A quick look at the form figures of I Just Know from this season would see that the horse has finished last of 10 and then has been pulled up twice. Clearly not a great start to proceedings. However, he has had legitimate excuses on all three occasions, and his next run could be the one to spark him back into life. It may even potentially set him up for another tilt at the 2020 Grand National in April.
He has run in the National once before, he was a faller in 2018 edition of the race which was won by Tiger Roll. He went to Aintree that day on the back of a season that started with a couple of poor runs before a 15-length comfortable victory in the North Yorkshire Grand National, held at Catterick.
This year he will head back to Catterick again on Thursday, January 9th to try and win the race he won two years ago. A good run there and he could set himself up to run in the Aintree showpiece in April. His trainer Sue Smith knows exactly the type of horse that is required to win this race. She has remarkably won it for the past four seasons, with I Just Know taking one of them for her.
This horse has been running over a trip too short for him, as well as competing against horses that are top class. He’s run in a class two handicap and a Grade Three handicap so far this season, both over three miles. While he can mix it with good horses over further, he is simply swept off his feet against that class of horse over the shorter distance. And that is exactly what has happened in his last two runs.
The trip to Catterick will be the first time this season that he won’t have an excuse before he has even put a foot on the turf. That should give him a far better chance of winning, along with his previous experience in the race. Don’t be surprised to see stable jockey Danny Cook on board, and if that is the case then we can expect Danny to be positive and give this horse the chance of making a lot of the running and bringing his stamina into play.
Catterick is not the easiest course to run, but the horse has won here before in this race, and Danny rides it very well, so that is already an advantage over some of the expected runners in this field.
As you look down his form, it appears that I Just Know may be coming to the end of his racing career, and is beginning to struggle. However, everything is not lost just yet with this horse. It would be no surprise to see him run a huge race and win the North Yorkshire Grand National for a second time, and that would more than likely book his place at Aintree for one last crack at the big one.
We will have to wait until January 28th to find out if he has an entry but even then, depending on who else gets the green light, his low OR may push him out of contention. That would be a real shame as he’s a lovely runner, who is just going through a rough patch. Hopefully, Sue Smith can work her magic on him and bring him back to glory.