Another Grand National day comes around and Tiger Roll is being touted as the next Red Rum. The Irish horse won at Cheltenham in stunning fashion and is the most resilient and versatile horse I’ve ever seen. But I cannot back him in this 40-runner melee at such a short price, even though I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run away with it. With 30 unusual fences to negotiate he could be hit from the front, back or sides, have something tumble ahead, bringing him down . . . He is subject to the same risks as the others without the compensation of a decent price.
I tipped Singlefarmpayment a couple of weeks back and he is even better value now at 66/1 EW to 6 places. In his early chasing days, I’d have bet he’d have won a big handicap by now. At one point I thought he might even make it into graded company. Most of his racing has been at Cheltenham and although he tends to lose out in close finishes there (he has no obvious quirks or signs of being ungenuine) Aintree should suit him well.
Singlefarmpayment rarely runs a bad race although his last one at Cheltenham was his worst over fences. He simply never got involved. I’ve a growing suspicion that the ground at the Festival – sticky and cloying – caused a number of horses to underperform; Singlefarmpayment might be one of them.
His jumping in general is efficient and after so many runs at Cheltenham (11 of his 25 outings have been there) these fences might well inspire him. His stamina must be taken on trust, but his best performances have been at distances beyond 3 miles and his style of racing gives him every chance if the big fences don’t light him up early. His sire Milan already has a National winner to his credit in One For Arthur. Singlefarmpayment’s dam Crevamoy has had two other folas who made it to the track; neither anywhere near as good as Singlefarmpayment.
Good to soft ground will be all right for Singlefarmpayment and the drier it gets the more he’ll like it. Paddy Brennan rides for the first time and is a much busier rider than Singlefarmpayment has been used to (Heskin has had most rides on him, with Fehily riding him lately). It will be interesting to see how he reacts to Paddy Brennan.
A few bookies offer 66/1 Singlefarmpayment EW at 6 places.
Another I’ve backed is One For Arthur, a horse I’ve tipped here twice this season and I have not lost faith in him. An easy Grand National winner in 2017, he looked likely to go on improving and would have merited a Gold Cup entry as an outsider. But he was injured in training and has faced a series of frustrations since, not least in unseating in both runs this season. He is reported firing on all cylinders at home, although transferring that to the track is the difficult part. Still, I think he is well worth betting at around 33/1 EW.
Two more worth considering are Step Back -25/1– and Anibale Fly -16/1. The latter is a bit quirky but is a classy horse and the type who could come with a sustained run even under his big weight. His form suggests he is better than ever. He carries 5lbs ore than when fourth in this last year.
In the 3.00 race I expect Lalor -4/1- to win at this meeting for the 3rd year in a row. His season has gone badly wrong since his devastating victory at Cheltenham on his chasing debut. His next run (third) might have come a bit soon and on going that could have caught him out. He was lifeless at Cheltenham last time and, again, that bad ground I mentioned could have been a factor. I’m hoping he will bounce back in style here.
I expect Apple’s Jade -7/4 – to win the 3.40 with the minimum of fuss. She’s much better than these and on her previous visit to Aintree in 2016 she won by forty-one lengths.
In the 4.20 Kildisart – 7/1 – has a lot of weight but he’s classy and improving if a touch quirky Jacob will want to hold onto him until after the last as he can idle badly.