Grand National preview: Longhouse Poet has shown huge promise under Darragh O'Keeffe

Jack Singleton offers his tips ahead of the Grand National on Saturday
Grand National preview: Longhouse Poet has shown huge promise under Darragh O'Keeffe

Darragh O’Keeffe on Longhouse Poet holds off Paul Townend on Franco De Port to win the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Steeplechase. Picture: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

THE 2022 Grand National is the prize every trainer wants to win with the race's prize money accumulating up to a million pounds sterling.

The race is the biggest betting race in the world with many having their annual wager on this fascinating contest and in my preview, I will start with the Gordon Elliot trained Delta Work.

Most recently he won the cross country race in Cheltenham when narrowly defeating the two-time national winner Tiger Roll.

This race could be tailor-made for him as I think he will stay the full 4m2f and the ground will not be a worry for him.

This 10-year-old gelding Any Second Now trained by Ted Walsh was third in this race last year.

He has run over hurdles at the start of this season to blow off the dust for the Bobby Jo chase in Fairyhouse at the end of February and I do feel this horse should give another great account and could very well finish in the first six and is an excellent each-way bet.

Snow Leopardess has been a great servant in the Charlie Longsdon yard as this mare has won over £200,000 in prize money and she could add another huge prize if she wins this year’s renewal.

 Cloth Cap and Tom Scudamore winning The bet365 Premier Chase. Picture: Healy Racing.
Cloth Cap and Tom Scudamore winning The bet365 Premier Chase. Picture: Healy Racing.

Having course form after winning the Beecher chase in Aintree last December but this trip might be just out of her reach as she has only run as far as 3m5f.

Escaria Ten is trained by Gordon Elliott but this horse is not the most stylish but is a very good jumper and doesn’t give up on his job.

I just think he is a bit high in the weights and inexperienced as he is only an eight-year-old.

Last year's winner Minella Times gave trainer Henry De Bromhead and jockey Rachel Blackmores a fantastic year by winning in style. 

Minella Times travelled beautifully and was given a great ride by Blackmore but I think this year the horse will be just caught at the weights as he will be running 15 pounds higher than last year’s mark.

I have been watching Éclair Surf trained by Emma Lavelle since January when he easily beat a good David Pipe horse in a Grade 3 at Warwick.

Corach Rambler was behind in fourth and he franked that form by winning the Ultima handicap at the Cheltenham Festival this year. 

Then Éclair Surf went to Newcastle in February to run over 4m1f and was beat narrowly by the Christian Williams trained horse Win My Wings.

Since then Win My Wings franked that form by winning the Scottish Grand National last week.

This horse is going under the radar a small bit as he’s not coming from one of the “Big” yards in England and he will line up at a good weight only carrying 10st- 6lbs.

Run Wild Fred has been very consistent of late by finishing runner up in six of his last seven races and winning the other and Cork man Davy Russell is booked to ride him in the race.

My selection for the race is Longhouse Poet who has been on my radar since the very first day when he ran in a point to Point to Point at Boulta.

I was there that day and he did everything so easy while winning comfortably before running in a Bumper at Punchestown where he beat the classy Mullins trained Monkfish.

Run Wild Fred, with Jamie Codd up, left, and Beatthebullett, with James King up, jump in the Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys' Novices' Chase. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Run Wild Fred, with Jamie Codd up, left, and Beatthebullett, with James King up, jump in the Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys' Novices' Chase. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Longhouse Poet has been tried at all sorts of trips after that but when Martin Brassil decided to run him in a beginner’s chase over three miles he beat Run Wild Fred while making a few jumping errors.

After that, we didn’t see him for a full year when he got a run around over two miles three furlongs to open the pipes before his entry into the Thyestes at Gowran Park back in January.

Darragh O’Keeffe got the ride that day and it proved to be the right choice as Darragh used wise tactics to keep him out of trouble and never panicked.

He showed a mix of slick jumping and pure determination all the way to the line to win the Grade A chase and he is my selection and nap for the race.

Tip: Longhouse Poet. 

Outsider each-way bets:

Cloth Cap 25/1.

Good Boy Bobby 33/1.

School Boy Hours 33/1.

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