On Saturday, hundreds of millions of people, from all over the world, will be tuning in for the 2018 Aintree Grand National. Have you picked out a horse yet? Here are the horses you can choose from…
11st 10lb, Age: 9 (Foaled April 3rd, 2009), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Kayf Tara – Franciscaine (FR) (Legend of France (USA)), Trainer: N A Twiston-Davies, Owner: S Such & Cg Paletta
Fancied by many to go very close and knows the fences very well, finishing runner-up at Aintree on his last outing. The National has been Nigel Twiston-Davies’ target with Blaklion, for quite some time and he’ll be sent-off among the favourites.
Anibale Fly (FR)
11st 8lb, Age: 8 (Foaled May 28th, 2010), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Assessor (IRE) – Nouba Fly (Chamberlin (FR)), Trainer: A J Martin, Owner: Mr John P McManus
One of the few who genuinely seemed to relish the boggy conditions, in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Winner of the Paddy Power Chase, although a heavy faller in the Irish Gold Cup at the same racecourse.
The Last Samuri (IRE)
11st 8lb, Age: 10 (Foaled April 18th, 2008), Sex: Chestnut Gelding, Breeding: Flemensfirth (USA) – Howaboutthis (IRE) (Oscar (IRE)), Trainer: K C Bailey, Owner: Paul & Clare Rooney
The sun may be starting to set, on this wily old campaigner, but he’ll be expected to at least make it home. Runner-up in 2016, but only 3 finished behind him in the 2017 renewal. Kim Bailey’s inmate would be a popular winner, but his best days are almost certainly behind him.
Valseur Lido (FR)
11st 7lb, Age: 9 (Foaled April 8th, 2009), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Anzillero (GER) – Libido Rock (FR) (Video Rock (FR)), Trainer: H de Bromhead, Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
This one has faded from the public’s attention, in the last couple of years, but he’s been plagued with injuries and could cause a surprise if he arrives at Aintree in good shape. Hasn’t won since late-2016 though, when he beat the sadly-departed Silviniaco Conti in the Down Royal Champion Chase.
Total Recall (IRE)
11st 5lb, Age: 9 (Foaled March 15th, 2009), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Westerner – Augest Weekend (Dr Massini (IRE)), Trainer: W P Mullins, Owner: Slaneyville Syndicate
Romped home in the Munster National and one that Willie Mullins rates very highly. The trainer has only won this race once though, with Hedgehunter in 2005. Total Recall looked to be gaining ground, when falling 3 out in the Gold Cup. Went into that encounter unbeaten in 3 starts.
Alpha Des Obeaux (FR)
11st 4lb, Age: 8 (Foaled March 2nd, 2010), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Saddler Maker (IRE) – Omega Des Obeaux (Saint Preuil (FR)), Trainer: M F Morris, Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Trainer won in 2016, with Rule The World. Alpha Des Obeaux did not race at Cheltenham and though 4th in the 2016 RSA Chase, that renewal featured just 6 finishers. Last of 4 in the Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase, at Aintree in December, but a genuine stayer and in with a shout.
Perfect Candidate (IRE)
11st 3lb, Age: 11 (Foaled May 12th, 2007), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Winged Love (IRE) – Dansana (IRE) (Insan (USA)), Trainer: F O’Brien, Owner: Isl Recruitment
Was travelling pretty well, in the National last year, before a mistake at the 26th fence knocked him out of stride (was eventually pulled-up 4 from home). He’s not given connections a great deal to feel positive about since then and it’s not easy to make a case for his chances of getting into the shake-up.
Shantou Flyer (IRE)
11st 2lb, Age: 8 (Foaled March 22nd, 2010), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Shantou (USA) – Carrigmorna Flyer (Bob Back (USA)), Trainer: Richard Hobson, Owner: Mr Carl Hinchy
He’s frustrated his supporters, of late, finishing runner-up in his last 4 outings. Lost out in the Ultima to Coo Star Sivola and by just a neck. Last win came on New Year’s Day 2017, when he beat Village Vic in a Grade 3 handicap chase at Cheltenham. Should appeal to each-way bettors.
Tenor Nivernais (FR)
11st 1lb, Age: (Foaled April 7th, 2007), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Shaanmer (IRE) – Hosanna Ii (FR) (Marasali), Trainer: Miss V Williams, Owner: Boultbee Brooks Ltd
There’s little that appeals about Venetia Williams’ charge, based on his performance last year and he’s raced just twice since then. After pulling-up at Doncaster, Tenor Nivernais finished last of 6 in the Swinley Chase and 23 lengths adrift of 5th place. You probably won’t be paying much attention to this horse, unless you’ve got lumbered with him in the office sweepstake.
