I spend quite a lot of time looking at the news, potential runners and ante-post odds for the Grand National 2020. So I found it interesting when Burrows Saint was added to the betting market. Especially as he went in as the second favourite, behind Tiger Roll, on odds of 20/1 with Paddy Power.
Burrows Saint is only six years old. By the time the Grand National 2020 rolls around, the bay gelding will be seven years old. But we all know how well horses that young fair in the National. They don’t. Historically, seven years olds just can’t compete with the older, more experienced runners in the race. It’s also why so few of them get entered or even make it to the starting line.
Ramses De Teillee was the youngest runner in 2019 and he was pulled up after the last fence. In 2018, the only seven year old was Baie Des Iles for jockey Katie Walsh. She got home in 12th place. In 2017 three ran with Le Mercurey the best-placed finisher in 12th spot. The other two were pulled up.
Trained by Willie Mullins, can Burrows Saint become the seven-year-old exception and not the rule? Quite possibly. Burrows Saint, with Ruby Walsh on board, filled another glaring gap on Mullins CV when he won the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in April.
Watch what Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh had to say after Burrows Saint lead home a 1-2-3 for the serial Irish champion trainer @Fairyhouse yesterday >>>https://t.co/TrA8bECVCD pic.twitter.com/MdtCJgQrm6
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 23, 2019
It was the Champion trainers first Irish National win and it had been a long time coming. It was so emphatic, that Mullins trained the 1-2-3 home. Run over 3m5f, the race is slightly shorter than Aintree and it does have a maximum of 30 runners but it’s a good indication of Burrows Saint’s capabilities.
Following the race, Mullins said “I was hoping one of mine would stand up and get there!
“Ruby was very keen on his horse. He’s a young horse that can only improve and he definitely could be Gold Cup class.
“It’s a tremendous result. It’s been one of those years when we have done things that we haven’t done before.
“Tremendous for Ruby and for the owner Rich Ricci.”
Burrows Saint Plan for 2019/20 Season
So now it looks like there could be two potential paths for Burrows Saint. The first is the Grand National 2020. On his rating of 156 he would probably run off a weight of around 11-02. While it is still a winnable weight, it does make it a lot trickier. For the Irish Grand National, he carried 10-08. And that’s before he even runs again this season. If his mark goes up any more then he may very well be better off on the second path – the Gold Cup.
Al Boum Photo won it for Mullins for the first time earlier this year and he too was just seven. He won it off an OR of 164 so Burrows Saint isn’t that far off the mark. And I’m sure the Ricci’s would relish the chance to win a Cheltenham Gold Cup!
And if there’s a chance he could run at Cheltenham then you know the bookmakers are on that as well. Paddy Power is offering ante-post odds of 33/1 on the Gold Cup alongside 20/1 for the National. But he could face much tougher opposition at Cheltenham including Kemboy, Altior, and Al Boum Photo.
So which path will he take in the coming season? Unfortunately, nobody knows yet. Personally, I can’t see connections opting for the Grand National 2020. If he heads to Aintree it will be when he has exhausted his Cheltenham potential. So it may be 2021 or 2022 before we see him takes his National chances.
For that reason, 20/1 ante-post is looking a little mean, to say the least. But follow him throughout the season, because Burrows Saint is a very special horse and getting better all the time.