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Grand National 2008


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Couldn't find a thread discussing it in detail so thought as we are close enough now is the time to have one. I really fancied Parsons Legacy for this and my 40/1 was beginning to look great until it was withdrawn without explanation this week. So, I now need a new fancy to follow but don't really like the look of anything at the head of the betting. Any suggestions? What do you fancy and why? Any stats followers have the trends we need for picking the winner? Let's hope we can find the winner!

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Re: Grand National 2008 I used these stats for last years race, I narrowed it down to 8 runners and bagged 2nd and 4th @ 150/1. Im in the middle of updating the stats but heres what I used last year.: Key Stats for the race are: Favourites Only 3 have won in last 20 years but only two of the last 10 winners started bigger than 16-1. Previous runners Since 1988, only one horse who either won or was placed in a previous year’s National has gone on to win a later renewal of the race. Weight No horse in the last 22 years has (apart from HeadHunter 05) has carried 11 stone or more and won the Grand National. 2006 Numbersixvalverde 10-8 2005 Hedgehunter 11-1 2004 Amberleigh House 10-10 2003 Monty´s Pass 10-7 2002 Bindaree 10-4 2001 Red Marauder 10-11 2000 Papillon 10-12 1999 Bobbyjo 10-0 1998 Earth Summit 10-5 1997 Lord Gyllene 10-0 1996 Rough Quest 10-7 1995 Royal Athlete 10-6 1994 Miinnehoma 10-8 1992 Party Politics 10-7 1991 Seagram 10-6 1990 Mr Frisk 10-6 1989 Little Polveir 10-3 1988 Rhyme ´N´ Reason 11-0 1987 Maori Venture 10-13 1986 West Tip 10-11 Age Dont bet on anything aged younger than 8. The most successful ages are 9 (5 wins and 17 places) and 11 (4 wins and 12 places). Rating Only one horse with an official rating of over 154 has won the National in the last seventeen years. Only two such horses have even been placed during that period. Horses with a rating of less than 125 (3 wins and 9 places since 1988), or between 147 and 153 (4 wins and 11 places since 1988) are the ones to follow. Horses with ratings between 140 and 146 have also been relatively successful. Stamina Every winner since 1970 has winning form over a minimum of 3 miles. The last 20 winners ran within 42 days for fitness purposes.Freshness seems to be key and seven of the last 10 winners were given only two runs since the turn of the year. and also No French bred horse has won the Grand National for nearly a century.

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Re: Grand National 2008

I took Butlers Cabin @ 20s last year watched it win the Irish and will love every yard of this trip.. AP's got to win it sooner rather than later hasnt he lol
Not the most reliable horse though suffers from some broken blood cells or and breathing or something if I remember. I think Ap will prob ride Lami if he runs in it.
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Re: Grand National 2008 Grand National weights came out today and there were a few that caught the eye down the weights. Character Building at 10-05 especially if it it was not too quick, Philson Run at 10-05 who ran a fine race last year when fourth, Longshanks at 10-03 did not quite get home last year but looks lowly weighted although looks doubtful I would have thought to get in. One that I think could get in at 10-06 is Comply or Die who is 40/1 but on the exhanges has been going on some big prices 370+, I settled for 150 for 5 pts and 20 to place 5 pts. Now whilst some other former RSAC seconds are more fancied for this race such as Snowy Morning and Idle Talk even, this one definitely boasts top form from his 2005 RSAC second when just beaten by Trabolgan. Earlier that season it was Grade 2 winner over fences. Over its hurdle days it was fourth behind Fundamentalist and Inglis Drever at the festival. After its RSAC second it was described as a horse who gallops forever so a race like the GN would seem a logical target in the future. At this stage it was 147 and showed good ground was seemingly ideal. After that it must be said it had disappointed generally, it produced the odd good run in a Hennessy but was pulled up in SGN and WGN. However it returned this season after a two year break and did take some going but lto it produced a brave front running performance on testing ground when just denied by Cloudy Lane who is much shorter for the GN, with the aid of first time blinkers. Now there is a four pounds swing with Cloudy lane so that is fair enough and it is rated offically now 139 which compares well to its old mark. It remains only 9 and reasonably lightly raced and that fact that it has been kept in training by David Johnson and Pipe suggests they think something of it. I see it is entered at a traditional GN trial at Haydock next week and certainly the prices on the exchanges seem big to me. From the ante post thread a couple of months ago, I have also taken Simon @ 18/1 and Cornish Rebel not so good. The Comply Or Die price looks good now after his Eider rout of top weight.

