A horse of whom little has been heard in the build-up to this weekend’s John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree is the Martin Todhunter-trained That’s Rhythm, a horse who has the right sort of profile to stand him in good stead for the unique challenge of the Liverpool marathon contest, writes Elliot Slater.
Generally on offer at 100/1 in the Grand National betting odds, the 11-year-old hasn’t been seen in action since running with credit and staying-on steadily having been outpaced at halfway in the Listed Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in December when finishing ninth to the very smart Midnight Chase. That solid effort followed another good run when fifth to Nacarat in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October, a race in which That’s Rhythm was behind until staying-on in the closing stages of the three-mile-one-furlong contest.
Everything about his style of running suggests that Todhunter’s charge should be ideally suited by the extended trip of the John Smith’s Grand National, with the added bonus that he prefers good or even good to firm ground, so the absence of any significant rain in the Liverpool area will be very much to his benefit.
With a racing weight of 10st 4lbs That’s Rhythm will arrive at Aintree a relatively fresh horse having been given a break through the winter, and if arriving in the sort of form that saw him slam Backbord by nine-lengths last summer having previously won a Listed Chase at Utttoxeter in fine style, there are good reasons for believing that the Cumbrian-based runner could put up a very decent show on the big stage.
Those backing him will likely have to be looking towards the back of the field on the first circuit, but if previous efforts are anything to go by then That’s Rhythm might well start picking his way through the field and looks just the sort to be staying on well at the finish.