Junior has run over the jumps for three different trainers in Brian Meehan, Alan King and now David Pipe – and he seems to have rekindled the horse’s enthusiasm.
Had started to look slightly uncooperative during his time with Alan King and despite winning twice in his novice year over fences connections were probably disappointed with what he achieved considering he was a 143 rated hurdler.
The move to Pond House certainly seemed to stoke the horse up with Pipe gaining an excellent win from the horse on the flat at Royal Ascot. Junior then returned to action over obstacles and was placed over fences and hurdles before demolishing the field in last year’s Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival where he won by a huge 24 lengths.
As he has now won over 26f over jumps you would imagine stamina would not be a problem in the National. Junior failed to make the cut for last year’s Grand National but his win at last year’s Festival will ensure he will be high in the weights in this year’s National.
Pipe has run the nine-year-old twice this season including a hugely encouraging second in the Grimthorpe at Doncaster where he lost out by just a short-head to Ikordu Road. Versatile and talented it is easy to see why Junior figures so highly in the betting for the 2012 Grand National and connections will be hoping that his previously suspect jumping holds together under the ultimate test at Aintree.
At a current price of around 10/1, Junior – a likely pre-post favourite – will be popular with the punters and has an excellent chance in a wide-open race.
Having been allocated 11-02 for the 2012 Grand National, many question his jumping ability but as he has never unseated his rider or fallen, he is a safe bet to get around the course.