Ladbrokes Park boasts nine talent-rich races for 2017 Grand National Day on Sunday; highlighted by two jumps features and the rescheduled running of the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m).
Classy fields have been drawn to all nine races on 2017 Grand National Day, but have analysed every runner in each, in order to help you find a winner.
The action on 2017 Grand National Day is set to get underway with the running of the Jim Conway Handicap (1200m) at midday, while the Grand National Hurdle will be contested at 2:20pm and the Bletchingly Stakes at 3:30pm.
Race 1 (12:00pm) Jim Conway Handicap (1200m)
Only seven horses will contest Race 1 on Grand National Day and it is an open race from a betting perspective. Onehundred Percent (barrier 3) debuted for a smart win at Echuca early last month, but has been charged with overcoming a race-high 60kgs on Sunday. Sanadaat (barrier 4) has not been seen at the races since February, but was an impressive performer at black type level and should prove tough to beat in this race. Crystal Spirit (barrier 1) has gone close in his two career starts to date and is ready to find the winner’s stall, while Prosecution (barrier 6) resumed for a smart win at Ballarat and cannot be written off.
Tip: No. 2 Sanadaat ($2.15)
Race 2 (12:30pm) Tile Importer Handicap (2100m)
Fourteen horses have been confirmed in the field for Race 2 and there is a case to be made for more than half of the group. The Big Sur (barrier 6) has been strong and consistent this time in and will have conditions to suit on Sunday, while Blazers (barrier 11) faces a step up in class, but has been racing extremely well and would not look out of place in the first three. Galileo’s Pearl (barrier 5) is seeking a third-consecutive race win and is drawn ideally on the inside of the field, while Time Walker (barrier 8) has the benefit of claiming apprentice Brandon Stockdale in the saddle and is more than capable at the class and distance. Verreaux (barrier 4) went amiss last start, but won each of his two starts prior and could receive the run of the race from an ideal draw.
Tip: No. 4 Galileo’s Pearl – Each Way ($8/$2.90)
Race 3 (1:00pm) Clanbrooke Racing Handicap (1400m)
A capacity field will step out for Race 3 at Sandown on Grand National Hurdle Day and there is several winning chances included. Fast ‘N’ Rolling (barrier 17) returned to winning form at Wodonga last time out, but faces both a step up in class and a tough draw in this race. Best Hoffa (barrier 3) has been racing superbly this time in and primed for another big run third-up, while Blazing Socks (barrier 10) is sure to have taken benefit from his first-up run for fifth at Sale a little over a fortnight ago and should enjoy a nice run behind the pace from a central draw. Petracca (barrier 15) has been charged with a tough barrier and a heavy weight, but ran third amongst strong company at Geelong first-up and is always better at his second start.
Tip: No. 7 Petracca – Each Way ($13/$4.70)
Race 4 (1:40pm) Crisp Steeplechase (3900m)
Nine horses remain in contention for the first jumps event of the day, the $125,000 Crisp Steeplechase. Wells (barrier 7) has been a notable performer this time and won the Mosstrooper Steeplechase (3600m) last time out. Gold Medals (barrier 8) placed fifth in the Horseland Thackeray Steeplechase (3450m) last time out, but flew home to take out the Australian Steeplechase (3400m) at Ladbrokes Park his start prior and is not without a chance. I’ll’Ava’Alf (barrier 3) and Try Four (barrier 5) are always close to the mark in steeplechase events and are both live chances in the Crisp Steeplechase once more on Sunday.
Tip: No. 2 Gold Medals ($6)
Race 5 (2:20pm) Grand National Hurdle (3900m)
The country’s standout jumps race, the Grand National Hurdle has drawn a typically strong field of jumpers and there is a case to be made for close to every runner. Ancient King (barrier 8) has been outstanding over the hurdles this time and why he could only manage sixth in a flat race on July 29th, will enjoy a return to his pet event and a step up in distance. Sea King (barrier 5) has been charged with carrying a race-high 71.5kgs, but is drawn ideally and carries terrific form into this race, having taken out the Brendan Drechsler Hurdle (3600m) last time out. Two Hats (barrier 4) has been typically strong and consistent this time, while Earthbound (barrier 6) went amiss last time out, but is more than capable in his best form. Hornets’ Nest (barrier 2), Refectory (barrier 1) and Unique Assassin (barrier 10) are all live chances.
Tip: No. 2 Ancient King ($3.50)
Race 6 (3:00pm) Chandler Macleod Handicap (1200m)
A capacity field will step out in Race 6, including If Not Now When (barrier 19). The classy galloper has found strong and consistent form this time, but has drawn a horror gate and will need to be at his best to win. Swiss Moments (barrier 8) has not been seen at the races since January, but showed plenty of ability through her debut preparation in New Zealand and is not without a chance of winning this race first-up. Abriola (barrier 17) went amiss last start, but managed to string together two impressive wins in her two starts prior and is a live chance, should she overcome a tough barrier. Sports Writer (barrier 3) and Single Rule (barrier 1) are both over the odds at current double-figure quotes.
Tip: No. 9 Sports Writer – Each Way ($10/$3.90)
Race 7 (3:30pm) Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m)
The rescheduled Bletchingly Stakes has drawn a talented field of twelve sprinters. Where Supido and Daytona Grey have been removed from the original Bletchingly Stakes field, Lord Of The Sky (barrier 6) has been added and the horse is sure to perform far better second-up. Lankan Rupee (barrier 9) has not been seen at the races in 2017, but the five-time Group 1 champion has a class edge on every other runner and should prove tough to beat, while Keen Array (barrier 1) is also set for a strong first-up run. Divine Ten (barrier 10) will take improvement into the race, while former Perth galloper Chocolate Holic (barrier 3) will have his first start for Darren Weir and is not without a chance. Ability (barrier 4) is yet to taste anything but success this time and is drawn ideally with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle.
Tip: No. 11 Ability – Each Way ($5.50/$2.15)
Race 8 (4:00pm) Ladbrokes Cash In Handicap (1200m)
Several winning chances have been confirmed in the field for the Ladbrokes Cash In Handicap, including Handsome Thief (barrier 9). The Shamardal entire has not been seen at the races since March, but was outstanding through his maiden campaign and posted three wins and a close second through his four starts. Tango Rock (barrier 7) worked home well to finish second at Caulfield last weekend and should take improvement into this race, while Jaws Of Steel (barrier 15) is inconsistent at best, but capable of winning a race like this on his day. Former Tasmanian Streetwise Savoire (barrier 14) is yet to show his best this time and has been charged with overcome a heavy weight and awkward draw.
Tip: No. 8 Handsome Thief ($2.40)
Race 9 (4:30pm) Sheamus Mills Bloodstock Handicap (1600m)
A capacity field will step out in the final race on Grand National Day, including Pablo’s Express (barrier 12). The High Chaparral gelding record a five-and-a-half length win at Pakenham last time out and will be extremely tough to run down under the conditions of this race. Tres (barrier 11) has been strong and consistent this time and is not without a hope from the middle of the field, while both Minoan Spirit (barrier 3) and Mutin (barrier 16) are live chances under the conditions of the race and in current form.
Tip: No. 11 Pablo’s Express ($3.20)