Blaklion and Total Recall shaping up for Grand National Showdown
Horse racing can be a curious sport: fans and punters love to see an all-conquering favourite win time and time again, yet they also like to see great horses toppled by upstart rivals. For example, everyone knows that Kauto Star’s legacy was enriched due to his battles with Denman or that Red Rum legendary status was enhanced by racing L’Escargot: Having two horses at the very top of their game is something to behold.
No horse has dominated the Grand National in modern times, but in Blaklion and Total Recall we may have two who could really dominate all others in this year’s Grand National. These two have both shot to the top of the ante-post odds markets for the race (14th April), and the bookmakers are having a real hard time choosing a favourite. The current odds from a selection of betting companies are shown below:
Total Recall looks to be marginally ahead in terms of form
As you can see, only Bet365 has called it as a tie among the two horses, with the others widely disagreeing on their chances. Of the pair, Total Recall is the one entering the frame in form. He has won his last three races, including the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase, which is normally a good pointer heading into the Grand National. He is trained by Willie Mullins, who has now gone 13 years since last winning the Grand National (2005, Hedgehunter).
Blaklion’s form, while not taking the limelight in the same way as Total Recall, has been good since finishing fourth in last year’s Grand National. He lost out to Bristol De Mai by 1/2 a length in the Charlie Hall Chase in November, won at Aintree in December (another good pointer) and narrowly lost again in February. Both horses look in peak condition to put on a show in Aintree this year.
Plenty of other candidates for Grand National glory
Of course, neither horse is perfect, and you can always bank on a surprise or two happening at Aintree. There are several other excellent horses whose chances are being talked about in the run-up to this year’s Grand National. Some of the best picks are highlighted below:
|Cause of Causes||20/1|
|The Last Samuri||20/1|
|Vieux Lion Rouge||40/1|
*current odds from Betfair 25/02/2018
Anyone of those horses would represent a worthy winner and would certainly be more predictable than winners in the past like Mon Mome (100/1) and Auroras Encore (66/1). Some like Vieux Lion Rouge and Noble Endeavour represent very good value. To get even more bang for your buck check out the latest Grand National free bets available from major bookmakers.
The National could finally get a big rivalry between two horses
However, in Blaklion and Total Recall we could have the showdown that race fans want to see at Aintree. They both tick all the boxes in terms of form, trainer history, jockeys (could see Ruby Walsh on Total Recall and Sam Twiston-Davies on Blakion) and talent that make for a good blend. They are two likely candidates to deliver the one ingredient that the Grand National has been missing in recent years – a really good rivalry at the very top.