There will be a few horses entered into the Grand National that would have appreciated the recent rain and if it continues to fall in the coming weeks then Giles Cross could be popular to triumph at 20/1.
For a horse that won a Grand National trial at Haydock in February, it is a surprise that he is such a big price to secure victory at Aintree.
However, the price is sure to shorten in the next week after trainer Victor Dartnell confirmed that the Grand National is now the definite target for Giles Cross.
Initially, it was deemed more likely that the ten-year-old would appear in the Irish equivalent at Fairyhouse, but conditions are still too firm for a horse that prefers softer ground.
Therefore, a trip to Aintree now beckons and off a feather weight of 10st1lb, he must hold strong claims, particularly if the ground comes up soft and the race becomes a stamina slog.
Scrutinising the Grand National weights more closely, Giles Cross is 5lb better off with Synchronised after chasing him home in last year’s Welsh National, while he is also 5lb well in with Neptune Collonges despite beating him by a head at Haydock.
Other areas of promise for Giles Cross is that he tends to front-run, which is widely considered beneficial in the Grand National, and he has only fallen once in 12 starts over fences, suggesting his jumping is of a solid nature.
The only obvious downside for his chances is that regular jockey Denis O’Regan will not be able to take the ride because of the low weight.
Harry Skelton took the ride in the Welsh National defeat to Synchronised and must be among the favourites to be called upon again.