5 Outsiders That Could Outrun Their Aintree Grand National Odds
Gambling.com's racing expert Gavin Beech takes a look at some long shots that might actually defy their odds in this year's highly anticipated Grand National.
Cloth Cap (25/1)
Roll the clock back 12 months and the 2021 Randox Grand National appeared to revolve around one horse - Cloth Cap.
A dominant winner of that season’s Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury, Cloth Cap went to Aintree officially a stone well in, making him by some distance the best handicapped contender.
Unsurprisingly sent off the 11/2 favourite with the best betting sites on the day, Cloth Cap appeared to be in poll position for a long way but the wheels came off after the fourth-last and he was quickly pulled up.
Connections reported that the then 9-year-old made a respiratory noise and weakened quickly, and it was fairly obvious to everyone watching that something was amiss with the gelding.
Having had a wind op, Cloth Cap appears to be back on track this season despite not quite reaching the heights of last term.
However, he’s been campaigned with the 2022 Randox Grand National in mind, by a trainer who knows what is required to win it, and he is able to run off a 4lb lower mark this time around. If he was well handicapped last year - he’s even better off this time around!
Don’t worry too much about his Doncaster run last month because ground conditions were testing enough for him. Drying ground at Aintree is ideal and it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if Cloth Cap showed us this year what he wasn’t able to show us 12 months ago.
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Good Boy Bobby (40/1)
Two-time Grand National-winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies knows exactly what sort of horse he needs for this race, so it’s interesting that he’s had Good Boy Bobby earmarked for Aintree since he won a good quality handicap chase at Wetherby in October.
The 9-year-old had been in good form this season until he disappointed in the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase but he was clearly off-colour that day and he’s had plenty of time to get over what was holding him back at Kempton.
Good Boy Bobby doesn’t, on the face of it, look like a horse that has anything in hand of his 150 official rating, but that doesn’t take into account the fact that he is totally unexposed over trips beyond three miles.
His trainer is adamant that this horse stays all day when on song and the majority of recent Grand Nationals have been won by horses tackling the famous fences for the first time, which is exactly what Good Boy Bobby is doing.
Versatile conditions wise, he’s a sound jumper that could easily outrun his odds if getting into a rhythm.
Mighty Thunder (40/1)
One horse that doesn’t have anything to prove on the stamina count is 2021 Scottish Grand National winner Mighty Thunder.
Well-being is an issue for Mighty Thunder because he has been pulled up on his last two starts and a respiratory issue was reported at Musselburgh in early February.
However, connections have had plenty of time to get to the bottom of that - he will probably wear a tongue-tie at Aintree, and there is no doubt that this horse could easily prove a force if his breathing isn’t an issue.
Mighty Thunder is a sound jumper that stays all day and because of this season’s issues, the 9-year-old can race off just a 3lb higher mark at Aintree than he did at Ayr 12 months ago.
Connections won’t mind if Aintree avoids significant rain in the build up as this gelding doesn’t want testing ground and he represents a stable that struck gold in this race with One For Arthur in 2017.
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Farclas is 6lb higher than when beaten 29 lengths into fifth in last year’s Grand National so on the face of it, Gordon Elliott’s charge is up against it.
There is no doubt that the trainer has stronger candidates for 2022 Aintree glory but Farclas is no back number given he may well improve for last year’s ‘sighter’ over the National fences.
Farclas was only seven last year and horses of that age just don’t win Grand Nationals, so it’s reasonable to expect him to do better this year and he heads to Aintree a fresh horse having not been seen since a fine second to stablemate Run Wild Fred - who has since finished second in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham - in the Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan in November.
Farclas could easily have a bigger effort in him and it looks as though ground conditions could be ideal come the big day.
De Rasher Counter (66/1)
We started this column with a former Ladbrokes Trophy Chase winner and we end it with another.
De Rasher Counter won the 2019 edition of Newbury’s famous chase but hasn’t had a great deal of racing since, having been forced onto the sidelines for 16 months prior to his creditable return at Newbury, where he finished fourth in the Betfair Denman Chase behind a couple of Gold Cup contenders.
Emma Lavelle’s talented staying chaser has only tried an extreme trip once in his career but heavy ground at Uttoxeter was never going to suit him - he simply struggled to jump out of that Staffordshire gluepot.
De Rasher Counter is relatively lightly-raced for a 10-year-old and he may still have an even bigger effort in him, especially some nice spring ground, which it looks like he is going to get on Merseyside. He’s also a horse that prefers to be nearer the pace than off it, a run-style that works so well in this race, where it’s so hard to come from off the pace.
That Newbury return should have blown away the cobwebs, he can race off the same mark as when winning that Ladbrokes Trophy and Emma Lavelle’s horses are in good form.
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