Horse Racing News: 2020 Grand National Weights Announced
A Quality Grand National but Excluded Horses and a Big Ballot Make for a Lottery
The 2020 Grand National weights have been announced this week. It lists 92 potential runners of which only ten horses have been allocated 11 stone or more.
67 of the current field are rated in excess of 140 and it boasts the winners of the last three Grand Nationals, the Irish National, Welsh National, Rowland Meyrick Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup. It is quite possibly the highest-quality Grand National races of all time.
Tiger Roll, who may attempt to emulate the legendary Red Rum in winning the race three times has been given a rating of 170 a hike up from the 150 he was allocated in 2018 and 159 in 2019. Consequently he is joint top-weight set to shoulder 11st 10lb alongside stablemate Delta Work.
Grand National weights announced!
🏇 11-10 Tiger Roll
🏇 11-10 Delta Work
🏇 11-08 Bristol de Mai
🏇 11-06 Native River
🏇 11-02 Anibale Fly
🏇 11-02 Aso
🏇 11-02 Cadmium
🏇 11-02 Elegant Escape pic.twitter.com/Lc6wP84ZNz
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) February 11, 2020
Others towards the top of the weights include Bristol de Mai (11st 8lb) 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup champion Native River (11st 6lb) and the J.P. McManus owned Anibale Fly (11st 2lb) who has finished fourth and fifth in the last two Nationals.
Numerically Gordon Elliott has 18 entries in pursuit of his fourth Grand National. Fellow Irish trainer Willie Mullins, who won the race with Hedgehunter in 2005, has nine horses entered. Two-time winner Nigel Twiston-Davies also has a strong hand with seven contenders.
A Dozen Reasons to be Wary
Of course over 50 of the entries will not make their date April 4th date with the Aintree showstopper with many at the bottom of the weights balloted out. Furthermore punters should be aware plenty of the field are yet to satisfy the entry criteria which states an accepted runner “must have run over fences at least once in the current season before March 16 and finished fourth or better in a chase over 2m-7½f or further in their career’.
Remarkably that means defending champion and favourite Tiger Roll is not yet qualified to run and it’s the same for Cadmium who is amongst the top-weights, Peregrine Run, Voix Du Reve, Mister Whitaker, Death Duty, Saint Xavier, Warriors Tale, Traffic Fluide, Dallas Des Pictons, Missed Approach and Prince Of Scars.
One More for Arthur?
It would be unwise to back any one of these at this juncture and while searching for a winner we suggest looking for a horse with proven course and distance form, who is amongst those sure to get a run by virtue of their allocated weight.
For that reason 2017 winner One For Arthur makes a lot of appeal. A tendon injury kept this horse off the track for 20 months after he won the 2017 Grand National but consequently his handicap rating has dropped down to 148, the same rating from which he won the 2017 National by four lengths.
A recent wind operation may well have improved the 11-year-old who has shown a clear resurgence in recent starts (fifth in the Beacher Chase at Aintree in December) and all-in-all he looks a value price considering his credentials.