Ante-post Tip For Grand National: Stamina Of Raz De Maree Could Prove Crucial In Grand National

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Raz De Maree – 50-1 Betvictor (5 places) 5.15pm Aintree Saturday 14th April

Back in 2001 conditions were so bad for the Grand National that only four horses managed to complete the course, with two of those – Blowing Wind and Papillon – only doing so after being remounted behind winner Red Marauder and runner-up Smarty. Hopefully there will be no repeat of that controversial renewal on Saturday 14th April but with less than two weeks before the big day and the British weather unsettled to say the least, testing ground looks more than likely for the extended 4m 2f marathon.

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With that strong possibility in mind it is worth looking at some big priced contenders who, as the saying goes, stay longer than the mother-in-law. Out of those entries who are likely to make the final cut of 40, Chase The Spud, Milansbar, Final Nudge and Captain Redbeard all make some appeal at odds of 50-1 or more but it is the Irish-trained Raz De Maree who could turn out to be a cracking value bet at that price with Betvictor who are paying out on the first five horses home.

Despite being a thirteen-year-old the son of Shaanmer keeps his form well, handles testing ground, has stamina in abundance and is attractively weighted on 10st 8lb as things stand. The mount of Ger Fox got no further than Bechers on the first circuit last year when unseating his rider after trying to avoid a fallen horse, something which is always possible in the world’s most famous steeplechase and hopefully the gelding will encounter a more fortuitous passage on this occasion.

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Runner-up to recent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River in last season’s Welsh Grand National ( beaten less than two lengths ) Raz De Maree went one better this January when, under top conditional James Bowen, Gavin Cromwell’s charge proved six lengths too good for Alfie Spinner on the heavy ground. If the going is anything like as testing at Aintree a week come Saturday the veteran chaser could easily go off as short as 14-1 or 16-1 on the day.

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