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I Am Maximus Odds and Grand National Form 2024

Age: 8 Weight: 0-0 Horse No: 0

I Am Maximus started his career with Nicky Henderson but was transferred to Willie Mullins after finishing fourth to Sir Gerhard in the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival two years ago.

Mullins immediately sent his new charge over fences but I Am Maximus’ first four races over the larger obstacles all met with defeat, including two failures at odds on. However, a subsequent fourth placing in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase back at the Cheltenham Festival suggested better was to come. Mullins then decided to roll the dice in the horse’s first handicap, the Irish National at Fairyhouse. Things got off to a bad start at Fairyhouse with I Am Maximus making early mistakes and jumping out to his left. Jockey Paul Townend had to give his mount a stern reminder after the sixth fence and most of the horse’s supporters must have felt they had little chance of being involved in the finish. The horse was last with nine fences to go but Townend produced one of the rides of his career to cajole his mount into a challenging position on the home turn and came with a strong challenge jumping the last fence. Somehow Townend galvanised his partner into the lead to overhaul Gordon Elliott’s Gevrey by a length at the winning post. I Am Maximus had touched 120 in running in what was a truly remarkable victory, marking the gelding down as a hugely talented but difficult ride and his jockey as one of the top riders in the sport.

A quirk in the Irish Rule Book allowed I Am Maximus to contest a Grade One Novice Chase on his seasonal debut in December despite having already won over fences last season. Most observers saw this as his canny trainer running his horse in a valuable pipe-opener to his season but I Am Maximus had other ideas and confounded the pundits by being able to win at the highest level over a distance way short of his best (two and a half miles). Mullins then decided to push I Am Maximus into top-class company at three miles to see if he could become a Gold Cup horse. The eight-year-old gelding found this a step too far and was well beaten in the Savills Chase and the Irish Gold Cup prompting Mullins to say that those efforts had persuaded him to focus predominantly on the Aintree Grand National this season.

The British handicapper gave I Am Maximus a rating of 159, one pound higher than his Irish mark but the horse then went on to put in another stunning performance when taking the famous Grand National trial, the Bobbyjo back at Fairyhouse. That win resulted in a six-pound rise in Ireland meaning that I Am Maximus is effectively five pounds ahead of his current mark in the Grand National. The bookmakers reacted to his Bobbyjo victory by pushing him close to favouritism for Aintree.

Undoubtedly I Am Maximus could be a major force at Aintree but punters should not forget how slow he was to warm up in the Irish version and how his jumping can be a real concern. Another factor to consider is that his three best performances have all come right-handed and he is yet to win over fences when racing left-handed. It could be that he is well ahead of the handicapper and he may be able to overcome any concerns about his style of racing but perhaps the value has now evaporated from his price for Aintree.

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I Am Maximus Basic Info

Horse: I Am Maximus
Number: 0
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Age: 8
Jockey: Not known yet
Weight: 0-0
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I Am Maximus Form Stats

Official BHA Rating:159
Last 5 Races:1-1431
Wins over 3-4 Miles:2
Wins over 4 Miles:0
Biggest Chase Win:£243k
Prize Money - This Season:£82k
Prize Money - Career:£369k
Wins / Runs This Season:2/4
Falls This Season:0
Career Falls:0
Runs in Chases:9
Runs over Grand National Fences:0
Days Since Last Race
(on day of race):
49
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I Am Maximus - Our Ratings (out of 10)

Stamina:7
Jumping:4
Form:8
Ability to Handle the Course:4
Ground Preference:Soft
Stable Rating:8
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