Grand National 2019: Our guide to Aintree’s runners and riders

40 runners, millions of each-way bets, but just one winner - plus your smug mate who picked it at 33-1. It's the Aintree Grand National.

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It only comes around once a year. Like Christmas, the Grand National at Aintree is a real treat. It’s the one event in horse racing that most UK adults take interest in betting on.

In order to help you pick your favourite, you need to know the runners and riders, age, and form of the maximum field of 40 horses going to post on Merseyside. This is our guide for the 2019 Aintree Grand National.

1 Anibale Fly

Trainer: Tony Martin (IRE)

Jockey: Barry Geraghty

Form: 1F34-622

Age: 9

Weight: 11-10

Odds: 10/1

Consistent staying chaser who was third in the Gold Cup last year and fourth here 12 months ago when carrying a similar weight. Brought along well by his shrewd handler since and improved a place at Cheltenham when in front of Bristol De Mai and runner-up to Al Boum Photo. Leading form hope for major Irish owner and legendary gambler JP McManus. Course experience must be respected.

Anibale-Fly-(l)-Al-Boum-Photo

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2 Valtor

Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Jockey: James Bowen

Form: 332-671P

Age: 10

Weight: 11-06

Odds: 33/1

French import was a handicap blot on British debut when winning at Ascot in December for Seven Barrows handler Henderson, who has found Grand National success elusive. Had looked very exposed on his form across the Channel, but then couldn’t follow-up off 12lb higher at Cheltenham in the Cotswold Chase on Festival Trials Day when pulled-up. This race is his target, however.

3 Tiger Roll

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Davy Russell or Keith Donoghue

Form: P511-411

Age: 9

Weight: 11-05

Odds: 7/2

Last year’s Grand National winner prevailed by a head to give trainer Elliott his second success in the race after Silver Birch (2007). Diminutive horse has a real spring in his step and boasts best record racing at this time of year. Four-time Cheltenham Festival winner romped to a wide-margin successful defence of Cross Country Chase and even recorded rare hurdles victory in Navan Grade Two before that. Given every chance by handicapper of emulating Red Rum by winning this in consecutive seasons.

Outlander and Jack Kennedy before running in the “Unibet Irish Gold Cup” at Leopardstown – Alain Barr – 03.02.2019

4 Outlander

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Mark Enright or Mr R James

Form: P8-23544

Age: 11

Weight: 11-04

Odds: 50/1

Long winless run since victory in 2017 Champion Chase at Down Royal. Well-beaten on previous two starts coming into this and pulled-up in Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse last Easter. This is five furlongs (over half-a-mile) further. Best days look behind him, but goes off this at 5lb below his last winning mark.

5 Don Poli

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Sean Flanagan

Form: 3-P23/PP3

Age: 10

Weight: 11-03

Odds: 40/1

Spent 664 days off the track after finishing third to Sizing John in the 2017 Irish Gold Cup. Pulled-up on much-anticipated return from injury in the Becher Chase over the Grand National fences back in December. Also failed to complete in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park, but did make it round Down Royal when third in a chase last time out. Backers relying on him recapturing form.

6 Go Conquer

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies

Jockey: Tom Bellamy

Form: 1U58-321

Age: 10

Weight: 11-03

Odds: 33/1

Left one Grand National winning trainer in Jonjo O’Neill for another in Twiston-Davies. Progressive form since making the stables switch this season and landed the old Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster in taking style last time out. Has previous experience of the Grand National fences when completing the 2017 Topham Chase despite getting badly hampered at the Canal Turn.

7 Mala Beach

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Denis O’Regan

Form: 21P12-82

Age: 11

Weight: 10-12

Odds: 66/1

Won the valuable Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan in 2017 on just his second run after a lengthy absence. Went in again at Down Royal last season and brought along since with a tilt at this in mind. Not knocked about eighth in the Galmoy Hurdle on reappearance and then far from disgraced back at Down Royal when second to Jury Duty.

8 Minella Rocco

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill

Jockey: Richie McLernon or Jonjo O’Neill Jr

Form: 4P4F-59P

Age: 9

Weight: 10-11

Odds: 25/1

Withdrawn from the Grand National last year on account of the soft ground. Connections hoping for a sounder surface this time around. Chased home Sizing John in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but not reproduced that level of form since. Obviously ground dependent and pulled-up when tailed off early on in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Festival last time out.

