The Rainbow Hunter one to consider now definitely in Grand National
With 16 horses withdrawn from the Grand National at the second declaration stage, obviously 16 runners are now assured of a start that were previously left on the waiting list.
One of these is The Rainbow Hunter, who was previously down in 51st on the Grand National list because of his official rating of 140, but Kim Bailey now has a certain chance of repeating his 1990 success with Mr Frisk.
Bailey is enjoying somewhat of a rejuvenation from a new training base near Cheltenham and it remains possible that he could train 40 winners in a National Hunt season for the first time in over a decade.
However, winning the Grand National again would be the number one aim and The Rainbow Hunter certainly warrants some each-way consideration at 66/1.
The nine-year-old has reached a career-high mark this season and the firmer the ground at Aintree, the better his chances would appear to be.
A breathing problem was suggested as the cause of him pulling up two starts ago and a collection of jumping mistakes certainly didn’t help his chances last time at Ascot.
He certainly would have finished closer than eight lengths behind Cappa Bleu if his jumping was tidier and he will re-oppose Cappa Bleu on equal terms at Aintree.
Considering the margin between the pair may not be particularly large, The Rainbow Hunter looks a big price at 66/1, considering that Cappa Bleu is prominent in the Grand National betting at 16/1.
Bailey said after the Ascot run: “He came out of his run at Ascot very well and I think he will improve for that. He wants good ground – it was very gluey at Ascot.
“He found it hard to jump out of that ground because he is not very big and finds it quite difficult. He will go on soft but not when the going is like that.”
But the each-way places have largely been filled by runners with higher official ratings in recent years. Looking back across the last four runnings, only two horses have filled the frame with a rating below 143.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.