Quinz has all the figures against him in his bid to win the 2011 Grand National on April 9th. The seven year old son of Robin De Champs has attracted interest in recent weeks since his game win a month or so ago in the Racing Post Handicap at Kempton.
On the face of it his case looks good, with three chase wins and a Cheltenham place since last Autumn. His owner Andrew Cohen has been desperate to win the race since his Suny Bay twice finished second, in 1997 and then in the following year. “It was my life’s ambition,” he says. “It’s been very hard to find a genuine National horse and we’ve had a lot of failures. (Quinz) looks an out and out stayer.” But are they going a year too early?
Philip Hobbs has won four of the last thirteen runnings of the Kempton race so presumably the horse was trained for it. The horse has run over fences on only seven occasions when one criterion for success is a minimum of ten; indeed, the last ten winners have all managed at least that number of chase runs. This makes him still a novice – evidenced by his penultimate run in the DRS Contracts Novices Chase. The last seven year old to win the race was Bogskar in 1940 and the last from a novice background Mr What fifty three years ago! The horse is French-bred and Mon Mome has possibly given a false, optimistic view of Gallic genes. The latter have provided over 25% of entries over the last decade or so and Mon Mome has been the only success; indeed he is the only French-bred winner of the last century. Those looking for Grand National tips may want to back a Paul Nicholls horse instead.
The horse could buck all the statistics and trends but the numbers are against him; at least this year anyway.