Blaklion Can Win The Grand National This Year

2018 Cheltenham festival

Horses that have run well in previous Grand Nationals often go back to Aintree and excel once again. Blaklion looked the most likely winner of the race last year but was outstayed by One For Arthur after the second last fence. The horse faded to finish fourth but ridden differently this time can win the most famous race in the world.


In the past the National has been called a lottery due to the nature of the race. The first winner in 1834 was called Lottery which was apt for many years. The unforgiving core of the fences meant jumping errors generally caused a horse to fall so many were riderless and got in the way. The National was run over a distance of more than four miles and four furlongs before it was shortened to take the start away from the stands.

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The fences are now made of a softer material even though they look the same. The obstacles still take some jumping but there are fewer falls. Jumping errors break a horse’s rhythm and an accumulation can be tiring and debilitating. More horses are now pulled up than fall which is good for the perception of the race.


The National is still the ultimate test of horse and rider. There are 30 obstacles in total with a look that is dissimilar to the fences on park courses. There is now always a huge crowd at Aintree on National day and some horses can cope with the situation but others feel out of their comfort zone. Blaklion ran prominently for much of the race in 2017 but can win this time.


Rather than a lottery the National is more akin to a conditions chase. The weights are compressed and more horses at the bottom of the handicap run off their true weight. The graded horses have been given a chance with a more manageable weight allocation and that has attracted more proven horses at a higher level like Blaklion.


The horse won the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016. The race is the championship for staying novices’ chases and horses who have figured often develop into Gold Cup horses. The renewal two years ago was not the strongest but it’s a demanding race that rarely produces a lucky winner. Blaklion soon moved into handicaps and won the Becher Handicap over the National course last December.


So Blaklion has won over the fences, been placed in the National and won a Grade 1 chase at the meeting that matters most. The horse will be held back longer and won’t make a dash for the finish over half a mile out. Blaklion could take up the running between the final two fences and show some class on the run-in and win by several lengths. Total Recall has the ability to make the frame and Ucello Conti has been well backed but there could be a flood of money for Blaklion on the day.

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