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Re: Grand National 2008 Does Comply or Die not where blinkers? Read something about horses having a poor record in the national if they have headgear on, something about needing all of your peripheral vision for the big obstacles and horses around you.

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Re: Grand National 2008

Does Comply or Die not where blinkers? Read something about horses having a poor record in the national if they have headgear on' date=' something about needing all of your peripheral vision for the big obstacles and horses around you.[/quote'] Interesting point about the blinkers, horses in the GN do have a notably bad record with them on in the race, especially in recent years (I don't have stats on that though.) However i personally would be more concerned with the blinkers if they were on second time ie. first time light up the horse, second do not have the same affect, the fact COD won second time out in blinkers in the Eider eases my fears somewhat. It is no 150/1 shot thats for sure, :hope it gets there.
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Re: Grand National 2008 Earth Summit won in blinkers I think. Thats an outstanding price on Comply or Die Woody. :clap I'll stick up my antepost bets in a sec once i've found the posts. I was also on Parsons Legacy unfortunately so I think the only one I have going for me now is MON MOME. Yes, its a French Bred but thats not a historic trend I like - i'll explain later.

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Re: Grand National 2008

I nearly had a massive win with McKelvey in last years National, who I had backed at triple figure prices around this time last year and was crushed when he just just beaten into 2nd place. I'm going to have another bash this year and one that stands out as being certain to trade smaller on the day is MON MOME. Ive backed it on betfair at prices ranging from 150.0-170.0 and am struggling to see why he deserves to be that price. Rarely out of the frame in high class long distance races last year, he showed himself to be a solid jumper, who travels well in his races and has also showed a liking for Aintree. His official rating suggests he would receive a fair racing weight if lining up on the big day. He last raced off an OR of 142. Lets assume he has a rating in the mid 140's by April, which would grant him a weight of around 10stone 13lb's, which is great. Yet to prove he would stay 4 1/2 miles of course but his 2nd place behind Halcon Generledais over 3m 5f in soft ground about a year ago, looks good form and bodes well stamina wise. He was mentioned for the race last year but Venetia Williams thought it was a year too early so ruled him out - she seemed to be keen on a crack at the race for this year so all being well, I would expect him to line up.
Thats my post from 12 January. I have since laid the horse off at 42.0 for a free bet which is good. I was pretty pleased with his last race at Cheltenham when he looked like he was running no sort of race and dropped right back before getting his act together and staying on into 6th.
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Re: Grand National 2008 I've been on Butler's Cabin since last year and I'll back him on the exchanges heavily for a place. The Irish Derby has thrown up a few of our National Winners....no6valverde & Bobby Jo of the top of my head. Someone mentioned Lami earlier, I like the fact he's been over the fences before so will stick him in for a place also. I ruled out McKelvy from last week's run and will stick with the trend of the place record the next time they take part in the National.

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Re: Grand National 2008 I'll most likely be on Simon. If he jumps ok then he seems to stay all day and still had plenty left when falling last year. It's no secret that this is the race he's been primed for all season so should be more than prepared. There's also the slightly less scientific approach that I share my name with the animal.:ok

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Re: Grand National 2008 I have already backed two, about a month ago. And they have gone to the top of the betting... Slim Pickings and Cloudy Lane. Cloudy lane was hugely impressive LTO, slamming a decent field and winning at a decent price. He is obviously being trained for this race, and he is now the shortest ever ante-post favourite for The National. At 6/1 he is clearly no bet, but the 12/1 ante-post looked a good price so I took it. I would make any horse 6/1 to get round, let alone win the race. The second of my selections is Slim Pickings at 20/1. Reasoning behind this... The Racing and Football Outlook tipped it! They have a remarkable record at tipping the winner of the National (Silver Birch was tipped at 100/1 last year). Looking forward to the Aintree meeting.

