Grand National Betting: Blaklion Favourite to Erase Last Year but Total Recall Proving Popular

Total Recall started 2018 with an eye-catching win at Leopardstown to strengthen claims for this year’s Grand National, penned in for Saturday, April 14 at Aintree.

Willie Mullins’ main hope of a winner in Europe’s most valuable jump race gained plenty of admirers when claiming the William Fry Handicap Hurdle over three miles on soft ground in early February. Testing conditions, but the nine-year-old seemed to love it, rising to the challenge.

Hammering nearest rival Oscar Knight by three lengths to claim the prize money, Total Recall went off an odds-on favourite but proved bookmakers to be shrewd, taking the lead early and showing his fitness when staying on at the business end of the contest to stamp his authority over the field. If you’re going to back a short-price favourite in a race, that’s how you want it to run.

Source: Racing UK via Twitter

That victory extended the product of Westerner’s recent record to three wins on the bounce, the hat-trick completed at Leopardstown following success at Limerick and Newbury, the latter over 3m 1f. This is form that has moved traders to take his chances for the Grand National seriously, with Williamhill pricing Total Recall as a 16/1 second-favourite. That quote is sure to attract plenty of attention with antepost backers and if he continues to win between now and April, there’s every chance he’ll be knocking on the door for favouritism.

The one to beat in the market at the moment is Blaklion who finished fourth last year under the ride of Noel Fehily. Going to post an 8/1 favourite that day the nine-year-old bay found himself at the head of the field four from home but offered little more when push came to shove, eventually beaten by better horses.

Did he learn from the experience, ready to come back stronger, etching his name into the history books? You would think so, if taking oddsmakers at their word, Blaklion doing the rounds at 10/1.

Source: PA Racing via Twitter

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ representative followed that place in the Grand National with a runner-up at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase, beaten by Bristol De Mai half a length, before finally getting his head in front on Merseyside, winning the Becher Handicap Chase in December, leaving the field for dust.

That served as an example of just what Blaklion is capable of when in the mood, second The Last Samuri crossing the line nine lengths behind, bronze medallist Highland Lodge another five away. Backers will hope to see a bit more fitness and fight in this year’s showpiece, but Total Recall will ensure he doesn’t get things all his own way.

What’s the Grand National without a big price selection to cheer on? Well, flicking through the stats tells us the favourite is worth having. Comply or Die won 10 years ago, the shortest price in the field at 7/1, a decade before that Earth Summit did the business, again a 7/1 jolly. If Blacklion touches 7/1 on the day of the race, there will be a scramble amongst followers of the trends to get their money down.