Grand National five to follow: Tidal Bay to show age no barrier

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Historically, two major statistics indicate that Tidal Bay can’t win the Grand National – his age and his racing weight.

It has been over 90 years since Sergeant Murphy was the last 13-year-old to win the Grand National in 1923 and only Red Rum since the 1930s has secured victory off top weight.

However, Tidal Bay is a somewhat different beast to those that have attempted to snap these stats previously and he is rightfully towards the head of the Grand National betting at 12/1.

Firstly, Tidal Bay is recognisably the best handicapped horse lining up at Aintree. Head handicapper Phil Smith has compressed the weights of these entrants at the top of the weights in an attempt to give them a greater chance of winning.

The reasoning being that lugging greater weights around 4m4f is not the same as a regular 3m handicap and so the higher-rated horses are worthy of some extra assistance.

Therefore, Tidal Bay’s Grand National rating of 161 is 7lb less than his typical official rating.

He unseated his rider in his only previous Grand National attempt, but the fences have become somewhat easier in recent years and this only boosts his chances of victory.

Four of the last five Grand National winners have carried at least 11st to victory.

In terms of form, Tidal Bay has more proven stamina in high-level contests than any other runner in the field and none more so than when almost timing his effort perfectly when finishing third in the Welsh National in December.

A repeat of either his 2012 Bet365 Gold Cup or his Hennessy Gold Cup second to Bobs Worth from last season would make Tidal Bay exceedingly tough to beat here.

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies has said that “Tidal Bay is no normal 13-year-old” and a victory in the Grand National would prove this statement to be true.

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

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.