9 Lake View Lad

Trainer: Nick Alexander

Jockey: Henry Brooke

Form: 2123-113

Age: 9

Weight: 10-11

Odds: 14/1

Grey gelding bought by the modern era’s leading Grand National owner, Trevor Hemmings, for this season. Progressive profile and really stepped up his form by winning the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle and the Grade Three Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day. Modest-sized Scottish yard having a fine campaign because of this stable flagbearer. Eye-catching third in the Ultima under top weight at Cheltenham last time out.

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10 Pleasant Company

Trainer: Willie Mullins (IRE)

Jockey: David Mullins

Form: 19-0P2-00

Age: 11

Weight: 10-11

Odds: 20/1

Improved from ninth in 2017 to go down by a diminishing head to Tiger Roll in the Grand National 12 months ago. Now 2lb better off at the weights with him and once again trained specifically for this race. Given every chance by the assessor to make it third time lucky at Aintree. Mullins’ yard buoyed by finally winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Al Boum Photo.

11 Ballyoptic

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies

Jockey: Tom Bellamy, Zac Baker, Jordan Nailor, Richard Johnson or Sam Twiston-Davies

Form: 4142-F6P

Age: 9

Weight: 10-11

Odds: 33/1

Desperately unlucky loser of the Scottish Grand National at Ayr last season going down by a nose. Jumping did not convince over the Aintree fences when falling on reappearance in the Becher Chase. He’s sure to have learned plenty for the experience though. Stamina not in doubt either after plugging on to be sixth in the Welsh Grand National. Pulled-up at Haydock last time out mind.

12 Dounikos

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Davy Russell, Liam McKenna or Jack Kennedy

Form: PPP-07F1

Age: 8

Weight: 10-10

Odds: 28/1

Proved stamina by winning the Irish Grand National Trial at Punchestown last time out after failing to complete at the spring festivals 12 months ago. This is within his compass. One of many engaged for leading Irish owners Gigginstown House Stud, who have won two of the last three renewals of the Aintree showpiece. In an ideal world, his profile would be more consistent.

13 Rathvinden

Trainer: Willie Mullins (IRE)

Jockey: Ruby Walsh or Paul Townend (ed note: I cannot see Patrick Mullins slimming down to this weight)

Form: 12BU14-1

Age: 11

Weight: 10-10

Odds: 10/1

Won National Hunt Chase over four miles at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival and very lightly raced since clearly with this in mind. Mullins loves to target Grand National horses at the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse and this one won it well on reappearance. Everything looks in place for a bold bid from the County Carlow handler to win the Aintree showpiece with him after previous success with Hedgehunter (2005).

14 One For Arthur

Trainer: Lucinda Russell

Jockey: Derek Fox

Form: 3-1511/UU

Age: 10

Weight: 10-10

Odds: 25/1

Dour Scottish stayer won the Grand National two years ago, but was then off the track for 609 days. Has failed to complete in two outings this season, unseating his rider both times. Schooled over Carlisle fences in the build-up to his bid to regain his crown. Races off a 6lb higher rating than his winning mark from Aintree in 2017. Yet another trying to emulate Red Rum by regaining the Grand National.

15 Rock The Kasbah

Trainer: Philip Hobbs

Jockey: Richard Johnson

Form: 6-1P2-616

Age: 9

Weight: 10-09

Odds: 20/1

Won a Grade Three stayers’ handicap at Cheltenham on his second start of the season. Sometimes reaches for fences and jumps in an ungainly way. The obstacles at Aintree on the Grand National course are disrespected at a horse’s peril. Trainer having much better campaign than last season, and this horse’s best form is over trips of around three-and-a-half miles or more.

16 Warriors Tale

Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Jockey: Harry Cobden or Sean Bowen

Form: 22P-41P0

Age: 10

Weight: 10-09

Odds: 33/1

It’s strange that Nicholls, who leads the National Hunt Trainers’ Championship going into Aintree and won the Grand National with Neptune Collonges (2012), has just the one runner this year. This Trevor Hemmings-owned horse from Ditcheat in Dorset was hampered at the Chair and gradually faded before being pulled-up in last year’s race. He has since won over Grand National fences, however, when dropped back in trip for the Grand Sefton.

