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Aintree market movers: Clouds cut for more Grand National glory

Many Clouds and Leighton Aspell on their way to a clear-cut victory in Betbright Cup at Cheltenham

Many Clouds and Carlingford Lough are attracting early money in the ante post market for the Crabbies' Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 9th

Many Clouds is the big early mover in the ante post betting for this year’s Crabbies’ Grand National, and is now as short as 10/1 to become the first since the legendary Red Rum in 1973/74 to land back to back-runnings of the Aintree spectacular.

The Oliver Sherwood trained gelding put in a tremendous weight carrying performance when winning last year’s stamina sapping contest under 11st 9lb, and has looked as good as ever this season.

Although not at his best when a well-beaten sixth to Cue Card on seasonal reappearance in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, Many Clouds showed that run to be all wrong when runner-up to leading Gold Cup contender Don Poli at Aintree.

He kept on well to be beaten four lengths, and it was a fine effort in attempting to give the subsequent Lexus Chase winner 5lb.

Many Clouds backed that up with a cracking second to Smad Place in the Grade 2 Coltswold Chase on Festive Trials Day at Cheltenham when last seen in action, racing with plenty of zest throughout and sticking to the task well to be beaten 12 lengths.

The front two pulled 24 lengths clear of the field to give the form a solid look, and it was a performance which suggested Many Clouds was being primed to the minute for the Grand National on Saturday, April 9th.

Having been a general 20/1 shot for the 3m 4f contest after last year’s success, Many Clouds is now a top priced 12/1 with the likes of Coral and Paddy Power for this year’s renewal.

That looks a fair price given that he is a classy sort who has been there, done it and got the T-shirt, and come race day Many Clouds will surely be sent of single figures.

The other horse attracting early money is Carlingford Lough.

Trained in Ireland by the shrewd John Kiely, the 10-year-old is now a general 25/1 (from 50s) with the likes of Sky Bet after winning a dramatic renewal of the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown.

Carlingford Lough came with a storming late run from last place rounding the home turn and took advantage of the last-fence exit of Valseur Lido to land the spoils.

Although Jockey Ruby Walsh appeared to oozing confidence on the strong travelling Valseur Lido, whether he would have won is debatable given the way Carlingford Lough surged clear up the run-in to score by 12 lengths.

The J P McManus owned gelding hit the line hard and was not stopping, and staying is clearly his forte.

Further merit can also be added to the performance as it was Carlingford Lough’s first run for 14 months, and he is officially rated just 3lb lower than Many Clouds.

He has all the right attributes to be a leading contender in the Grand National, and the 25/1 on offer still looks a fair price.

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