Author: Will Smith
Published: 10:06 18/02/2015
We are just shy of two months away from the tapes going up on the 2015 Crabbies Grand National and already we know the identity of the favourite; we know there will be a massive hype-driven, nostalgia-ridden, full-scale public gamble on Shutthefrontdoor.
It will almost certainly be AP McCoy’s last ride in the great race and while he would have a chance off the weight he has been allotted by Phil Smith yesterday, he is already too short at 12/1 in my eyes. If you fancy him then feel free to get involved now as he will only go one way in the market in the next seven weeks.
As ever with the National, you could produce a shortlist as long as you like, and many will be available at longer prices nearer the time. Alvarado and Burton Port both run today at Doncaster, and both make some appeal for the April showpiece, so it may pay to see how they fare today, and if either or both run well then it would make sense to quickly snap up any fancy prices on offer before the bookies react.
Both can be backed at 50/1, and Alvarado has already had a pleasing introduction to the unique race last year, where was a never nearer fourth under National-placed specialist jockey Paul Moloney. While Burton Port is by far the best handicapped horse in the race off a mark of 142, given he was second in a Hennessy off 157 and fourth in a Gold Cup (beaten just 8 lengths).
Obviously, he has not had an easy time of things over the last few seasons, but he was well fancied for last year’s race, only to unseat Brian Harding at the second. He then proved his wellbeing by running a great race to be second in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown three weeks later.
Alongside Burton Port and Alvarado (should they run well today), the other horse to back now is Keith Reveley’s Night In Milan at 50/1 with Bet365 or BetVictor (who both offer 5 places).
All this horse has done is improve and his style of racing is tailor-made for Aintree, and while you could argue that he might have reached the ceiling of his ability on a mark of 146, his style of racing suggests there is much more to come over extreme distances.
He is a standing dish around Doncaster, where he invariably bowls along in front and attempts to repel all challengers down the long Town Moor straight. It is amazing how many times he is , only to rally and every time he is no stronger than at the finish.
He is approaching his peak as a 9-year-old and will be strong enough now to fully see out the 4m3½f trip. His trainer has stated he will attempt to win the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster in two weeks for the second year running, and a prominent showing there will see 50/1 but a distant memory.
Recommendations (Grand National 2015):
Night In Milan (each-way) – 50/1 (Bet365, BetVictor)
Burton Port and/or Alvarado- 50/1 (if run well today)