17 Regal Encore

Trainer: Anthony Honeyball

Jockey: Richie McLernon, Aidan Coleman or Mark Walsh

Form: 03P1P-63

Age: 11

Weight: 10-08

Odds: 66/1

Eighth to One For Arthur two years ago and a late withdrawal from the Grand National last year. His best chance of winning at Aintree may have gone, and a look through back form suggests he’s as likely to pull-up as get round. Dual Listed winner at Ascot clearly hasn’t been the easiest to train and, in truth, owner McManus and his handler have better chances with others.

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18 Magic Of Light

Trainer: Jessica Harrington (IRE)

Jockey: Robbie Power (ed note: as of time of writing, Power is injured but am confident he will be passed fit to ride if this mare lines up at Aintree)

Form: 1-3112U7

Age: 8

Weight: 10-07

Odds: 50/1

Useful dual-purpose mare who has won top-class races over both hurdles and fences against her own sex this season. Career-best when winning the Grade Two Warfield over three miles at Ascot. Arguably below par since, but proved no worse for unseating her rider in the back straight in the Bobbyjo at Fairyhouse when seventh in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival last time out. Jockey Robbie Power won the Grand National on Silver Birch (2007).

19 A Toi Phil

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Andrew Ring

Form: 637P545

Age: 9

Weight: 10-07

Odds: 50/1

Won the 2016 Florida Pearl at Punchestown when a novice, but best form since at two-and-a-half miles. A horse winning over three miles or further is essential when choosing your Grand National bet. Not scored in 10 starts since landed the 2018 Kinloch Brae at Thurles. Only beaten eight lengths when fifth in the Pertemps Network Final over hurdles at Cheltenham though and could be building up to something.

20 Jury Duty

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Jack Kennedy, Jamie Codd, Robbie Power or Mark Walsh

Form: U3-37211

Age: 8

Weight: 10-07

Odds: 22/1

Winner of the American Grand National over hurdles at Fair Hills this season and the Florida Pearl as a novice chaser last term. Made a winning return over the larger obstacles when back up in trip at Down Royal following a winter break. Comes to Aintree in-form and could be the pick of his stable’s many entries at the weights.

21 Noble Endeavor

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Robbie Colgan or Jamie Codd

Form: 54136/90

Age: 10

Weight: 10-06

Odds: 25/1

Sixth to the ill-fated Our Duke in the 2017 Irish Grand National, then off for 600 days before returning in the Becher Chase in December. No problem with the Aintree fences, but weakened from three out and this is over a mile further in trip. Yet another horse to use the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival as prep for the Grand National. Could come on for that run.

Gowran Park Racing, Gowran Park, Co. Kilkenny 25/1/2018
The Goffs Thyestes Handicap Steeplechase
Jack Kennedy onboard Monbeg Notorious comes home to win
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

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22 Monbeg Notorious

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Jack Kennedy, Denis O’Regan or Sean Flanagan

Form: 1182-006

Age: 8

Weight: 10-06

Odds: 50/1

Thyestes Chase winner last season while still a novice, but not matched that form this term. No better than sixth in three starts this season and eighth in the 2018 Irish Grand National. Has improved his finishing place with each outing in the campaign so far though and could be another building up to a big run in this.

23 Ramses De Teillee

Trainer: David Pipe

Jockey: David Noonan or Tom Scudamore

Form: 279-5122

Age: 7

Weight: 10-05

Odds: 25/1

Son of legendary trainer Martin, Pipe Junior looks to win the Grand National again after previous success with Comply Or Die (2008). Young and improving chaser is versatile ground-wise and was gallant runner-up in both Welsh Grand National at Chepstow and Grand National Trial at Haydock on last two starts. This may be one year too soon for him, however, as seven-year-olds have a notoriously poor record at Aintree, but could buck that trend.

TEA FOR TWO with L Kelly wins in Betway Bowl at Aintree 6-4-17.