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Re: Grand National 2008 I've been doing lots of googling this afternoon and have collated some historic trends for the race. There's a lot of them and its unlikely that any one horse will fit all of them but they should help. Some are more relevant than others and there will be one or two trends that I will be ignoring. I'll post up my findings later....

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Re: Grand National 2008 Feel free to critique this if you spot any errors etc. Weight burden:

9 of the last 10 winners have carried less than 11 stone (9/10). The exception was Hedgehunter off 11 stone 1lb.

This trend probably needs too be re-evaluated, with the compression of the weights nowadays. Whilst historically, the bottom weight has carried 10 stone, there is next to zero chance of that happening this year. The bottom weight is likely to be carrying something in the region of 10 stone 5lb’s. For this reason, I will be eliminating anything carrying more than 11 stone 5lbs (1 stone higher than bottom weight).

Quality:

Your horse will need a certain amount of class to win the race. All of the last 19 winners had an official rating of at least 135.

All of the last 10 winners had achieved an RPR of at least 144 at some point in their chasing career.

9 of the last 10 had achieved a Topspeed rating of at least 126. Whilst the National is clearly a test of stamina, you will need a turn of foot in the final stages to remain competitive, unless the weather turns the ground very soft. 9 of the last 10 winners have at least this rating.

The last 17 winners have had at least a 40% “placed” strike rate over fences. 13 of them had a 50%+ strike rate.

Recent form:

You want your selection to be in good heart – In the last 40 years no winning horse has had a prep race where he finished lower than 7th. This would be 5th but Bindaree finished 7th of 23 at the Cheltenham Festival in 2002, so that’s a respectable enough run too.

Another strong stat regarding a horses form is that all of the last 19 winners have been placed in a race during the season.

Stamina:

All of the last 38 winners had won a chase over 3 miles+.

16 of the last 17 have been placed in a race over at least 3m 3f.

Age and Experience:

Your horse should be aged between 8 and 12 years old – the last 19 winners have been in this age range. Horses younger than this tend to be too inexperienced for a gruelling race like the National. Horses older than this tend to be past their best and lacking speed.

Each of the last 11 winners had raced at least 10 times over fences and ideally have experience of big fields.

Fitness:

All of the last 23 winners had run within 50 days of the race.

Previous National Experience:

9 of the last 10 winners and 14 of the last 16 winners, had previously contested a National (Irish/Scottish/English/Kerry etc etc.)

I don’t have figures for this one but you should cross off a horse that has competed in the Aintree National previously and either finished outside the first 6 or been Pulled Up.

If they have fallen or been brought down, this is OK. Hedgehunter and Amberleigh House both came back to win following a fall in a previous Grand National.

Headgear:

Earth Summit is the only horse in the last 30 years to win the race whilst wearing blinkers. Over 130 have tried.

Pedigree:

A French Bred hasn’t won the National since 1909.

I also found this on another website which is interesting:

Breeding experts will tell you that the stamina comes from the sire. So surely, in a race where the most stamina is required, we should be able to learn something by looking at the sires of past national winners. Are there any trends to help us find the 2008 runners with the greatest stamina?

The greatest Grand National sire of recent years is Roselier who is responsible for Bindaree and Royal Athlete as well as five placings in the last 14 years. In the same period he has produced 5 winners of Scottish or Welsh nationals and 4 placings. And all this is from only around 40 odd runners.

The only sire to get anywhere near this great record is Montelimar who produced national winners Hedgehunter and Montys Pass, as well as two other placings, from just 13 runners.

