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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Three 2018 Grand National Outsiders to Consider Backing


Coming in to the 2018 renewal, five of the last six Grand National heroes had a starting price of 25/1 or bigger.
That stat is all the evidence needed to show that the world’s greatest steeplechase remains one of the most difficult races to pick the winner in.
This extended 4m 2f Aintree marathon may be a compressed handicap nowadays, but is still full of unpredictable elements.
What the above demonstrates is that punters should not be so quick to dismiss the chances of horses at larger prices.
If finding something to back for the Grand National is giving you a headache, then you can always pick from the tips at Timeform, but here we put three horses not currently prominent in the ante-post betting under the spotlight.

Ucello Conti

Owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede will be hoping it’s third time lucky at Aintree for Ucello Conti, who is their sole representative this year.
Connections have already taken Vyta Du Roc, Polidam and Bristol De Mai out of the Grand National, so appear happy to rely on the Gordon Elliott trained 10-year-old.
Sixth to fellow Irish raider Rule The World in this race two years ago, Ucello Conti was perhaps a little unlucky to unseat his rider when tackling Becher's Brook for the second time in last season’s renewal.
A seven-length second to Anibale Fly on reappearance in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival, he disappointed last time out when pulled up in the Thyestes at Gowran Park.
Depending on what other horses forfeit their Grand National entries (the week prior to the Cheltenham Festival, he is 41 on the list), Ucello Conti could get in to the race with the most favourable terms yet.

Seeyouatmidnight



One For Arthur was a rare Scottish trained winner of the Aintree showpiece last year for Lucinda Russell, but hopes for the tartan team this time fall on another Borders-based handler.
Sandy Thomson’s Seeyouatmidnight was third in the 2016 Scottish Grand National at Ayr, so there is no doubting his stamina.
The 10-year-old hasn’t been seen over fences since pulling up in Haydock’s Betfair Chase that same year. Prior to that, Seeyouatmidnight beat Bristol De Mai in a Listed intermediate contest over fences.
He was also second at local track Kelso in a staying handicap over hurdles last March and could make his return over fences in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. However he performs if he turns up there, Seeyouatmidnight will surely come on for the run.

Go Conquer



Like compatriot Elliott above, Jonjo O’Neill knows what it takes to train a Grand National winner after his success with Don’t Push It in 2010. In Go Conquer, he has a nine-year-old with some experience of those unique spruce covered Aintree fences.
He raced in last year’s Topham Chase over 2m 5f at the Grand National meeting, but never really recovered from getting badly hampered at the Canal Turn. Go Conquer completed under Aidan Coleman, so it was clear connections were keen to maximise the opportunity.
In winning his first two starts this season, including the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot, Go Conquer highlighted how he still had improvement in him.
That previous spin over the National fences hints that this is a target earmarked for him by owners Paul and Clare Rooney.

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