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Soft ground will make Giles Cross serious Grand National challenger

| 01.03.2012

Giles Cross has snuck in towards the foot of the weights for the Grand National and assuming April showers are visible this year, he must be given a great chance of success at Aintree at 20/1.

The general consensus is that the Grand National is slowly beginning to favour the added class of the higher weights and Giles Cross has been allocated a minimal 10st1lb this year.

But punters should remember that all of the Grand National winners in the past decade carried no more than 1st more than the bottom weight, which is not a good advert for well-fancied duo Synchronised and Ballabriggs.

The fact that Giles Cross ran with credit in the Welsh National earlier this season is another boost to his chances when he finished second behind Le Beau Bai.

Half of the last ten Grand National winners had used the Welsh equivalent as a prep run, although the winner at Chepstow tends to fare badly if heading to Aintree.

Other statistics in favour of Giles Cross are that eight of the Grand National winners since 2002 has been sent off at a starting price of 20/1 or shorter, while those to finish in the first five on their last completed start should be favoured.

However, the one big obstacle standing in the way of Giles Cross aside from the Aintree fences, is the condition of the ground.

Trainer Victor Dartnell is fully aware that stamina is the horse’s strong point and will not even send him to Aintree unless the ground is on the soft side, with the wetter the conditions, the better.

Giles Cross would also need 20 horses currently above him in the weights to withdraw from Aintree to ensure his spot in the final 40 for the Grand National.

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Author

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.