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Re: Grand National 2008 Yes Earth Summit and the 1-2 last year did carry headgear but I do know that headgear horses don't have a great record. Not even for getting place. I will dig out the stat but I remember that it's a high majority that finished unplaced. I'm not sure how it bodes for tongue tie horses, after all it hasn't been long since these were declared, therefore the stats could be misleading for tongue tie types. After all the reasoning behind a tongue is very different to the reasons behind visor, blinds or cheekpeices. They have nothing to do with 'keeping something back'. Does anyone know where I can buy a tongue tie? My girlfrind could do with one.

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Re: Grand National 2008 Just had a scan through the card and as far as I can make out, the only horse that doesn’t fail on any of them is Slim Pickings. There’s a few who go close though and I’ve narrowed it down to the following:

Simon

Slim Pickings

D’Argent

Mon Mome

Patsy Hall

Comply or Die

SIMON – The only concern with this one is the weight he has to carry – he’s been given 11 stone 7lb’s and that a lot to win with. However, that is the only trend he fails and he otherwise has a lot going for him. He was running like a dream last year when falling 6 out and whilst it’s impossible to say he would have won the race, I’m sure he would have been placed if completing the course. There’s a nagging doubt that last year was his big chance but he looks in just as good form this time round and should run well. There is usually one horse carrying a large weight that runs into a place and I’m sure Simon will go close if completing.

SLIM PICKINGS – Last years 3rd, beaten only 2 lengths he has been specifically trained for this race all year and unlike Simon, he has got in with a reasonable weight of 11 stone 3lb’s, which in the current compressed handicap, isn’t an unsurmountable burden. He looked like the winner when reaching the run-in last year but tired a little. Another year on, he should have matured and hopefully developed some additional stamina as horses tend to when they get older. From what I can tell, he meets all the trends but please feel free to correct me if you spot something that I have missed.

D’ARGENT – Meets every one of the trends apart from two. Firstly, he will be wearing blinkers on the day of the race. He has worn it his last 3 races and it appears to have improved him so it seems silly to look at the blinkers as a negative. He has also only been placed in 39% of his chases, but for the sake of 1% ii will forgive him! Has some good form in long distance chases this year including a valiant attempt to make all in the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup last time. A more restrained ride should spay dividends over the longer trip. I highlighted the success of Roselier as a sire in this race and D’Argent is one of his representatives this year which is a bonus and helps to soothe some of the worries about him lasting the trip. Don’t be fooled by the name – its Irish bred, not French ;)

MON MOME – I wont go into too much detail on this one as I’ve already written about him in my earlier post. The 2 trends it falls down on are the fact it is French bred and secondly it has a less than satisfactory topspeed rating. Rather than repeat myself about why I backed this horse antepost, I’ll cover the French Bred trend and why I think it should be treated with caution.

The theory is that French horses are not bred for stamina, which is a bit of a problem in a 4 ½ mile race! The last winner was 1909 which would suggest that the trend is a strong one. However I think its important to take each horse on its individual merit as there are some French breds that clearly do have reserves of stamina and have consistently displayed it on a racecourse. Off the top of my head, Halcon Generlardais, Miko de Beauchene, have both won over extreme distances, whilst as far as the National is concerned, Royal Auclair lumped round 11 stone 10lb’s to finish 2nd and Mely Moss and Clan Royal also spring to mind as French breds who have placed in Grand Nationals – all of these horses saw out the trip well. An interesting statistic I picked up is that since 1994, French breds have provided 4 winners and 10 places in the Scottish and Welsh nationals and in 2007, French breds filled the first two places in the Irish and Welsh Nationals and the runner up spot in the Scottish National.

What if I was to tell you that between 1975 and 1999, no Irish horse won the Grand National? I bet in 2000, the trend analysers were telling everyone to avoid Irish horses – they are now being Irish bred is somewhat seen as a positive!

