Grand national 2017.


This is taken from a lad I followed over Cheltenham and he landed a fair few smashers...this race is a lotto in my opinion but I will cover his selection as it's nice to have a guided punt rather than just tossing a dart at the list in the paper. NOTE THIS WAS POSTED 3 WEEKS AGO...PRICES AND RUNNERS MAY HAVE CHANGED

The Grand National 2017
the great race lands 3 WEEKS on saturday so it's time to get one in the book.The Cheltenham Gold Cup has been the best trial for the Grand National in recent seasons and it's easy to see why bookmakers have made Minella Rocco 12/1 favourite. His staying on second to Sizing John on Friday was a career best and he looks sure to see out the 4m 2f furlongs at Aintree.

However at twice the price the horse I would rather be on from the Gold Cup is SAPHIR DU RHEU 25/1. I described him as a "perennial dog" on Thursday but that was extremely harsh. He's a very good horse in his own right and his 5th in The Gold Cup was also a career best. Turning for home I nearly shat myself because he was travelling better than anything. I've watched the race back about 9 or 10 times now and every time he is the one who catches the eye.

The thing with SAPHIR DU RHEU is he's very one paced - he's not slow and he's not fast, he's just medium paced. The first reaction after watching Friday's race was he was outstayed up the hill but in actual fact I think he just didn't have the turn of foot the classy horses like Sizing John, Minella Rocco, Native River and Djakadam have. He plugged on at his own pace and was only beaten 6 1/4 lengths. The time of the Gold Cup was excellent and there is no reason to think it was nothing other than top class form.

Apart from his price, there are various other reasons why SAPHIR DU RHEU should be backed instead of Minella Rocco.

1) His running style - He likes to be ridden just off the pace, I can see Sam Twiston-Davies sitting handy, probably quite wide to give him a clear sight of his fences. He'll likely never have more than 4 or 5 rivals in front of him and that kind of horse has done well in recent Nationals. Minella Rocco will be held up and will need a lot of luck in running. That's fine if he's 25/1 but at 10 or 12/1 I don't think that is factored into his price.

2) His jumping - For all that I've thought SAPHIR DU RHEU was a disappointing horse over the years, he's always been a superb jumper. He rarely puts a foot wrong and he's just the type who will relish those big Aintree fences. Minella Rocco on the other hand can be a bit sticky at his fences, particularly early in his races. If this happens at Aintree he could find himself further back than ideal.

3) Course form - Before Friday's Gold Cup SAPHIR DU RHEU's best piece of form was his Novice Chase grade 1 success in The Mildmay 2015 (3m1f). He beat a decent field by 15 lengths without coming off the bridle. Horses who have run well over the "normal" Aintree fences have historically taken well to the National fences. Minella Rocco has raced once at Aintree when he fell (horrible fall it was too) when well beaten by Many Clouds earlier this season. SAPHIR DU RHEU has good memories of the place, Minella Rocco not so much.

4) Durability - That Aintree win in 2015 came 3 weeks after SAPHIR DU DHEU finished runner-up in The World Hurdle so we know he has the durability to take in two big races in a short space of time. Minella Rocco has yet to prove that.

5) Age - SAPHIR DU RHEU is an 8 year old, Minella Rocco is 7 and everybody knows 7 year olds have a terrible record in The National. It's not a stat I would give much credence to but nevertheless the fact is 7 year olds have a shocking record in the race.

6) Weight - Both horses will have to carry biggish weights but that hasn't been a problem in recent runnings. Gold Cup also-rans Neptune Collonges and Many Clouds both humped around 11st 6 and 11 st 9 on route to victory in the National. Minella Rocco as it stands has 11 st 6 and SAPHIR DU RHEU 11st 4. Both horses ran off level weights on Friday. Although a 2lbs swing doesn't seem like much - over a stamina sapping 4m 2furlongs it can come in handy enough at the business end.

I think both horses will need good/good to soft ground but that is a high probability. Last year was the first year since 2001 the ground has been officially soft. If that happens again this year we would need to have a rethink but history would tell us it should be no worse than good to soft.

Last year's National was quite an easy race to solve, The Last Samuri stood out like a sore thumb at 33/1 ante post and on the day the soft ground made Rule The World the easiest 50/1 chance we've ever found. This year has been a lot tougher to find a angle but I think we've found one here.