Carlingford Lough (IRE)
11st 1lb, Age: 12 (Foaled May 30th, 2006), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: King’s Theatre (IRE) – Baden (IRE) (Furry Glen), Trainer: J E Kiely, Owner: Mr John P McManus
One that plenty of National Hunt fans have a soft spot for and winner of the 2016 Punchestown Gold Cup. Very much a veteran now though and no wins have come since then. Failed to make it home in 2 of his last 3 encounters and surely a horse that will be backed with hearts rather than heads.
Tiger Roll (IRE)
10st 13lb, Age: 8 (Foaled March 14th, 2010), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Authorized (IRE) – Swiss Roll (IRE) (Entrepreneur), Trainer: G Elliott, Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Despite him having no experience of racing at Aintree, he’s certainly one to take a look at – particularly given the current form of Gordon Elliott’s yard. Tiger Roll was a convincing winner of the Glenfarclas Chase at Cheltenham and also landed the National Hunt Challenge Cup, in 2017. At his best when racing in England and should be a contender.
Regal Encore (IRE)
10st 13lb, Age: 10 (Foaled May 12th, 2008), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: King’s Theatre (IRE) – Go On Eileen (IRE) (Bob Back (USA)), Trainer: A J Honeyball, Owner: Mr John P McManus
An 8th place finish in 2017 was probably better than most expected and few predicted he would finish in the money at Newbury, in the Ladbrokes Trophy. Regal Encore was pulled-up in the Silver Cup Handicap Chase, but won the Swinley Chase last time out and he’s been generally underrated since 2016 – a year when nothing went right for this King’s Theatre-sired gelding. Could cause a surprise.
Vieux Lion Rouge (FR)
10st 13lb, Age: 9 (Foaled March 2nd, 2009), Sex: Chestnut Gelding, Breeding: Sabiango (GER) – Indecise (FR) (Cyborg (FR)), Trainer: D Pipe, Owner: Prof Caroline Tisdall & Mr John Gent
It’s about time that David Pipe’s fortunes took a turn for the better and his main hope in the National might find a few friends in the market. However, the last win came in the Grand National Trial Handicap Chase at Haydock where he beat the more harshly treated Blaklion by over 3 lengths – but that was over a year ago and recent results haven’t been especially encouraging.
Chase The Spud
10st 12lb, Age: 10 (Foaled February 7th, 2008), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Alflora (IRE) – Trial Trip (Le Moss), Trainer: F O’Brien, Owner: Mrs C Banks
Fergal O’Brien’s inmate finished the previous campaign with a flourish, winning the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter before following up in a valuable handicap at Haydock. This season has been one to forget so far, however. Chase The Spud didn’t make his reappearance until January and has been pulled-up in both outings. Getting placed would be a major achievement, given what we have seen so far this term.
10st 12lb, Age: 9 (Foaled March 19th, 2009), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Midnight Legend – Samandara (FR) (Kris), Trainer: P F Nicholls, Owner: Mr Trevor Hemmings
The 9-year-old has competed only once at Aintree and unseated Sean Bowen, when making headway in a strong handicap encounter (November). Lost out to Gold Present, by just a neck, in the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase and was then also runner-up in a Listed handicap chase at Doncaster in January. He finished almost a length ahead of L’Ami Serge (7lb worse off), in that race, which also included Flying Angel and Wakanda. Last 2 runs may encourage each-way bettors.
10st 12lb, Age: 10 (Foaled March 22nd, 2008), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Midnight Legend – Morsky Baloo (Morpeth), Trainer: A M Thomson, Owner: Mrs D Thompson
Sandy Thompson’s stoic campaigner loves a battle and punters have started nibbling, in the past few days. Has only had a single outing in the last 12 months though (the Doom Bar Handicap Chase, at Newbury) and finished 20 lengths behind the winner. Watch for further market moves.
Gas Line Boy (IRE)
10st 11lb, Age: 12 (Foaled May 12th, 2006), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Blueprint (IRE) – Jervia (Affirmed (USA)), Trainer: Ian Williams, Owner: The Three Graces
Did very well to win the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase, as was hampered badly at the 15th fence. Gas Line Boy stunk out the place at Sandown, last time out though, where his jumping was very poor. Nevertheless, he stayed-on fairly well and secured 3rd place so he could be a factor if Ian Williams has got him right.
