Grand National: Runner By Runner Guide

April 5, 2019 News
Anibale Fly
Owned by Mr Shrewd, trained by Mr Shrewd and potentially tipped up by a few shrewd judges as well. This horse ran a lovely trial for the National when second to Al Boum Photo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and has the profile to go well for JP McManus and Tony Martin despite the obvious burden of top weight.
 
Valtour
Very good run first up in this country when winning at Ascot. Very poor run next time when beaten at Cheltenham. Had been entered in the Grand National Trial at Haydock, so this race must have been in the mix, but has to be more Jerkyll than Hyde this time around.
 
Tiger Roll
He’s got the eye of the tiger, he loves the thrill of the fight and, if basically the whole racing world is to be believed, he will become the first horse to win the Grand National again since Red Rum a very long time ago. He was certainly very impressive last time, and is certainly a rather short price for the great race.
 
Outlander
Was a really classy horse in the past but never really kicked on after winning the JNwine Champion Chase at Down Royal in 2017. Will be racing in new colours after being bought for £165,000 on Thursday evening by Rebel Racing and Richard Spencer.
 
Don Poli
Perhaps the only horse in training that would prefer the Grand National to be double the distance it is. Don Slowly, sorry, Don Poli will be racing in new colours for this year’s race having been purchased for £170,000 on Thursday evening by Darren Yates, who won £550,000 on Frankie Dettori’s Magnificent Seven, and Phil Kirby.
 
Go Conquer
Missed the Cheltenham Festival to come for this contest and trained by a man who has won this race twice with Earth Summit and Bindaree. Indeed, such is Nigel Twiston-Davies’s fondness for the race, he told the BBC’s Des Lynam: “I don’t do interviews” after his win in 1998.
 
Mala Beach
A big price for this race considering Gordon Elliott has entrusted ‘The Coddfather’ to ride. Jockey Jamie Codd has won a number of big races for the trainer, although the final mile on this fella might feel a long way home.
 
Minella Rocco
How many chances can we give him? The talent is there but he has been ever so fragile and just when you think he’s ready to roll, he isn’t. Definitely good enough – but can you trust him…
 
Lake View Lad
No one loves the Grand National more than owner Trevor Hemmings and he’s experienced success in it three times (lucky boy). This horse is 3lb ‘well-in’ after a good run at Cheltenham last time.
 
Pleasant Company
He came agonisingly close in this race last year, failing by a head to peg back Tiger Roll, and appears to have been pondering what might have been in his two runs since as he’s not really been engaged. Softer ground will help him.
 
Ballyoptic
Seems to be at his best when the word ‘National’ is in the race title having just failed to win the Coral Scottish Grand National, as well as finishing a good sixth in the Coral Welsh Grand National. Not without a shout.
 
Dounikos
Bolted up in a Grand National trial at Punchestown in February and will be ridden by one of the best jockeys in the race in Jack Kennedy. Just make sure, if you are cheering him, you get the right cap; there are rather a lot of Gigginstown House Stud runners, in case you didn’t know that.
 
Rathvinden
Owned by ‘Mr Potato’ Ronnie Bartlett, Rathvinden has only raced twice since winning the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last year (the race in which his jockey Patrick Mullins got a six-day ban and ride of the year at the McCoy awards). A lot to like about his chance.
 
One For Arthur
Winner of this race in 2017 but has failed to complete nearly as many times as Theresa May’s Brexit deal since. Previous form gives him a chance as long as he gets his act together back over the National fences.
 
Rock The Kasbah
If at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again. In the case of champion jockey Richard Johnson, that try again sequence extends to 20 when it comes to attempts to win the Grand National. It took his predecessor Sir Anthony McCoy 15 attempts to score, so Johnson is rather overdue.
 
Warriors Tale
Didn’t do very well in this race last year but did do very well when winning the Grand Sefton Chase over the Grand National fences in December. If they stop the race after one circuit he may well have a very good chance.
 
Regal Encore
Seems to have been around forever and seems to save his best for Aintree. The better the ground the better his chance. It wouldn’t be a very big chance though.
 
Magic Of Light
It was going so well when Magic Of Light hacked up in a Grade 2 hurdle at Ascot in January. However, since then things have gone off the rails a little to the extent she lines up as an outsider here rather than a leading fancy. Could have a say if the ground comes up soft.
 
A Toi Phil
If you’re starting to get dizzy and confused about the which Gordon Elliott or Gigginstown horse we’re talking about now, you’re not the only one! Normally thereabouts but rarely wins, so expecting him to buck that trend in the Grand National is rather wishful thinking.
 