Basically, if you think a horse will stay, then don’t let the fact that it is a French bred put you off backing it :)

COMPLY OR DIE – Again, I think the only trend this one falls down on is the headgear, which I’m willing to let pass. WoodyTHFC is on this one at massive prices so well done to him. High class in 2005, the highlight was probably his 2nd place behind Trabolgan in the R&SA Chase at Cheltenham but he ran well in high class company throughout his novice days. Injury forced him to miss 2 years but he has come back in top form. On a line through the favourite
Cloudy Lane
, he has a great chance. CL beat him 2 lengths over 3 miles in December. Whilst
Cloudy Lane
now has to prove his stamina over an extreme distance, Comply or die has subsequently won the Eider Chase over 4m 1f. High Chimes, who was 3rd in his race with
Cloudy Lane
has franked that form by winning the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival. Comply or Die is now 11 lb’s well in for the National as he gets in here off his old rating of 139 whilst being officially rated 150. His weight of 10 stone 9lb’s is perfect and as long as the Eider win hasn’t taken too much out of him he should run a good race.

PATSY HALL – There are 2 trends this one falls down on. The first is the fact that he hasn’t been placed over 27f or more, but with winning form over 26f on soft ground, I will let it pass. A look at his pedigree shows a lot of stamina in his breeding anyway– Roselier is the dam’s sire and he is also related to Old Vic who has sired many top quality staying chasers. Secondly, he has only been placed in 3 of his 12 chases – a strike rate of 25%, which is a too low to meet the trends. Nonetheless, I like him as a lively outsider. He had some very useful Novice form and looked to be ready to return to something like that standard last time– he was very well backed at Cheltenham for the William Hill Chase, ran well and was a touch unlucky. He was looking like being the winner approaching the final fence but made an absolute mess of it and weakened badly as a result and eventually finished 4th. He has the key qualities needed for a horse to win this race and is one of the best each way options.

So there we have it – 2 weeks to go and there’s my shortlist of 6, the winner is one of these!

SIMON – 16/1 totesport

SLIM PICKINGS – 14/1 Partybets

D’ARGENT – 40/1 Bet365

MON MOME – 40/1 Ladbrokes

PATSY HALL – 33/1 888Sportsbet

COMPLY OR DIE – 14/1 Betfred

I’d say i'll be betting Slim Pickings as my main one, with D’Argent and Patsy Hall my idea of the best each way alternatives.

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Re: Grand National 2008 Had a whisper King Johns Castle will be the main JP McManus contender this year. Was very sceptic, but horse was 33/1 at Centrebet and 28/1 at some other place this morning. Now the price is 16/1 everywhere. Betfair is 16/1 too and the other exchange Betdaq is 10/1 :eek

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Re: Grand National 2008 McCOY HOPES FOR CABIN FEVER icon-email.gif E-mail Article icon-print.gif Print-Friendly icon-rss.gif Subscribe to RSS Feed digg.jpg delicious.gif Post to del.icio.us facebook_icon.jpg Facebook By PA Sport Staff Butler's Cabin (FR) Profile Online betting shop Odds comparison service UK and Irish racecards Our results service Tony McCoy has plumped for Butler's Cabin in an attempt to break his John Smith's Grand National hoodoo. The 12-times champion jockey, who has finished third in the race three times, had the choice of four JP McManus-owned entries. However, he has stayed loyal to the Jonjo O'Neill-trained Butler's Cabin, on whom he won the Irish Grand National last season. It is understood though that if conditions turned heavy, McCoy could switch to the Arthur Moore-trained King Johns Castle. Mick Fitzgerald will ride Francois Doumen's L'Ami while riding plans for Bob Hall have yet to be finalised. "He will be grand if the ground stays good but I wouldn't want the ground to get really soft or heavy," said O'Neill. "He's in grand old form. The Sandown race was probably his worst race and that was disappointing but he is a bit of a monkey and Mick (Fitzgerald) didn't know him. "Then, to be fair, when Mick rode him at Wincanton he was disappointing on the day but Neptune Collonges, who won, went on to finish third in the Gold Cup so maybe he didn't run too badly! "We are happy with him at home and he schooled the other morning and everything is A-okay," he told the Racing Post.

