Henderson has strong chance to win first Grand National

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The Grand National remains the one big race missing from the training CV of Nicky Henderson, but at 20/1 Shakalakaboomboom may be on the brink of ending the wait.

This is already set to be a big year for Henderson as there is every likelihood that he will become the most successful trainer ever at the Cheltenham Festival.

He only needs two winners to surpass the legendary Fulke Walwyn and with a strong team at his disposal including Long Run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle and Grandouet to triumph in the Champion Hurdle, this is entirely plausible.

A Grand National victory would ensure a magical 2012 for Henderson and Shakalakaboomboom appears his best hope of success.

Progressive horses have performed well in the Grand National in recent years and second-season chasers are ones that it may pay to keep on the right side of.

Shakalakaboomboom has proved in the past to have sound enough jumping to cope with the demands of Aintree, when finishing seventh in the Topham Chase last April.

He has improved rapidly since with two victories in three starts, with his recent run being a solid second in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster.

His conqueror in this race Calgary Bay also features in the Grand National odds at 25/1 and there does seem a logical reason as to why he is a bigger price to repeat his success over Shakalakaboomboom.

Calgary Bay has never run particularly well at Aintree in his three previous visits and fell in the Grand National last year.

Meanwhile, horses ridden prominently have enjoyed the best results in recent years and Calgary Bay prefers to be held up in the early stages before creeping into contention in the latter stages.

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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.