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Unioniste represents each-way value in Crabbie’s Grand National

| 09.04.2016

David Metcalf | April 8, 2016

Unioniste has a Grand chance in National

Unioniste looks decent each-way value in a cracking renewal of the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree (17:15).

The Paul Nicholls trained gelding has won seven of his 21 starts over fences, and looked the ideal type for this contest when forging clear to win by 10 lengths on soft ground at Sandown 15 months ago off a mark of 148.

Unioniste went on to finish a solid staying on third to subsequent 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree at Newbury off a revised rating of 159, and was well fancied for this 12 months ago on the back of those efforts.

The eight-year-old was sent off at 16/1, but fell at the fifth when in mid-division.

Better preparation and well-weighted

Horse Racing - 32Red Day - Sandown Park Racecourse

Since then, Nicholls has had a repeat bid firmly on his mind, and Unionsite appears to have had a better preparation going into this year’s Grand National.

The grey scored in good style at Kelso two starts back, and also ran very well at the same venue last time out when staying on to finish a 10 lengths runner-up to Many Clouds.

Unioniste now meets the winner on 12lb better terms and, now racing off a rating of 149, has major claims from a handicapping perspective.

Double Ross and Rule The World lively outsiders


Double Ross and Rule The World are others that look as if they could outrun their huge odds.

The former is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, who knows what it takes to win the race having saddled Earth Summit to win in 1998 and Bindaree to land the spoils in 2002.

In Double Ross, he has a gelding who has been given a chance by the handicapper and completed in both his starts over the unique National fences.

They include a fine fifth of 30 to Ma Filleule in the 2014 running of the Topham Chase off a mark of 152, and the 10-year-old is now able to race off 5lb lower.

Having been rated as high as 160, Double Ross is now able to race off just 147 and that gives him a big shout at the weights on the pick of his form.

Mouse’s World has a squeak

Horse Racing - Naas Racecourse

Rule The World is trained in Ireland by the popular Mouse Morris, who recently landed the Irish Grand National with Rogue Angel.

The nine-year-old was a very smart hurdler and, although yet to win in 13 starts over fences, has posted some really solid efforts and finished runner-up on seven occasions.

They include an excellent second to the now 155-rated Wounded Warrior in Grade 2 at Naas, and behind Thunder And Roses in last year’s Irish Grand National.

Rule The World was also far from disgraced on his penultimate outing when fifth of 18 in the ultra-competitive Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park, and has always had the potential to be a successful Grand National type.


You’ll find more comprehensive Grand National Festival coverage, including tips and previews, on our Aintree page.

Coral’s top tip: Unionsite has plenty going for him and looks well worth an each-way wager. Double Ross and Rule The World also look lively outsiders in a cracking renewal of the world’s greatest steeplechase.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.