Trained by Alan King, West End Rocker heads to the 2012 Grand National with experience of the National course at Aintree, a factor which could be key to success.
There are probably as many methods of picking a Grand National winner as there are of eating a Creme Egg, with few ‘wrong’ ways and no definitive ‘right’ way. For anyone who uses form in pursuit of an Aintree winner, previous around the unique National course comes pretty high on the list of desirables, and this year the Alan King-trained West End Rocker figures very prominently on that score.
The Becher Chase, now held in early-December, is the second-longest of the five races held annually on the National course (behind the National itself), and in recent years the likes
of Amberleigh House, Silver Birch and Black Apalachi have figured prominently in both races, though admittedly not always in the same season. Although he’d been brought down on his only previous try over the National fences, West End Rocker took extremely well to the test, both jumping and travelling fluently throughout and eventually prevailing by twenty-two lengths from Niche Market, who had finished fifth in the previous spring’s Grand National.
The fact the race was held deeper into winter this season may perhaps have a detrimental effect on West End Rocker’s chances come the National, however. The heavy conditions in December meant that the field got well strung out, and it couldn’t be ruled out that the winning margin overstates his superiority; a rise of 12lb certainly looks plenty when considering how much more competitive the National itself usually is.
On the plus side, West End Rocker has won on a variety of surfaces, so it’s unlikely that cialis he needs heavy ground to be seen to best effect. He may well find one or two better handicapped than him in the Grand National itself, but you’d struggle to wager against him showing his running and a better each-way bet could be hard to find.