I don’t believe it! We’ve done it again.
For the third year running, I and my lovely, loyal members have backed the winner of the Grand National at Aintree.
This time it was my 12/1 ante-post tip Tiger Roll that came home first. Thirty eight horses went to post this year and it was a serious test of stamina on ground as heavy as I can remember it being for the most watched horse race in the world.
But Tiger Roll had shown when winning the Cross Country race at Cheltenham that he had stamina. Here’s what I told members in my ante-post analysis mailed out to them on April 8th:-
“I was impressed and he was staying on at the finish of that testing race, so the extra distance next Saturday may not be a problem. IF he has had enough time to recover from that hard race. Tiger Roll also won an amateur riders’ race at the festival in 2017. That was over a little in excess of 3 miles and 7 furlongs and was a Class 1, Grade 2 Novices’ event on Good to Soft ground.
“The win at Cheltenham last month saw Tiger Roll finish 13 lengths in front of third placed The Last Samuri. Members who were around in 2016 will recall that I tipped the first two home that day, both each way. One was the winner, Rule the World when available at 50/1. The other was the aforementioned The Last Samuri, which finished second in this race two years ago when carrying only 10 stone 8 and from a handicap mark of 149.
“There is a lot to recommend the claims for Tiger Roll. At 12/1 Non Runner No Bet (first 6) with Paddy Power, I would not put anyone off backing the Gordon Elliot trained gelding each way while the double figure price remains available. Tiger Roll should be involved in the finish.
“One of a few owned by the Gigginstown Stud of Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, his brother Eddie, who runs the operation, said: ‘We’d prefer better ground for Tiger Roll. He’s obviously our number one hope in the race and he goes there with every chance but the better the ground is, the better his chance.’
“That’s odd,” I told members. “The going at Cheltenham when he won the Cross Country Chase was officially ‘Soft.’”
“But O’Leary goes on to say:- ‘We didn’t give Tiger Roll much of a chance at Cheltenham on soft ground but he obviously went through it on the day, but I just think the Grand National on soft ground would be a different test. I’d prefer if it was good ground for him.’
As I said to members on April 13th:- “Forgive me if I suggest that some of that is typical O’Leary Irish blarney. He’ll cope with the ground.”
That was April 8th. By the time of my next Aintree selections post on the eve of the race, I had cooled just a little towards Tiger Roll purely because of the rain that fell in the intervening time. The O’Leary camp kept saying Tiger Roll would not want heavy going underfoot.
Regardless of the doubts expressed by the owners of the horse, I told members that I was sticking by Tiger Roll.
He was one of my selections for the race. The price on offer had improved to 14/1 the day before the race. The other two were each way bets at bigger prices. Milansbar at 33/1 raced really well and returned placed profit when finishing fifth with Bryony Frost in the saddle. Ucello Conti, a 20/1 each way selection, went so well for so long in the race and was up with the leaders prior to shipping jockey Daryl Jacob out of the saddle late on in the race.
Here is what I advised members in the very first selections post after we had once again found the winner of the ultra competitive Grand National.
“Connections expressed their concern that the heavy ground at Aintree would be too testing for Tiger Roll. I didn’t fall for that Irish blarney on April 8th. A week later, with the weather and the ground just getting worse, I began to wonder if they might have a point. I was, I told members last Friday, happy to stick by Tiger Roll as my ante-post bet.
“The lesson to learn from that is not to believe the word of trainer Gordon Elliott, owner Michael O’Leary or his brother Eddie, who runs the all conquering Gigginstown Stud. They likely wanted the odds to remain at a double figure price so that everyone connected with Tiger Roll could have a bet at 12/1 and 14/1, rather than the single figure price that would have been on offer had they sounded confident to the media. I was very happy in cheering Tiger Roll on to victory.”
I wasn’t alone. Here are some of the ‘thank you’ messages I received from paid up members of VG Tips.
Brian messaged to say;- “Astounding Vern. Well Done. Running out of compliments for this service, never failed me since joining. Highly Recommended.”
Michael tweeted to say:- “Great work as usual Vernon… well done.”
Damien took time to e-mail me and said:- “Brilliant work again, Vernon. Well done.”
Long time VG Tips follower Chester also paid me a compliment:- “Well done, Vernon. 3 years in a row. Top class.”
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I look forward to welcoming you to the home for profitable punters.