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Re: Grand National 2008 Donald McCain admits he can see why Cloudy Lane is such a red-hot favourite for the John Smith's Grand National. The son of Ginger "Mr Aintree" McCain has made a fantastic start to his training career with two Cheltenham Festival winners in the bag in his first two years. McCain's father secured four Grand Nationals, winning three times with the legendary Red Rum and then famously again in 2004 with Amberleigh House. And with Cloudy Lane as low as 11-2 with some bookmakers, many people believe there will be another McCain added to the illustrious role of honour on Saturday. "There aren't really any similarities between him and Red Rum because Red was one of his own but there is a bit with Amberleigh House," said McCain. "They are both pretty small horses and very professional in their work and on the track. "I don't think any horse should be 6-1 for the National five weeks before the race like he was, but I can also see that the bookmakers didn't really have a choice because he is 20lb well-in. "Nothing has really come out of the pack, apart from David Pipe's horse (Comply Or Die) who won at Newcastle, so it's a case of finding one to back against him," McCain told At The Races. "I wouldn't put anyone off backing Idle Talk each-way either." Clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch is confident the meeting will take place on near-perfect ground. "The National course is good to soft and soft in places. We had four millimetres of rain overnight and another four to five during the day, but we actually got away lightly during the day yesterday," he said. "I think we will have a few showers later this afternoon and tomorrow and then on Tuesday it is set to brighten up with sunny spells and showers, which is the forecast for the rest of the week before the start of the meeting. "We've got a terrific grass covering so hopefully it will dry out from today onwards. "It will be no worse than good and the temperatures are getting up to 13 and 14 degrees, nice weather, which is something we haven't seen much of lately."

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Re: Grand National 2008 Race preview: Bewleys Berry has the juice to pip rivals at the post i_print.gif Print

