Grand National five to watch: #3 Rare Bob
Rare Bob was prevented from running a bold race in the Grand National last year when he was brought down at the fifth fence by State Of Play, but a lot appears to be in his favour this time as he bids to make amends for his bad luck.
Last April, Rare Bob ran off an official rating of 146 at Aintree and this is a mark that he back up to after running a commendable trial at Naas last time.
However, this race was run after the announcement of the Grand National weights, in which Rare Bob may have been allotted what now looks a very lenient mark of 140, effectively making him 6lb well-in for the Grand National.
Other factors in his favour are that he will have man of the moment Bryan Cooper in the saddle, while only Always Waining and Big Fella Thanks from the anticipated Grand National runners have more experience of the unique demands of Aintree.
Cooper first stepped into the limelight with three winners at the Cheltenham Festival and has continued his meteoric rise by guiding First Lieutenant to victory over the likes of Silviniaco Conti in the Betfred Bowl, which marked a first career victory at Aintree for the young jockey.
Rare Bob has already been backed into 25/1 from 40/1 to win the Grand National and so punters have clearly already been made aware of these positive factors relating to his chances.
Trainer Dessie Hughes has revealed that the race has been the plan for Rare Bob for a while and he will be desperate for a first victory as either a jockey or trainer, especially after witnessing Black Apalachi go so close when second to Don’t Push It.
Finishing fourth in the Irish Grand National and jumping well in the Becher Chase previously over the Aintree fences are other fillips to his chances and should he endure better luck in running this year, Rare Bob is primed to go close.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.