Marcus Armytage’s five horses to watch at the 2022 Grand National
Snow Leopardess – 7/1
A gray mare has never won the National let alone a mother but she is the story of the race and getting such media coverage that she could start favorite and be elected Prime Minister if there was a vote this week. A lot more going for her than just her color and sex though.
Any Second Now – 8/1
The hard luck story in last year’s race when he had to step over a faller at the 12th which knocked him back to almost last. Coming in on the back of a win. Looks a big player and has good chance of giving owner JP McManus back-to-back Nationals after Minella Times last year.
Delta Work – 8/1
In the same colors as Tiger Roll and has followed the Tiger route winning the cross-country at Cheltenham on the way here. A possible negative is that he might have a hard race there. A class act, the cross-country sparked him back to life. He is probably the one to beat but this is a handicap and winning with 11st 9lb has never been historically easy.
Longhouse Poet – 16/1
Trained by the shrewd Martin Brassil who won it with Numbersixvalverde, he won the Thyestes Chase in January, a good trial for the race. Used to be regarded as a heavy ground specialist but now looking equally adept on the sort of ground he will get at Aintree.
Noble Yeats – 33/1
Bought for amateur Sam Waley-Cohen to ride, the jockey probably has the best record over the fences of anyone except Davy Russell. He’s been knocking on the door in several Nationals, and this is an instance where it might pay to follow the jockey ahead of the horse.
Marlborough’s Grand National verdict – and five horses to watch
This year’s Grand National has a more open feel to it than the current market would suggest. Much of the talk (and betting movement) in the lead-up to the race has centered around Snow Leopardess, who has taken her form to new heights this season, winning all 3 of her starts including the Becher Chase on her only try to date over the National fences. Her allotted weight looks more than fair and she is an excellent jumper; her leading question mark is stamina at the 4m 2½f trip.
Another of interest whose stamina could be questioned is Burrows Saint, who almost jumped and traveled too well for his own good in last year’s race, looking a major danger to all three out only to fade markedly late on. He was disappointing at his last start at Fairyhouse back in February but is taken to bounce right back; this race has surely been the target for connections ever since his excellent effort last year.
Any Second Now was another to have run a cracker in last year’s Grand National and he too looks to have taken aim at this race ever since last year. He comes into this off the back of a good win (with all three of his rivals re-opposing here) and looks to be in as good a form as ever at the age of 10.
Despite a 5lb higher mark than last year, he is taken to go very close once again. Eight-year-olds have won three of the last four runnings of the Grand National (with the exception being a nine-year-old Tiger Roll denying an eight-year-old back in 2019) and it could well be that the mightily consistent Run Wild Fred continues that trend by going very close here. For a novice chaser, he has a wealth of experience in big-field handicaps that can stand him in excellent stead here, and in Davy Russell he has one of the best riders of the National fences to assist him.
However, that pair could well be eclipsed by their stablemate MOUNT IDA, who looked mightily impressive in the 2021 Kim Muir Challenge Cup on her only try to date beyond 3 miles. Ever since that taking victory, she has been kept to shorter distances, running with credit despite evidently wanting to go further. She finally gets the chance to prove both her class and stamina here and looks set for a massive run on Saturday.
Five horses to watch
Any Second Now: Could be considered a touch unlucky in last year’s Grand National but still ran an excellent race to finish third . Coming into this in the form of his life; big run on the cards. 8/1
Run Wild Fred: Consistently staying chaser with class and stamina proven. Comes into this in as good a form as ever and strongly fancied to be right in the mix. 20/1
Burrows Saint: Jumped and traveled beautifully through last year’s race, looking a major danger to all only to fade late on. This has surely been the target ever since. 22/1
Mount Ida: Deeply impressive winner of a 3m2f chase at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival and been kept to shorter distances ever since. First try at 4m 2f could see her produce a career best. 25/1
Snow Leopardess: Winner of all three starts this season and has been the subject of an interesting gamble in recent days. Proven over these fences and greatly respected. 9/1