Any Second Now Boosts National Hopes With Solid Run In Ireland

Any Second Now is likely to be part of a strong contingent of Irish horses set to travel to Liverpool this year for April’s Grand National.

The eight-year-old chaser did very little wrong on his latest appearance in the Gaelic Planet Hire Leopardstown Handicap, coming home third of 24 runners earlier this month.

Although he never really troubled the front two in the closing stages of that outing, it was over 2m5f, so it was probably on the sharp side for the gelding.

That run was his second positive performance of the season. He finished second in the Grade Two Liam & Valerie Brennan Memorial Florida Pearl Novice Chase back in November after he chased home Battleoverdoyen, who looks a smart prospect over fences.

The Irish horse is 25/1* to prevail on his National debut

Many bookmakers cut Any Second Now’s odds for the 2020 Grand National following his run at Leopardstown. He is as short as 25/1* for the 4m2½f contest where he will represent a great each-way bet for many punters.

Given he is owned by J.P. McManus, he will carry the famous green and gold silks, which were ridden to success in this race in 2010 by Don’t Push It.

Ted Walsh’s runner will go into the Aintree feature contest as an eight-year-old and will be having his first shot at the bigger fences at the Merseyside course.

He did run in the Irish equivalent of the race last April although he came down at the eighth obstacle in a race won by Burrows Saint.

Success in 2019 Kim Muir

The biggest win of the Irish horse’s career so far came at the Cheltenham Festival last year as he won the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase.

With the very capable Derek O’Connor on his back, Any Second Now soon led after the last fence. He stretched away from his rivals up the hill at Prestbury Park, scoring by 3¾ lengths after going off at 6/1.

That victory is surprisingly his only success so far over fences. He has gone close on a number of occasions, though, which has meant he has risen up the weights.

Ted Walsh bidding for second National win

Walsh’s biggest win of his career as a trainer came in 2000 when Papillon prevailed in the Grand National for him. With his son Ruby on board, the Irish horse scored by just over a length after going off at 10/1.

The Irishman, who is approaching his 70th birthday this year, has had some talented horses in his yard during his training career. Commanche Court, Rice Ri, Southern Vic, Seabass and Foxrock have all enjoyed big-race success under his supervision.

Although he has yet to follow up in the Grand National since Papillon’s victory 20 years ago, he has gone close a few times. Seabass finished third in the race in 2012 when she was partnered by Ted’s daughter, Katie.

Walsh is now one of the faces of the RTE racing coverage in Ireland and is also commonly used on the terrestrial coverage of the Cheltenham Festival in the UK.

If he does land the world’s most famous steeplechase in April, he will continue his family’s excellent record in the race as son Ruby has also been successful twice as a jockey.

*odds subject to change.

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