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You’ll find our runner-by-runner guide to the 40 horses below including details of the trainers, jockeys and weights for the Aintree marathon on Saturday at 5.15pm.
- GRAND NATIONAL SILKS: WHAT COLOURS IS MY JOCKEY WEARING AT AINTREE?
Trainer: Henry de Bromhead Jockey: Rachael Blackmore Age: 9 Weight: 11st 10lbs
Created history under Rachael Blackmore (first female jockey to win the race) last year, well ridden on the inner and travelling/jumping well. Not an ideal preparation this time though (not completed twice) and is 15 lb higher. Work to do to emulate back-to-back winners Red Rum and Tiger Roll.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: J. W. Kennedy Age: 9 Weight: 11st 9lbs
Saw off stablemate and National hero Tiger Roll on that one’s swansong in the Cross Country at Cheltenham under this rider, jumping well and showing bags of stamina. Got tons of class (5-time Grade 1 winner over fences in Ireland) and ticks plenty of boxes. 1 of 7 for Gordon Elliott.
School Boy Hours
Trainer: Noel Meade Jockey: Sean Flanagan Age: 9 Weight: 10st 5lbs
Plenty of good runs over fences before putting it all together on his return in hot Leopardstown handicap at Christmas (Enjoy d’Allen third). Fancied for the Kim Muir at Cheltenham off this mark but a mistake 4 out did for him and he wasn’t given a hard time. Interesting if he gets in.
Any Second Now
Trainer: T. M. Walsh Jockey: M. P. Walsh Age: 10 Weight: 11st 8lbs
Smashing third without any sort of luck-in-running last year and primed for a big effort again after resuming winning ways on first go over fences since in Fairyhouse Grade 3 (edged out Escaria Ten) 6 weeks ago. Yard knows what it takes to win this and he’s got to be on every shortlist.
Run Wild Fred
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: Davy Russell Age: 8 Weight: 11st 7lbs
Very smart chaser who is much improved since fitted with blinkers, second in last year’s Irish National before winning hot 3m Navan handicap in November. Good run behind very promising rival in NH Chase at Cheltenham last month and another Elliott runner with plenty going for him.
Trainer: Colin Tizzard Jockey: Harry Cobden Age: 10 Weight: 11st 6lbs
Top-class chaser in his younger days (Betfair Chase winner and third in Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2019-20). Won at Ascot on his return after a wind op and not disgraced on handicap debut at Cheltenham last month in first-time cheekpieces, but that shows the task he faces here off 2 lb higher.
Trainer: W. P. Mullins Jockey: B. Hayes Age: 11 Weight: 11st 6lbs
Won big-field Punchestown handicap last spring and placed after in the Kerry National, and at Newbury in the Ladbrokes (distant third behind Fiddlerontheroof). Jumping errors never far away with him though and he’s failed to complete in this headgear the last twice. Lots of others more persuasive.
Trainer: W. P. Mullins Jockey: P. Townend Age: 9 Weight: 11st 5lbs
2019 Irish National winner who ran a stormer off this mark here last year, threatening for a long way before running out of steam from 2 out. Second of 4 Mullins runners at Tramore on New Year’s Day but poor behind Any Second Now and Escaria Ten at Fairyhouse. Got to prove he stays.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: Denis O’Regan Age: 8 Weight: 11st 5lbs
Remarkable winner of the Kim Muir at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and has scored twice in mares’ races this term. Ran a stinker when fancied in Grade 2 back at Cheltenham last month though and her jumping surely isn’t good enough to win a National for all she should stay. Cheekpieces go on.
Trainer: Martin Brassil Jockey: D. J. O’Keeffe Age: 8 Weight: 11st 4lbs
Followed in the footsteps of yard’s subsequent National/Irish National winner Numbersixvalverde with victory in valuable Thyestes handicap chase at Gowran in January, jumping well. Not knocked about over hurdles last time and could be set for a big run with longer trip sure to suit.
Trainer: Colin Tizzard Jockey: Brendan Powell Age: 8 Weight: 11st 4lbs
Grade 1 winner over 2m as a novice hurdler and consistent over fences with plenty of class form, successful on return at Carlisle before runner-up in Ladbrokes Trophy Handicap and Ascot listed race (behind Fortescue). Marathon trips will suit and he’s a firm player for the home team.
Two For Gold
Trainer: Kim Bailey Jockey: David Bass Age: 9 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Tough and reliable chaser who won his first 2 starts at up to 3m this term and prime contender on the form of his second in the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase 7 weeks ago. Stamina and jumping (failed to get round in the Topham last season) are serious questions that he’s got to answer, however.
