It is one of life’s mysteries on how and why Nicky Henderson has never won the John Smiths Grand National despite 31 attempts to do so, although there is one horse this year, Shakalakaboomboom, currently odds of 16/1 with Paddy Power which is attracting plenty of attention from punters and the media alike.
Henderson has twice finished second (Zongalero and The Tsarevich) but that’s the best he has produced; however the vibes around the stable is that Burton Port could be the horse to break the Seven Barrows duck in 2012.
Another horse, like West End Rocker of the Alan King yard, Burton Port has been described as the forgotten horse of this season despite finishing fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and second in the Denman Chase.
Paddy Power will offer free bets worth £20/€20 to spend at the Grand National this afternoon! – Limited availability – exclusive to SqueakyBumTime.com
It’s easy to forget that the Henderson runner finished second in the 2010 Hennessy and filled the same position in the RSA Chase before having a year off the track with various leg injuries. In those races he always had the look of a horse that should appreciate stiffer test like the Grand National, and it’s four mile trip, possesses.
His run in the Gold Cup again cemented that thinking as he stayed on powerfully in the closing stages after getting outpaced when the race quickened off the final turn.
He is very unexposed at this trip but does have the burden of carrying a monster weight which as a small horse will be difficult to overcome.
Henderson also has another horse earmarked for the Grand National in the form of Shakalakaboomboom, who should be very popular with pin-seeking punters on the day due to his catchy name. Despite his rather novelty name, this is a horse to take seriously in the National.
The eight-year-old has all the size and scope to be a real player over the fences around Aintree and has been campaigned relatively lightly this season with this race very much in mind.
At 16/1 this is a horse who represents cracking each-way value.