Any Second Now has all the right attributes to make it second victory in today’s Randox Grand National (5.15pm) for Irish trainer Ted Walsh. Walsh pulled off a colossal gamble in the world’s most recognised horse race 21 years ago when his son Ruby partnered Papillon to victory.
The Kildare trainer admitted backing Papillon at big prices, however, it is not known if he is on Any Second Now (5.15, ITV), the well-supported 10-1 third favourite.
Any Second Now understandably has plenty of supporters and no doubt one of them is his renowned gambling owner JP McManus.
The gelding recently flagged up his credentials, significantly after the National weights were announced, by winning a Grade 2 Chase over two miles at Navan last month.
Before that success he was very much off the radar but staked his claim for today’s marathon by winning at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019. After that success connections had earmarked last year’s race before it was cancelled.
His best performances suggest he is very well handicapped. Also, he brings a touch of class to the table.
Bristol De Mai, without doubt the class act in the race, has paid the price with top weight. He faces a massive task conceding 15lb to the selection.
However, this honest performer will be difficult to keep out of the money. Burrows Saint, winner of the 2019 Irish Grand National, also has to go on the shortlist.
His trainer Willie Mullins, successful in the 2005 National with Hedgehunter, has made no secret about training the gelding specifically for today’s iconic race.
To protect his handicap mark, Mullins has campaigned the gelding over hurdles before finishing an excellent second on his latest start over fences, after the National weights were published.
Cloth Cap, officially 14lb well in, offers no value at 7-2. This free-going individual also might burn himself out before the race is over.
Takingrisks, who had Cloth Cap back in third place when winning the 2019 Scottish National, is each-way value at 33-1, as is Magic Of Light at 25-1.
She ran an absolute blinder when under three lengths second to Tiger Roll in the 2019 National. The mare no doubt would have been closer had she not rooted the last fence.
The Scout’s Grand National Festival day three tips
1.45 – Ballybegg
2.25 – MY DROGO
3.00 – Shishkin
3.35 – THYME HILL (nb)
4.15 – Sam Brown
5.15 – ANY SECOND NOW (nap)
6.20 – Balco Coastal