The Last Samuri: Can He Go One Better This Year?

THE LAST SAMURI was within two furlongs of victory last year but David Bass was pipped in the closing stages by the staying on RULE THE WORLD. Twelve months on, he has gone up in the weights but The Last Samuri has the class to beat his rivals over the most imposing trip in racing at Aintree on April 8th.

Let’s be honest, the Grand National is a lottery at best. In order to complete the four-mile course, you must successfully navigate 30 of the biggest fences in the business. As a smaller horse, The Last Samuri did well to get round safely and he had a dream journey on the inside rail. Chances are he won’t be given that luxury again but Bass will do his utmost to keep him out of trouble…

At the time of writing, The Last Samuri is around 12/1 and those punters in the Bookmaker Ratings Tipster Competition will be tempted to back the nine-year-old to go one better over the famous Aintree fences this time around. He is one of the most consistent horses in the field in terms of jumping and he is yet to finish outside the top five since joining Kim Bailey’s yard in 2015.

He finished third behind fellow Grand National contenders HIGHLAND LODGE and ante post favourite VIEUX LION ROUGE in the Becher Chase in December; and those two may feature prominently at the head of the field. Highland Lodge is somewhat of an Aintree specialist, having won the Becher Chase twelve months prior to December’s effort whilst Vieux Lion Rouge has serious claims after winning two trial events in recent months.

The Last Samuri was far from perfect when losing to DEFINITLY RED at Doncaster but softer ground will certainly help his cause at Aintree. Should the rains fall, Kim Bailey and David Bass will be rubbing their hands in glee; The Last Samuri might just be the horse to beat if the ground is soft. Mind you, a fair few of the leading contenders are also more than capable on softer turf…

Based on the weights as of March 27th, The Last Samuri will be carrying more weight than 38 of his rivals – only CARLINGFORD LOUGH is rated higher. Vieux Lion Rouge has been rated kindly considering his recent success and he will almost certainly be the one to beat come race day. The Last Samuri has been there and almost done it around Aintree before and his followers will be cheering him on once again as he looks to go one better.

On paper, he has the talent and the form to suggest that he can win but it won’t be easy. As history shows, the Grand National is one of the most testing races in the business and luck plays a big part in the final result. If The Last Samuri is lucky, there’s absolutely no reason why he cannot come out on top. Watch this space, he could be the one to beat…