At the Grand National meeting, British trainers will be hoping to reverse the form from Cheltenham in which the Irish dominated. In light of this, I have picked out two big priced outsiders for British trainers that could outrun their odds and give them some much needed winners.
2.20 Houx Gris
Paul Nicholls’ Houx Gris was a well fancied runner in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham, having been talked up by his trainer for the race. His previous run on stable debut was in a Grade 1 at Chepstow and it is clear that those connected to him hold him in high regard.
In the Fred Winter, his second run in Britain, Nicholls’ charge was far from disgraced when finishing fourth. The huge priced winner of that race, Jeff Kidder, has won again since back over in Ireland, proving that the form of that run is solid.
As a four-year-old lining up in this field, Houx Gris also receives six pounds from the rest of the field. He is certainly less exposed than his rivals and is likely to appreciate the easier test here than at Cheltenham.
4.05 Sir Jack Yeats
The unique nature of the Grand National fences at Aintree mean that it often pays to side with a horse with experience over them. In the Topham Chase, Sir Jack Yeats is one at a big price that has course and distance form.
Richard Spencer’s gelding was second over this track and trip in the Sefton Chase in December, proving his credentials over the specialist fences. He has also run with credit over them twice before.
The ten-year-old is ground versatile and his last win was on the forecast good to soft ground he will get here. He has been disappointing since that run in the Sefton Chase but if the return to this venue, and these fences, can spark a revival, he is a big price.
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