Past Winners » Grand National


There is not much more to say about Burrows Saint.  It is a pity that he didn’t win the Bobbyjo Chase because, if he had, his Grand National odds would have been cut by more than they were at the time.  And Cloth Cap has since won impressively at Kelso, and is now a stone well-in.  That said, I still think that Burrows Saint is the right type of horse for the race.  He could improve significantly on the better ground today, and you know that Willie Mullins will have him primed.  Also, while it would have been great to have had Paul Townend on board, Patrick Mullins is a top class deputy, and he was very good over the big fences on Livelovelaugh yesterday.

I am getting two others on side now.  Any Second Now is one.  I considered getting him on side before he won the Grade 2 Webster Cup at Navan last time but, actually, he was so impressive in winning that, over a distance that should have been way short of his best, that 11/1 about him now on the day of the race, with that piece of new information in front of us, is arguably better value than 16/1 before the race was, without that piece of information.

He has a lot of the attributes that you look for in a Grand National winner.  (We had him on side for last year’s abandoned race.)  He won the Kim Muir in 2019, so we know that he stays three and a quarter miles at least, and that he has every chance of staying further.  Yet, he had the class and pace to win a Grade 3 race over two miles last season, and a Grade 2 chase over two miles this season.

That run should have brought him forward nicely for today.  Mark Walsh is a top class rider, and Ted Walsh knows how to prepare a horse for a Grand National, having won it with Papillon in 2000, and having sent out Seabass to go so close in 2012.

I am also getting Balko Des Flos on side, at a massive price, to small stakes.  He is not as good as he was, but he was very good in his day, he won a Ryanair Chase and he reached a peak rating of 169.  So today’s rating of 152 gives him lots of leeway.

As well as that, he ran very well in the Champion Chase at Down Royal in October, and he did well to finish sixth in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, having been hampered when Minella Indo fell.

He was disappointing in the Kinloch Brae Chase, but he was actually running very well last time in the Cross-Country Chase at Cheltenham, he had taken to the obstacles well and he appeared to be enjoying himself before he unseated his rider at the cheese wedges.  He should love today’s ground, and there is every chance that he will take to these unusual fences, as he did to the cross-country fences.  If he does, he could out-run big odds.