Grand National Odds: Any Second Now the new favourite after Bobbyjo win
Ted Walsh's Any Second Now is the new ante-post favourite for the 2022 Randox Grand National after the JP McManus-owned raider produced a sparkling performance to win the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday afternoon...
Sent off a 6/1 chance for the Grade 3 showpiece, the ten-year-old found himself in a real battle with Gordon Elliott's Escaria Ten all the way up the final furlong, but it was Any Second Now that prevailed by a nose to cement his place as one of the top staying chasers in Ireland. A 16/1 chance prior to the race, Any Second Now is a best-priced 12/1 chance for the Grand National - a race he finished third in last season.
Rated 7lbs higher in the 2022 Grand National, Any Second Now will be looking to down reigning champion Minella Times, who will be aiming to emulate the legendary Tiger Roll by winning back-to-back Nationals, and Walsh was ebullient in the aftermath of the contest expressing his joy that his former Cheltenham Festival winner will head to Aintree in top form.
There may have only been four runners, but the front two certainly showed they are in excellent form and Escaria Ten did his Grand National chances no harm, and he was trimmed into 14/1 second favourite for the world's greatest steeplechase on April 9, but the Cullentra House inmate will face a stiffer test to turn the form around on Merseyside.
Receiving 8lbs from Any Second Now (11-2 in National) on Saturday, Escaria Ten (10-9) will only receive 7lbs from his rival in the Grand National, and with Walsh's charge having shown a real zest for the challenge of a National last season then it's the JP McManus-owned raider that heads to Liverpool with a blinding chance.
Walsh knows what it takes to win the Aintree showpiece having saddled Papillon to glory way back in 2000, and the enigmatic Irishman will be ready to unleash Any Second Now at the sport's marquee event in six weeks, and his Bobbyjo success has most certainly boosted his National chances.