April 5th, 2019

Grand National-Five Horses That Might Relish Testing Conditions

With the start of the Aintree Grand National Festival this past Thursday, the course has had plenty of rain this week. Calum Leitch looks at five horses who might relish in the soft and very testing conditions, likely to play a big part in this years annual 2019 Grand National.

1. RATHVINDEN-10/1

Starting with the current second favourite and this is a horse that is very versatile over trip and ground.
His most eye-catching piece of form was winning the National Hunt Chase (4miles) on soft ground at last year’s Cheltenham Festival. He clearly handles underfoot conditions, has been lightly raced this season and stamina almost assured.
The conditions are more favourable to him than some of the other market principles.

VALUE RATING **** 4 STARS

 

2. LAKE VIEW LAD-14/1

One of two good chances for owner Trevor Hemmings, Lake View Lad has done a lot of his racing on soft and heavy conditions with very good form figures to boot. This new trip is a question mark, but his form in softer conditions, aided with his natural progression through the ratings means this nine-year-old should be greatly benefitted by this test.
With more progression to come, Henry Brooke’s mount could make a serious impact this year and the ground has come right for him if his stamina holds out.

VALUE RATING **** 4 STARS

3. RAMSES DE TEILLEE-22/1

This is a young horse for a Grand National at just seven-years-old but has found serious improvement since wind surgery last summer. David Pipe trains and has come into a bit of form in recent weeks and this is very much the apple of his eye in the yard. He has 3 wins and 3 second places in seven starts on heavy and came second in the Welsh National on soft ground. With more improvement to come, along with a liking for a marathon test, combined with soft ground prowess this 7 year-old could improve past his older rivals and be a lively outsider.

VALUE RATING ***** 5 STARS

 

4. DOUNIKOS-25/1

A few of Gordon Elliott’s tried and tested National team will enjoy tough conditions. Monbeg Notorious and General Principle are certainly two, but Dounikos is marginally preferred as he is the choice of Jack Kennedy. Always aimed high by connections, his win in the Grand National Trial last time out at Punchestown is a very useful piece of form and conditions weren’t as testing as they will be on Saturday. But closer inspection at his form suggests that underfoot conditions will be preferable and this test looks set to suit and he could be a major player at big odds.

VALUE RATING **** 4 STARS

 

5. FOLSOM BLUE-50/1

Lastly, Folsom Blue should relish tough conditions as he can be outpaced in his races but he is one of the best stayers in the field. Can race lazily and comes with potential hazards, but on a going day he can use his stamina to strong effect and these conditions give him a much better chance than his odds suggest.
Has a strong Irish National record and could be staying on past beaten horses.

VALUE RATING *** 4 STARS

 

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