Faasel advertises Grand National chance

If you're looking for a quirky but talented horse who might just rise to the awesome challenge of the John Smith's Grand National and give you a very good run for your money at huge odds, then David Pipe's grand campaigner Faasel might very well fit the bill, writes Elliot Slater.


Once again the 10-year-old has shown just how much he improves once spring arrives and advertised his prospects for the Aintree marathon with another fine effort at the Cheltenham Festival in finishing second to his runaway stable companion and fellow Grand National entry Junior, in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup handicap Chase, the closing event on day three of what has been an outstanding meeting at the Prestbury track.


The irony is that whilst Junior stormed clear to put up a stunning performance to beat Faasel by 24-lengths, he is far less likely to make the starting line-up at Aintree than his stable companion, being some way down the weights. Faasel has been allotted 3lbs more on 10st 1lb and might just sneak into the big event and the Grand National betting reflects this.


Many people point to Faasel's fine record at the Cheltenham Festival over the years but he has also run some great races at Aintree on the Mildmay course, demonstrating that he acts well on a flat track and those looking at the Grand National odds should remember this. As far back as 2005 he landed the Grade 1 John Smith's Novices' Hurdle, was second in 2007 in the Grade 2 Mildmay Novices' Chase, and in 2008 chased home Blazing Bailey in the Grade 2 Liverpool Hurdle.


Well handicapped on the best of his form and having bundles of talent to go with his quirky nature, the Unfuwain gelding might just fancy the job at Aintree and at 150/1 in places could well be amongst the best value bets in the Grand National field.
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