Horses To Follow » Rare Bob

Rare Bob

Rare Bob continued his Grand National preparation with another good run in the Leinster National at Naas on Sunday. Racing on the inside, right in amongst horses, a good idea with the Grand National in mind, he jumped well and stayed on nicely up the home straight to finish third. He got in a bit close to the fourth last and he was caught a little flat-footed when Paddys Pub quickened off the slow pace on the run out of the back straight, but he still kept on nicely. This was encouraging.

The Bob Back gelding is a good, solid jumper, not too extravagant, which is exactly what you want for a Grand National horse, and he has already jumped the Aintree fences in the Becher Chase. That was on unsuitably soft ground, he will be better on the better ground they should have next month, and that was a good sighter of the fences. He also has form on Aintree’s Mildmay track, which is often a good pointer to the National, he was actually in with every chance in the John Smith’s Handicap Chase on Grand National day last year when he unseated at the second last fence. He took off at the fence just in front of Prince De Beauchene, this year’s Grand National favourite, when attempting to give 13lb to the then Howard Johnson-trained horse, seemingly with plenty left to give.

He is trained by Dessie Hughes, who knows how to train a National horse (Rare Bob has had the typical Hughes preparation), and whose horses are coming right into form now having been quiet enough for a long part of the season. He has a touch of class, he is the right age for the race at 10, and he has every chance of staying the trip. His rating of 146 leaves him with 10st 9lb in the National, which is ideal, he is 10lb better of with Prince De Beauchene from that run last year, and he is better than a 50/1 shot.

11th March 2012