The Grand National is a race that drags people into the racing whirlwind for ten adrenaline-pumping minutes, once a year.
The once-a-year punters that pick names, colours or maybe their lucky number, are all glued to the television screen as forty horses descend across 30 obstacles on Merseyside.
As always, it looks like a very difficult race to dissect, with so many different variables to take into account. Ground, stamina, course form, ability to jump a fence, weight… and of course, luck.
For the 2017 renewal, we’ll be taking a chance on Definitly Red. It’s not the most fashionable choice, given his place towards the head of the market but he looks as solid a selection as you will find.
He’s only ever been out of the first three once if he’s completed (appreciate that could be a big IF at Aintree) and that was in the Champion Bumper back in 2014. Since then he has gone from strength to strength and he boasts a plethora of really strong form in the book.
After a nice start to the season, he snatched the headlines when running away with a competitive looking Rowland Meyrick Chase, beating Wakanda and Blaklion with ease. He was never going to trouble to runaway winner on his next start at Haydock, where he was hampered and unseated his rider three out.
This could have dented his confidence, so it was pleasing to see him no ill effects as he put in his biggest performance to date last time out. He showed he enjoyed a stamina test, as he bounded clear over 3m 2f last time, putting clear distance between himself and the field.
He was getting 12lb off The Last Samuri, last year’s Grand National runner-up and again at Aintree, he receives the same amount. He’s 10lb well in on figures and although the lack of experience over the Aintree fences is a negative, trainer Brian Ellison has given glowing reports after the horse schooled over similar style obstacles.
Ellison appears very bullish and with the current good ground, which could be a major positive for the horse, the 12/1 looks a fair bet.
Selection: Definitly Red (Grand National) @ 12/1 (Various)