Grand National runners: the middle men

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ShakalakaboomboomPart two of our three part look at the 2012 Grand National runners takes in those horses that aren't quite amongst the favourites, but could well be worth a look at depending on the conditions and support they receive in the run up to the big race on Saturday.

After a stunning week at the Cheltenham festival, one jockey looking forward to the 2012 Grand National is Barry Geraghty. Partnering once more with Nicky Henderson, Geraghty will ride Shakalakaboomboom (14/1 in Grand National betting) on Saturday, hoping to give Henderson his first Grand National victory, never having one despite going close on a couple of occasions. This eight-year-old Grand National runner has negotiated much of the Grand National course before when seventh in last year's Topham Chase, and Geraghty believes he is crying out for the bigger trip to really get the best out of him.

Sunnyhillboy (14/1 in Grand National betting) is another mid-market Grand National runner, and one that has drifted in the Grand National betting markets in the past ten days. Whilst second to Synchronised in the Jonjo O'Neill stable, there is the hope that on handicap terms Sunnyhillboy can carry over the form that saw him win the Kim Muir Handicap at Cheltenham last month. Sunnyhillboy is well in at the weights, carrying 10st 5lb, and if the rain stays away he should put in a good performance. However if the ground does soften up may be one to avoid given his smaller size and stronger form on better ground.

Second to Sunnyhillboy in the Kim Muir Handicap at Cheltenham was Becauseicouldntsee (16/1 in Grand National betting), who is out to make amends for a fall at the second fence last year. Entering the race as a 16/1 shot, he set off very keenly and was made to pay for that. Trainer Noel Glynn suspected that he needed a race in the run up to the Grand National to ensure he is well prepared for the big one, and that is something that has been part of Glynn's preparations this year. If the official handicapper had been able to take into account his strong second at Cheltenham, Becauseicouldntsee would in all likelihood be racing off a more challenging mark.

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