports and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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