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Homeracing

A look at the Grand National Steeplechase with TwinSpires Jump Insurance

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

October 19th, 2018

For the first time since it began hosting the Grand National Steeplechase (G1), the Far Hills Races in New Jersey on Saturday will offer pari-mutuel wagering on the most lucrative jump race in the U.S. and the richest card of its kind in the country. You can watch and wager on the action at TwinSpires.com.

The final Grade 1 hurdle of the season, the $450,000 Grand National often plays a significant role in determining the year's Eclipse Award-winning steeplechaser, though that might not the case this season as two-time Grade 1 winner Zanjabeel is sidelined and was unable to enter Saturday's 2 5/8-mile event. That, however, makes the race a much more interesting betting proposition.

Be aware that TwinSpires.com is offering "Jump Insurance!" on Saturday's Far Hills program. Opt in and receive up to $5 back on your Win bet if your horse doesn't happen to complete the course. All races are eligible and only your first Win bet placed on a single horse or entry will count.

The most accomplished runner in the Grand National is 2015 winner and season champion #9 Dawalan. Unfortunately, reported tendon injuries have kept the eight-year-old from starting more than once in three years and not at all in the past 17 months. It would be a remarkable feat both for him and trainer Cyril Murphy if he wins this.

#6 All the Way Jose was one of last year's top hurdlers in the U.S. and missed in this race by a head after leading nearly all the way. However, he's failed to place in four starts this term. #8 Hinterland is still looking for his first Grade 1 win after placing in prior editions of the Lonesome Glory (G1) and Iroquois (G1).

The foreign contingent is, as always, strong-looking, though form lines can be a little difficult to interpret. Interestingly, #4 Hammersly Lake and #1 Days of Heaven have both run fifth in previous editions of the Grand National. #5 Clarcam, meanwhile, has been well-beaten in his first two U.S. starts after taking a lucrative stakes at Galway, Ireland, in early August.

Up the track in that Galway event was #7 JURY DUTY, who was made the 2-1 morning line favorite here but who might drift some in the wagering. Less exposed in this country than nearly everyone else in the field, his form has been rather strong outside the Galway race and an amateur riders race at the Cheltenham Festival in March when he failed to finish as the favorite. He's reunited here with Robbie Power, who has enjoyed consistent success with him in the saddle, and is trained by Gordon Elliott (also the trainer of Clarcam), who equaled a record with eight wins at the Cheltenham Festival in March and also captured the famed Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree the following month with Tiger Roll.

We'll take Jury Duty for the Win and use him in an Exacta box with Hammersly Lake.

Post time for the first race at Far Hills is 1 p.m. (EDT), with the Grand National as Race 6 (4:20 p.m.)

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