Grand National Festival: It’s time for some Madfuninthewest


David Metcalf | April 8, 2016

Crazy about the chances of Madfuninthewest

Madfuninthewest looks on a potentially handy mark and each-way value in the 2m Handicap Hurdle that brings proceeding’s to a close on Crabbie’s Grand National Day at Aintree (18.10).

The gelding is a lightly raced sort who has shown improved form in his last two starts in Ireland for trainer Robert Tyner.

In the first of those at Cork, the five-year-old attempted to make all and stuck to the task well when headed at the last to go down by just two lengths to Bleu Et Rouge.

The winner is a very useful sort who has gone on to taste Grade 1 success at Fairyhouse and be rated 149, and the pair pulled 20 lengths clear of the third home.

Madfuninthewest backed that up with a solid second of 18 to Bello Conti at Clonmel, keeping on under pressure to be beaten 7 1/2 lengths.

Form looks strong

Bello Conti has since finished a fine fourth to Yorkhill in the Grade 1 Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and the third home Joshua Lane ran a cracker when third to Blazer in a competitive handicap hurdle when last seen in action.

The form of both those races looks strong, and suggests an opening handicap mark of 133 for the selection is exploitable.

Madfuninthewest also now has his first start from shrewd trainer David Dennis and gets the services in the saddle of Gareth Malone who takes off a useful 7lb with his claim.

Automated also appeals

There are plenty of dangers in a wide-open contest, and Irish raider Automated is a fascinating contender who commands the utmost respect.

The Gordon Elliott trained gelding has only had three starts over the obstacles, and came good on the second of those when running on strongly to beat Stuccodor by six lengths at Navan.

Automated backed that up with a solid third to the highly regarded Lift The Litch at Gowran Park, leaving the impression that was better to come.

The five-year-old does not look harshly treated off a mark of 128 given his unexposed profile, and hails from a yard that know the time of day and love targeting big handicaps.

Automated also has the services of crack conditional Jack Kennedy who is unbelievable value for his 3lb claim, and everything looks in place for a bold show.


For more Grand National Festival race tips and previews, check out our Aintree page.

Coral’s top tip: Madfuninthewest is progressing nicely and looks worth an each-way wager in a wide open contest. The unexposed Automated is feared most given powerful connections.

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