Many Clouds

Clouds Defies Weight In National – Weekend Review

Last weekend’s Grand National provided yet another superb spectacle, again advertising itself as the greatest race in the world, and simply unlike no other on the planet – after all what other event would see one of the leading jockeys in Ruby Walsh standing in the middle of the track holding a flag to instruct jockeys to go around a fence?

It was a sign of great sportsmanship that represents what the National is all about, and the fact it went fatality-free for a third consecutive year was a further shot in the arm in terms of terms of good PA for the world-famous race.

Clouds Defies Weight

As for what went on in the race itself, then trends followers were dealt a blow as Many Clouds – sixth in the Cheltenham Gold – lumped 11st9lb to victory, in the process carrying the most weigh to victory since Red Rum in 1974.

In order of matching another of Red Rum’s feats in becoming the first horse to defend the crown 31 years ago, Many Clouds has already been given a fair chance, as the handicapper said he will can only carry a maximum of just 1lb more next year.

A lot will depend on what he faces next year, but if he doesn’t have to give too much weight away, then there is every chance he could win back-to-back renewals. At current odds of 25/1, it’s something to consider, as records are there to be broken – another record would have to be jockey, Leighton Aspell, winning it for a third consecutive year, which has never been achieved.

McCoy Scottish Bound
It wasn’t to be a fairytale ending for Tony McCoy, but he went close and had both punters and bookies on the edge of their seats in the home straight. McCoy still enjoyed a good Aintree, though, having ridden the likes of Jezki and Don Cossack to victory, and it may well be the script is waiting to be written elsewhere – perhaps in the Scottish Grand National this weekend?

JFK Shot Down
The Flat also got into gear at Leopardstown on Sunday when winter Derby favourite, John F Kennedy flopped in the Ballysax Stakes under Ryan Moore, who has been installed as No.1 rider for Ballydoyle. Moore said afterwards that John F Kennedy wasn’t enjoying the mud, and as he also lost his first race last year before winning his next two races, his odds of 10/1 for Epsom (from 4/1), could look value if he bounces back on better ground next time.

The winner of the Ballysax, Success Days, enjoyed the soft ground and had a fitness advantage, so it remains to be seen what improvement there is to come when the ground dries up in the Irish Guineas.

Weld’s Magnificent Seven

It was mentioned here during the last two weeks the red-hot form of Dermot Weld’s runners, and once again the advice rang true when Weld sent out seven winners over the weekend.

Included in that haul were both winners of the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas trials at Leopardstown, where the former, Stormfly, may go for the French 1,000 (likely softer ground). Zawraq, however, was an impressive winner of the male trial and is now just 12/1 for the 2,000 Guineas, though Weld thinks of him more of a Derby horse, hence why he may go for the Derrinstown Trial.

There are also more Classic trials this week with Newmarket on Wednesday and Thursday, then Newbury at the weekend – things are hotting up!…