Barry Geraghty Sporting Insights: 08/04/2021
Barry Geraghty’s blog: Any Second Now the one I’d want to be on
There’s no bigger thrill for a jockey than having a spin round the National fences, it’s the greatest buzz I ever got.
The one I’d want to be on in this year is Any Second Now.
Ted [Walsh] trained Papillon to win it in 2000 and I really like the fact this horse won a 2m chase at Navan on his last start.
That win came after the weights were decided and the horse he beat by 10 lengths that day, Castlegrace Paddy, would have won last week’s Grade 2 Devenish Chase if he’d jumped the last better.
That run was a great indication of his well-being and I think he’s got the right profile for the race as a nine-year-old.
Cloth Cap has to be in the mix but I don’t think any horse should be going off 4/1 for the Grand National, you should be 4/1 to get round!
His chances are obvious given he won the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury earlier in the season, but given the way everything went at Cheltenham you’d have to question the strength of the big UK handicaps. Still, he did it well and has won impressively since then, I just don’t think you can have him as a 4/1 favourite.
Next preference would be for Minella Times. There’s definitely a question mark over the trip with him, but he’s had a consistent if not quiet campaign and it looks like they’ve always had this race in mind.
Burrows Saint would have to be in my top five. He stays well, jumps well and has been trained specifically for this race for a while now.
The final one I’d throw in there is Discorama. He looks a proper stayer, has a nice weight off 10st 6lbs and could just be the sort of horse that takes to a National.
Barry Geraghty’s Grand National Top Five:
1. Any Second Now
2. Cloth Cap
3. Burrows Saint
4. Minella Times
Rest of Saturday
Let’s hope Shishkin scores what looks like a penalty kick for him in the Maghull Novices’ Chase (3:00).
He’s a very worthy favourite for next year’s Champion Chase already and there’s nothing from Ireland putting up a challenge.
We can’t say he’s another Sprinter Sacre or Alior just yet, and if I was to crab him it would be that he can race a little lazily at times, but he’s well on his way and there’s no reason why he should be beaten.
My view on the Stayers’ Hurdle (3:35) is that Thyme Hill is going to be very hard to beat.
He’ll appreciate the better ground and can reverse the form with Paisley Park. Sire Du Berlais could be the biggest danger as he goes well on better ground too.