Saddlers Storm, the 10 year old trained by AJ Martin, has an uphill struggle to qualify for the 2012 Grand National. Currently sitting in 56th place on the entries list, he would need 16 horses to be withdrawn before the last deadline on April 13th if he has a hope of making the final line-up.
[Racecard Saddlers Storm]
With 16 chase starts in his career, he has won three of them, come second twice and a third place once which, delicately put, is not the greatest track record for a Grand National winning horse. This season however, he has had one of his best runs with three second place finishes and a fourth – three of which he carried a whopping 12-00.
In fact he finished second behind other Grand National hopeful Killyglen on his last run out at Down Royal on 17th March 2012. He carried 10-11 in that particular race and has been allocated a more modest 9-05 by the BHA Handicapper, which, if he were to make the cut, would be revised upwards toa minimum of 10-00.
He’s a decent horse but does tend to start and perhaps prefer when the going is Soft or Heavy with 10 of his races starting on that type of ground and although he’s run on Good ground, he’s never won or been placed on it.
As for the distances, I would categorise him as a three miler and can probably go a little further but I think the more than 4m at Aintree may be too much for him to seriously compete this year especially as his top speed is miles off the mark of some of the other horses entered.
Paddy Power have lengthened his odds from 40/1 to 50/1 but I would hold off until Paddy Power go No Runner No Bet as he may still not even qualify.