Grand National five to follow: One In A Milan a lively longshot

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If there is a trainer that clearly knows what it takes to go close in the Grand National, then Evan Williams has to be the go-to guy.

Although never having trained a Grand National winner yet, he has been responsible for a horse to finish in the top four in each of the last five years.

State Of Play finished fourth, third, fourth between 2009 and 2011 and then in the last two years Cappa Bleu has taken over from his stablemate by coming home fourth and second at Aintree.

However, with this pair now a little long in the tooth, Williams has turned to his next Grand National project, with One In A Milan his sole representative in 2014.

Given Williams’ pedigree, it is a big surprise to see One In A Milan in the darker depths of the Grand National betting, with Ladbrokes offering the top industry price of 66/1.

Few could argue that One In A Milan has not shown snippets of form in the past to suggest he is primed to go close at Aintree.

Having already finished third in a Midlands National, One In A Milan then went on to finish fourth in the Welsh National this season, from 11lb out of the handicap.

These results show stamina tests are right up the street of the nine-year-old and his handicap mark was increased by only 2lb after his Chepstow effort.

Running from his correct mark off a feather weight at Aintree (he is currently in the final entrance spot of 40th), further improvement can still be expected given he has only had six career chase starts.

Williams has also run One In A Milan over hurdles on his last two starts to protect his mark and keep him race-sharp, suggesting he will be well-tuned for Aintree.

The Grand National witnessed a 66/1 upset 12 months ago with Auroras Encore and it would be no surprise if One In A Milan was responsible for lightning striking twice.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.