Winning the Grand National for the first time is an achievement that eludes many horses and jockeys, so Ballabriggs certainly has his work cut out attempting to win the legendary steeplechase for a second time. No horse since the great Red Rum has managed to win more than one Grand National, with Hedgehunter, Comply Or Die and Don’t Push It among the most recent to try.
Think each-way with Ballabriggs odds in Grand National
It is weight that often prevents a horse defending their Grand National title. The handicapper usually looks harshly on a previous Grand National success and thus decides to allocate a weight to a horse greater than when they were victorious. Even a few extra pounds could be a major disadvantage over the stamina-sapping 4m4f at Aintree.
However, this does not mean that Ballabriggs may not offer good each-way value. Hedgehunter and Comply Or Die both finished second in the year following their victories, while Don’t Push It was third behind Ballabriggs last season. Weight is a major factor in the Grand National and only five times since the Second World War has the winner carried more than 11st5lb to victory.
Chicago Grey may be the big threat in the Grand National odds
With 40 runners guaranteed to line up for the Grand National, there will certainly be no shortage of rivals to Ballabriggs. One of the biggest could prove to be Chicago Grey, who is a Cheltenham Festival winner over 4m so should have no stamina worries, while State Of Play is experienced over the demanding Grand National fences.