If there's one horse to keep a close eye for the 2015 Crabbies Grand National then Double Seven would be it.
Trained by Grand National winning trainer Martin Brassil with Numbersixvalverde in 2006, owned by JP McManus, third in the 2014 Grand National under jockey AP McCoy, and currently on exemplary form including five back-to-back wins, Double Seven ticks a huge amount of Grand National boxes.
Third Place in the 2014 Grand National
At eight years of age, he's had 17 chase starts, winning five of them and placing in another two and although they could be considered smaller races, he stood out particularly as he's been carrying much heavier weights than he did in the National, when he carried 10-11. This was only the second lowest weight he'd run off in over three years.
Almost as soon as the weights for the 2014 National were announced his odds were slashed by the bookies from 50/1 to as short as 25/1 and when AP McCoy partnered him the odds fell even further and he went off as joint favourite at 10/1 on the day.
The downside of course was that he was only eight years old and only one horse that age has won the Grand National in the last 20 years – Bindaree in 2002. He'd also never run outside of Ireland so there was no real idea as to how the trip would effect him.
Result: Double Seven ran a blinder of a race for jockey AP McCoy but could only get home in third place.
But we are sure to see him taking on the Aintree fences once again for the 2015 Grand National and plans are well underway to get him to the starting line on April 11th 2015.