This week sees the start of three days superb racing at Aintree culminating with the Grand National on Saturday. The National is called the Worlds greatest steeplechase and every year it lives up to its billing.
There has been racing at Aintree since the mid 1820’s but the first official running of the great race was in 1839 when the horses had to negotiate amongst other things a stone wall and run over a ploughed field. The victor was the aptly named Lottery and this was the same year that Captain Becher fell into the brook giving the famous fence its name.
The National has produced many stories over the years and none more so than that concerning the one and only Red Rum.
Rummy was bred in Ireland his sire being Quorum and his dam Mared. The breeders taking the last three letters of their names to give the Aintree Champ his name. He was bred to be a sprinter and actually won his first ever race over 5 furlongs when forcing a dead heat.
He was ridden by many jockeys in his time including Lester Piggott and the one time stable lad Lee Mac and now comedian who had his first riding lesson on Rummy.
Little did they all know that in the fullness of time Red Rum would go on to rewrite the history books and be the only horse to date to win the race on three separate occasions.
This years race is full of possibilities, perhaps we will see the first female to win or wouldn’t it be nice if Richard Johnson could claim victory after all those years being in the shadow of A.P.
One thing is for sure we will all have to put up with the new Channel 4 outfit who just bore me to tears. Oh for the days when Des Lyman was the presenter or please can we bring back Tommo, Big Mac and Francome.
Of the new brigade Graham Cunningham is a total joke. After every race he tells us why we should have backed the winner. Pundits, experts and tipsters need to tell us before the race not after its been run, as any fool can do that.
Next week I’m out to dinner with Johnny Francome so I will ask him to consider going back to present Channel 4 racing and liven the program up and give Claire Balding a bit of stick.
Todays racing looks a bit tricky with all the good horses waiting for the flat Season to get into full swing and the jumpers waiting for Aintree. Many of our trainers are using the allweather tracks just to get their horses fit making it difficult to gauge the form.
Anyway I’m still going to put up a Howies Hottie tip as I always put my money where my mouth is. I’m going to play in the 7.20 Dundalk in Ireland. This is a 7 furlong handicap and the selection is Tsar Paul who is ridden by top Irish jockey Pat Smullen.
The gelding ran 3rd last time out after a lay off and should strip a lot fitter. He is well drawn with the main danger drawn much wider giving us a decent chance of winning or at least making the frame.
I hope you are all keeping up with the eyecatchers as yesterday we again found you a very juicy winner when Captain Arceus won the big hurdle at Fairyhouse at 12/1 s/p.
Just Five trainer J.Weymes – Beaten into 2nd place at Wolverhampton after being hampered on the home turn. His chance will come.
Burano trainer B.Meehan – Came back from Dubai to run a super race at Kempton last week when staying on over 10 furlongs.
Democrates trainer R.Hannon – After a slow start and denied a clear run he made up good late ground. The Hannon winning machine is clicking into top gear and this is one to look out for.
Scargill trainer M.Channonn – Micks juveniles are behind schedule but after running green this guy put in good late work at Musselburgh and should soon be winning.
Back next wednesday have a good week and be lucky.