Horse Betting: McCain's Grand National runners
...granted the bit of luck you need, Ballabriggs would have a cracking chance again.
Ballabriggs forms part of a two-pronged attack for Donald in the 2012 renewal of the Grand National at Aintree.
It's time to step him up in class and we still don't know quite how good he is. We sent him to Ascot to try and get a better idea of his ability and he did it very well. The only time he has been beaten was when he fell at Ayr and that was because he was very tired in testing ground. Obviously Simonsig is going to be very hard to beat on the back of him impressive win at Cheltenham but we must have as good a chance as any of the others.
Everything has gone smoothly in the build up to the race and I couldn't be happier with him as he goes for his second win. He really took to the place last season - you could see from an early stage that he was enjoying it - and although he's got his share of weight, he has earned it. I was happy with his reappearance at Kelso, even if some tried to crab it, and it's all been about one day with him. That day has come and granted the bit of luck you need, he'd have a cracking chance again.
He's a very good horse and he has a good mark, so if he takes to the place, you would have to give him a shout. He's got plenty of class and, for all his problems before we had him, it's been fairly plain sailing with him. He bled in the Gold Cup when he got wound up beforehand - hopefully he will be calmer this time - but we know he is better than that.
It's great to be heading to the National with two proper horses and, granted a bit of luck and two clear rounds, we shouldn't be far away.
This is a big step up in class for him but he was very impressive at Hereford and he might well live up to his smart Flat form after all. He's got plenty of experience in big-field races on the Flat so that shouldn't be a problem and I am not unhappy with his handicap mark of 128. Henry Brooke is always a good man to have on your side in these boys races, he's got a lovely weight and he's still got more improvement in him.
It was a struggle with him to start with but fitting the tongue-tie seems to have worked and his last two runs have been much better. He's crept in at the bottom of the weights and although it's a huge step up from the race he won last time, he isn't on a bad mark on the pick of last season's form for Alan King.
They are probably worth grouping together as they are very similar types. They are both long-term prospects who are going to want further when they go over hurdles and the worry would be that they might just find it all happening a bit quickly round here - they will be ridden handily in an attempt to ensure it's a proper test. They've both won two bumpers so they deserve to take their chance and it's a valuable pot, so why not have a go?