Horses To Follow » Southern Vic

Southern Vic

Black Apalachi was all the rage for the Grand National after he won the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last Sunday, and rightly so. Southern Vic was disappointing on the face of it trailing in a well-beaten fourth. However, I wouldn’t go giving up on him as a Grand National contender just yet. The 10-year-old gelding jumped continually to his left throughout the race, yet he was still right there in contention when a really bad mistake at the third last effectively ended his chance, and Paul Carberry was wisely easy on him over the last two fences.

I have to admit, I hadn’t noticed a tendency for the son of Old Vic to go left in the past and, while five of his six wins have been gained at left-handed tracks, most of his races have been that way around. Perhaps something was ailing him on Saturday, or perhaps he just does need to go left. Fortunately, Aintree is a left-handed track, and he was running a cracker in the Becher Chase over the big fences there last November before he unseated his rider at the Canal Turn. He is the right age for the National, he jumps well, he is at least fairly handicapped, he should have a lovely racing weight, and he is trained by Ted Walsh, who trained Papillon to win the race in 2000. Furthermore, he is a 33/1 shot for Aintree, and that is big.

© The Irish Field, 28th February, 2009