Paul Jacobs: My guide to every runner’s chances in the Grand National

Our expert tipster had a bit of time on his hands and we got him to look at every horse declared to take part in Saturday’s showpiece…


Before we even get started here’s the ratings system you need to remember:

Grand National ratings system

Possible winner *****
Strong claims ****
Each-way play ***
Outsider **
No-hoper *

Right let’s get stared!

Jump to for the latest Grand National odds

MINELLA ROCCO – Will stay and if the ground dries out I fancy a huge run, but the going is a massive factor for this Gold Cup runner-up. **

BLAKLION – In my eyes he is a blatant non-stayer and looked out on his feet last time out at Haydock. Breathing operation since needs to have worked spectacularly. ***

ANIBALE FLY – Staying was always going to be his game as he showed in the Paddy Power Chase and his Gold Cup run merely confirmed that. ****

THE LAST SAMURI – Is arguably the most solid player of the top weights and looks sure to run his race, but I suspect there are better handicapped horses ***

VALSEUR LIDO – Has been beaten a total of 102 lengths this season and though just turned nine he is too badly out of sorts. *

TOTAL RECALL – Despite having won the ‘Hennessy’ this season and set to finish in the top four in the Gold Cup, his fall at Cheltenham is a huge question mark. ****

ALPHA DES OBEAUX – Has always struck me as perfect for this race. He possibly has a few pounds too much, but on Munster National form with Total Recall he has major claims. ***

PERFECT CANDIDATE – Game veteran, that stays all day but needs a career best to land this. **

SHANTOU FLYER – Likeable individual that has been running well in some cracking handicaps, but has to prove that he stays. Badly hampered when pulled up in this last year. ****

TENOR NIVERNAIS – Solid front running stayer that will relish any dig in the ground, but a doubtful stayer. *

CARLINGFORD LOUGH – Former Grade One winning chaser that has been laid out for this. If he retains the majority of his ability, this old boy is dangerously well weighted. ***

VICENTE – Has farmed the Scottish National, but fell in this last year and jumped like a donkey at Cheltenham last time out. **

TIGER ROLL – Multiple Cheltenham Festival winner. He isn’t the biggest, but boy does he have a good leap in him and has pretty strong claims if repeating his best form. ****

REGAL ENCORE – Was a strong finishing seventh in this last year and comes here in cracking form. Will need the run of the race late on as he must be held up, but interesting. ***

VIEUX LION ROUGE – Completed twice here in the big one, but seemingly short of stamina. Comes here a fresher horse this time and may be stronger a year on. ***

CHASE THE SPUD – Stays all day long, but pulled up on his last two starts and races off a career high mark. **

WARRIORS TALE – Ran a cracker at Doncaster, but simply doesn’t shape as a stayer. **

SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT – On the best of his old form he is chucked in at the weights. Been lightly raced of late, but if he takes to the fences his chance is there for all to see. ****

GAS LINE BOY – Fifth last year when he either didn’t get home or found the ground too quick. Has won over these fences at 2m 5f and could hit the frame or perhaps more. *****

THE DUTCHMAN – looked a progressive young stayer when landing the Peter Marsh at Haydock, but then blew out at the Lancashire track last time out. ***

PLEASANT COMPANY – Was in the process of running a huge race last year when he clouted Valentines second time around. In no kind of form this season, but drying ground may see him bounce back. **

UCELLO CONTI – Sixth in 2016 and then unseated at Bechers second time around last year. Disappointing in the Thyestes last time out. ***

SAINT ARE – Form figures in this race read 2UF3, but at the age of 12 may be his best chance has gone. *

BEEVES – Fair stayer at his level, but was tailed off in the Cross Country at Cheltenham. *

RAZ DE MAREE – Game winner of the Welsh National, but needs similarly very soft ground to put that stamina to good use and may not get it this year. ***

I JUST KNOW – Impressive winner of the North Yorkshire National, jumping superbly and although this requires a career best by some way, he remains unexposed.  *****

VIRGILIO – A good novice that goes well fresh, he has yet to race over a marathon trip. **

BAIE DES ILES – Has been the big gamble this week with soft ground promising to bring out the best in her and is a super jumper to boot. ***

MAGGIO – Four wins from 22 career outings over fences, but nothing in his form to suggest he is up to this. **

PENDRA – Has been dogged by niggly injury problems throughout his career and hard to enthusiastic about his chance. *

BUYWISE – Not disgraced when 12th here in 2016, but remains a doubtful stayer despite winning a valuable veterans race this season. **

CHILDRENS LIST – Very lightly raced over fences (one win from four), but pulled up last time out following a promising seasonal debut. ***

LORD WINDERMERE – Former Gold Cup hero ran well in the race last year on his favoured good ground, but needs a lot more this time around on a softer surface. *

CAPTAIN REDBEARD – Progressive young stayer that warmed up for this with a game win over hurdles. ***

HOUBLON DES OBEAUX – Has been placed off higher marks in similar races in his career and was 10th in this last year, when the ground would have been too quick. **

MILANSBAR – Winner of the Warwick Classic this season (race last year’s winner won before victorious here), but has a tough mark to defy and won’t get his own way up front. **

BLESS THE WINGS – Veteran who has run well in extreme distance events in the past, but surely not good enough to land this. *

FINAL NUDGE – Didn’t quite see out the Welsh National distance and has further to travel here. Good jumper. ***

DOUBLE ROSS – Has as much chance of staying this distance as I do. *

ROAD TO RICHES – formerly top class, but form has fallen off a cliff and needs much better ground as well. *

By the way, here’s may Top Five for the Grand National:


Head over to for the latest Grand National odds

What do you think?