Wednesday 21 November 2018

Pinstickers' Guide and who our experts are backing in today's Aintree Grand National

The Grand National is off at 5.15
The Grand National is off at 5.15

The Grand National is off at 5.15 at Aintree. You can follow all the action on our live blog from 4.30 but before then, here is your in-depth guide to pick a winner.

Who our experts are backing

Patrick Mullins: Total Recall

Wayne Bailey: Raz De Maree

Michael Verney: Tiger Roll

Niall Cronin: Baie Des Iles

Katie Walsh: Baie Des Iles E/W

Robbie Power: Raz De Maree

Shark Hanlon: Alpha Des Obeaux

Ian Gaughran: Ucello Conti

Jack Streep: Anibale Fly

Keith Hamer: Anibale Fly

2017-10-22_spo_35603015_I2.png
Lisa O'Neill, clearing the last on Tiger Roll for a memorable win at Cheltenham. Photo: Sportsfile

Pinstickers' Guide

(Big race rating out of 10)

1. THUNDER AND ROSES 66/1  (Mouse Morris) 3

Fell on his last two starts, which does not inspire confidence.

2.  BLAKLION  12/1 (Nigel Twiston-Davies)  7

Been in fine form since finishing fourth last year, but beaten a long way at Haydock last time out. Should still make his presence felt.

3. ANIBALE FLY 11/1 (Tony Martin) 7

Career-best performance to take third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last time, and looks a worthy ally for one of the shrewdest trainers in the game.

4. THE LAST SAMURI 20/1 (Kim Bailey)   5

Runner-up in 2016, but not getting any younger and might find a few too sharp, despite showing up well at Cheltenham in the Cross Country .

5. VALSEUR LIDO 100/1 (Henry de Bromhead) 4

Grade One winner in his pomp but things have not quite gone his way this year and others preferred.

6. TOTAL RECALL 12/1] (Willie Mullins) 9

Fell in the Gold Cup but had previously been on fire over fences and hurdles. A big run looks guaranteed if he can stay on his feet.

7. ALPHA DES OBEAUX 33/1 (Mouse Morris)   3

Trainer knows what it takes to win this race, but recent performances do not inspire confidence and best to look elsewhere.

8. PERFECT CANDIDATE 80/1 (Fergal O’Brien)                               3

In-and-out performer and pulled up last year. Hard to make a case for.

9.  SHANTOU FLYER 28/1  (Richard Hobson) 4

Served connections well with a string of second-place finishes, but this is a different ball game.

10. TENOR NIVERNAIS 100/1 (Venetia Williams)     2

Trainer won this with a 100-1 shot, but it would almost be a miracle for lightning to strike twice.

11. CARLINGFORD LOUGH 40/1 (John Kiely)   4

Prolific Grade One winner in his halcyon days but he has regressed in recent times and is now 12 years old.

12. DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR 100/1 (Sue Smith)  4

Four miles appeared to stretch him earlier in the year so far from certain to stay.

13.  TIGER ROLL 14/1 (Gordon Elliott)  10

Stunning winner at the Cheltenham Festival for a third time and looks a very well-handicapped horse. Proven levels of stamina and no issues with the ground. Massive chance.

14. REGAL ENCORE 22/1 (Anthony Honeyball)   6

Won a nice contest at Ascot last time and finished eighth in the race last year. Might go well at big odds.

15. VIEUX LION ROUGE 25/1 (David Pipe) 6

Largely struggled this season, but he knows the Aintree terrain pretty well and no surprise if his wily trainer had him spot-on for the big day.

16.  CHASE THE SPUD 33/1 (Fergal O’Brien) 4

Won nicely at Haydock in November, but pulled up on his last two starts and needs to find something extra special to get involved.

17. WARRIORS TALE 40/1  (Paul Nicholls)     6

Enters new territory over this sort of trip, but he is a decent jumper and is with the right connections to fight for a bit of each-way money.

18. SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT 14/1 (Sandy Thomson) 7

Not an ideal preparation, but he has plenty of admirers and is definitely capable of having a big say following a reassuring comeback at Newbury.

19. GAS LINE BOY 25/1 (Ian Williams)  6

Not getting any younger, but he is a sound operator over these fences. Solid each-way claims.

20. THE DUTCHMAN 25/1 (Colin Tizzard)  7

Pulled up in a National trial in February, but suffered broken blood vessels. Interesting horse if back to the form that saw him win the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock.

21. PLEASANT COMPANY 28/1 (Willie Mullins)      5

Sparingly campaigned since finishing ninth last year, but needs to take a huge step up on his two runs this season.

22. UCELLO CONTI 16/1 (Gordon Elliott)      6

Disappointing when pulled up in the Thyestes last time, but his previous second to Anibale Fly makes him one for the shortlist and he has once again been campaigned for this race.

23. SAINT ARE 66/1 (Tom George) 5

Thrives on the National challenge, having placed twice, but yet to show any sparkle in two starts this term.

24. WALK IN THE MILL 100/1 (Robert Walford)    2

Pulled up last time, hard to see him bouncing back here.

25. RAZ DE MAREE 22/1 (Gavin Cromwell) 6

Winner of the Welsh National and saved for this race. Testing conditions would aid his chances.

26.  I JUST KNOW 22/1 (Sue Smith) 5

Could give his supporters a run for their money judged on Catterick run in January, but this is a much tougher test.

27. VIRGILIO 80/1 (Dan Skelton)  2

Classy in his younger days, not shown much this year.

28. BAIE DES ILES 14/1 (Ross O’Sullivan)  8

Looks likely to be suited by the distance after running a fine trial at Punchestown and will want for nothing in the saddle with the impressive Katie Walsh booked.

29. MAGGIO 100/1 (Patrick Griffin)  4

The trip may prove beyond him, although he has safely negotiated the National fences once.

30. PENDRA 100/1 (Charlie Longsdon) 5

Finished 13th behind Rule The World in 2016 and has finished twice, but ground would be a worry.

31. BUYWISE 66/1 (Evan Williams) 6

Scored his first win in three years at Sandown back in January and while talented on his day, he does need things to fall right.

32. CHILDRENS LIST 66/1 (Willie Mullins) 4

Beat Grade One winner Edwulf in 2016 but has not shown that form in two subsequent outings.

33. LORD WINDERMERE 66/1 (Jim Culloty)  6 

A former Gold Cup winner, he was an eye-catching seventh in the National last year after a troubled run off a 3lb higher mark, but only one run since.

34. CAPTAIN REDBEARD 20/1 (Stuart Coltherd)  5

Distance is a question mark and found The Dutchman far too good on his penultimate start.

35. HOUBLON DES OBEAUX 28/1 (Venetia Williams)  4

Tenth last year, but hard to win with nowadays.

36. BLESS THE WINGS 66/1 (Gordon Elliott)   5

Pulled up last time, although capable on his day.

37. MILANSBAR 25/1 (Neil King)    6

Will stay all day and should give Bryony Frost a nice National introduction, but might lack the necessary class.

38. FINAL NUDGE 28/1 (David Dennis) 5

His third in the Welsh National gives him a squeak, although this is a sterner test.

39. DOUBLE ROSS 80/1 (Nigel Twiston-Davies) 5

Has dropped down the ratings a fair bit, but has jumped round Aintree before and ran well at Cheltenham last time.

40. ROAD TO RICHES 40/1 (Noel Meade) 4

A Grade One winner in his day but nowhere near that form now. Few positives but  unique fences might bring him alive.

Online Editors

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