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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Grand National Outsiders

The Grand National, run over 4 miles 2½ furlongs at Aintree, presents a unique test for horse and rider and is the race for which this column was created. Winners at 100/1, 66/1, 33/1 (twice) and 25/1 (twice) in the last 10 years has us licking our lips and, hopefully, we can unearth outsiders that can give us a run for our money at similarly silly odds. The final declarations for the Grand National aren’t published until Thursday morning but, with Bet365 offering non-runner no bet and guaranteed best odds, we thought we’d dip our toe in the ante post market. This article relates to the 2016 Grand National. Go here to check here for 2017 grand national outsiders!


Perhaps surprisingly, Co. Limerick trainer has only had three previous runners in the Grand National, but Grade One winner Gilgamboa (66/1) is far and away the best horse he’s entered and is guaranteed a run. His latest fifth of 15, beaten 10 lengths, behind Vautour in the Ryanair Chase, over a seemingly inadequate 2 miles 5 furlongs, at the Cheltenham Festival was no disgrace and, having done most of his winning on soft and heavy going, any rain that falls in North West England between now and Saturday afternoon is in his favour. He’s 6lb higher in the weights than fourth of 28, beaten 5¼ lengths, behind Minella Foru in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas – his last run in a handicap – but this outsider shapes like a stayer and could be the ideal type for Aintree.

Onenightinvienna (50/1) is still a novice over regulation fences, but won a point-to-point as a 4-year-old and generally jumps well, as he did when fifth of six, beaten 18 lengths, behind Vyta Du Roc in the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase, over 3 miles, at Ascot in February. He was disappointing on that occasion, but may be better judged on his 2½-length second to subsequent RSA Chase winner Blaklion, over 3 miles 1½ furlongs on the New Course at Cheltenham, in December. In any case, he’s been given seven weeks to recover from his Ascot exertions and, while he appears to be Philip Hobbs’ second string on jockey bookings, he could be a potential ‘dark horse’, particularly if the ground softens a little.

Last, but hopefully not least of our outsider tips, Vics Canvas (80/1) is a 13-year-old and an infrequent winner these days, but was second, off a 5lb lower mark, in the Bet365 Gold Cup Chase, over 3 miles 5 furlongs at Sandown last April and had a ‘sighter’ over the National fences when fifth of 17, beaten 3¾ lengths, behind Highland Lodge in the Becher Chase in December. His subsequent form is pretty dismal, but he wouldn’t be the first horse that kept his best for the National fences and he could surprise a few, despite his advancing years.

Good luck!

Outsider Selections: Gilgamboa (66/1), Onenightinvienna (50/1), Vics Canvas (80/1)

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