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It isn’t often that the Grand National is run in desperate conditions and while these are not the 2001 elements which were more akin to the Battle of the Somme when Red Maurauder ran, it’s genuinely deep ground. Our Grand National Tips are live, with both selections at home in the mud. There are some interesting horses at big prices this year, so don’t despair if you pull a 33/1+ shot out the hat in the work sweep, especially if they make our list of outsiders for a heavy ground Grand National.
The shortest price on our list is the Welsh National winner, trained in Ireland by Gavin Cromwell. He was runner-up to Gold Cup winner Native River in that same contest last season, adding to a second in the 2015 Midlands National. In short, give him a slog in the mud and he’s in his element. He was a little unlucky in this race last season, swerving to avoid The Young Master falling in front of him at Becher’s, he himself unshipped his jockey. A thirteen-year-old has not won this race since 1923, unlikely to end that streak. What he can do, however, is keep plugging away when others have cried enough.
A pound lower than when ninth in this race in 2017, his campaign has been built around a return visit. A mistake at Valentines on the second circuit cost him valuable ground and probably knocked the stuffing out of him as he faded up the straight. He has been ridden quite aggressively there, a little more restraint this time around should see him right in the mix as they jump the last couple once more this season. Two of his four wins have come on heavy ground so conditions hold no fear for him.
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One of the class acts in the contest, he has five Grade 1 victories to his credit, including one on heavy ground. He has not had the pace at the top table this season, his form having a disappointing look to it as a result. He has finished fourth in a Cheltenham Gold Cup in the past, shaping as if a proper test of stamina will suit him now that he’s older. A mark of 151 would give him the feeling of running loose on his old form, with these fences having a habit of reigniting the spark in horses who have looked stale.
Two wins on soft and two on heavy make up his chasing wins, including the 2017 Midlands National. He has been rather disappointing the last twice in the Welsh National and the Eider Chase, but he is clearly capable of far better than that. He was looked after by Paddy Brennan in those most recent races, not given a hard time once his chance had gone. As a result, he arrives a fresher horse than many of his rivals, the heavier the ground gets, the better he will like it.
A rather unlucky horse where this race is concerned, trained to perfection for this contest in 2016 he just missed the cut. He showed his wellbeing when bolting up in the three mile chase earlier on the card, sustaining an injury just a few days before the race last season. Owned by the same team that won the race with Auroras Encore in 2013, he finally has his chance to prove himself in a race that his entire career seems to have been built to. He’s thirteen now and as discussed with regards to Raz De Maree, he is clearly an unlikely winner, but with bookies offering five and six places for the race, he has the ability to grab a place at a triple figure price.