Any Second Now

Any Second Now is a steeplechaser, owned by John P. McManus and trained by Ted Walsh, in Co. Kildare, who was placed in the Grand National in 2021 and 2022. In 2021, fresh from what was arguably a career-best effort in the Grade 2 Webster Cup at Navan, Any Second Now lined up at Aintree under 10st 9lb, which Walsh described as ‘a grand weight’. Any Second Now was backed accordingly, and started 15/2 second favourite, behind only Cloth Cap. Like those on , some felt they were onto a sure thing.

Having been badly hampered when Double Shuffle fell at the twelfth fence, he dropped to the rear of the field, but recovered steadily. By the time the field turned for home, he was disputing fourth place; he took third place at the final fence, he could make no further progress and was beaten 6½ lengths and 1¾ lengths by Minella Times and Balko Des Flos.

Any Second Now was not seen again in public until the start of the 2021/22 National Hunt season. After two quiet outings over hurdles in December and January, he won his preparatory race for the Grand National, the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in late February, albeit by the minimum margin, from Escaria Ten. Any Second Now was subsequently sent off clear favourite, at 15/2, for the Grand National; he led over the final fence, but could no extra in the closing stages and eventually finished second, beaten 2¼ lengths, behind Noble Yeats, who was receiving 12lb.

Twice a winner over hurdles in his native Ireland early in his career, Any Second Now first attracted wider attention when staying on well to win the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival. He has essentially been touted as a potential Grand National ever since but, still only a 10-year-old, may yet fulfil that potential. In the online casino gaming world, people learn to bide their time, and in sporting terms the same situation may well be anning out here.