Author: Will Smith
Published: 12:28 13/02/2015
Tomorrow’s Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock Park is slightly different to previous renewals on two fronts.
Firstly it comes before the weights are announced for the Grand National itself, and as such, some connections would not be willing to scupper a decent mark for the big one. It is of course a big prize in its own right, but I’m sure the likes of Monbeg Dude and Trustan Times will have half an eye on Aintree.
Secondly, it won’t be a case of last horse standing like recent editions, where mudlarks have really prospered. It has been virtually dry for two weeks at the Lancashire course, and with only light showers forecast for today, the ground might even be verging on good to soft come race time. That might count against the likes of Benvolio, Broadway Buffalo, Rigadin De Beauchene, Gas Line Boy and Mountainous.
There is one hugely overpriced horse as the market currently stands, and that is the Lucinda Russell-trained chaser Lie Forrit. He was once a very high class horse who looked like he had the staying world at his hooves when trained by Willie Amos, having been pitched into the 2010 World Hurdle after winning a Newbury handicap off a mark of 138.
Lucinda Russell’s chasers have been running extremely well, with one after the other putting up career best efforts. While her handling of Lie Forrit has been nothing short of exceptional. He is a remarkable horse, whose bravery, guts and unwillingness to let any horse past is extraordinary.
This will be only the second time that Lie Forrit has raced over fences beyond 3m 4f – the first was last year’s Scottish National, in which he could never get competitive – and anyhow he is in arguably much better form this season. It seems as if Lucinda has really got things to click with Lie Forrit, and this test seems absolutely ideal for him. 16/1 with Bet365 is the best price on offer and is a great bet.
It might be worth having a little saver on Benbens at 9/1 with BetVictor, as he has run notably eye-catching races in the Welsh National (where 3m5½f on heavy ground was too much), and in the Peter Marsh Chase (where it seemed as if he got going too late over 3m).
This 3m 5f trip on better ground might be exactly what he needs and rates as the biggest danger to the terrier that is Lie Forrit.
Recommendations: Grand National Trial – Haydock Park
Lie Forrit – 16/1 (Bet365)
Benbens – 9/1 (BetVictor)