Racing: Punter with Cavalier attitude splashes out pounds 3,000

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Kendal Cavalier, winner of the long-distance chase at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, was the subject of an extraordinary pounds 3,000 cash bet for the Grand National yesterday.

A Coral betting-shop customer in West London placed pounds 2,000 to win and pounds 1,000 to place on the Rod Millman-trained gelding at 50-1 for the Aintree marathon. Coral reacted by cutting the odds on Kendal Cavalier to 33-1 from 50-1.

"The customer has shown himself to be a particularly good judge when it comes to ante-post betting," Coral's spokesman, Simon Clare, said. "Kendal Cavalier is a sound jumper and a thorough stayer, so will love the unique characteristics of the National."

That may be true but on this occasion the punter's optimism is surely misplaced. The weights for the National have not yet been framed but Kendal Cavalier is certain to have to race with a lot more than his true handicap weight on his back - which is a serious disadvantage in the Grand National - and requires testing ground to show his best - conditions which rarely prevail at Aintree.

After the release of the International Classifications on Tuesday, William Hill's ante-post Classic betting has been shaken up with money for several horses, notably Tamarisk in the 2,000 Guineas and Bahr in the Oaks.

Grand National (Aintree, 4 April) Coral: 12-1 Suny Bay, 16-1 Rough Quest, 20-1 Earth Summit, Seven Towers, 25-1 Him Of Praise, Time For A Run, Ciel De Brion, Encore Un Peu, Coome Hill, Belmont King, King Lucifer, 33-1 others.

Oaks Stakes (Epsom, 5 June): William Hill: 14-1 Glorosia, 16-1 Bahr (from 20-1), Cape Verdi, Jibe, 20-1 Exclusive, loving Claim, 25-1 Ashraakat, Flawless, La Nuit Rose, Midnight Line.

2,000 Guineas (Newmarket, 2 May): evens Xaar, 6-1 Second Empire, 8-1 King Of Kings, 10-1 Tamarisk (from 14-1), 20-1 Daggers Drawn (from 16- 1), 25-1 Central Park, Haami, Saratoga Springs, Zaya, 33-1 Bintang, Chester House, Docksider, Fantasy Island, Fleetwood, La-Faah, Rabi, Teapot Row, Twickenham.