Value to be found in the Grand National ante-post market
Of course in Tiger Roll we have a worthy favourite in the ante-post books for the 2020 Grand National. Gordon Elliott’s star became the first horse to win back-to-back Nationals since Red Rum in 2019 and he will bid to emulate that same horse; the only three-time National winner in 2020.
Tiger Roll will go off favourite on the day barring some major loss of form between now and April but he was the first winning outright favourite since Hedgehunter in 2005 a year ago (there have been two joint favourites in between). Since the turn of the century we have had winners at 100/1, 66/1 and 33/1 four times so by no means should price sway you towards the more fancied runners. Much is speculative at this early juncture but there is undoubtedly value to be found in the ante-post market and here we look at three at huge prices who could very easily play a major role on the big day.
– Alan King (50/1* in places, 33/1* generally)
The bet365 Gold Cup and Grand National double hasn’t been completed since Mr Frisk achieved the feat back in 1990. The performance of Alan King’s seven-year-old Talkischeap however in the 3m5f Sandown handicap at the end of last season marked him out as a winner well out of the ordinary.
A huge ante-post gamble for the race; Talkischeap went off at 7/1 in the end and his backers were duly rewarded.
Having jumped well throughout the son of crack staying sire Getaway swept to the front going to the last and powered up the Sandown hill turning a traditionally competitive handicap into a procession as he won by 10L.
Talkischeap has only run once this season and that against Grade One performer and live Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Santini. That was a tall order especially in a small field race over 3m but back in a more truly run race over marathon trips he remains a chaser of great potential and 50/1 at present represents a good value bet and those odds ought to be snapped up especially considering the way he was so well backed at Sandown last April.
– Tom Lacey (50/1* in places, 33/1* generally)
The 3m2f Becher chase over the National Fences isn’t perhaps the race it once was as a trial although three horses in seven years did the double around the turn of the last millennium. It does however often throw up horses placed who later go onto go well in the National itself and Kimberlite Candy looked an ideal Grand National type when staying on well for second behind Walk In The Mill in the Becher.
He was the only horse in the first six tackling the big fences for the first time marking that out a very meritorious performance indeed. He looks likely to be even better over the marathon trip he will face in the National and his fifth in last season’s 4m Eider Chase at Newcastle showed his potential for such trips despite his at the time relatively slender age. A year older, wiser and stronger he looks the finished article and at 50/1* certainly a value bet ante-post.
– Nicky Richards (40/1* generally)
The Scottish National/Grand National double hasn’t been completed by any horse since Earth Summit followed up his 2007 Ayr success by winning the following April at Aintree. Perhaps that trend can be bucked by Nicky Richards’ lightly raced improver Takingrisks.
He landed the Scottish equivalent in impressive fashion at 25/1 last season and after defeat first time over hurdles made it three consecutive wins over fences latest at Newcastle. That win over just shy of 3m saw his stamina come into the equation late on as he powered home from the last like the out-and-out stayer he clearly is. The third that day Top Ville Ben came out and hacked up in the Roland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day to frank the form and with the National the confirmed target for Takingrisks he looks a really sound investment at 40/1*.
*All odds for upcoming races are subject to change.