Following on from two 6/1 winners on Friday, members of VG Tips enjoyed being on the 8/1 winner of the Grand National Trial at Haydock, Vieux Lion Rouge (Old Red Lion).
I tipped that as my NAP to land the competitive race to win at an SP price of 8/1.
To give non members an idea of what I tell subscribers to my selection service after I have undertaken deep analysis of races such as this one, here’s what I told them on Friday night: “Long serving members know that I am a fan of Blaklion. The little beauty has a big chance in the Grand National proper come April, but needs to put in a good performance here. He races from top weight here, was fifth in the Hennessy Gold Cup and third in a Grade 3 race at Wetherby on Boxing Day. It’s only the weight carried today that concerns me.
“The David Pipe trained Vieux Lion Rouge carries 6 pounds less. He won by a short head from Highland Lodge at Aintree in December. He carries much more weight this day but we should take note that behind him that day at Aintree were Ucello Conti, One for Arthur and the runner up in the 2016 Grand National, The Last Samuri. All three are well fancied for the real deal at Aintree in April.”
And it was those 6 pounds that made the difference between the first and second home. Blaklion would have had a much better chance had they raced from level weights.
Both now go to Aintree on April 8th with every chance of doing what no horse has done since 1992, winning the Grand National Trial AND winning the Grand National itself. Vieux Lion Rouge leads the betting market.
There’s a much bigger field come the real thing, of course. Last year I picked the first two home. For members only. For the Grand National 2016 I tipped Rule the World each way when priced at 50/1 (the price I took), and I also tipped The Last Samuri, each way, at 10/1. That one finished second. So we were very much in the money after last year’s Grand National.
I long ago placed two each way ante-pots bets for the race this year and I am happy with the weights those two horses will carry on the day.
There are in total a handful of horses I fancy for the 2017 Grand National. The most difficult decision for this big field race is always choosing two from four or five. Last year I very much chose the right two. Now I face the challenge of trying to repeat that achievement. It will not be easy.
But first, before Aintree, we have the Cheltenham Festival coming up on the rails. Four days of top quality racing. A real challenge for punters. If you come out of the Cheltenham Festival week ahead of the bookie, pat yourself on the back.