Vieux Lion Rouge is now the 12/1 favourite to win the 2017 Grand National as David Pipe’s runner has attracted a big gamble ever since his success in the Grand National Trial at Haydock last month.
The eight-year-old has had an impressive campaign so far as he also landed the Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences in December.
That was over the shorter trip of 3m1f but he showed his liking for the bigger fences once again.
Cornelius Lysaght via Twitter
This year’s race will be Vieux Lion rouge’s second attempt at the world famous steeplechase.
He finished seventh of the 39 runners in 2016 in the race won by Rule The World. He was up with the leaders for the majority of that 4m4f contest, however, weakened inside the final two furlongs.
Another horse who has been well backed for the Aintree feature is Ucello Conti who was tipped up by Oddschecker earlier this year.
The Irish runner could represent Gordon Elliott’s best chance in the race as Outlander, Don Poli and Empire of Dirt are all set to miss the race due to their weight allocation.
Ucello Conti was sixth in the race last year where he blundered the 19th fence which cost him his chance of winning the contest.
His best run so far this season was on his latest appearance at Gowran Park in the Grade A Thyestes Handicap Chase as he was able to come home second, just over seven lengths behind Champagne West.
If the ground comes up soft or heavy at the Merseyside track, that is likely to favour Elliott’s chaser as most of his best form has been when there has been plenty of juice in the ground.
Doncaster Racecourse via Twitter.
Definitely Red is another horse who has moved in the market recently ahead of the Grand National.
Brian Ellison’s mount has been cut into 14/1 following his success in the Grimthorpe Handicap Chase at Doncaster.
The eight-year-old scored by 14 lengths ahead of The Last Samuri who was second in last year’s Grand National.
Ellison is bidding for his first success in the prestigious national hunt contest but will go into the meeting which real optimism that his horse can score at the opening attempt.
Since switching to fences he has won four of his nine starts.
With the Cheltenham Festival still to come, there could still be a number of changes to the market ahead of the Grand National.
However, it will take an impressive performance at this stage to dislodge Vieux Lion Rouge from the top of the betting, given his rock solid form this season.