We are only days away from finding out who the official entries are for the 2020 Grand National. Scheduled to run on Saturday, April 4th 2020, we are expecting another bumper list of more than 100 hopefuls. But while we wait, we can still check out the potential runners on the betting market.
For those of you who have been keeping a close eye, the installment of Burrows Saint at very short ante-post odds of 14/1 has probably caught your attention. So what makes Burrow’s Saint so special and can he really stop Tiger Roll from doing the treble?
There really is a lot to like about Burrows Saint. Trained by Irish Champion trainer Willie Mullins, he is also owned by super owner Rich Ricci so the pink polka-dot silks will be familiar.
From eight chase runs, the bay gelding has won three and placed in two more. However, it’s races that he has won that are the most impressive. Winning the Irish Grand National last season under Ruby Walsh was just one of the highlights.
🏆 Not for catching!
Sizing John is up OK after his fall in the contest
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) December 31, 2019
He started back this season with another trip to Fairyhouse but could only manage third place. Four weeks later it was off to Punchestown a spin over the hurdles where he faced off against Gold Cup winner Sizing John. Unfazed, jockey Rachael Blackmore led from the get-go and steadily increased her lead over the rest of the field until there was an ocean between them. Which was just as well as Burrows Saint did have a couple of small mistakes, particularly at the last, that allowed the gap to close. But at that stage, he was so far ahead the win was in the bag.
Grand National Prospects
It was an impressive performance by any standards. It was also the second time Rachael Blackmore had partnered with Burrows Saint. So will she get the nod come the Grand National 2020?
That’s an interesting proposition. However, since Ruby Walsh retired, Paul Townend has become the go-to jockey for Willie Mullins. He was actually on the race favourite and second-place finisher, Saglawy. When it comes to the Grand National it will be a different story entirely. If it looks like Burrows Saint is Mullins top chance for the win Townend will no doubt be on him.
The only issue that might alter that is Burrows Saint is only 7-years-old. Historically this race hasn’t been kind to young horses and you have to go back to 1940 to find the last winner that age. It was Bogskar by the way.
As Blackmore usually rides for trainer Henry De Bromhead, it’s more likely we will see her on one of his horses. Her runs in the last two Grand Nationals have been on Gigginstown horses. Though that is all speculation for the moment as we don’t even know which horses have been entered. It will also be quite a while before we know which jockeys have been chosen.
For now, Burrows Saint is looking good. He may go to Cheltenham and if he wins there expect those odds of 14/1 to drop even further.