Of course it's not a two horse race and anything that wins the National will need their fair share of luck but I think bookies and the general public have over-reacted to Minella Rocco's flying finish on Friday. It's easy to spot the fast finisher and think he'll love the extra mile test at Aintree but it pays to look at the bigger picture and at the prices SAPHIR DU RHEU 25/1 is the bet. I will probably put a couple more horses up on the day when we know the final decs, weights and conditions but for now it's SDR.


1 pt ew SAPHIR DU RHEU 25/1


Thread starter

The Grand National 2017

OK, first things first - this is by far the most open Grand National in living memory. I think it should be 16/1 the field. There's maybe only 3 or 4 horses of the 40 who you could say have no chance.

I think the best way to approach it is to go with the gut, so here goes.

SAPHIR DU RHEU 25/1 was my fancy a few weeks ago and I'm still sweet on him. Sam-Twiston Davies has chosenb to ride him over the other 5 Paul Nichols runners which tells us he is their number one hope. Sam won the Scottish Nash on Vicente so it was a big enough call to side with SDR over Vicente.

With that in mind I'm happy to put a line through Nichols other runners - Vicente, Le Mercury, Just A Par and Wonderful Charm. It's not a great elimination policy but you have to be brutal.

Anyway we have SAPHIR DU RHEU in the book at 25/1 again so no need to go in again.

Definitely Red 12/1 is officially the best handicapped horse in the race, he's 10lbs well in. I've nothing against the horse but my instinct is he's not a national winner. He doesn't enjoy big fields and can be a bit sticky at his fences.

Blaklion 14/1 is more or less the same. He's a likeable little horse and his form ties in quite closely with Definitely Red but he's faded a few times this season at the end of his races and this is a different ball game, stamina wise.

Pleasant Company is only 14/1 because of the Walsh/Mullins factor. He'll need luck in running because Ruby will hold him up out the back somewhere I'm sure. His form really isn't good enough to warrant 14/1 quotes.

More Of That 14/1 along with SDR is probably the classiest horse in the race. He's probably the only other horse in this race who could finish 5th in The Gold Cup but he didn't he came 6th beaten fair and square by 3 lengths from SAPHIR. So why he is 14/1 and SAPHIR is 25/1 is anyone's guess.

I was tempted to tip up One For Aurther 16/1 but I watched his last race at Warwick again this morning and he does belt the odd fence. He's also a hold up horse and will need serious luck in running. If horses are falling around him I'm not sure he has the gears to get back in contention on quick ground.

Cause of Causes 16/1 is my nemesis, I never get him right. He seems to have one massive run at Cheltenham every year then does nothing the rest of it. He showed something different in The Cross Country Chase last time, where he actually traveled like a dream for Jamie Codd. If the Codfather can keep him enthused and in contention you know he'll be finishing like a train. That said, I just wonder whether he's got another big run in him after Cheltenham. He has ran in this race before but finished a distant 8th. I will be keeping an eye out for him because he is a big danger to all if he's on a going day.

So that covers all the horses under 20/1 except one. My old friend VIEUX LION ROUGE 14/1. I wasn't going to back him because I thought he'd be 10/1 or shorter favourite and he really should be. But at 14/1 I'm happy to play at those odds.

Last year he appeared to not get home. He jumped and travelled like a dream and looked the likeliest winner but faded on the run-in to finish only 7th.

He was only 7 year's old though and David Pipe has continued to stress he's a bigger and stronger horse this year. He's won both starts this season, The Becher Chase over these fences in December and The Grand National Trial at Haydock in Feb. On both occasions he appeared strongest at the finish and he beat Blaklion comfortably at Haydock.

The better ground this year could be a massive plus and all in all he ticks pretty much every box. 14/1 is a very, very fair price.

Keep an eye on Tom Scudamore on VLR by the way. I think he's mustard in these big handicap chases. He does this really cool move where he starts his mount out wide to give him a clear sight of the first few fences then after about 4 or 5 he has his horse tucked in behind the leaders on the inside. I don't know how he does it and how the other jockeys let him get away with it but it's so cool. He did it again with Un Temps Pour Tout at Cheltenham and it seems to work a treat.

The horse I've really warmed to all week is UCELLO CONTI 22/1, his form ties in well with VLR. He actually finished in front of VLR in the race last year. He made a couple of bad mistakes but still managed to get involved near the finish. Like VLR I'm hoping the ground brings out more improvement.

