Irish Grand National
Jetstream Jack – 1 point win – 50/1 (gen) UP
Thunder And Roses – 1 point win – 40/1 (gen) UP
General Principle – 1 point win – 33/1 (gen) WON 33/1>20/1 (available at 48.00 on Betfair Exch when posting…)
Well good luck with wherever your pin lands in this race today! Given it’s the first Irish National to be run on ground with ‘heavy’ in the description for quite some time (at least 20 years I think) it could well be any stats/trends are useless – given they are based on decent ground Irish Nationals – and in any case this really will take some getting. As with many Nationals you are ‘educated guessing’ as to stamina with many, knowing that one or two are going to relish conditions and improve dramatically for them- well, that’s most likely, or a ‘proven’ slogger will come to the fore and I have gone with one of those, just in case.
Anyway… I did use some stats/trends as a guide to create some sort of ‘winning profile’ for the last 10 years (oh and in context that in the last 21 renewals those that PU or Fell LTO are 0/54,7p, that may well be improved on today, we shall see)
My profile was: NOT 1-2 runs only in handicap chases (0/64,5p – Monbeg Notorious could well improve on that stat) 0-2 wins in handicap chases (3+, 0/55,11p, placed numbers decent, so that stat could go, but I have to narrow down somehow!) 1-3 chase wins, 0-2 handicap wins, ran in a Novice Chase, Novice Hurdle or Handicap Chase last time out (0/105,10p, did not)… the last 10 winners have all shared those characteristics, leaving ‘8’ :
Dounikos / Snow Falcon / General Principle / Jetstream Jack / Kemboy / Moulin A Vent / Sutton Manor / Thunder And Roses
There were some other ‘positive pointers’, including 2-4 career wins , ran over 2m5.5f+ LTO, Did NOT run in a G3 LTO, Aged 6-8, Not PU/Fell LTO. (I didn’t use the PU/Fell LTO stat as a filter for the original 8 above)
Jetstream Jack ticks all those boxes also, and given his price, his trainer…it was that straightforward really. Given I have attacked the race with such stats, were he to win having hit all of them, at 50s, unbacked – well, perish the thought! He may not be good enough, he may not stay, etc etc. He is lightly enough raced over fences and gets 1st time blinkers here, and at least he comes here fresh. You can make pros or cons for most in here but given the above and his price, I didn’t want to over-think it really.
General Principle... he ticks nearly all the boxes bar age (in terms of ‘ideal’ range) but 9 year olds and older have won this a few times in the last 20 years and again, given his profile, connections, price, I was happy to have a stab. He came 5th in this race last year, beaten 17l. He has an extra year of experience under his belt, and all his best form has been in a bog. It could be the ground/trip tax his stamina but it is an unknown, hence why I want a price. Ge could well improve for running back over a marathon trip on testing ground. Elliot doesn’t book this jockey very often, but he did ride him a Festival winner last year, so it isn’t a negative. Touch wood he has been a sound jumper and if he completes, and builds on his run in this last year, he may not be far away.
Thunder And Roses.. a bit of a stab on this previous winner but Mouse should always be feared in these races and while he did fall LTO, he was running an ok race at the time. I just know that IF he runs his race (does appear to be all in the head with him) and completes (can clearly hit one!), he may not be far away – quite simply he is proven in race conditions, which most in here are not. This could be the year where is pays to side with a proven slogger – Folsom Blue would be the other one, but he is much shorter price, and Bless The Wings stays, but he is 13 and this ground+trip combined may raise a question. No forlorn hope though and he did come second in this last year, best of the rest behind a comfortable winner.
Of the rest… well it could just be a case of going with Monbeg Notorious, and if you can get 10s+ maybe worth a saver. He does look ultra progressive, arrives in form, and looks sure to run his race. You can’t say that about many in here. He will handle the ground, or even relish it I suspect. It will just be then whether he stays, which may make 8s looks short enough in the context of this race, or he will win like a 7/2 shot. I won’t put you off him if you like his chance and barring that 1-2 handicap chase run stat, his profile ticks the rest of my initial pointers. I can see why he heads the market.
Clearly you can make a case for plenty of others, and I won’t go through them all. Snow Falcon would be an annoying winner but stamina is a really big question – I want to see him in a 3m handicap chase as he is well handicapped, and the yard are going great guns. I just had a niggle over his stamina for this, in heavy, but I could be wrong. And he was meant to run at Cheltenham and was pulled out, suggesting he had a problem. I could go on, but will leave it there. Meade’s other running in this is interesting as he is on the stats ‘shortlist’ also, and is a decent price. He hasn’t jumped well on his last few starts and I wonder if this could all be a bit too much for him. Meade’s stable jockey has jumped of him also, but they can be poor judges so you never know.
It’s highly likely I haven’t even mentioned the winner in any of those above, having touched on 10 or so runners!
GL with whatever you go with. As always before I tip in a big race I don’t read through any of your comments, or read my SP2A email, or see what other fine judges I respect like- so, I’d best go and see if anyone else is as mad as me, or whether I will have a few more pins dotted around!
That’s the lot for today,