Trainer: Polly Gundry Jockey: Nick Scholfield Age: 10 Weight: 11st 2lbs
Went down by just a neck (Lostintranslation third) in the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup and although not the same force these days he did run well back at Cheltenham in January under this rider. Should stay but others have better claims at the weights.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: Sean Bowen Age: 10 Weight: 11st 1lbs
Dual Cheltenham Festival winner in his pomp but is a shadow of his former self these days, failing to see his races out following his Killarney win in May. Another of the colossal Elliott/Gigginstown challenge but must be a doubtful stayer above all else and is tricky to entertain.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: A. P. Heskin Age: 8 Weight: 11st 1lbs
Won 25f Thurles maiden chase last season before a very good third in NH Chase at Cheltenham. Kept fresh for this and back to form when just denied by Any Second Now at Fairyhouse 6 weeks ago. Part of a strong team for Gordon Elliott and a leading contender despite having had just 7 runs over fences.
Good Boy Bobby
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Daryl Jacob Age: 9 Weight: 10st 13lbs
As good as ever this season, revealing far more stamina when scoring for a second time at Wetherby (3m, heavy) at Christmas from Lord du Mesnil. Excuses at Kempton since and the choice of retained Daryl Jacob from 3 here for owners, but probably high enough in the weights.
Romain De Senam
Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: Phillip Armson Age: 10 Weight: 10st 5lbs
Smart chaser at up to an easy 3m for Paul Nicholls/Dan Skelton. Off 11 months and pulled up for new connections in Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter 3 weeks ago, and all to prove after that.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: Jonjo O’Neill Jr Age: 7 Weight: 10st 13lbs
Beat stablemate Run Wild Fred in last season’s Thyestes and a couple of good efforts in big-field handicaps this term. He’s got stamina to prove here though (failed to stay in the Irish National 12 months ago) and others from his powerful yard are far more persuasive. Last 7-y-o winner was in 1940.
De Rasher Counter
Trainer: Emma Lavelle Jockey: Adam Wedge Age: 10 Weight: 10st 12lbs
Lightly raced since his November 2019 Ladbrokes Trophy Newbury success off this mark, shaping as if retaining much of his ability after 16 months off there 8 weeks ago. Should strip fitter and if he stays (pulled up in gruelling renewal of Midlands National in 2020) he could go well.
Trainer: Ben Pauling Jockey: James Bowen Age: 10 Weight: 10st 11lbs
Won the 25f handicap chase on this card in 2019 and was second in Cheltenham Festival handicap the following season. Lightly raced since, but shaped well after 15 months off at Newbury recently and long distances should suit him. Interesting in re-fitted headgear.
Trainer: Paul Nolan Jockey: B. J. Cooper Age: 9 Weight: 10st 11lbs
Second in the NH Chase at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival so stamina proven and easy to forgive his weak finish in this last year given it was on his first run for 5 months. 1 lb lower with cheekpieces on this time and shaped pleasingly back over fences at Fairyhouse 8 weeks ago. One to consider.
Top Ville Ben
Trainer: Philip Kirby Jockey: Thomas Dowson Age: 10 Weight: 10st 11lbs
Suffered a heavy fall on his first go over these fences in December but none the worse for that and has been in fine fettle over hurdles. Capable of high-class chasing form at his best and this is his first go over a marathon trip. Could outrun big odds.
Trainer: Ciaran Murphy Jockey: Conor Orr Age: 8 Weight: 10st 11lbs
Dual chase winner last season and been holding his own in some big handicaps since, third in 2021 Irish National and hot Leopardstown contest (same race Minella Times placed in in 2020). Bought recently by J.P.McManus and shapes like a stayer. Tongue tie back on. Could be tailor-made for this.
Trainer: A. J. Martin Jockey: L. P. Dempsey Age: 12 Weight: 10st 11lbs
On a long losing run but has become a fixture in this, fourth in 2018, fifth in 2019 and pulled up last year (listless performance). Ticking over nicely ahead of a fourth bid but surely his chance has been and gone and is only playing for minor honours.
Trainer: Sandy Thomson Jockey: Ryan Mania Age: 10 Weight: 10st 11lbs
Didn’t seem to take to these fences in last season’s Grand Sefton but he’s been a revelation for new yard since, going down narrowly to Mighty Thunder in the Scottish National a year ago and running well at Newcastle in November. Not without a chance after Kelso spin and jockey won this in 2013.
Trainer: Dermot Anthony McLoughlin Jockey: R. A. Doyle Age: 10 Weight: 10st 10lbs
All stamina, running out a stunning 150/1 winner of last year’s Irish National in first-time cheekpieces from Run Wild Fred and Enjoy d’Allen. Hasn’t completed the last twice though, and while he could take well to this test, he’s surely got little in hand of the handicapper.
Trainer: W. P. Mullins Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Age: 10 Weight: 10st 10lbs
Inconsistent sort who was last of the 15 to get round 12 months ago, never the slightest threat all the while. Doesn’t arrive in the same sort of form this year and would be a surprising winner even for this yard.