There is no doubt UCELLO CONTI has been aimed at this race all season. Gordon Elliot will have him ready to peak and he should run a massive race.

He was only beaten 2 lengths by VLR in the Becher and he's better off at the weights today. The slight worry with these two is their running style. Both will be held up to a degree which will bring luck into the equation. Hopefully one of them will get the breaks.

The Young Master 20/1 doesn't look like the same horse this year and I'm not convinced he'll get the trip. Neither will Highland Lodge, Tenor Nivernais, Stellar Notion, Doctor Harper, O'faolains Boy or Cocktails At Dawn. So that's them out.

The Last Samuri 20/1 is one of my favourite horses. He's only small but he's the best jumper in the race. He attacks every fence like his life depends on it. I love him dearly but he has top weight on 11.10. Last year he had 10.8 when he was runner up but 11.10 really is a welter burden for such a small horse. I'd love to see him win but I think last year was his chance.

Weight doesn't necessarily slow horses down but it does sap energy levels. Think of it like this - if you drive to and from work every day chances are you'll expend roughly the same amount of petrol every week. However, if you place a 24 case of Stella Artois in your boot and drive for a week you'll see quite a difference in petrol levels at the end of that week.

Basically what I'm saying is The Last Samuri is carrying a case of stella against horses who aren't - it's not fair :(

Two horses who aren't carrying a case of Stella, in fact by comparison, are carrying a single gin and tonic are Thunder and Roses 33/1 and ROGUE ANGEL 25/1 for last year's winning connections Gigginstown House Stud and Mouse Morris.

Neither are as good as last year's winner Rule The World but ROGUE ANGEL did win the Irish National last year and he's still well handicapped. Interestingly Mouse gave him a spin over the fences in The Becher in December. He jumped them well and travelled well but was well beaten by VRL and pals at the death.

That never bothers me about a Mouse Morris horse as all his horses are trained to peak in the spring. Thunder and Roses is also an Irish National winner but Bryan Cooper has chosen to ride the ROGUE and he has the more appealing profile.

He's also a front runner which I like in this race. Ever since they modified the fences a few years ago front runners have had a edge. Last year The Last Samuri and Rule The World were never out of the first 5 the whole way round and they pulled a mile clear of the rest on the run-in.

Just on that note, I hope there isn't a false start. If there is this new rule where the horses have to line up in a standing start on the 2nd attempt is an absolute bollocks and I could see it impeding Saphir Du Rheu and Rogue Angel as neither would be the quickest out of the blocks.

Of the rest I could honestly make an excellent case for 15 of them. Raz De Maree 40/1 is another favourite of mine. I'd just worry about him getting out paced in this race. In th eWelsh National he stayed on strong but I think he'll struggle to keep tabs the the leaders on this ground.

"The Greatest" (Davy Russell) is on Saint Are 33/1 and he should run a cracker. He loves Aintree and loves the ground and was only just beaten into 2nd by Many Clouds 2 years ago. My worry with him is I just can't see him winning. If I place an each way bet I want the win part to have a chance and I can see him being in the first 6 but I can't see him being first.

At massive prices Drop Out Joe, Measureofmydreams, Wounded Warrior, Houblon Des Obeaux and former Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere could all be fancied for one reason or another.

But for my final selection I'm going for DOUBLE SHUFFLE 50/1. He's 7 and as we all know 7 year olds don't win the National. However, he has a touch of X factor about him. He's improved every time he's been stepped up in trip, he likes to be up with the pace and he's a really economical jumper. He won't clear the fences by miles like The Last Samuri but he'll brush through the top without wasting much energy. With these modern fences you can get away with that.

DOUBLE SHUFFLE is the choice of Tom George's stable jockey Adrian Heskin, who could have chosen Saint Are but didn't. Saint Are is a good bit shorter in the betting since Pricewise tipped him up this morning. Saint Are is more likely to complete the course and get placed but DOUBLE SHUFFLE has a better chance of winning in my opinion and I want to win!

If they do jump away first time I would expect Stellar Notion, The Last Samuri, Perfect Candidate, Highland Lodge, Tenor Nivernias and ROGUE ANGEL to be right up with the pace.

