Three Live Contenders for the Grand National 2019
It’s a little over 80 days until the world’s greatest steeplechase takes place at Aintree but already people will be trying to work out the conundrum of who will win come April 6th?
Here are three horses who we think will be give you a real run for your money:
Bellshill (Willie Mullins, 25/1)
Many pundits believe that Bellshill would be a major player in the Grand National if connections allow him take his chance in the race and there is every chance that they will do so on this occasion. Bellshill was allotted a mark of 148 for the Aintree marathon last April but never made the trip across the Irish Sea.
Willie Mullins favoured the Irish Grand National on home soil instead for the Graham Wylie owned runner, where he finished an honourable fifth after looking all over the winner until he undertook some wayward veering at the final obstacle before running on again.
The consensus about the final fence shenanigans was that he had run out of steam, but Willie Mullins was having none of it, saying that the horse had been distracted by something/someone and that there was plenty left in the tank after talking it through with Bellshill’s jockey, David Mullins.
Victory in the subsequent Punchestown Gold Cup and a decent run in the Savills Chase over Christmas make Bellshill a serious Grand National contender.
Lake View Lad (Nick Alexander, 33/1)
Well everybody loves a grey and Trevor Hemmings is no stranger to having a Grand National winner, so if Lake View Lad is entered for the race it will surely be a marriage made in heaven.
After wins in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle and the Roland Meyrick at Wetherby, connections are clearly excited that they have a solid Grand National prospect on their hands.
Speaking after Lake View Lad’s Wetherby success, Nick Alexander said: “He might end up in a Grand National, Who knows where he will end up? But as long as he’s all right we’ll just keep pottering away with him and find another race before too long.
“He has options, which will all be in good races as he’ll be rated above 150 after Wetherby. He suits softer ground and Haydock’s Grand National Trial would be one option.”
The Haydock fixture takes place on February 16th, so if you’re quite sweet on the eight-year-old grey you should take the 33/1 available now.
Beware The Bear (Nicky Henderson, 40/1)
Could Nicky Henderson finally get the Grand National monkey off his back in 2019? Well, the early indications are that the nine-year-old may just be ticking all the right boxes after picking up at decent handicap chase win at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
Fourth in last season’s Ultima Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Beware The Bear looks entirely at home on soft to heavy going, so Henderson would be pretty much banking on it being a wet National, which hasn’t happened so much in recent years, but is not an impossibility.
If you believe in fate and destiny, and that the great trainer can finally add this race to his illustrious list of achievements, then 40/1 won’t be on offer for too long.