Grand National: Why West End Rocker Is A Great Pick At 16/1

Let’s get the gloating out of the way, shall we? Last year, we made a pretty penny on Ballabriggs, so certain were we that he was going to win the Grand National. Why? Because he was the one that seemed to meet all of the criteria. So looking at this year’s cast, poor old Ballabriggs has been saddled with so much weight, he has about as much of a chance as Synchronised. I.e. not much.

That’s why we’re looking at West End Rocker, an out and out stayer who looked to be going really well last year until he was brought down at Becher’s Brook. Past form over the National fences counts for a lot, and West End Rocker has it - he went out on the National course in December’s Becher Chase and absolutely hammered everyone including Niche Market, winning by 22 lengths. What was even more impressive about that win was that he seemed to have even more in the tank - so the step up to the National distance won’t be a problem.

It would be a first for Alan King, who has never won a National and has barely ever featured in it, to be honest. But he doesn’t like to put horses in when they don’t have a chance, and last year he sincerely believed West End Rocker did. He sent the horse out at Warwick for the Classic Chase, and he ate up the field.

As always, we’re looking for our national winner following certain trends - 8 to 12 year olds feature prominently, but it’s the 9 and 10 year olds who usually win it. A handicap rating of 135 or above tells us that it’s usually the better horses that win this, and weight matters - 11st5lb was the heaviest of recent years, but most winners end up carrying less than 11st. Proof of stamina is required - so a win over 3 miles is a pre-requisite, and we’re generally looking for freshness. Horses that are aimed at the National usually win it - horses that are aimed at Cheltenham don’t come out of it too well.

He’s fresh, which is an advantage - and Alan King has on his hands a potential Grand National winner here. 16/1 is the best you’ll get at the moment - and hopefully people will keep piling their money on AP McCoy, so those odds hold firm.

published: 5th April 2012 by Free Bet Bookmaker


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