Can Synchronised provide Tony McCoy with a Gold Cup-Grand National double?
The Grand National is fast approaching and plans are being firmed up by connections.
Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised seems set to be allowed to take his chance and even under top weight, Jonjo O'Neill's charge looks well handicapped. He looks guaranteed to stay and ticks a lot of boxes, but there are nagging doubts that put us off. One fear is he is not the biggest and although pretty safe at his obstacles, he may find the big Aintree fences playing against him. But the biggest concern is whether he will be at his best. It's well documented that he takes a lot out of himself in his races and whether a month is long enough for him to have got over his Festival exertions is doubtful. It was only in the week before Cheltenham that he was given the green light to run, having taken a lot out if himself in winning the Lexus Chase over Christmas. Synchronised had a harder race at Cheltenham than he did in winning the Lexus and the fear is he will not be in peak condition.
With Ruby Walsh electing to ride On His Own, his price has been slashed. He has a good weight and could be progressive. Of the other horses that have been well backed in recent days, Chicago Grey catches the eye. He is sure to stay but his jumping may not be good enough.
So where is the value? To our eye, the one to be on is West End Rocker. Alan King's bay stays all day, has winning form over the course having landed the Becher Chase last year and has been kept fresh for the race. With a mixed forecast this week, the ground could be swinging his way and if there is any mention of soft in the description he would be a strong fancy. At 12/1 with bet365, he represents excellent each-way value.
Grand National odds at bet365:
West End Rocker 12/1
Cappa Bleu 12/1
Chicago Grey 12/1
Giles Cross 14/1