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3 each-way shots you should consider in the Grand National

40 runners go to post but there can only be one winner. Can a big-priced outsider spring a shock in this year’s Grand National?

Horse Racing - The 2013 John Smith's Grand National - Grand National Day - Aintree Racecourse Ryan Mania and Auroras Encore won at 66/1 last year. Will there be another shock today? Source: EMPICS Sport

THE AINTREE GRAND National has a history of throwing up some big-priced winners.

In the last five years alone we’ve had a 33/1 (Neptune Collonges, 2012), a 66/1 (Auroras Encore, 2013) and a historic 100/1 (Mon Mome, 2009).

That should be enough to tell you that it is worth scrutinising the bottom half of the market before the big race goes to post at 4.15pm this afternoon.

The three horses below are all priced at 25/1 or bigger. There are plenty of faults to find with each of them — if there weren’t, they would be at much shorter prices — but maybe one of them can run into a place or even cause an upset.

All prices correct at the time of writing.

Pineau de Re (25/1)

We know Richard Newland’s 11-year-old is in good form — he played a leading role in one of the most exciting finishes at last months’s Cheltenham Festival when he finished third in the Pertemps Final. Before that he won a handicap chase at Exeter, beating a small field that included former Grand National fancy Junior.

We’d know a lot more about his prospects had he stayed up in the Becher Chase (run over Aintree’s National fences in December) but he was at the top end of the market that day, and can point to his 23-length Ulster National win in April 2013 (3m4f on good ground) as interesting form.

Horse Racing - The 2011 John Smith's Grand National - Day Two - Aintree Racecourse Quito de la Roque: won at Aintree in 2011. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Quito de la Roque (40/1)

Owned by Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, Quito de la Roque made his name as a multiple Grade winner over fences — including a Grade 2 at Aintree as a novice back in 2011.

He is pretty unappealing on his recent form but still carries 11-1 (though it should be remembered that four of the last five winners carried 11st or more).

There are very few concerns about his jumping, which is an important plus, and the better ground could bring about an improvement from his fifth-place finish in the Punchestown Grand National trial in February (3m4f on heavy).

Last Time D’Albain (50/1)

You nearly have to go right to the bottom of the card before you’ll find #38, Last Time D’Albain, trained by Liam Cusack in County Laois. As with any 50/1 shot there are far more negatives than positives, so we’ll just stick to the latter.

He was third to Colbert Station in the Paddy Power last season and then followed that up by finishing 5 3/4 lengths third to Triolo d’Alene in the Topham Chase, so at least we know that he can handle the National Fences.

Triolo d’Alene is a 16/1 shot today — and was given a sneaky shout by some in the Gold Cup last month — but Last Time D’Albain is 23 pounds better off after slipping in at the bottom of the weights. We’re focusing on the positives but still, there’s enough to consider there.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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