In my head I'm picturing SAPHIR DU RHEU sitting about 5 wide just behind the leaders in about 6th or 7th place. Hopefully Scu does his cool move on VIEUX LION ROUGE and he can tuck in behind the leaders after a few fences. Meanwhile Daryl Jacob on UCELLO CONTI will be sitting still about half way back in the field and ducking and diving as runners fall in front of him.


"So as they approach the last 3 fences The Last Samuri has jumped brilliantly and his weight is starting to tell, Dave Bass is pushing him along and he's finding plenty but his weight is just too much and he starts to fade between the last 2 fences.

The seven year old DOUBLE SHUFFLE has been up in the van the whole way but can he last home, ROGUE ANGEL likewise, they are gamely giving their all.

VIEUX LION ROUGE has travelled like a dream and looks the likely winner as they jump the last, UCELLO CONTI is being pushed along and he's finding plenty too but it's the grey SAPHIR DU RHEU for the Champion trainer elect who is going the best, he's been called a few names in his time but he'll have a new one tomorrow "GRAND NATIONAL HERO"

SAPHIR DU RHEU wins with UCELLO CONTI just getting up for 2nd in front of VIEUX LION ROUGE, DOUBLE SHUFFLE and if you've bet with a bookie paying 5 places ROGUE ANGEL has held on for 5th in front of the admiral The Last Samuri"

To be honest I'll be happy if one of them is in contention jumping the last. There's nothing worse than watching the finish in the national with not one of your horses involved. It really is demoralising.

Last year I backed the winner at 50/1, the 2nd 33/1 (ante post), 3rd 100/1, 4th 50/1, the 5th 33/1 and the 6th 33/1 from 8 bets, I shit you not! That was the year I should have had the tricast on, that was the year I should have had the yacht but I didn't and I'm still just a lowly Ship Chandler who likes a bet.

I haven't given the under card any any attention. Theres a few obvious ones - NO HASSLE HOFF's form got franked when The World's End won the grade 1 Sefton here yesterday., He gets in the handicap off bottom weight in the first!

BRIO CONTI looked like a proper tool at Kempton the day after Cheltenham, he should go well in the 2nd.

Unlucky Arkle faller Charbel should take a fair bit of beating in the 3.00.

I like POTTER'S LEGEND 10/1 ew in the 3.40. Emerging Force and Starchitect are worthy favourites but I'm not sure either wants 3 miles especially carrying nearly top weight. POTTER'S LEGEND will have no bother with the trip and Grand National specialist Leighton Aspell is on board.

They are finally running Yanworth (the pig - slow, can't jump, doesn't travel) in the right race. I hate the horse but he really should beat this lot. 5/2 looks short but I don't like any of the others so I might have some of the 5/2.

Don't have an opinion in the last because I haven't looked at it.

I'm sticking to the great race today and going with this lot:

1pt ew UCELLO CONTI 22/1
1pt ew ROGUE ANGEL 25/1
1pt ew DOUBLE SHUFFLE 50/1

Good luck with whatever you back boys and girls. If we don't win there's always the golf and lots of alcohol.



TK Supporter
Might stick a £1 ew on them myself. What about saphir du rheu that you mentioned yesterday? All 5 horses £1 ew=£10 bet? Would it be worth doing all 5 on a tricast or something. Not to clued up on betting so don't know how it works. Thanks for the tips and advice rapture_ni and good luck. :(y):


Thread starter
M8 it's entirely up to you.. I'd advise playing them as 5 e/w singles could go for a combination fc or somthing if you fancied a mad punt lol


Thread starter
M8 it's entirely up to you.. I'd advise playing them as 5 e/w singles could go for a combination fc or somthing if you fancied a mad punt lol...why not ay lol


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Thread starter
No luck at all..fgs.

I pretty much broke even as I picked a few of my own.. ended up playing about 38 quid and got 36 back lol. Had cause of causes and saint are e/w.

Ahhh well onto the next big one I suppose... you could be well up on all the form of the horses stables owners and jockeys but the national is just one of those you never really know races.

I'll be sticking with the fella that done the write up as he has had 2 fantastic cheltenhams and last year he nailed the national..

I'll forward on the write ups for anyone interested


Got £170 back had £10 on one for Arthur to win.

As many have said was a really open contest.

Went for one for Arthur purely because of its Scottishness and the jockey ran in a saltire.

Also had £10 on vieaux lion rouge

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