After Tiger Roll’s success over hurdles on Sunday, the nine-year-old finds himself clear favourite in the ante post market for the big one in April but there’s some contenders at bigger prices that may have been overlooked.
Singlefarmpayment may struggle to get his head in front on a regular enough basis for some people’s liking but the son of Milan has given the impression the extreme stamina test could suit.
Having travelled like the winner on each of his last four starts at Cheltenham, it’s disappointing he’s not managed to win any of those races, particularly last time out when only going down by a head to the tough and consistent Cogry.
While Singlefarmpayment may be consistent, tough is not a characteristic many would associate with the gelding. His tendency to pull himself up when he hits the front will be off putting for many potential backers but there’s little doubt that his ability to put in a clear round on a consistent basis is a huge plus for any horse contesting the famous race at Aintree.
Delivering him late will be the main challenge for his jockey, with Adrian Heskin, Richard Johnson and Noel Fehily all in the frame to get the ride and it would be no surprise to see Fehily get the nod after his fine effort from the saddle at the International Meeting at Cheltenham.
With his two best recent performances coming over trips further than three miles, there’s every chance the stamina sapping four miles two furlongs of the Aintree Grand National could be right up his street. While it’s often difficult to predict what the ground will be for the race, that will be of no concern for potential backers given Singlefarmpayment has won on good ground and heavy ground in his career already.
The nine-year-old was awarded a mark of 146 at the annual weights lunch on 12th February, a handicap mark he’s been highly effective off this season and currently sitting at 54 at this stage of declarations, it’s highly likely he will get a run in the race.
Furthermore, the National is his only entry in the coming months, with the potential side-step of Cheltenham leaving him fresh for the big race with 113 days between April 6th and his last run. He’s currently sat at 50/1 to give Tom George a first success in the race and there must be each-way value in his price given several bookmakers are already paying five places.