National Hope Samuri Can Taste Success In Grimthorpe
Cheltenham is the buzz word at the moment but there will be plenty of English Grand National pointers this weekend.
Many Clouds, The Druids Nephew, Shutthefrontdoor, Aachen, Goonyella, Unioniste, Gallant Oscar, The Last Samuri, Rule The World, Bear’s Affair, Just A Par, Pineau De Re, Alvarado, Maggio and Perfect Candidate are all possible Aintree contenders who are declared to run over the weekend.
Clouds Can Win Again
Last year’s Aintree hero Many Clouds goes to Kelso to take on Unioniste in a listed chase over just short of three miles and although he hasn’t managed to win since claiming the National, I think this looks an ideal opportunity for him to return to winning ways for Oliver Sherwood and Leighton Aspell.
Many Clouds is likely to be odds-on for this assignment and he’ll attempt to do something that Grand National winners of the last 15 years have found difficult and that is to win again.
Since 2002 winner Bindaree, only Pineau De Re has won again under rules after claiming the National.
Although Monty’s Pass did win a charity race and Silver Birch a point-to-point.
Unioniste will pose a threat to Many Clouds’ bid to return to the winners’ enclosure but he looks well worth sticking with on this occasion.
Samuri to battle out Grimthorpe
Another National entry who I think will be heading for Liverpool on the back of a win is Kim Bailey’s The Last Samuri.
Available at a best priced 25/1 with BoyleSports for the Grand National next month, The Last Samuri comes into this £55,000 race on the back of a decent win at Kempton last time out when he had a length and a quarter to spare over Viva Steve.
The Grand National is ultimately his major target but it was pleasing to hear Kim Bailey give an update bulletin about the eight-year-old in midweek and I would suggest we haven’t seen The Last Samuri at his very best yet.
The track and trip should suit him ideally and it is a trappy little eight-runner contest but on what is just his third run for Bailey since joining from Donald McCain, The Last Samuri will hopefully justify our faith.
*Prices correct at time of publication.