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      Sunday, 30 March 2008 It is popularly supposed that money can't buy happiness or love. And it would seem, as far as the Grand National is concerned anyway, that unlimited purchasing power will not guarantee another ephemeral element either. "You can have a horse that jumps, a horse that stays," said Jonjo O'Neill. "But for a race like this, you need luck as well." He should know. In his days as a jockey he was champion twice yet he never won a Grand National. He didn't complete the course, not even on the Gold Cup winner Alverton, who was travelling easily when unsighted at Becher's second time round, fell and broke his neck. Many a top-class rider retires without having won a National – Peter Scudamore and John Francome, to name but two – but that statistic will not be acceptable to the 12-times champion Tony McCoy. His only completions in 12 rides have been two third places on Blowing Wind and another on Clan Royal. Blowing Wind was going best of all in 2001 when stopped in his tracks by a loose horse. Four years later, Clan Royal was steaming along in the lead when taken out at the second Becher's. Nor are trainers immune to the gremlins that hover over Aintree. It took Paul Nicholls 24 shots at the target before he had a horse placed, runner-up Royal Auclair three years ago, and in the past two years none of his 10 challengers have got round. Twelve months ago he had to suffer as Silver Birch, who had been sold out of his yard shortly before, came home in triumph. JP McManus and David Johnson regularly swap owners' championships, but a fortune in the bank does not always equate with fortune in a race whose first winner was called Lottery. Johnson's first National runner, Challenger du Luc, fell at the first; his second, Eudipe, was killed at Becher's when he fell for the first time in his life. Few have invested more in jump racing than JP McManus, who has had his famous green, white and gold silks carried 25 times in the National. And McManus's best placing to date, Clan Royal's runner-up spot four years ago, could – agonisingly – have been one better. Jockey Liam Heard not only dropped his whip five fences from home but also, after leading over the last, mistook his route up the run-in, heading for the Chair instead of the winning post. He was beaten by three lengths. The idea of a jinx may be fanciful, but consider the case of Ambrose Clark. In the inter-war era, the heir to the considerable Singer sewing machine fortune was one of many wealthy Anglophile Americans to tilt at Britain's great jumping prizes. Others succeeded, but not he. In a bid to turn his luck, he sold his best horse, Kellsboro' Jack, to his wife, Floss, to carry her colours, for a nominal £1. The gelding promptly won the '33 National. Those who have failed so far, though, can take heart from Trevor Hemmings, whose persistence was rewarded when Hedgehunter came first in 2005. He owns the current favourite, Cloudy Lane, and is likely to field Hedgehunter and Idle Talk. McManus will probably have four runners: Butler's Cabin, L'Ami, Bob Hall and King Johns Castle. Johnson can also pick from a quartet: Vodka Bleu, Comply Or Die, Joaaci and Over The Creek. Another self-made millionaire businessman, Graham Wylie, has just the one. Wylie, 48, is a relative newcomer to the sport, having bought his first horse just six years ago. He and his wife, Andrea, now own more than 100, all with Howard Johnson at White Lea Farm near Crook, in County Durham. The best of them, Inglis Drever, became a legend at Cheltenham last month when he won an unprecedented third World Hurdle. On Saturday, another marathon man in the black-and-beige colours, Bewleys Berry, will be making his own bid for immortality. Bewleys Berry was Wylie's first National runner last year, and thoroughly whetted his owner's appetite for the Aintree dream. The powerful chestnut was four lengths clear and racing with tremendous zest when he crumpled on landing over Becher's second time, having jumped almost too enthusiastically. The 10-year-old reappeared this season back over the unique Liverpool obstacles and ran a fine race for Saturday's pilot, Denis O'Regan, when beaten only by Mr Pointment in the Becher Chase. And though he disappointed on his only subsequent run, at a time when his stable was out of form, he ticks most of the other boxes. He has already won over as much as three miles (all winners since 1970 have), he jumps the fences ("some lepper round there", according to O'Regan), four of his age prevailed in the last 10 runnings and he is among the first six in the betting. Well-handicapped Cloudy Lane is a no-nonsense market leader and, being trained by Ginger McCain's son Donald, has an impeccable National background. But a greater danger may come from another on whose human associates the Aintree gods have smiled. The John Spearing-trained Simon is owned by Mercy Rimell, whose late husband Fred is the only one apart from McCain Snr to have saddled a winner of the great race four times. Lucky Longshots By Sue Montgomery Black Apalachi (66-1) The Dessie Hughes-trained Black Apalachi has not won for more than two years, but the nine-year-old is an honourable standing dish in long-distance handicaps at home in Ireland. He has never fallen, goes on soft ground, and produced a very good performance to run second in the Thyestes at Gowran in January, ahead of Saturday's rivals Point Barrow and Chelsea Harbour. Idle Talk (50-1) If the ground comes up very soft then there would be worse longshots to consider than Idle Talk, the long-stop for the favourite Cloudy Lane's connections Trevor Hemmings and Donald McCain. The nine-year-old was regarded as good enough to take his chance in last year's Gold Cup before unseating at the 19th in the National. He warmed up with a staying-on fifth in an amateurs' race at Cheltenham. Tumbling Dice (100-1) His stablemate Slim Pickings is second favourite and he is very much the Tom Taaffe second string, but showed a sprightly return to form in first-time blinkers at Punchestown last month. He has yet to win over extreme distances but copeswith testing conditions. Selections 1 Bewleys Berry; 2 Simon; 3 Hedgehunter Best longshot: Idle Talk

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      Re: Grand National 2008 5 day forecast for Liverpool:

      Sunday t.gif Sunrise 06:51 (BST) Sunset 19:42 (BST) 10.gif11.gif11°C 6.gif6°C W.gif9 good 998 48 uv2.giflow_txt.gif
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      t.gif
      Wednesday t.gif Sunrise 06:44 (BST) Sunset 19:47 (BST) 7.gif10.gif10°C 8.gif8°C WNW.gif15 good 1027 60 uv1.giflow_txt.gif
      t.gif
      Thursday t.gif Sunrise 06:41 (BST) Sunset 19:49 (BST) 11.gif10.gif10°C 8.gif8°C NW.gif7 good 1030 94 uv1.giflow_txt.gif
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