Four Horses To Take Out Of The Grand National Meeting


Monmiral has been foot perfect for Paul Nicholls this season race four times and winning all four of his events, but it was at Aintree that we saw his true ability when landing the Grade One Doom bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle.

Having now taken Grade One and Two honours and and seeing off some smart horses like Adagio, Monmiral has put himself out there as the best British Juvenile in the division.

After the race Nicholls went on to explain that he would more than likely stay over hurdles next season and then go over fences the year after that.

He could be a serious player to the two mile hurdling division next term, with the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival a possible goal before taking on the bigger obstacles, where he will also have a big future.

He is very exciting recruit for the Ditcheat master trainer and he may just turn into the new flag bearer for the yard.

The Shunter

The Shunter has been a superstar for Emmet Mullins this season, travelling all around the UK to race, over both hurdles and fences and now is establishing himself as a genuine Grade One talent

Frequently raced this term, his first stand out win of the season came at Cheltenham in the Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle, when bolting up over two miles.

Still on a nice mark over fences he was sent to the Dublin Racing Festival in the Matheson Handicap Chase and he finished a staying on third of 20 runners.

Not afraid of travelling this horse, Mullins took him next to Kelso for the Morebattle Hurdle, where the winner of the race would have a chance of a £100,000 bonus if going on to win the race and then at the Cheltenham festival.

Having stayed on well to take that race in Scotland, he was then sent into the Paddy Power Plate at the Cheltenham festival over 2m4f and under a superb ride by 7lb claimer Jordan Gainford he took the event.

After dominating the handicap scene over both styles, He was sent into the Grade One Manifesto Novices' Chase on the first day of the meeting and finished a narrow second to Protektorat.

However, although the staying on effort was good it could have been better if his jumping was slightly neater and going forward he is a horse to keep on side with if his jumping improves.

Progressive horse.

Elle Est Belle

Another unlucky loser at the meeting came on the lucky last on the first day of the meeting where Elle Est Belle for the Skelton's had to settle for second in the Grade Two Mares' Bumper.

This season she has shown she can mix it with the best of this division in both England and Ireland, finishing a good third behind superstars Sir Gerhard and Kilcruit at the Cheltenham festival and then on Thursday was another graded placer.

Before her last two runs she had won both of her events, including a Listed success where the race finished in a dead heat.

The mare will be sent over timber next season and having proved she is one of the best British bumper horses this term, the future is exciting to see if she can improve over hurdles.

One to follow.

My Drogo

The final horse to take out of the Grand National meeting is of course My Drogo for Dan Skelton with this star looking the best of the British when it comes to novice hurdlers this term.

The six year old looks to be a superb recruit for the yard having made an impressive debut for the yard in a bumper back in October at Cheltenham when a good second.

Skelton decided to send him straight over hurdles and it was a superb decision with him scoring at the first time of asking at Newbury, seeing off the highly touted Flinteur Sacre.

My Drogo was then stepped up to the Grade Two Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle at Ascot in December and in the two mile event that saw the likes of Llandinabo Lad and Soaring Glory, the gelding saw them off in fine style.

That was a very impressive run, with the third that day since going on to land the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, franking the form.

The gelding gave the best performance of his career on Saturday when landing the Grade One Mersey Novices' Hurdle with ease, seeing off some superb horses over 2m4f.

Over hurdles or fences next year with this horse he looks to be very exciting and could be the new black type horse that the Skelton's have been looking for in their yard.