Tofino Bay’s Cheltenham run gives him big Grand National chance
Of all of the horses with entries in the Grand National, the best performance at the Cheltenham Festival arguably came from Tofino Bay when second in the National Hunt Chase and he is 33/1 to go one better at Aintree.
Given that the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National tend to be within around three weeks of each other, it would not be to foolhardy too assume that horses may need a slightly longer break to recover from their Festival exploits.
However, in eight of the last nine years, at least one horse to finish in the first three in the Grand National had been involved at the Festival on their final start.
Granted, only two winners in the last decade had used the Festival as their last preparation, but each-way Aintree punters could find some reward.
Tofino Bay arguably should have won the 4m contest at Cheltenham, as the fall of Rival D’Estruval at the second-last fence left him on his own at the front.
From there, Tofino Bay idled up the run in and ended up being collared in the closing strides by favourite Back In Focus. There are certainly grounds to say that if he had more company up front, then he would have won.
This was Tofino Bay’s first try over such a marathon trip and there didn’t seem to be any stamina shortage.
The fact that Tofino Bay tends to race handily is a positive for the Grand National as it should keep trouble in running to a minimum, while in the last 10 years, 10-year-olds have been the most successful age group with five victories.
Furthermore, nine of the last 11 winners were Irish bred, while occupying virtually three-quarters of the each-way places too.
Trainer Dessie Hughes has indicated that he is keen to run Tofino Bay at Aintree if the owners agree and there are sure to be worse each-way bets for the Grand National than him.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.