Katie Walsh Hoping to Make Grand National History on Baie Des Iles
Baie Des Iles is a mere seven-year-old and many trend-backers are already writing off her chances of winning the 2018 Randox Health Grand National, but the market signals are extremely positive.
The mare has been heavily backed this week and will be piloted by Katie Walsh, who is bidding to become the first female jockey to ride a winner in the world-famous steeplechase. History could be made if Walsh can go two better than when aboard Seabass back in 2012 and is joined by Bryony Frost who rides Milansbar and Rachael Blackmore who accompanies Alpha Des Obeaux. Frost is teaming up with her husband Ross O’Sullivan with the pair aiming for success at Aintree on April 14th.
Baie Des Iles finished third in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown but has never previously competed at Aintree and will be taking to these fences for the first time. She has shown terrific versatility and has previously put in a solid performance in the Welsh National. She’s done most of her running on testing ground and connections aren’t overly concerned by the expected conditions at Aintree.
Her latest run at Punchestown has been franked, with the winner Folsom Blue finishing second in the Irish National at the beginning of April and punters are feeling confident of her chances here.
The Dutchman is Another Big Market-Mover This Week
Colin Tizzard’s charge The Dutchman is one of the relative outsiders for the 2018 Grand National but has been the subject of a gamble this week and as a result has been moved into 25/1. The trainer is hoping to become the first handler in 42-years to complete the Gold Cup-Grand National double in the same season.
Despite being one of the savviest operators in the National Hunt game, Tizzard has only previously saddled two runners in the race and hasn’t had a representative in the four-and-a-half-mile event since 2010.
The Dutchman was victorious in the Peter March Chase at Haydock back in January but was pulled up just a month later. The proven stayer has been trained over the spruce fences and is continuing to attract plenty of support.