Sharp Response Primed to Give Sue Smith Another Yorkshire National Winner
Sue Smith has a fantastic record in the North Yorkshire Grand National and on Thursday she sends Sharp Response to Catterick looking to land her third win in a row in this race. Smith clearly knows what it takes to win this contest, and it was very interesting to see her enter just this one horse at the five day stage, cutting her options very early. She clearly thinks a lot of this horse, and thinks he is the one to win the race, and I for one, agree with her.
If you go back to Sharp Response’s last race at Haydock, it is clear to see that the horse was running over a distance too short. That race was over 2m7f, and after being badly outpaced as the race began, he stayed on again when it was all too late to finish fourth. His last win came in October 2018 at Carlisle, which was over the trip of 3m2f and certainly more to his liking. He has to step up even further for this race to 3m5f, which will be the longest distance he has ever run over, but looks as though he should get it.
His win came off a handicap mark of 124, and this race sees him run off 135, a whole ten pounds higher. However, that seems fair judged on the way he won that day, and how he was eased down in the final yards of the race. He won by nine lengths and that could easily have been double that if the jockey went all out on him.
While 3m5f is a big step up in trip, Catterick is a very tight course and one that doesn’t offer the strongest of tests. He will have to jump well, but he has shown that before, and I don’t see any problems with him not staying over the trip. Since winning at Carlisle, we have seen this horse run at Cheltenham, Newcastle and Haydock in much better races than this, and with other things against him.
The North Yorkshire Grand National is a race that the yard like and one that they target, and it looks to be at the right level for this horse. The trip looks sure to suit Sharp Response and he looks sure to run a huge race on Sunday as the yard look to land their third in a row.