2014 Grand National

Teaforthree heads 2014 Grand National list

Early ante-post racing betting on next season’s Grand National at Aintree sees a number of talented performers together at the head of the market at 25/1, including Teaforthree, a gallant third behind the 66/1 shock winner this year Auroras Encore.
The quintessential Grand National type, the Rebecca Curtis-trained nine-year-old is an out-and-out stayer who generally jumps well and can look after himself in the hurly-burly of major long-distance handicap chases as he showed in 2012 when emerging as a genuine force in the division with an impressive success at the Cheltenham Festival in the four-mile National Hunt Chase, staying on strongly up the hill to score by two lengths from Harry the Viking.

Unlike many thorough stayers Teaforthree, currently 25/1 in Paddy Power’s 2014 Grand National market, can also mix it with speedier types as he showed by running a fine race to be sixth behind subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in December, before going on to run at least as well in chasing home the lightly-weighted Monbeg Dude in the gruelling Coral Welsh National at Chepstow, failing by just half-a-length to give the winner 16lbs.< br/>
A disappointing effort when down the field in Haydock’s Grand National Trial in February wasn’t the best warm-up for the Aintree feature, but on the big day Nick Scholfield’s mount showed his liking for the challenge, leading at Foinavon on the second circuit until headed at the last by the eventual winner and only losing second close home to the fast-finishing Cappa Bleu.

There’s little doubt that Curtis’s gelding will be trained for a repeat bid on the ‘world’s greatest steeplechase’, and he looks sure to command market support nearer the time assuming that handicapper Phil Smith gives him a fair racing weight and the contest is staged on reasonable ground.

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