2011 Grand National tip #2: Finally time for Big Fella Thanks
Big Fella Thanks already has two solid Grand National runs to his name and the fact he is now what is considered the optimum age for the race gives him a strong chance of finally claiming victory.
The nine-year-old produced a fine display two years ago for such a young horse when sixth and then finished fourth 12 months ago when going off as the 10/1 joint favourite alongside eventual winner Don’t Push It.
Therefore, not only is he in the right age bracket to run a big race at 14/1 in the Grand National odds, but he also has the necessary course experience to comfortably deal with the Aintree fences.
Furthermore, the decision to recently move the horse to the yard of Ferdy Murphy from Paul Nicholls may prove a shrewd one, given Murphy’s strength as a staying handicap specialist trainer.
Murphy has been cautious since taking over with Big Fella Thanks, keeping his racecourse appearances to a minimum in order to protect his handicap mark.
This decision has paid dividends as Big Fella Thanks runs off a winnable mark of 11st 1lb in the Grand National.
Meanwhile, Murphy has also done his homework prior to the race and believes that giving the horse a more patient ride than 12 months ago could be the best strategy, as his tank emptied a little too quickly last year when ridden up with the pace.
Murphy said: “He’s strengthened up a lot more this year and his two prep runs went according to plan. He looks fantastic and I think he would have a very good chance.”
Other key statistics that work in the favour of Big Fella Thanks are that is a previous winner over three miles or greater, he has only ever fallen once in his career and is sharp having taken to the course in the last 48 days.
A £20 stake on Big Fella Thanks winning the Grand National would return £280. New customers can sign up here to take advantage of free bets totalling up to £60.