Ballytrim a mover in Grand National market

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Irish staying chaser Ballytrim was a notable mover in the ante-post market for the John Smith’s Grand National on April 9, attracting money with a number of bookies and having his odds clipped from a general offer of 40/1 to 33/1 and shorter with some firms, writes Elliot Slater.

The Willie Mullins-trained 10-year-old will certainly make the cut for the race having been allocated 10st 8lbs at the unveiling of the Grand National weights last week, and coming from such a powerful yard that produced the big race winner in 2005 with Hedgehunter, the market move should not be overlooked and anyone with a Grand National free bet should remember this.

Ballytrim is a confirmed stayer and regularly competes in top Irish handicaps over extended distances. A winner of six of his 30 career starts, he is particularly well suited by testing ground and most of his winning performances have come on yielding or heavy ground. In March of last year he landed the biggest success of his career so far when just getting the better of subsequent Irish National winner Bluesea Cracker to land the Lucan Racing Leinster National at Naas, (giving the winner 7lbs). 

This season, like so many other National candidates, Ballytrim has been fairly lightly raced ahead of the publication of the official weights, having a pipe-opener in a Leopardstown handicap hurdle in December then putting up a tremendous performance when defying odds of 33/1 to run a close third to Seigemaster in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January.

Given similarly testing conditions at Aintree there would be every reason to hope that the gelded son of Luso would put up a big performance, but on decent ground he might be exposed as being short of the required pace to stay in touch with the front rank.
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