24 Tea For Two

Trainer: Jane Williams

Jockey: Lizzie Kelly or Chester Williams

Form: 76P-36PU

Age: 10

Weight: 10-05

Odds: 50/1

Became the first horse to win a Grade One race in the UK with a female jockey when landing the 2015 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton. Won just twice since, including the 2017 Aintree Bowl on the Mildmay course and unseated in the Cross Country at Cheltenham last time out. Pulled-up at Taunton in another staying chase prior to that. Best days look behind him.

25 Mall Dini

Trainer: Pat Kelly (IRE)

Jockey: Sean Flanagan, Mark Walsh or Davy Russell

Form: 452P-362

Age: 9

Weight: 10-04

Odds: 20/1

A maiden over fences despite 14 previous attempts to win. Hardly a ringing endorsement of his Grand National credentials, but has run some very solid races in defeat. Was pulled-up four out in the Irish equivalent at Fairyhouse last Easter. Trainer’s stock no longer so high after Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy flopped. This one reasonably prominent in the Aintree betting though.

26 Step Back

Trainer: Mark Bradstock

Jockey: Nico De Boinville, David Bass or Jamie Moore

Form: 9-2311-76

Age: 9

Weight: 10-03

Odds: 20/1

Extensive Point-to-Point background and connections didn’t mess about over hurdles. Landed the old Whitbread Gold Cup at Sandown on just his fourth start over fences and lightly raced since. Although inexperienced, the Grand National has looked the plan for Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Mark Bradstock with this horse.

27 Ultragold

Trainer: Colin Tizzard

Jockey: Harry Cobden or Tom O’Brien

Form: P01-435P

Age: 11

Weight: 10-03

Odds: 50/1

Dual Topham Chase winner has plenty of course experience and placed third in the Becher when stepped up to three-and-a-quarter miles earlier this season. Pulled-up in the Cross Country at Cheltenham, which suggests he may be lacking the necessary stamina to get competitive over this marathon distance. He clearly loves Aintree though and is the sole Tizzard representative in the line-up.

28 Blow By Blow

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Donagh Meyler

Form: 1273P6P

Age: 8

Weight: 10-02

Odds: 66/1

Impressive winner of chase debut on reappearance, but not scored since. Twice pulled-up over three miles, but a neck runner-up in the Florida Pearl at Punchestown. Trainer is mob-handed in the Grand National again this year and other stable companions make more appeal. Attempting this is a pretty big ask.

Willie-Mullins-Sandown-Jan-2019

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29 Up For Review

Trainer: Willie Mullins (IRE)

Jockey: Danny Mullins

Form: 2148-138

Age: 10

Weight: 10-02

Odds: 25/1

Lightly raced for his age and put in creditable effort on return to action when third in the Thyestes Chase. Was then eighth in the Ultima when weakening between the last two fences at Cheltenham. Sent off odds-on on both chase victories last year. More needed, but unexposed as a stayer and one of at least four for his stable running.

30 Singlefarmpayment

Trainer: Tom George

Jockey: Adrian Heskin

Form: 5P52-420

Age: 9

Weight: 10-02

Odds: 50/1

Won one of 14 career chase outings and second five times, often going down by narrow margins. Finished fourth to Rock The Kasbah in a stayers’ handicap at Cheltenham on reappearance where he showed a typical tendency not to pass rivals on the run-in. A beaten favourite on several occasions over fences, but has low racing weight in the Grand National.

31 Vieux Lion Rouge

Trainer: David Pipe

Jockey: Tom Scudamore

Form: 4749-2PP

Age: 10

Weight: 10-02

Odds: 33/1

Highly experienced over the Aintree fences with career course figures of 716792. Has always got around the Grand National track and was a fast-finishing second in the Becher Chase on reappearance in December. Ridden with very different tactics when pulling-up on both subsequent starts, but if held-up again could go well once more.

32 Valseur Lido

Trainer: Henry De Bromhead (IRE)

Jockey: Rachael Blackmore or Dylan Robinson

Form: 0260930

Age: 10

Weight: 10-02

Odds: 100/1

Completed last year’s Grand National in eighth and now running off a 12lb lower rating. Second to Alpha Des Obeaux at Thurles and third to Rathvinden in the Bobbyjo his best form since. Not won in 13 starts since the 2016 Down Royal Champion Chase. Massive price available probably tells you all you need to know.

