Paul's Blog uploaded - Weekend Race Previews uploaded - Premier League Darts Week 7 uploaded - Cheltenham Day 4 uploaded - Cheltenham Day 3 uploaded - Midlands National in Antepost Focus & Cheltenham Day 2 uploaded
……………seas would rise when I gave the word. Now in the morning I sleep alone, sweep the streets I used to own. Do do do, do do do, do, do, do. Do do do, do do do, do do do. I used to roll the dice, feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes. Listen as the crowd would sing, now the old king is dead long live David Mullins. One minute I held the key, next the walls were closed on me. And I discovered that my castles stand, upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand. I hear Jerusalam bells a-ringing. Roman cavalry choirs a-singing. Be my mirror, my soul and shield. My missionaries in a foreign field. For some reason I can’t explain, once you’d gone there was never an honest word. And that what was when I ruled the world.
It was either that or Take That!
A fantastic result for the Big Race Focus column ten days earlier when Rule The World at 50/1 at the time of my recommendation was my second, and as it turned out final selection in the outright market after the NRNB defections of Bishops Road and O’Faolain’s Boy in the final three days, won the Crabbie’s Grand National under a super-cool ride for a 19-year-old. For those members who don’t have access to Big Race Focus (part of the All-Inclusive Service), hopefully you still took advantage of plenty of 50/1 about in the morning. For any first-time readers of that copy, I repeat my argument from last week again:
“I will tell you now which 50/1 shot I like for the race and many of you will think I have lost it. It’s the maiden over fences, RULE THE WORLD. Told you! Now the explanation. As you know he was my NH Chase horse as I felt that what he was crying out for was a marathon trip on spring ground. Unless we get a downpour then that’s what he will have more or less (they will water if necessary for safety). He didn’t make it to Cheltenham after a disappointing run nine days before the NH Chase on testing ground but the very fact that they ran in him that contest suggests that they had decided not to run at the Festival anyway. And why would that be? Being saved for the Grand National I would suggest having finished second in the Irish National (which was considered the best Aintree guide up until a few years ago) on spring ground last season by Mouse Morris for Gigginstown. He could have run in the Irish National on Easter Monday, in fact you might have expected it having finished second last year, which leads me to believe that they have had Aintree in mind for a while and the same owner and trainer won that Irish National and also supplied the fourth so Mouse Morris’ team are in great nick and underlines what a good target trainer he is. No novice has won since 1958 but, more pertinently, he is a second-season chaser who is likely to have conditions to suit and many a Grand National winner ran well below their best in its previous race. If Bryan Cooper selects him ahead of First Lieutenant, Sir Des Champs and Roi Du Mee, wave goodbye to the 50s.”
Well, he didn’t have his conditions but he still won so I can only conclude that he would have won easier on better ground. I have to admit that my confidence was seeping away with every drop of rain that fell so it was a pleasant surprise when I saw it was the blue cap of Gigginstown I could see making stealthy headway from the home bend from the packed bank as I couldn’t hear a bloody thing as the P.A system at Aintree really isn’t good out front unless you are in the stands. It was also not helped being surrounded by around a dozen rather merry, young chaps who thought it would be hilarious to sing “horses, horses, horses, horses, horses, horses” throughout the whole race!
As many of you know, I organised large posters of all 40 runners which were placed all over the racecourse, some of which will be auctioned off for charity by John Baker and his team including Rule The World of course. Therefore time for me to make a call to the printer to see if he can sort out a spare for my office wall.
I have a number of my favourite betting successes adorning those walls, not for ego but I find it can help confidence when the inevitable bad runs come along. At 4ft x 3ft, I am going to have to move some around to make space, but I’m thinking Rule The World can take pride of place in between Ruslana Lyzhyckho (my biggest ever return for a winning bet when she won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ukraine) and the Austrian Bearded ‘Lady’, Conchita Wurst, who was my biggest-ever priced winner at 143/1 (bar just a fiver on Darren Clarke to win The Open at 220/1) two months before when he/she won Eurovision for Austria. This year’s Eurovision is on May 14th and my initial study begins later this week.
Before then, however, I have far more pressing matters of seeing if I can rescue the dog’s dinner that I am currently making of The Masters with a final round selection to get me out of trouble. It doesn’t look like it will be six winning golf tournaments on the spin unless we have some divine intervention. A shame Bubba, Zach or Webb aren’t in the mix then.
As for this week’s schedule, now that we are into the clay season, Carl Redden’s tennis previews will restart with his views from the Monte Carlo Open later tonight. On Wednesday I will upload my early Scottish Grand National recommendation in Big Race Focus, on Thursday I will give my strong view on the Ryder Cup in the Sport section followed by a preview of the World Snooker Championship on Friday and then the weekend preview will be posted on Friday as usual. The weekly Flat-based Horses To Follow section starts on Thursday, April 21st covering the best of the Craven and Greenham Meetings.
Even taking away Rule The World’s victory, we had a pretty good Aintree so it’s now a question of tackling all five days of Punchestown before I am going to make a few style changes to the website. Since we launched, I’ve not really had a chance to have a proper sit back and look at everything as November-April are my manic months.