Bookmakers already fearing another National win for Many Clouds and Leighton Aspell on Saturday 9 April
Many Clouds was the winner of the 2015 Grand National and it will encourage his backers that Leighton Aspell believes a better horse will be lining up on Saturday 9 April in a bid to make history.
Not since Red Rum hacked up in 1974 has a horse successfully retained a National title although the Oliver Sherwood-trained charge is going to go off favourite for the big race and it could be worth nibbling a bit of 8/1 now.
The bookies anticipate the horse going off much shorter on the day, especially if the ground firms up at Aintree, with Ladbrokes among those firms fearing a bloodbath should Many Clouds hose up for the second year running.
A spokesman told bookies.com: “It wasn’t a bad result in 2015, with Many Clouds a relative outsider at 25/1 although it will be a different story in 2016.
“After a nightmare Cheltenham Festival, we’re hoping to claw some money back at the Aintree meeting, although there’s already been money for Many Clouds and we’ll be cutting our 8/1 next week should the gamble continue.”
It should be noted that a forty-horse race like the Grand National requires a slice or two of luck to come round the course unscathed although modifications to the fences at the course means it’s less about luck and more about the talent of a particular horse.
William Hill went as far as to issue a profits warning after Cheltenham and they will certainly be keen to keep Many Clouds onside.
A spokesman told bookies.com: “The liabilities are mounting up already on last year’s winner and Leighton Aspell on board is another story, with the jockey looking to win the Grand National for the third year running.
“Many Clouds was amazing in his prep run at Kelso and another electric round of jumping could see him go close, especially as he only carries an extra pound on last year”.
It’s all systems go for a horse which has been tilted at the race and Sherwood swerved Cheltenham this season after a disappointing performance in the Gold Cup in the previous year.
Jockey Aspell certainly feels he’ll be on an even better horse this time and we recommend taking the 8/1 before it gets shorter.
“I would choose Many Clouds for his experience and class,” said Aspell, 39. “He’s possibly still improving.
“So far, so good,” he added. “His form this year is even better. He’s a nine-year-old at his absolute peak.”