33 Vintage Clouds

Trainer: Sue Smith

Jockey: Danny Cook

Form: 4233-1P2

Age: 9

Weight: 10-00

Odds: 12/1

Owner-breeder Hemmings has won the Grand National three times before with Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015). Yorkshire trainer Smith scored in the Aintree showpiece with Auroras Encore (2013). These connections are respected, as is their grey gelding who makes it into the Grand National this time. He stayed on to finish second in the Ultima at Cheltenham last time out and that could be a key form race for this.

34 General Principle

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Jack Kennedy or Lisa O’Neill

Form: 61-0953P

Age: 10

Weight: 10-00

Odds: 33/1

Last year’s Irish Grand National winner gets a run at Aintree this time and had been progressing with each run this season until getting hampered in the Ultima. If taking another step in the right direction, then going well here is clearly within him. Elliott got him to peak in April last year, and there’s no reason to think he can’t repeat that.

35 Livelovelaugh

Trainer: Willie Mullins (IRE)

Jockey: Robbie Deegan

Form: 313F-P20

Age: 9

Weight: 10-00

Odds: 66/1

One from seven over fences and failed to complete in two of last four starts. Ran well when runner-up in a valuable handicap chase at the Dublin Racing Festival on his penultimate outing. Down the field in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup for amateur riders at Cheltenham latest. This demands a whole lot more than that.

36 Walk In The Mill

Trainer: Robert Walford

Jockey: James Best

Form: 13P-3133

Age: 9

Weight: 10-00

Odds: 22/1

Becher Chase winner off a light weight and sneaks into the Grand National. Handicap mark over fences preserved by two subsequent hurdles outings that have been to maintain fitness and nothing more. Rare big meeting runner for Dorset trainer Walford and would be something of a Cinderella story for connections if he followed-up now back at Aintree.

Folsom-Blue

37 Folsom Blue

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey:

Form: 140-4846

Age: 12

Weight: 10-00

Odds: 33/1

Veteran chaser was fourth in the Irish Grand National last year and in 2016. Filled the same spot in two graded outings over hurdles this season. Eighth in the Welsh Grand National between those efforts and sixth in the Midlands equivalent over the Aintree trip at Uttoxeter latest. May be going to the well once too often at this late stage of his career.

38 Captain Redbeard

Trainer: Stuart Coltherd

Jockey: Sam Coltherd

Form: U-339613

Age: 10

Weight: 09-13 (ed note: unless the weights are raised by the top rated horse being withdrawn, this horse will be 1lb out the handicap and carry 10-00) 

Odds: 40/1

Got no further than the infamous Foinavon fence on the first circuit of last year’s Grand National race. Won a match at Kelso since on penultimate start. Tailed off ninth in the Grand Sefton earlier in the campaign, though trip may have been on sharp side. Would be some story for Scottish father-son trainer and jockey combination to win.

39 Bless The Wings

Trainer: Gordon Elliott (IRE)

Jockey: Jamie Codd or Brian Hughes

Form: P34-566P

Age: 14

Weight: 09-13 (ed note: unless the weights are raised by the top rated horse being withdrawn, this horse will be 1lb out the handicap and carry 10-00)

Odds: 66/1

Third in the Grand National last year behind Tiger Roll and Pleasant Company when he had similar questions hanging over him. Father Time is going to catch up with oldest runner in the Aintree line-up sooner or later though, and as is the case with all mature horses there is definitely no scope for further improvement.

40 Joe Farrell

Trainer: Rebecca Curtis

Jockey: Adam Wedge

Form: 24311-62

Age: 10

Weight: 09-12 (ed note: unless the weights are raised by the top rated horse being withdrawn, this horse will be 2lb out the handicap and carry 10-00)

Odds: 25/1

Scottish Grand National winner held on under considerable pressure to land the Ayr springtime showpiece by a nose from Ballyoptic. He was given a lengthy break off the back of those exploits by Welsh trainer Curtis and has progressed with two outings this season. While stamina isn’t in doubt after lasting four miles north of the border, it’s a very different challenge awaiting him at Aintree.

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