Tips for this year’s Grand National have been commonplace over the last few weeks and understandably so; the race is less than a month away and most punters are starting to look through the list of entries for a potential winner.
One stand out contender is The Last Samurai, the horse that finished second to Rule The World in the 2016 spectacle. Hoping to go one better in this year’s event, the horse’s trainer, Kim Bailey, is excited about the race and thinks the ride may even come out on top.
This optimism would have only been added to after an excellent run at Doncaster earlier this month. During that run, The Last Samuri was attempting to bring home the BetBright Grimthorpe Handicap Chase for the second year running.
Unfortunately second place was the best they could achieve. Nonetheless, this placing was made much more impressive by the fact the horse started off at a 12lb higher mark than it did during its winning run in 2016.
Bailey was understandably very happy with the performance.
“I'm delighted with him. He has been prepared for one race and one race only. He has come out of Saturday’s race in fine shape and he will now head straight to Aintree next month without another run, which was always the plan.”
The trainer reckons that the horse has now proven that he can come out victorious in this year’s feature race at Aintree and can’t wait to get on the course on April 8th.
He added: “It was a much better race at Doncaster on Saturday than when he won it last year and he was shouldering 12lb more this time around. He had top weight and was giving the winner 12lb, so it was a really good performance as he was staying on very well from the last fence.
“We had the race lined up for him as we wanted to follow the same route to Aintree as last year and everything I saw at Doncaster makes me think the horse is just as good, if not better, than he was 12 months ago and all roads definitely now lead to Liverpool at the beginning of next month.”
Bailey is no stranger to Grand National wins either; he rode Mr Fisk to victory in the 1990 race and was incredibly impressive in doing so.
The Last Samuri is his only entry into this year’s race and the eight-year-old horse is priced at around 18/1 in the ante-post.
Many will be enticed by this price, considering the kind words from Bailey who is the only trainer to have won The Grand National, Cheltenham Gold Cup & Champion Hurdle and have a winner on every National Hunt Racecourse.
Will his successful run continue at this year’s National? Time will tell, but we wouldn’t bet against it.