40 horses. 30 fences. 4 miles and 2 furlongs. The most thrilling and spectacular horse race of the year. Here’s a run through of the contenders in the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National.
Throughout the season, a clear narrative has developed. It goes that Don Poli is an animal possessing endless stamina who will relish battling up Cleeve Hill when all others have cried enough and that Vautour, on the other hand, is a flashy horse who does not possess the required stamina for an attritional test such as the Gold Cup. In my opinion, this theory is a victim of recency bias.
After the bombshell news earlier in the week that reigning champion Faugheen will miss this year’s Cheltenham Festival through a suspensory ligament injury, the market for the Champion Hurdle has been blown wide open.
BHA Handicapper, Phil Smith, has done his worst (or best in some cases) and the trainers can do no more, the weights for the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National have been announced. The who’s who of National Hunt racing were there to examine the allotted weights given to their horses, we take a look at some of the most interesting contenders.