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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Who's going to win the National?

Well, for what it's worth, I've backed Slim Pickings (good third in the race last year when he hit the front too soon), and Butler's Cabin (former Irish National winner whose stamina is proven) ante-post. I've also backed Simon (cruising in the race last year when he fell at second Valentine's) and Bewley's Berry, who has a great record over the Aintree fences and was running a massive race in last year's National when being spooked by a loose horse at second Becher's. I'll also be having a small each-way bet on last year's second McElvey; if he's recaptured last year's form he has to go close and at time of writing he's about 25-1.
For those looking for longer-priced each-way outsiders, then Mon Mome, who has good form over marathon trips and Point Barrow, the former Irish National winner ridden by Aintree specialist Tony Dobbin, are other possibles.

Whatever you decide to back, make sure you check out the website OddsChecker first, there you can compare the various prices the bookies are offering for your selection (s).

Good luck and may the best horse win! The main thing though is that all the horses and jockeys avoid serious injuries, and we don't have a repeat of yesterday's scenes when two horses were killed in the Topham Trophy. Incredibly though, there are some warped individuals who think otherwise and who believe it is "important" that "a horse should be killed most years and a jockey every ten years or so". Needless to say, the bloodthirsty author of those words was also a keen supporter of the Iraq War.

UPDATE: Hope you had the winner, Comply or Die, (clearly named after George Bush's foreign policy). My wife Zsuzsanna did, and for good measure she picked out the third, Snowy Morning too. Slim Pickings and Bewley's Berry both ran blinders, finishing fourth and fifth respectively (fortunately I backed them both each-way, the latter with a bookies that paid up for fifth place). Slim Pickings looked the likely winner when he loomed up full of running with about half a mile to go, but the extra weight he had to carry this year made all the difference. Butler's Cabin was running a huge race when tipping up at second Becher's (will Tony McCoy ever win the National?) Simon too ran well for much of the way, before unseating his rider at the same fence he did last year. Sadly, McElvey, last year's gallant second, had to be destroyed after colliding into a rail.

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