MANCHESTER, England, February 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Midnight Club has been cut to 16/1 co-second favourite with Betfred for the John Smith's Grand National at Aintree on April 9 following the publication of the weights.
Willie Mullins' 10-year-old has been allotted 10st 13lbs for the world's greatest steeplechase after a fine seasonal debut when he was a fast-finishing second in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park.
"Rich Ricci, who owns The Midnight Club, has made it no secret that the National is the horse's big target this term," said Betfred spokesman Jon Wilde. "It was a most encouraging reappearance in the Thyestes and this improving stayer should thrive for an extreme test of stamina."
Support for The Midnight Club has gathered momentum over the last few weeks and he is now one of the two worst results in Betfred's ante-post Grand National book along with Ballabriggs.
Donald McCain's gelding has been given just 1lb more to carry than The Midnight Club and this winner of his last five races heads the market at 14/1.
Last year's winner Don't Push It, who famously gave Tony McCoy his first Grand National triumph, is 16/1 for a repeat success having been installed as one of the joint top weights on 11st 10lbs.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has entered 10 horses as he bids to end his National hoodoo and Niche Market (10st 13lbs) is currently his most fancied contender with Betfred, also at 16/1.
Grand National ante-post odds: 14/1 Ballabriggs 25/1 Majestic Concorde 33/1 Character Building 16/1 Big Fella Thanks 25/1 Merigo 33/1 Chief Dan George 16/1 Don't Push It 25/1 Midnight Chase 33/1 Giles Cross 16/1 Niche Market 25/1 Notre Pere 33/1 Neptune Collonges 16/1 The Midnight Club 25/1 Oscar Time 33/1 One Cool Cookie 16/1 Synchronised 25/1 State Of Play 33/1 Our Monty 20/1 Hello Bud 25/1 West End Rocker 33/1 Silver By Nature 25/1 Backstage 33/1 Arbor Supreme 33/1 Taranis 25/1 Becauseicouldntsee 33/1 Calgary Bay 33/1 and upwards bar 25/1 Bluesea Cracker ***Odds subject to fluctuation***