Grand National Preview and Tips

Grand National Runners and Riders

Tiger Roll: 9/2

Jockey: Davy Russell, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Last year’s winner and without doubt a high class performer. Won the Country Chase at Cheltenham impressively by 22 lengths.  If Tiger Roll avoids trouble then you would expect a big run, but at odds of around are very short for Tiger Roll to become the first horse to win two Grand National’s in a row since 1974 and Red Rum.

Rathvinden: 8/1

Jockey: Ruby Walsh, Trainer: Willie Mullins

A proven stayer and many shrewd punters fancy for this year’s race. Had a nice warm up at Fairyhouse, beating Alpha Des Obaux and for many, represents in form Willie Mullins best hope in the race.

Vintage Clouds: 12/1

Jockey: Danny Cook, Trainer: Sue Smith

Finished second in the Ultima behind Beware the Bear at Cheltenham following a wind op and was third in the Scottish National last year.  Has chances.

Anibale Fly: 14/1

Jockey: Barry Geraghty, Trainer: A J Martin

Place 4th in last years National and came close to landing the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, being edged out by Al Boum Photo.  Carrying a lot of weight and 5lb heavier than last time, but likes it round these fences.  Possible place, but an unlikely winner with the weight to carry.

Lake View Lad: 14/1

Jockey: Henry Brooke, Trainer: Nick Alexander

A very consistent sort, who is rarely out of the placings.  The grey finished a length and a half behind Vintage Clouds in the Ultima and is taking on the Grand National fences for the first time.  Owner Trevor Hemmings has already won the National three times, and he has three saddling up this time, including the previously mentioned Vintage Clouds.

Rock The Kasbah: 16/1

Jockey: Richard Johnson, Trainer: Philip Hobbs

Meets the criteria of being a solid jumper and is the mount of the champion jockey Richard Johnson, who is looking for his first winner in the race.

Jury Duty: 16/1

Jockey: Robbie Power, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

A really likeable contender for Gordon Elliott at a nice price.  Robbie Power on board and Jury Duty has been lightly campaigned in the run up to this, albeit winning the last twice.  Last time out beat another of the runners here Mala Beach by 6 1/2 lengths and prior to that won over hurdles in the states.  Been nibbled at in the market in the run up to this race and could run a really big race.

Pleasant Company: 18/1

Jockey: Paul Townend, Trainer: Willie Mullins

Second behind Tiger Roll in the 2018 Grand National in a very tight finish.  We’ve not seen Pleasant Company in the same form this season, but will have been very well prepared by the Mullins yard for this.

Joe Farrell: 20/1

Jockey: Adam Wedge, Trainer: Rebecca Curtis

Winner of last year’s Scottish National narrowly edging out Ballyoptic and has to be respected here.  Only just made it in to the race and trainer Rebecca Curtis thinks the ten year old has a real chance.

“He ran really well at Newbury. He takes two runs to get fit and he was carrying a lot of weight that day, so I was really pleased with him.

“Obviously as a Scottish National winner, he’s proven over nearly the trip – one of his assets is he stays very well, and now all we need is a bit of luck.

“He’s pretty versatile with ground, but I suppose his best form has tended to be on nicer ground.

One For Arthur: 22/1

Jockey: Derek Fox, Trainer: Lucinda Russell

Another former winner of the race in 2017.  One for Arthur hasn’t been impressive since that win, but trainer Lucinda Russell is reportedly delighted with his progress at home.

Ramses De Teillee: 25/1

Jockey: David Noonan, Trainer: David Pipe

This is a horse that stays all day long and if they ground got a lot softer, this is one you would want to be on.  Runner up in last year’s Welsh Grand National and a solid performer.

Tea For Two: 25/1

Jockey: Lizzie Kelly, Trainer: Jane Williams

Won the Kauto Star Novices Chase in 2015.  Has solid Aintree form including a win over Cue Card back in 2017, but recnet form is not up to the same quality.  Unseated jockey Lizzie Kelly at Cheltenham in the Cross Country and hasn’t won a race since the afore-mentioned Aintree success.  Would need a return to the form of a couple of years ago to figure her, but not impossible.

Step Back: 25/1

Jockey: Nico de Boinville, Trainer: Mark Bradstock

An interesting contender who blew Rock the Kasbah away in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last term.  Not without chances and could run a big race for connections.

Dounikos: 28/1

Jockey: Jack Kennedy, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Another Gigginstown Elliot combo. Impressive winner at Punchestown last time out and should certainly stay the trip. Jack Kennedy on board.

Walk In The Mill: 28/1

Jockey: James Best, Trainer: Robert Walford

The Becher Chase is a key pointer to the National and Walk in the Mill won that race back in December. Not as impressive over shorter distance since, but certainly not one to rule out easily.

Go Conquer: 40/1

Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies, Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies

Six length win at Doncaster in January caught the eye, but unproven over this trip.  Nigel Twiston-Davies has won the National twice before and knows how to ready one for this.

Minella Rocco: 40/1

Jockey: Richie McLernon, Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill

None other than all-time legend Tony McCoy has been tipping this one.  A class horse and former Gold Cup runner up, but hasn’t been in that sort of form for a while.

General Principle: 40/1

Jockey: J J Slevin, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

One from the Mullins Gigginstown Stud combination and therefore respected.  Won the Irish National last year.

Noble Endeavour: 40/1

Jockey: Mark Enright, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Noble Endeavour is also trained by Elliott and looks progressive.  Sixth in the Irish National last year.  Finished tenth in the Ultima at Cheltenham and would need to turn the tables on a few  rivals here, who finished in front of Noble Endeavour that day.

