Saturday 3 December 2016

Many Clouds may manage National repeat

Published 06/12/2015 | 02:30

2015 Grand National winner Many Clouds looks on during an Oliver Sherwood Stable Visit on December 1, 2015 in Lambourn, England.
2015 Grand National winner Many Clouds looks on during an Oliver Sherwood Stable Visit on December 1, 2015 in Lambourn, England.

The 'jinx' over Grand National winners remains but there was plenty of enthusiasm to take from Many Clouds who was just outdone by Don Poli at Aintree.Bindaree's Welsh National victory in 2003 is still the last race any horse has managed to win after landing the biggest of them all, but it would take a brave man to bet against Many Clouds becoming the first since Red Rum to win back-to-back Grand Nationals.

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He was cut to 16-1 from 20s by Betfred for a repeat win in April after making Willie Mullins' RSA Chase winner Don Poli pull out all the stops, jumping the last with feet to spare, suggesting he still had plenty in the tank.

That he was beaten four lengths by a rival two years his junior with pretensions of winning the Gold Cup and who was receiving 5lb - Don Poli was left unchanged at 6-1 for the blue riband - suggests he is going to be difficult to beat over another mile in April.

"He travelled and jumped great and I thought we had Don Poli beaten, but we were giving him 5lb and every pound counts," said trainer Oliver Sherwood. "He showed his old enthusiasm and still has plenty of petrol. He could even come on again for that run."

Bryan Cooper was always confident he would catch Many Clouds on the 6-5 favourite, but his task was made harder by his saddle slipping. "He's never that impressive in what he does, but he's ended up winning quite well in the end," said Cooper.

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