If you are looking for a relatively unconsidered outsider to carry your hopes in the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree on April 9, you could do worse than consider the chance of Nedzer’s Return, a horse who could well run a big race at odds of at least 66/1, writes Elliot Slater.
Trained by Gordon Elliott, the man who sent out Silver Birch to a famous victory in the Aintree marathon in 2007 and who enjoyed two big winners at the recent Cheltenham Festival, Nedzer’s Return is very much the second-string to his highly fancied stable companion Backstage (12/1), but there are good reasons for believing that he could easily be overpriced and represent some of the best value in the ante-post list for the big event and hence could be well worth a Grand National bet if he takes his chance.
The winner of five of his first six outing under rules last season having made a name for himself as a smart point-to-pointer, the Bob’s Return gelding only narrowly failed to beat Bucephalus at Perth last summer before contesting the prestigious Galway Plate. He was on the heels of the leaders and staying-on well when brought down at the final fence in the race eventually won by Finger On The Pulse. A subsequently disappointing effort when only 11th to Alpha Beat in the Kerry National came at the end of a long summer season and he was duly roughed off afterwards.
Judged on that Galway Plate effort and being a horse who seems to be at his best on decent ground, Elliott’s nine-year-old could have plenty going for him off a racing weight of 10st 8lbs. He has raced once over the Aintree spruce fences when contesting last year’s Fox Hunters’ Chase, and was again running well when hampered by a loose horse and unseating his rider at the Canal Turn.
Given a little more luck in running Nedzer’s Return could well surprise many who have only considered Elliott’s more high profile runner, Backstage.