Up For Review:40/1

Jockey: Danny Mullins, Trainer: Willie Mullins

Eighth in the Ultima but was travelling well before making a mistake. Another of Mullins entries. Has been relatively lightly raced and has tended to do well over 3 miles plus, but unproven over a slog like this.

Livelovelaugh: 40/1

Jockey: David Mullins, Trainer: Willie Mullins

The nine year old hasn’t inspired confidence over longer distances and this must be one of Mullins’ weakest entries.

Ballyoptic: 40-1

Jockey: Tom Bellamy, Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies

Second in the Scottish National last year finishing a nose behind Joe Farrell. Not kicked on from that defeat and form since has been disappointing.

Vieux Lion Rouge: 50-1

Jockey: Tom Scudamore, Trainer: David Pipe

Former winner of the Becher Chase in 2016 and was ninth in last year’s National. Has plenty of experience at Aintree finshing 6th, 7th and 9th in earlier running’s of the National and could go well at a big price.

Bless The Wings: 50/1

Jockey: Robert Dunne, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

A seasoned campaigner who finished 3rd in the 2018 Grand National and has plenty of stamina.  However, no 14 year old has won the national in the last 150 years, so can be safely ruled out for win purposes.

Monbeg Notorious: 50/1

Jockey: Sean Bowen, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Eight in the Irish National and sixth in the Leinster National and could be open to further improvement.   

Folsom Blue: 66/1

Jockey: L P Dempsey, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Only wins have come on soft and heavy ground and it would be a real surprise if Folsom Blue has enough to trouble the rest.

Valtor: 66/1

Jockey: Daryl Jacob, Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Only seen twice on a British racetrack since coming over from France.  Won very well at Ascot in December but pulled up since at Cheltenham and is carrying a lot of weight here at 11 stone 6lbs, and it would take a mammoth effort to figure here.

Captain Redbeard: 66/1

Jockey: Sam Coltherd, Trainer: Stuart Coltherd

Will be very popular with fans of kid’s TV show Ben and Holly, but failed to get round last year, falling at the seventh.  Trainer Stuart Coltherd says the horse is not there to make up the numbers and fancies a good run.

“We’ve just schooled him at home and I’m quite confident he’s fit enough and, touch wood, his jumping’s good enough to get him round.

“He’s in good order and if you think back to Haydock in November he should have beaten Vintage Clouds, but two horses fell in front of him on two separate occasions. Other than that we’d have probably finished in front of Vintage Clouds, so his form’s good enough.

Regal Encore: 66/1

Jockey: Mark Walsh, Trainer: Anthony Honeyball

Quirky horse who has some big handicap wins, but can also be flaky. Finished 8th in the 2017 Grand National.

Ultragold: 66/1

Jockey: Tom O’Brien, Trainer: Colin Tizzard

Winner of the Topham Chase at Aintree last year, which can be a good pointer to the National.  Has strong course form with a 1st, 2nd and third in the last 3 outings here, but was pulled up in the Cross Country at Cheltenham, and is unproven over this far.

Singlefarmpayment: 66-1

Jockey: Paddy Brennan, Trainer: Tom George

Well held on form by a number of these and would be a major surprise if Singlefarmpayment figured here. 

Warriors Tale: 66/1

Jockey: Harry Cobden, Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Has recent experience of the National fences at Aintree, winning the Grand Sefton Chase in December. Didn’t get a clear run in last year’s race and was forced to pull-up, but that was on heavy ground.

Mala Beach: 80/1

Jockey: Jamie Codd, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Finished 6 1/2 lengths behind Jury Duty at Down Royal in March, and nothing to suggest there will be a reversal in fortunes this time. Benefits from having top amateur jockey Jamie Codd on board.

Valseur Lido: 80/1

Jockey: Rachael Blackmore, Trainer: Henry De Bromhead

Out of sorts this season, but took part in last years renewal, finishing 8th after travelling well early on. Best recent effort a 16 1/2 length third to Rathvinden at Fairyhouse and would need to really turn things round to make an impression here.  Popular jockey on board.

Magic Of Light: 80/1

Jockey: Paddy Kennedy, Trainer: Jessica Harrington

Not the most trusted jumper in the field and that would be a concern for potential backers along with the fact that the horse is untried over anything approaching this trip.

A Toi Phil: 80-1

Jockey: Denis O’Regan, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Unproven over the trip but has been pitched in to some quality fields and is clearly well thought of.  Last two runs have been over hurdles and finished well down the field in previous outing over fences.

Outlander: 100/1

Jockey: Keith Donoghue, Trainer: Richard Spencer

Finished 41 lengths behind Rathvinden at Fairyhouse in February, and no obvious reason why Outlander would be much closer here.

Just A Par: 100/1

Jockey: Aidan Coleman, Trainer: James Moffatt

Has run in three previous Grand National’s with finishes of 14th, 15th and Pulled Up.  Finished way down the field in the Becher Chase in December and may well get round, but you would literally have to have money to burn to back this one. 

Don Poli: 100/1

Jockey: Patrick Mullins, Trainer: Philip Kirby

Changed hands just a few days ago. No recent form to speak of finishing 35l behind Jury Duty last time out. Not won since 2015 and unlikely to reverse the trend here.

Blow By Blow: 100/1

Jockey: Andrew Ring, Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Not won over three miles or more and this looks very much like one of Gordon Elliott’s weaker entries in the race.  One to avoid.

Our Top Three to Back:

  1. Jury Duty
  2. Joe Farrell
  3. Vintage Clouds

If you fancy an outsider at a big price you could do worse than Monbeg Notorious, Captain Redbeard or Valseur Lido.

Good luck!

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