Nothing beats the day when the weights for the Grand National get unveiled.
It’s one of those occasions very much like when you first hear the UK entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, in that many will be pleased and think they have a chance and others get a more realistic feeling that it might not quite be their year.

So far, 105 horses remain with 53 of them being Irish trained although Tiger Roll has been already ruled out but you can never say never in racing can you and should he land another Cross Country at Cheltenham, which has been touted as his swansong then you never know if one more throw of the dice might be called for.

Of the top forty horses who have been allotted a racing weight for this seasons race, here are three who catch my eye on first inspection. 

1 – Samcro – 10 Ch Gelding – Trainer : Gordon Elliott.

At number 29 in the top 40, Samcro does have to get placed in a steeplechase over three miles or more before the end of March 21st although he does have a Point win over the trip so hopefully that can soon be rectified.

At 66-1, he is a huge price for a dual Cheltenham Festival winner but he has a good weight of 10st 9lb and could go well if he gets qualified and takes to the fences.

After a tough year for Gordon Elliott, he could be the one who gets ignored by many but not be a total shock if he were to hose up.
In the Savills Chase over Christmas at Leopardstown he finished last of eight at level weights but it wasn’t a bad run by any means behind horses, who have top form over Grade 1 level, back in handicap company and effectively down in grade while stepping up in trip.
I think he has something in him providing he does get placed in three mile chase soon.

2 – Chatham Street Lad – 10yo Br Gelding – Trainer : Michael Winters.

I mentioned this one as a potential Grand National horse back in November when he I saw him finish third behind A Plus Tard in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.

Despite being 44 lengths behind the winner that afternoon he was reported to have suffered a wound to his left fore hence his recent absence since, he ran pretty well & for me, should stay this marathon distance.

His best piece of form was at last seasons Festival when he was fourth in the Grade 1 Novice Chase over 2m 4f behind Chantry House, Fusil Raffles and Asterion Forlonge, all in all, that looks very impressive to the naked eye.

Racing loves characters and this horse has that in his trainer, Michael Winters, a man who occasionally needs subtitles but his enthusiasm for the game is a delight to see.
The gelding is allotted 10st 9lb and at number 24 he is reasonable value at about 33-1, he has the look of a plot job for this race and I think he will be one to keep on side.

3 – Two For Gold – 9yo B Gelding – Trainer : Kim Bailey.

Potentially the big race could become a dual among the ITV presenting team, Alice Plunkett has a live chance with Becher Chase winner Snow Leopardess and at the moment she is at 57 in the list, which is quite a surprise because surely winning that should guarantee you a spot in the top 40?

However, one horse who is in the main body of the field is Two For Gold and he is co-owned by Oli Bell, who no doubt will be giddy as a young child on Christmas Eve should he be declared.

His season so far reads two runs and two wins at Doncaster and Lingfield, where he beat some nice horses in the process. Holding an entry in Saturday’s Ascot Chase that could be his final run before the National as he currently holds no Cheltenham Festival entry.

Around 40-1 and on 10st 11lb, he is another one with a light racing weight and in a sporting year which contains the Winter Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, we could see a Gold here for Team GB as they try to keep the race on UK soil which hasn’t happened since 2017.

Watty (Left)

Article – Neil Watson ( @WattyRacing )
Pictures – File

Published by ArseonlineRacing – February 2022