Sport Horse Racing

Friday 30 September 2016

A complete breakdown of all 39 runners in tomorrow’s Aintree Grand National

Published 10/04/2015 | 13:27

A view of the course ahead of the Crabbies Grand National at Aintree Racecourse
A view of the course ahead of the Crabbies Grand National at Aintree Racecourse

Your guide to all the 39 runners in this year's Crabbies Grand National at Aintree.

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LORD WINDERMERE - J Culloty

Put up a lamentable effort in defence of his Gold Cup crown, never looking interested at any stage. The trainer blamed the jockey but it still takes a leap of faith to think this test will suit. 4 (out of 10).

 

MANY CLOUDS - O Sherwood

A slightly disappointing sixth in the Gold Cup but has always looked the type to benefit from a true test of stamina. Faces a tough ask of this weight, though. 6

 

UNIONISTE - P Nicholls

The stats say seven-year-olds do not win this race but he has been trained specifically with this in mind. A safe jumper with plenty of experience in the bank, but could probably do with soft ground. 7

 

ROCKY CREEK - P Nicholls

Looked a well-handicapped horse when winning at Kempton in February. That came after the weights came out for this and the handicapper would now have him 9lb higher. Appeared not to see out the trip 12 months ago but his trainer has found improvement in countless horses this season. 9

 

FIRST LIEUTENANT - M Morris

Appears to be a light of former years but may come back to life over these fences and he has won on the Mildmay track here. Would not be without a chance, but takes a big leap of faith to fancy him. 5

 

BALTHAZAR KING - P Hobbs

Runner-up last year, his trainer decided to skip the Cheltenham Festival this year to keep him fresh. Though the stats are against him as an 11-year-old, he will have plenty of followers. 8

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SHUTHEFRONTDOOR - J O'Neil

Sentiment aside, his chance is there for all to see. Winner of the Irish National last year, he won his only race this season at Carlisle and appears to have the class and stamina required to go very close. 8

 

PINEAU DE RE - Dr R Newland

Last year's winner is bound to have his supporters and there has been a little more promise in his last two runs. It boils down to whether as a 12-year-old he is up to defying an 8lb higher mark. Should at least give you a run for your money. 7

 

BALLYCASEY - W Mullins

This will surely be Mullins' greatest feat if he can get a doubtful stayer over three miles to last home over nearly four and a half. Since winning in November he has lost his way badly. 3

 

SPRING HEELED - J Culloty

Jim Culloty has trained this one with the National in mind since his win at the Cheltenham Festival last season. The real worry is the form of the yard. Other than that, he has a solid chance. 7

 

REBEL REBELLION - P Nicholls

A revelation this season and is well treated after winning a valuable pot at Newbury. Has to be a stamina doubt, though, as his wins have come over trips around two and a half miles. 5

 

DOLATULO - W Greatrex

One of the more lively outsiders after staying on strongly over the fences in the Grand Sefton in November. He then won the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby and has been over hurdles since to protect his mark. 8

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MON PARRAIN - P Nicholls

Yet another from this powerful yard not to be dismissed lightly. Proved his stamina at Cheltenham in January and could give them all a bold sight if he takes to the fences again. 7

 

CARLITO BRIGANTE - K McLintock (Non runner)

 

NIGHT IN MILAN - K Reveley

Bounces off good ground, jumps immaculately and appears to stay all day. Ticks all the boxes required for a recent National winner but connections have stated he does not like being crowded so getting some space on the first circuit will be of paramount importance. 8

 

RUBI LIGHT - R Hennessy

A top-class horse in his day and nursed back to life this season. However, there has to be a major stamina doubt. 5

 

THE DRUIDS NEPHEW - N Mulholland

Cleverly campaigned by his canny trainer, bolting up in what is traditionally one of the most competitive races of the week at Cheltenham. His stride certainly was not shortening that day but there has been the odd question mark over his jumping in the past. Huge chance. 10

 

CAUSE OF CAUSES - G Elliott

Whether he is the ideal type to take to these fences is something of an unknown as he has not looked straightforward on occasions. Stamina nonetheless looks assured. 7

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GODSMEJUDGE - A King

Showed a bit of sparkle at Kempton but was lifeless over hurdles at Bangor and no explanation could be found. Has a chance, but comes with risks attached. 6

 

