Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Runners and Riders, Get Ready...

Its the Grand National this coming Saturday. As has become traditional with this blog, we'll be having a (sadly cash free) sweepstakes for England's most famous horse race. This year's contest marks a departure from usual form, as I'll be offering a prize of insignificant value to the lucky bastard who picks the winner.

Now the traditional rubric (from 2005):

"(You should) pick your horse using the tried and tested "Oooh I like the jockey's colours" method... Although also the choice of the BBC's top racing tipster, I'm going for Forest Gunner because my paternal grandfather was an artilleryman from the edge of Epping Forest in East London (see how this works?). My second, outsider, no-hope, I'll put a quid on it for a laugh horse is the 100-1 shot Europa, because the jockey will be wearing yellow and green, the same as Norwich City FC."

So... pick two horses: one you think has a shot, and one who might win if everyone else falls over. Best place wins. New this year, equine term limits: previous entrants cannot go with the same horse as the previous year, as when Mondale did it last April it made me irrationally and disproportionately annoyed. The final cut for the race has yet to be made so the BBC hasn't posted the silks yet, but as soon as they do I'll link across and put up my picks. In the meanwhile, here's a list of the initial entrants to whet your appetite. If you want to learn more about the Grand National in general, the usual collection of fact, half-truths, and bollocks can be found here.

Last year's winner was Bill Norris riding Numbersixvalverde, which set the tone for the rest of my year with the Texan New Yorker. In 2005, old pal Mondale took the champagne.

Lastly, here's the course, like it really matters to your selections:


Bill Norris said...

I don't suppose it's cheating that I grew up with horses and cast my first bet at the track before I was school aged?

I'm not giving my final answer until the field is final, but as things look now, there's a fair number of Irish runners to ease my genetic stew, and I'm smitten by the whimsy of THISTHATANDTOTHER at the moment, but tempted by French entry EXIT SWINGER who seems to be owned by American novelist and sometime resident of the Garden State, Richard Ford.

Mondale said...

I too am waiting until the weekend to make my final determination. I could ask the Silver Fox for his imput but as a regular follower of the turf he turns his nose slightly at the 'spectacle' that is 'The National'. For him it's the same as the church filling up with drunks on Christmas eve. I wasn't able to access any amusing color coded guides as my school blocks any websites associated with gambling or pornography.

Joe said...

I think I picked Joe's Edge in the past and failed with him.

When will the field be finalized. I'm not a horseman, though I am occasionally accused of being a horse's ass.

country mouse said...

My money is on Slim Pickings and Homer Wells. I wonder if you could have guessed those picks? Did I chose Slim Pickings last year? I can't remember.

weasel said...

Last year dear heart, you went like this: "I pick Silver Birch and Shotgun Willy as the long shot."

Slim Pickings and Homer Wells would be right up your alley, I think.

I'm holding fire until they post the final cut and the starting prices, but I like the sound of THE BANDIT and LIBERTHINE

Mark said...

Off walking with Lj, Shan, Adam and Gus - its our anniversary (lucky minx!) - in Wales this weekend so I'll have to roll the dice now. I'll take the promising sounding 33. THE OUTLIER (IRE) and 11. KNOWHERE (IRE). Good luck!

Joe said...

I don't know if we're meant to post our picks here, or if another post will follow. But since it's unlikely that I'll be back before post time, here I go:

I would pick if I could: Joe's Edge at 8-1. But I'm pretty sure he was my choice last time around (which for me may have been two years ago).

To win: Dun Doire at 12-1. I have a good feeling about this horse. Plus, I kind of like the silks.

Longshot: The Outlier at 50-1. Since I rely heavily on stats in my baseball talk, I am aware that sometimes we need to recognize outlier performance. Geeky, I know, but there it is.

Joe said...

Probably bad form to immediately follow Mark's post with the same pick. Sorry mate. Though it looks like this is Mark's "to win" pick, given the odds.

If I'm not allowed to stick with the Outlier, then I'll go one up to Puntal (also 50-1), because the rider will look like a roll of three on the dice.