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Chicago Grey set to deliver the goods at Aintree

| 02.04.2013

Chicago Grey is on course to give Gordon Elliot’s in-form stable their second winner in Europe’s most valuable jumps race.

Ever since romping home in the four mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in 2011, this horse has been aimed at the National, and a fall at the fifth fence last year should not perturb as a price of 14/1 looks too long.

The 10-year-old gelding comes to Aintree off the back of an excellent win in Grade 2 company at Navan, where he went off at 25/1 and out-stayed the likes of Grade 1 winner Ruby Light.

Indeed, it is Chicago Grey’s credentials as a proven stayer that make him so appealing in a race that demands that characteristic above all others.

Age is also on his side; 50 percent of the winners in the last decade have been 10-year-olds, including Silver Birch, who Elliot primed for victory in 2007.

Not only does the County Meath handler know what it takes to win a Grand National, he has a stable that is peaking just at the right time.

At Fairyhouse on Sunday his 10/1 outsider Realt More hacked up in the Powers Gold Cup, whilst Mala Beach won a Grade 2 on the same card. Meanwhile, he also had an impressive double at Cork.

Add this ‘four-timer’ to his victory at Cheltenham with Flaxen Fare, and its fair to deduce that the Irishman’s stable is in sparkling form.

Sometimes in this game though, form and logic go out of the window, and the more superstitious punter may have swerved this grey gelding in years gone by, given a horse of his colouring had not won the National since 1961.

But after Neptune Collonges victory last year, that hoodoo has been laid to rest. Chicago Grey ticks all the boxes and at 14/1, an each-way flutter makes perfect sense.

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

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Author

Liam Clarke