Jury Duty
What! Another Gordon Elliott horse, surely there can’t be that many more? That said, it would be wrong to skip past Jury Duty who is coming into the race off the back of two wins and will be ridden by Grand National-winning rider Robbie Power.
 
Noble Endeavour
Ah yes, another one from the Elliott battalion. Very sparingly raced over the last couple of years and doesn’t look the most obvious contender from the yard.
 
Monbeg Notorious
Claimed second behind The Storyteller in that crazy race at Punchestown last year when Paul Townend lost the plot on Al Boum Photo. He has gone missing since, so perhaps his only hope of success is another bonkers race over the National fences?
 
Ramses De Teilles
Connections will be excited by their chances following good seconds in the Coral Welsh Grand National and the Grand National Trial at Haydock. Both times horses trained by Coral ambassador Colin Tizzard finished in front of him, and with Ultragold in the field on Saturday, that can only be the best they can hope for this time, probably.
 
Tea For Two
This horse has been more afternoon tea than the Tiger Who Came For Tea in recent seasons but he was running encouragingly in the cross-country chase at Cheltenham when he unseated. The problems he has are a) the National fences are much harder and b) Cross Country Chase winner Tiger Roll is in opposition.
 
Step Back
With dear old fragile Coneygree exiting the racing stage earlier this year, it has been left to Step Back to lead the way for the charmingly eccentric Bradstocks. This horse hacked up in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last year but has been out of form since. He is also up quite a lot in the weights.
 
Ultragold
A master of the National fences and would have a right good race with Warriors Tale if this contest was over one circuit of the Grand National course. But it isn’t. Obviously.
 
Blow By Blow
Form resembles the hokey cokey (because it’s in and it’s out) and would have to step up on what he’s done this year. Was a classy enough horse over hurdles last season though.
 
Up For Review
Owners Andrea and Graham Wylie had a rotten time of things at the Cheltenham Festival so you would not begrudge them success in this race by any means. Normally he is there or thereabouts, but wasn’t last time when he weakened in the closing stages. Not ideal.
 
Singlefarmpayment
It’s almost reached the stage where you’re starting to feel sorry for this horse given the names people call him (unless you’re one of those people who have backed him when he has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory). Aintree could suit but, really, who knows with this chap – it’s what goes on between his ears that matters.
 
Vieux Lion Rouge
Has run decent races in this contest before but has rather decided he is not that interested in the game any more. Mind you, he was second in the Becher Chase this season (his only real bit of form) so perhaps he’ll consent to take part, which would be a nice change.
 
Valseur Lido
Hmmm, not much of an obvious chance here. His best chance of success may be to be mistaken for another Gigginstown House Stud runner in the finish. Little chance otherwise.
 
Vintage Clouds
Has had his breathing tinkered with and all of a sudden looks the horse many have felt he always could be. Ran a cracker at the Cheltenham Festival and has a lovely low weight, plus trainer Sue Smith has won the race in the past. Biggest downside is he is grey, and only three grey horses have won the race (The Lamb, Nicolaus Silver and Neptune Collonges).
 
General Principle
If you consider yourself to be a bit of a shrewdy then you’re probably thinking about backing this horse. Winner of the Irish Grand National last year and has run a couple of encouraging races recently (hampered latest). A big price considering he likes marathon trips.
 
Livelovelaugh
Sparingly raced this season and technically 4lb ‘wrong’ in the weights having been dropped since the weights for the Grand National came out. Would be a surprise winner.
 
Walk In The Mill
It’s been a sweaty couple of weeks for connections as they wondered whether they would make it into the final field. That part complete, surely the true worrying can begin! This horse was a good winner of the Becher Chase and this has been a very long term target.
 
Folsom Blue
Hooray! We have finally reached the end of Gordon Elliott’s battalion (mad how many runners he has isn’t it?). Stays and stays and stays this horse and likely to be picking a few off late on. Not without a place chance at all.
 
Captain Redbeard
No falls in this horse’s career and only one unseat. Unfortunately that was in this race last year when he came into the race with an excellent profile. Consistent, but more exposed now. More likely to be bye bye captain rather than aye aye captain.
 
Joe Farrell
Been the subject of a right ol’ gamble in the past few days and squeaked into the race by the skin of his teeth. Winner of the Coral Scottish Grand National last year and trainer Rebecca Curtis feels he has everything you need for the Grand National at Aintree, so don’t say you weren’t warned.
 
Just A Par
Called off the substitutes bench after Mall Dini was declared a non-runner on Thursday afternoon. Is jolly slow so could be one for a glacial-paced match race with Don Poli.
 
Grand National selections
1. Rathvinden
2. Tiger Roll
3. Anibale Fly
4. General Principle
Check out the latest odds from Coral here!