It’s that time of year again! The race that gets the Nation involved with Horse Racing is back. The 2018 Grand National is here! This year 40 brave horse will tackle the famous Grand National fences over a trip of 4m2f. With all the recent rain however, we are set for a grueling renewal due to the soft ground. It’s sure to be another fantastic race up at Aintree, and good luck to everyone involved. It’s really needless to say, but no matter what happens to your bet, let’s hope that they all make it back safe and sound.
Selection 1 – Tiger Roll
Trainer: Gordon Elliot
Jockey: Davy Russell
Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Tiger Roll has been on my radar for this race for a very long time, and I actually recommended at bet at 40/1 when the Grand National weights were revealed back in February. He’s a Horse that’s always been close to my heart, having tipped him up for his 4m National Hunt Chase victory (16/1) and his 3m6f Cross Country victory (7/1) just last month. A three-time Cheltenham Festival winner, Tiger Roll looks to have a great chance in his first attempt at a Grand National for the inform trainer Gordon Elliot.
Stamina: This horse stays extremely well, winning over 4 miles at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, and over 3m6f at the same venue last month. The extra 2f for this race should be no worries at all.
Jumping: Tiger Roll is a very small horse (which will be spoken about a lot before the race!) and as such he does struggle to get big over his fences. He doesn’t leave any room between himself and the fence, and undoubtedly will walk through a couple of these, he did put in a very good round in the Cross Country at Cheltenham. Gordon Elliot has been busy schooling him over the Grand National style fences before he made the trip over here from Ireland, so I am hopeful he can navigate them all successfully.
Experience: Tiger Roll won the Munster National as a Novice before going on to land the National Hunt Chase in the same season. He then was tried in the Irish National, however the long season took its toll on him that day. This shows us that he is an experienced handicapper, and has been let into the National with a very nice racing weight of 10-13.
With the magnificent form of Gigginstown House Stud, Gordon Elliot and Davy Russell at the Cheltenham Festival continuing through to Fairyhouse and beyond, Tiger Roll has a lot going for him. If our lovable character is having a going day and can get through the first circuit unscathed, he will have a massive chance as he stays all day and has the ability to jump these unique fences. Although the 40/1 is long gone, the 14/1 available at the time of writing still looks a great price.
Back Tiger Roll Each/Way @ 14/1
Selection 2: Gas Line Boy
Trainer: Ian Williams
Jockey: Robert Dunne
Owner: The Three Graces
Although he’s a twelve-year-old now, Gas Line Boy ticks a lot of boxes for this renewal of the worlds most famous steeplechase. Trained by Ian Williams, the old boy finished 5th in the 2017 Grand National behind One For Arthur. Whilst this was a fantastic effort, I fancy him to go a few places better this time around.
Stamina: Finishing fifth in last year’s renewal gives us all the proof we need regarding stamina – he clearly stays the trip but was beaten by better horses on the day.
Jumping: On his first attempt in the Grand National in 2016, Gas Line Boy actually fell at the first when trained by Phillip Hobbs. Since then he’s not only completed the 2017 Grand National, but he has won over these fences as well. Back in the Aintree December meeting, our selection won the Class 2 Grand Sefton Handicap Chase in good style (Despite being very badly hampered), beating Ultragold. Not only does this Colin Tizzard horse love the National Fences, but today he made it back to back successes in the Topham Handicap Chase. With the form being franked in excellent style, you can’t have any worries about Gas Line Boy jumping.
Experience: This will of course be his third attempt at the Grand National, but what could be more important is his ability to go in soft ground. Gas Line Boy won the Grand Sefton on heavy ground in December, so this shouldn’t be a negative.
Whilst he is twelve, Gas Line Boy has a nice racing weight of 10-11 and conditions that won’t inconvenience him. 33/1 looks a massive price considering his love of the big Grand National Fences, and Robert Dunne (who has never finished out of the top five over these fences from five rides) retains the successful partnership.
Gas Line Boy Each/Way @ 33/1
Good Luck with whoever you decide to back, and let’s hope for another successful showcase of our Sport to the world.
– Jake Price