AL CO - P Bowen

Recent runs over hurdles have sparked plenty of encouragement, but did not look a natural when running over these fences in the Becher, admittedly on soft ground, which he dislikes. 7

 

MONBEG DUDE - M Scudamore

Running consistently well this season after finishing seventh last year. Turned in a lacklustre effort at Cheltenham last time, though, and looks in the grip of the handicapper. 5

 

CORRIN WOOD - D McCain

Lifeless at Haydock in January, but returned home with an injury. Possibly has to make all of the running, which will be hard to do in this, but he jumps well and might take to the place. 6

 

THE RAINBOW HUNTER - K Bailey

Going well 12 months ago until unseating at the ninth. Only seen once since and ran no sort of race at Kempton in February. Difficult to know what to expect. 4

 

SAINT ARE - T George

Stayed on powerfully in the Becher in November, when the fences proved no object, and his recent win ensured his place in the field. May outrun his odds. 7

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ACROSS THE BAY - D McCain

A regular over the fences these days, having had no shortage of bad luck. Will probably get round but appears to have lost his way. 4

 

TRANQUIL SEA - W Greatrex

Seems to be enjoying life again but would be a surprise winner as a teenager with stamina doubts. 3

 

OSCAR TIME - R Waley-Cohen

Showed in November when winning the Becher that age is not necessarily a barrier if a horse likes it round here. Was also second in 2011 and fourth two years later. A safe bet to get round. 7

 

BOB FORD - R Curtis

Won the West Wales National at Ffos Las, but the handicapper took a dim view. Failed to get competitive in the Midlands National and is probably weighted out of the equation. 3

 

SUPER DUTY - I Williams

Always looked a likely type for this as a young horse but impossible to fancy given his recent outings. 5

 

WYCK HILL - D Bridgwater

Missed the cut last year and his best chance may have gone. An early faller in the Eider this year so might be slightly undercooked. 5

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GAS LINE BOY - P Hobbs

All about stamina and was in a rich vein of form earlier this season. The handicapper halted his progress but wasn't totally disgraced last time out. Kept fresh since then, and every single rain drop will help. 6

 

CHANCE DU ROY - P Hobbs

Hard to find a safer conveyance over the fences than this Aintree veteran. Having finished sixth in this last year, when he appeared not to get home, a similar good run looks assured without him winning. 7

 

PORTRAIT KING - M Phelan.

No worries on stamina grounds, but disappointing upon his return to Newcastle earlier this season. Back on good terms with himself over hurdles in March, but probably still has it all to do. 5

 

OWEGA STAR - P Fahey

Looked a viable contender for this earlier in the season when second in two valuable staying chases. Beaten a long way in his National prep race and that leaves him with plenty to find. 4

 

RIVER CHOICE - R Chotard

His French form, which never usually translates well over here, does not inspire confidence. 2

 

COURT BY SURPRISE - E Lavelle

Saved for the National since he was awarded a valuable prize at Wincanton in the stewards' room in November, but stamina is his worry. 6

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ALVARADO - F O'Brien

His price contracted in recent weeks but lost his position at a crucial stage last season before staying on for fourth when it was too late. Hard to see why he should perform much better this time. 7

 

SOLL - D Pipe

Won well since the weights were released, making him well handicapped. Seventh in the National two years ago, but may struggle to improve upon that this time. 5

 

ELY BROWN - C Longsdon

Enjoyed a great time of it last season, but has only been seen once this term, when pulled up over hurdles in January. Not the ideal preparation. 3

 

ROYALE KNIGHT - Dr R Newland

No worries on the stamina front but there is a concern he could get too far behind on the first circuit. Nothing will be finishing as strong, however, and not the worst each-way bet. 7

 

VERDICT

With sentiment forcing the odds of Tony McCoy's mount Shutthefrontdoor down, form picks Rocky Creek and The Druids Nephew are better value than they might have been. As Rocky Creek failed to see out the trip last year, preference is for THE DRUIDS NEPHEW. He looked way ahead of the handicapper and firmly on the upgrade when winning at the Cheltenham Festival. Night In Milan can give him most to do. He should take to Aintree, but may just be high enough in the weights. Of those at bigger prices, Al Co can also get involved if he jumps better than in the Becher in December.

 

1) The Druids Nephew

2) Night In Milan

3) Al Co

4) Rocky Creek

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