As I go through the list of entries for the 2019 Grand National, it is difficult to just gloss over Ms Parfois. She had such an amazing season last year. So, I have been wondering if the mare could genuinely contend this year.
On the face of it, Ms Parfois is ticking a lot of boxes. From seven chase starts last season, she won or placed in all of them. And that includes wins at Cheltenham, Newbury and Warwick. She also came second in the National Hunt Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. Plus she was only half a length off the winner, Rathvinden. That race was run over 4m so Ms Parfois can certainly go the distance.
She is a little young at 8 years old however, Tiger Roll, One For Arthur and Many Clouds were the same age when they won. I appreciate that they also had much higher official ratings, but purely from an age perspective, it can be done.
When considering the weight she has been given, 10-02 is very reasonable. Historically winners have carried more but Auroras Encore won in 2013 carrying just 10-03. Plus, Bristol De Mai may swerve the National meaning the weights will increase, adding a few pounds. She has also never unseated her jockey, pulled-up or fallen.
So with all of that in mind, what could let her down? Going against her is the fact that she is a mare. No mare has won the Grand National since 1951. Katie Walsh attempted it last year on Baie Des Iles and completed the course, albeit out of the places.
Plus, eight of the last ten winners had run at least four times in the season that they won the Grand National. Ms Parfois has run just once. That said, trainer Anthony Honeyball has plans for her over the next few weeks.
Speaking to Timeform he said: “At the moment we are looking at taking her to the Leinster National in early March and we are also looking at the Midlands National, Aintree and the Irish National for her.
“It has been very difficult as we wanted to run Ms Parfois in a mares’ race at Exeter the other day and that was abandoned. We also looked at Wincanton over the weekend but the ground was not suitable.”
“I have had a good look at the weights and Ms Parfois is on 146, which is her actual rating. If she got in the National, the top-weight ran and the ground was suitable, you would have to think she would run well.”
With so much on the line for the Grand National 2019, it’ll be interesting to see how she performs over the next few weeks. I’ll be keeping an eye on her and should she do well, an each-way bet will be a distinct possibility. She is currently 33/1 with Paddy Power or 25/1 with Betfred (NRNB).