We take a look at the 2012 Aintree Grand National and give our tips ahead of the race.
Racing fans continue to make the most of Paddypower's Grand National offer this afternoon and you can bet £20 bet on the National and get another £20 free. Bet365 (£200 free bet) will be paying 1/4 odds for the first FIVE places on the Grand National. They will also be offering enhanced place terms. Stan James (£10 free bet - use code MAXMIMUMBONUS) is also recommended as is Sportingbet £50 free use code MAXIMUMBONUS
The Grand National is the world's most famous steeplechase and every year millions of people flock to their local bookies to place a bet on their leading fancies.
The four-mile war is the most daunting punting puzzle on the calendar and finding the winner is almost as challenging as the National course itself. Every year, horse racing fanatics spend hours on end ploughing through the form on offer trying to get an edge on the layers in the ante post market only to see their horse shirk away from the gruelling marathon and the unforgiving Aintree fences.
Not only is it the most difficult race of the year to pick a winner, it also represents the perfect opportunity for the bookies to strangle any value out of the market and the starting prices of the horses at the head of the betting are often far shorter than they should be.
Which leads us on to 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Synchronised
) who will be looking to recover from his exploits at Prestbury Park to land a remarkable double for Jonjo O’Neill and AP McCoy. The duo won the race in 2010 with the heavily backed Don’t Push It and Synchronised certainly has all the right attributes for a race of this nature. The winner of the 2010 Welsh National has taken his form to new levels this season and there won’t be many better stayers in the sport at the moment.
The question will be whether or not he can recover in time for Aintree and with 11st 10lbs on his back; it would be a remarkable performance. Remember leading bookmaker Unibet
will refund your losing stake on the Grand National if market leader Synchronised wins the race.
Similarly, last year’s National winner Ballabrigggs
(12/1, William Hill
) will be carrying a welterweight around Aintree and Donald McCain’s eleven-year-old will be looking to defend his crown after a 10lb rise in the handicap. Though he commands plenty of respect, his task this year looks far greater than twelve months ago.
It isn’t hard to see why Synchronised and Ballabriggs head the betting for Saturday, but it is CAPPA BLEU
) that looks the one to be on and Evan Williams’ classy chaser rates a great each-way bet.
Cappa Bleu looked to have a very bright future ahead of him when he won the 2009 Foxhunters Chase at Cheltenham and there was plenty of momentum behind a Gold Cup bid for the talented superstar.
Unfortunately for connections that didn’t materialize but the selection has bounced back to form this season and he returned from seventeen months off the track to win on his reappearance at Haydock in November. It was the sort of victory that was expected of him in his younger days and he avoided the dreaded ‘bounce factor’ to finish third in the Welsh National next time out.
Always travelling strongly at Chepstow, Cappa Bleu looked to be full of running turning for home but first and second Le Beau Bai and Giles Cross
) (who re-opposes at Aintree)
had already slipped the field and it was a very creditable third in heavy conditions that won’t have played to his strengths.
His final warm up for Saturday came at Ascot in February and once again after travelling well into the race, he got too close in at the last when he was on his way to victory and though he could only manage third, it was another very pleasing National trial.
Cappa Bleu looks to tick all the boxes needed to win a Grand National and with Aintree avoiding the forecast showers this week, he looks sure to relish the ground off a very nice racing weight. He is the pick of the Evan Williams stable and jockey Paul Moloney will take the ride on the ten-year-old.
His strong-travelling racing style is sure to suit and if he can avoid any trouble, he looks sure to be there or thereabouts come the business end of proceedings.