Three Market Movers for the 2019 Grand National
The Grand National is one of the most well-known horse races on the planet. Widely recognised as the world’s most famous steeplechase, punters need to be aware of market movers in the weeks building up to the Aintree showpiece.
With 30 fences – many bigger than standard ones – to cross and an extended four-and-a-quarter miles to last, it is the ultimate test of racehorse stamina and jumping as well as jockeying to sit tight. Here are three 2019 Grand National market movers.
After winning the race last year, it’s no surprise to see Tiger Roll prominent in the betting. Trained by Gordon Elliott in County Meath and owned by Gigginstown House Stud, the nine-year-old Authorized gelding could well defend his crown.
Elliott has said another tilt at the Cross Country Chase over three-and-three-quarter miles at the Cheltenham Festival is Tiger Roll’s primary target for the season, but he won both races last term. He had a winning spin over hurdles on route to the spring festivals when landing a Navan Grade 2 at odds of 25/1.
Bookmakers are taking no chances with him for the Grand National and Paddy Power are among those to cut his odds into 10/1. That is the same price that Tiger Roll was returned at Aintree last year, however, after just holding fellow Irish raider Pleasant Company by a head.
Elliott’s great rival Willie Mullins went so close to winning the Grand National for a second time last season. While Pleasant Company looks sure to be back on Merseyside for a third crack at the race, his stable companion Rathvinden made a winning return to action in the Grade 3 Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse some six weeks out from the big race.
Like Pleasant Company, he is an 11-year-old with proven stamina. Rathvinden landed the Grade 2 National Hunt Chase over four miles at the Cheltenham Festival last season, finishing over 20 lengths in front of horses who have won some valuable staying handicaps in the UK this term.
While that form is strong, what looks more significant is Rathvinden taking the Bobbyjo. Mullins has saddled nine winners of that race, including Hedgehunter in 2005 who went on to Grand National glory. The bookies are wise to him with Paddy Power slashing his odds to 12/1.
Tony Martin has developed a deserved reputation for being very shrewd with the racehorses he trains. For evidence of that, look no further than Anibale Fly, who placed in both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National last season.
With the special allotted weights for Aintree published, the nine-year-old will have to carry a welter burden again after his staying on fourth. Anibale Fly’s owner JP McManus always supports the Grand National with multiple entries and won’t be moved by the fact the handicapper is making it tough for this horse.
Connections have been very clever in their bid to maintain his fitness this season. Anibale Fly has had two races over inadequate distances since the Grand National, but shaped very nicely when beaten just a couple of lengths by Monalee in the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase. Again, Paddy Power saw what Martin and McManus were up to and reacted, shaving the odds on Anibale Fly into 16/1.