With two of the top ten in the Grand National 2013 betting being trained in Wales, Crockford asks will there be a Welsh Winner of the Grand National 2013?
Much has been said already in the racing press about the strong hand that the Irish have in this year’s race, but are punters and pundits overlooking the chances of the contenders from the Welsh stables?
After Cappa Bleu’s run at Ascot, Evan Williams’ accomplished stayer has been many people’s idea of a Aintree bet. Williams is not unaccustomed to producing a contender for the race with both State Of Play and Cappa Bleu having filled the places in previous renewals. Last year’s fourth shows that the lightly raced Cappa Bleu has a liking for the race. Crockford would not be surprised if he made at least the placings again this time given the form he brings to the race this year. Priced at as low as 10/1 in places there may be better value elsewhere.
Rebecca Curtis, the Newport based trainer followed up on her Cheltenham Festival 2012 win with Teaforthree with another win at the Festival this March with At Fishers Cross and now hopes that her 2012 Festival hero can now add the ultimate jump racing prize to her haul. Teaforthree was narrowly beaten at Chepstow in the Coral Welsh National by the brilliant ride of Paul Carberry on Monbeg Dude. After disappointing last time out at Haydock Curtis has decided to not stable overnight at the course and will travel up to Liverpool on the day from her Pembrokeshire base. The four mile National Hunt Chase winner has bags of stamina and can jump for fun and goes to the Aintree contest with a live chance at around 16/1.
Until this week Tim Vaughan was double-handed with two real National hopes – Beshabar one of the ante-post favourites and the lively outsider Saint Are. Beshabar had been laid out for the race and Vaughan was confident of a big show from his Scottish National winner. However, another setback has ruled Beshabar out of the Grand National 2013 leaving the Aintree loving Saint Are as his only hope. Saint Are positively loves Aintree and appears to come alive at the track with all his finest performances being on Merseyside. The Spring, the ground and the flat track bring the best out of him and being currently 50/1 he also appears to be the value proposition for the race.
Always Waining is also synonymous with the course having won three Topham Chases over the Grand National obstacles. Rather than going for a fourth his Welsh based trainer Peter Bowen has decided a crack at the great marathon contest instead is in order. Showing no real form outside the April meeting it is hard to judge Always Waining real chances of landing the world’s greatest race. Bowen is a shrewd trainer and will certainly have his charge ready for the challenge. Quoted at about 40/1 he is almost certain of getting around the four and a half mile course. Bowen is also likely to be represented by Mumbles Head (priced at about 100/1) who strung together good form early last Summer but is surely outclassed in this field.
The Welsh based trainers are certainly not without their chances and may just take the prize back home with them over the Welsh border. One thing is for sure they will have to withstand the strong challenge from the Celtic brothers across the Irish Sea if they want to win the Grand National 2013.
For Crockford their best chances lay with Rebecca Curtis and her proven classy stayer Teaforthree, but Crockford would not be surprised if Tim Vaughan and his Cowbridge based team don’t cheer the winner home with the overpriced Saint Are.
(Featured Photograph – Saint Are at the Cheltenham Festival 2013 by Stuart Rice)
(Photograph- Tim Vaughan by Stuart Rice)
(Photograph – Teaforthree before the Coral Welsh National by Stuart Rice)