Evan Williams has come close to winning a first ever Grand National in each of the last three years and is now considering whether to run three horses in 2012 to give him a greater chance of success.
State Of Play has been a fine servant to the Williams’ yard in recent years and three of his last four runs have been in the Grand National, finishing in the each-way money on every occasion.
Although now a 12-year-old, Williams is considering sending the horse to Aintree again and State Of Play is 33/1 in the Grand National odds to achieve a somewhat deserved success.
However, only one horse aged 12 or older has triumphed in the Grand National since 1995, showing the size of the task awaiting State Of Play.
Williams is not so certain that his other two possible Grand National 2012 runners will make it to Aintree and their appearances are liable to hinge on the weight they are allocated by the handicapper next month.
Cappa Bleu thrust himself forward as a candidate when third in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow over Christmas and it was encouraging that he saw out the 3m5f trip on ground that was especially heavy.
Meanwhile, Cappa Bleu already has a big race victory on his resume thanks to his success in the Foxhunter’s Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2009 and is also priced at 33/1 to win the Grand National.
Williams’ final potential entrant is another positioned at 33/1 in the Grand National betting and looks the most interesting.
Deep Purple was considered good enough to run in the King George in 2009 and has also finished fourth in a Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.
As an experimental exercise, Williams tried Deep Purple over a marathon trip for the first time on his latest start and he was fairly comfortably successful at Sandown.
If he gets a relatively low weight in the Grand National, Deep Purple will be a major each-way contender at the prices.