Grand National Betting: Give Me A Copper catches the eye as weights announced
With the Grand National weights announced on Tuesday, Tony Calvin gives the rundown on the ante-post market for the big event at Aintree.
"First up is Give Me A Copper, who rates a bet at [40.0] and bigger. He was bought by current connections for £270,000 at the Aintree sales in April 2016, so it would be nice to turn up there three years later and win the big one for them."
I can honestly say the first time I looked at the Grand National market on the exchange, was at around midday on Tuesday.
And I was a bit taken aback that it was [27.0] the field, I can tell you.
The weights were officially announced at 3pm this afternoon - though they were sent out, embargoed, just after 11am and discussed in detail at the Weights Lunch in Liverpool soon after, I imagine - so keep an eye out for likely running plans from trainers and owners.
As is often the case, the handicapper has tried to tempt the class horses at the top of the weights to run by easing their burden, and Bristol De Mai and Anibale Fly have been dropped 5lb and 3lb respectively.
But others have not been so fortunate, and some of the Irish horses have been raised significantly from their marks at home.
Last year's winner Tiger Roll has been left on his mark of 159 but I expect Gigginstown weren't too chuffed to see their recent Thyestes Chase runner-up Alpha des Obeaux given an extra 3lb.
But I don't reckon many people will be unduly moaning - Auvergnat's connections could be the exception, as he is due to race off 152, and his current mark in Ireland is just 143 (though he was clearly a fair bit better in the cross country sphere) - and, as the betting suggests, this is one open race.
Gigginstown swept the board in Sunday's Grand National Trial at Punchestown and the winner Dounikos (2lb well-in) and the third General Principle are possible Aintree contenders, with the latter the more likely to turn up to judge from Gordon Elliott's comments after the race.
You could go around the houses making a case for many of these but two catch my eye at the current prices.
First up is Give Me A Copper, who rates a bet at [40.0] and bigger. He was bought by current connections for £270,000 at the Aintree sales in April 2016, so it would be nice to turn up there three years later and win the big one for them.
He has only made the track six times since, so the 9yo has clearly had his issues, but he has won three of those and there was a lot to like about his reappearance run at Sandown 10 days ago, his first outing since winning a match at Kempton in November 2017.
He jumped and travelled really well on the inner there, and ran a far more promising race than the beaten distance would have you believe.
Indeed, he traded at a low of [2.44] in running round the final bend, and the pre-race betting - he went off at a Betfair SP of [20.0], compared to his industry return of 14/1 - suggested he would need the run. He definitely shaped that way and, indeed, his trainer Paul Nicholls had indicated as much beforehand.
He has been all the rage for the Ultima at Cheltenham since Sandown, and now heads the betting for that 3m1f handicap on the opening day, and a solid run will cement his Aintree participation.
Obviously, any fragility in his make-up will be tested by the Cheltenham-Aintree double - and, with so little chasing experience he hardly has the classic Grand National profile - but that is the plan at the moment and he looks well worth chancing at the price.
Mind you, he was available at [55.0] before the price crashed at 3pm, but I would look to back him at [40.0] or bigger.
He is currently 60th in the list, so needs plenty of horses to drop out, but a mark of 145 would have got you into the race in recent years.
Payment to end barren spell
Singlefarmpayment was agonisingly beaten a short-head in the Ultima at Cheltenham in 2017, and he is the other one on my radar at [70.0] or bigger.
I have no idea if he is an intended runner, so you may want to wait until you hear of Tom George's plans, but he has been spoken of in Aintree terms before and he looks to have an excellent chance at the weights.
I know we have said that about the horse numerous times since he won at Cheltenham in December 2016, and he has been an in-running layer's dream with defeats at odds-on six times in his career, including last time out when hitting [1.29] when beaten a head by Cogry at Cheltenham in December.
Clearly, that is a concern but I think the Aintree test promises to suit, as he jumps very well in the main and he is a horse that you can see being settled off the pace, and creeping into the race late on.
He may well flatter to deceive again, but I'll take him being in a position to throw it away again at this stage!
I'm back tomorrow for a look at the weekend action once running plans are clearer. Until then, best of luck.
Back Give Me a Copper at [40.0] or bigger
Back Singlefarmpayment at [70.0] or bigger