Ruby Walsh: I’m confident Rathvinden with carry me home… he fits the profile of a Grand National winner
- Rathvinden fits mould of a Grand National winner and is unexposed off handicap
- I could have easily chosen 2018 runner-up Pleasant Company as my tip
- Lots of other horses have chances and the obvious place to start is Tiger Roll
It wasn’t easy for me to pick Rathvinden from trainer Willie Mullins’ four Grand National entries, but he fits the profile of a Grand National winner that I am looking for.
I could easily have chosen 2018 runner-up Pleasant Company, who was a couple of centimetres off being a Grand National winner.
But I feel Rathvinden is unexposed off his handicap mark and has won over shorter trips and extended distances, including the four-mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last season.
Ruby Walsh says Rathvinden has the typical qualities you expect in a Grand National winner
Horses carrying 11st and below are always the weights I’d be looking at and he is bang on 11st.
Lots of horses have chances and the obvious place to start is Tiger Roll. He just hung on for victory last year and, on that run, you wouldn’t have thought he could be the winner 12 months later.
But the re-application of blinkers seems to have brought a huge improvement in him. His runs at Navan and the Cheltenham Festival this season were better than his performances last season.
Rathvinden is unexposed off his handicap mark and has won over shorter trips
But I am not riding Tiger Roll. I am looking for a way to beat him! He has 6lb more on his back this year — 11st 5lb compared to 10st 13lb — and is a small horse. When you go further than three miles, every pound over 11st tends to feel like a bit more. We’ll all be hoping that weight can slow Tiger Roll down a bit.
There is a strong possibility there will be an Irish-trained winner on Saturday afternoon but there are British horses with good chances — Vintage Clouds and Rock The Kasbah jump out at me.
People say the National fences are less difficult these days, but the race is still a huge challenge.
The fences are a different colour to the normal ones and a different shape. You still need a brave horse willing to take them on.
A careful horse spends too long in the air and you lose too much ground.
Tiger roll (right) and Pleasant Company (left) are also superb chances for the big one
Ruby Walsh is sponsored by Racing TV. Today only — join Racing TV for just £10 per month (normally £24.98 p/m) for 10 months.