Junior’s chances of winning the Grand National at Aintree in 2012 have been talked up ever since he won the Kim Muir Challenge Cup at Cheltenham last season.
The David Pipe-trained horse ran away the with 3m handicap chase by 24 lengths in arguably the most emphatic victory at the festival in 2011.
The eight-year old does have eight chase races under his belt now and with more experience available before the big race in April, he could be ready to take on the challenges of the trip and course this time around. Those looking ahead to Aintree races 2012 should remember this.
Pipe won the famous steeplechase race in 2008 with Comply Or Die, in one of his first attempts at the race since his father Martin retired and handed the reins to him for the yard. Those looking for Aintree tips should bear this in mind.
David will be looking to better his father’s record of one win in the race with Junior, who has leading claims if the market is anything to go as. The eight year old is fourth in the ante-post betting and as low as 16/1 with some firms.
Only one eight year old has won the Grand National in the last 19 years, that was Bindaree in 2002. The stats certainly are against eight year olds scoring in the race, but it is unlikely to put Pipe off running Middleton Park Racing-owned horse in the contest.
Junior would have an advantage in the weights, especially against some of his likely challengers, in last year’s winner Ballabriggs and runner up Oscar Time. They would have to carry much more than 12 months ago if they are to repeat their success in the 4m4f chase.