In the Totepool Racing’s Biggest Supporter Handicap (8.10) at Chelmsford on Tuesday, First Dream has shown progressive form this season, winning in this grade over a mile three weeks ago, and can defy another 8lb rise in the weights. The son of Oasis Dream has sufficient stamina in the bottom half of his pedigree, courtesy of successful French sire Highest Honor, to suggest that an extra quarter of a mile is well within his compass. Indeed, the way in which he’s forged clear in the closing stages on both starts over a mile at the Essex track reinforces the idea that the step up to 1 mile 2 furlongs may bring about some improvement. If it does, he looks decent value at around 4/1 in the early price lists against the likely favourite Well Off, who has no experience on the Polytrack at Chelmsford.
The form of both his course and distance wins has been franked by the third horse on either occasion, Play Nicely and Sculptured, so he looks won to follow, at least until beaten. Newmarket trainer Roger Varian has only saddled two runners at Chelmsford so far, but both of them were three-year-olds and one of them won, so the statistics offer some cause for optimism.
Selection: Chelmsford 8.10 First Dream to win
Jockey Blake Shinn decided to give Janet Jackson’s wardbrobe malfunction a run for its money earlier this week when his trousers developed a mind of their own. Racegoers got an eyeful and the commentator was apparently so taken aback he couldn’t even bring himself to acknowledge the fact that someones behind was suddenly being broadcast to the nation. For a brief moment it became very difficult to call horse racing the sport of kings!
We’re days away from one of the most exciting events of the UK racing calendar. The Aintree Grand National draws huge crowds both at the track and in front of television screens across the nation and the world. Steeped in history, The National attracts the cream of the crop, in terms of horses, jockeys and owners. Prize money of over a million pounds is on offer, making this the most valuable jump race in Europe and certainly fitting for such a prestigious occasion. If you’re looking to get involved, it’s useful to see grand national results & odds online first.
At over 4 miles and with 30 fences to navigate, you’re bound to be on the edge of your seat if you’ve placed a wager. If you haven’t, there’s still time to bet and with such a large field if you strike lucky, there’s a chance you could win big. It’s not unheard of for huge priced winners to romp home in The National, as there’s always an element of unpredictability to the event even when bookies are convinced a horse has it all but sewn up. 2009 winner Mon Mome was a staggering 100-1 with bookmakers. Even in recent years, we’ve been spoiled in terms of the betting odds of winners (2012 – Neptunes Collonges 33-1, 2013 – Auroras Encore 66-1, 2014 – Pineau De Re 25-1). Will 2015 bring us yet another big winner?
This year’s favourite is 2014 Irish National winner Shutthefrontdoor, which is set to be jockey Tony McCoy’s final ride. It’s currently 7-1 and feasibly could get shorter, making it one of the shortest priced Grand National favourites in decades. Undoubtedly talented, 7-1 is not particularly generous though when you consider the depth of the competition and the number of horses competing. Pushing out to slightly bigger odds we have second favourite Rocky Creek currently at 10-1, Balthazar King at 12-1 and The Druids Nephew at 14-1. Of the three, I’d be tempted to go with Rocky Creek. This Paul Nicholls’s trained nine-year-old has looked very strong and capable all season and won well at Kempton.
If you’re looking for a more speculative bet you could do worse than go with Dolatulo who has plenty of national hunt experience, or why not go for a little piece of history by backing last year’s winner Pineau De Re to repeat the feat at 25-1.