Always Waining is Grand National horse for those wanting Aintree form
Half of the last 10 Grand National winners had previous experience of the demanding Aintree fences and no horse will head into this year’s renewal any more acclimatised to what awaits than Always Waining.
Course form is one of the first things inspected when trying to uncover a race winner and Always Waining certainly knows his way around Aintree, competing eight times previously at the course.
Interestingly, he has also left with victory on four occasions, with three of these arriving in the Topham Chase over a reduced 2m5f.
Trainer Peter Bowen had considered the Grand National last year before sticking with the Topham, but as the horse is now a 12-year-old, this is logically his last chance to go for the big one.
And Bowen does have what it takes to secure a big-race victory, after training Snoopy Loopy to a 33/1 success in the Grade One Betfair Chase in 2008, which is a contest perhaps best remembered for Kauto Star unseating Sam Thomas at the final fence.
Stamina is the obvious concern in relation to his chances, as Always Waining has never even finished in the first three in his eight races over a distance greater than 3m, but a horse that tends to save his best for Aintree must be given respect.
Meanwhile, two of the previous 10 winners has previously run in a Topham Chase and the same number held a course victory on their resume.
As well as Always Waining’s unproven stamina, there are other negatives relating to his chances, based on the Grand National results of the past decade.
Firstly, since Amberleigh House in 2004, no horse aged older than 11 has even managed to occupy one of the first four places in a National, let alone win.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.