Trainer: Emmet Mullins Jockey: Mr Sam Waley-Cohen Age: 7 Weight: 10st 10lbs
Galway maiden chase winner in October and bought by the Waley-Cohen family after his second to Ahoy Senor at Wetherby in February. Not disgraced in Cheltenham Festival handicap under this rider and cheekpieces go on now. 1 of two 7-y-os (not won the National since 1940). Work to do.
Trainer: Lucinda Russell Jockey: Derek Fox Age: 9 Weight: 10st 10lbs
Enjoyed a fantastic first season over fences in 2020-21, winning the Scottish National (from Dingo Dollar). Hasn’t fired his time round and has had a wind op since his capitulation at Musselburgh 9 weeks ago. Needs a big revival for trainer/jockey who took this in 2017 with One For Arthur.
Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Jockey: Tom Scudamore Age: 10 Weight: 10st 10lbs
Classy stayer who seemed to take to the challenge well before dropping away tamely when favourite for this 12 months ago and returns on a similar mark after a low-key campaign. Again finished weakly having shown a bit more at Doncaster 5 weeks ago and tongue tie goes on.
Trainer: Charlie Longsdon Jockey: Aidan Coleman Age: 10 Weight: 10st 9lbs
Genuine and reliable grey mare who has had a fantastic season, proving some sight over the National fences as she landed the Becher in December before an impressive listed win at Exeter. Bound to be popular off a tempting weight although a mare (1 of 3 in the race) hasn’t won since 1951.
Trainer: W. P. Mullins Jockey: D. E. Mullins Age: 9 Weight: 10st 9lbs
She hasn’t really fired for this yard, including when disappointing when fancied for last season’s Irish National, and while her latest Down Royal second (behind Roi Mage) was a bit of a step back in the right direction it’s difficult to see her winning this.
Trainer: Venetia Williams Jockey: Charlie Deutsch Age: 10 Weight: 10st 5lbs
Grey much improved back from a wind op/10 months off when running his rivals ragged in Cheltenham Grade 3 handicap in December, travelling and jumping well and coming clear with plenty in hand. Yard has had a fantastic season and won this with a 100/1-stunner in 2009.
Trainer: Philip Hobbs Jockey: Tom O’Brien Age: 9 Weight: 10st 8lbs
Good record at Sandown, running well again there on latest start 9 weeks ago having not been seen to best effect in the Welsh National. Could surprise a few if he’s still there on the second circuit. One of 2 in the late Trevor Hemmings colours carried to victory in this 3 times from 2005 to 2015.
Trainer: Dan Skelton Jockey: Harry Skelton Age: 13 Weight: 10st 8lbs
Bidding to become the oldest winner since 1923 and retains stacks of ability and enthusiasm judged on his 2 Haydock wins in December. Jumps well so no surprise he has a good record over these fences (fourth in 2017 when also winning the Becher, and a distant sixth last year). Tongue tie added.
Trainer: Henry de Bromhead Jockey: Robbie Power Age: 10 Weight: 10st 8lbs
Won a Kerry National in autumn 2019 but no show this term having been off a long time, never a factor on first go over this sort of trip in last month’s Cross Country at Cheltenham. Very hard to fancy.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: Jordan Colin Gainford Age: 11 Weight: 10st 7lbs
Dual Grade 1 winner as a novice chaser and back to his best this season, winning Punchestown handicap in February before a good run behind younger rivals in handicap at the Cheltenham Festival. Will stay long distances and just the type to take to this test. Another big player for Gordon Elliott.
Domaine De L’isle
Trainer: Sean Curran Jockey: Harry Bannister Age: 9 Weight: 10st 7lbs
Dual winner in handicap chases last spring but well held all 4 starts this term, including coming home in his own time behind Snow Leopardess in the Becher, and not going with much zest in the Eider last time. Can’t be fancied.
Trainer: Emma Lavelle Jockey: Tom Bellamy Age: 8 Weight: 10st 6lbs
Much improved over marathon trips the last twice, winning the Classic Chase at Warwick (beat a subsequent Cheltenham Festival runner-up) before chasing home Scottish National winner Win My Wings in the Eider at Newcastle. Lots to like on that form and a big player having crept in off a low weight.
Trainer: Henry Daly Jockey: Hugh Nugent Age: 8 Weight: 10st 6lbs
Better than ever this term, relishing the emphasis on stamina as he went clear from Fiddlerontheroof in the mud at Ascot 7 weeks ago. Same mark here (rider unable to use his 5 lb claim), and he should be suited by this test. Could ruffle a few feathers.
Grand National Tips
- Horse Racing Tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s top picks for Grand National Saturday at Aintree
- Horse Racing Tips: Matt Chapman’s top Saturday picks for Aintree
- Horse Racing Tips: Ruby Walsh’s Grand National Festival Saturday Cheat Sheet
- Horse Racing Tips: Paddy Power’s Cheat Sheet for Day 3 of Aintree’s Grand National Festival
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