2011 Grand National tip: Third time lucky for State Of Play
If you head down to a small training yard in Lancarfan, a few miles west of Cardiff, you will find one man hard at work preparing for the most popular race in the horse racing calendar.
Evan Williams’ sole focus for the 2010 Grand National was getting State Of Play fit enough to improve on his 2009 performance when, as a nine-year-old, he finished fourth.
Having jumped the last fence of the 2010 Grand National in sixth, with the front two clear, State of Play strode past the three in front to finish third and fulfil Williams’ wish of bettering his 2009 result.
A Grand National winner it may not have been, but it’s a feat the trainer was after and Williams has decided to keep State Of Play in his stable all year in preparation for the 2011 Grand National in his attempts to go two better.
State Of Play’s Grand National odds are currently 25/1 and when you consider he’s been around the Grand National fences and finished in the places twice, that seems a huge price.
Ladbrokes are paying 1/4 Grand National odds for a top four place, offering punters just over 6/1 that State Of Play once again finishes in the top four.
Except this year State Of Play is ahead of the handicapper, will head to Aintree fresher than a newly-spouted Spring daisy, and as a wiser 11-year-old with the course knowledge over his rivals.
State Of Play will be 5lbs lighter than last year when the 40 Grand National runners line up for the start of the 2011 race, and that weight allowance can prove the difference between a third place finish and a first place finish.
With Ladbrokes offering a Grand National free bet for new customers, a State Of Play bet could become a risk-free bet.
A £20 stake on State Of Play winning the Grand National would return £520. New customers can sign up here to get £60 in free bets.