The Dutchman (IRE)
10st 11lb, Age: 8 (Foaled March 12th, 2010), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: King’s Theatre (IRE) – Shivermetimber (IRE) (Arctic Lord), Trainer: C L Tizzard, Owner: Sprayclad Uk
Hasn’t raced at Aintree, since pulling-up in the 2016 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle. Won the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase, beating the likes of Yala Enki and Hainan. Returned to Haydock for the Grand National Trial Handicap Chase, in February, but was very disappointing and well-beaten when Danny Cook stood up on him. Outside chance, if at his best.
Pleasant Company (IRE)
10st 11lb, Age: 10 (Foaled April 15th, 2008), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Presenting – Katie Flame (Alderbrook), Trainer: W P Mullins, Owner: Mr Malcolm C Denmark
It’s been a poor season for this Presenting-sired gelding, who finished 9th in the National last year. Never a factor, when pulled-up at Leopardstown in the Thyestes Handicap Chase.
Ucello Conti (FR)
10st 10lb, Age: 10 (Foaled June 4th, 2008), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Martaline – Gazelle Lulu (FR) (Altayan (IRE)), Trainer: G Elliott, Owner: Mr Simon Munir/mr Isaac Souede
Hasn’t won a race since 2014 and made it home in only 1 of his last 3 contests. That was in the Paddy Power Chase and Gordon Elliott’s charge finished runner-up, so the 10-year-old cannot be ruled out and who would bet against Gordon Elliott at the moment?
Saint Are (FR)
10st 10lb, Age: 12 (Foaled April 5th, 2006), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Network (GER) – Fortanea (FR) (Video Rock (FR)), Trainer: T R George, Owner: Mr D W Fox
3rd last year and will be 2lb better-off, this time around. 12-year-olds have won this race, although the last was Amberleigh House back in 2004. Pulled-up in both 2018 outings, so not easy to back even at the price.
Raz De Maree (FR)
10st 9lb, Age: 13 (Foaled March 13th, 2005), Sex: Chestnut Gelding, Breeding: Shaanmer (IRE) – Diyala III (FR) (Quart de Vin (FR)), Trainer: G P Cromwell, Owner: James J Swan
Gavin Cromwell’s horse is now a 13-year-old, but that didn’t prevent him from winning the Welsh Grand National by 6 lengths in January. He would be the clear eldest winner since Sergeant Murphy in 1923 though, were he to repeat the feat at Aintree, so it’s probably wise to look elsewhere.
I Just Know (IRE)
10st 8lb, Age: 8 (Foaled April 16th, 2010), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Robin Des Pres (FR) – Desperado Queen (IRE) (Un Desperado (FR)), Trainer: Mrs S J Smith, Owner: M B Scholey & The Late R H Scholey
Winner of the North Yorkshire Grand National and ran well-enough, when 2nd at Uttoxeter, despite being sent off as the jolly. Sue Smith won the National with Auroras Encore in 2013 and this horse should run a good race.
10st 8lb, Age: 9 (Foaled May 24th, 2009), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Denham Red (FR) – (Cyborg (FR)), Trainer: D Skelton, Owner: C J Edwards, D Futter, A H Rushworth
Won the Neil Sutherland Memorial Handicap Chase here, last May, but looked out of sorts in a similar race at Doncaster in December. Hard to recommend.
Baie Des Iles (FR)
10st 8lb, Age: 7 (Foaled March 24th, 2011), Sex: Grey Mare, Breeding: Barastraight – Malownia (Smadoun (FR)), Trainer: Ross O’Sullivan, Owner: Mrs Z Wentworth
Winner of the Grand National Trial Handicap Chase, at Punchestown in February of 2017. Not shown a great deal of form, since then, although was 3rd in the same Punchestown trial this year. Likes heavy ground. Has been getting market-support, in the last few days.
10st 8lb, Age: 13 (Foaled March 29th, 2005), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Trempolino (USA) – La Musardiere (FR) (Cadoudal (FR)), Trainer: P Griffin, Owner: D G Pryde/james Beaumont
Caused quite a shock when winning a Listed handicap chase here, a couple of years ago, but he’s not shown any consistency since then and doesn’t look capable of having an impact in this gruelling encounter as a 13-year-old.
10st 8lb, Age: 10 (Foaled April 16th, 2008), Sex: Chestnut Gelding, Breeding: Old Vic – Mariah Rollins (IRE) (Over The River (FR)), Trainer: C E Longsdon, Owner: Mr John P McManus
Pendra finished a close runner-up to Domesday Book, in the 2017 Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase, but was a real disappointment in this season’s renewal. Did at least make it home, in the 2016 National, but was well off the pace.
10st 8lb, Age: 11 (Foaled May 19th, 2007), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Tikkanen (USA) – Greenogue Princess (IRE) (Rainbows For Life (CAN)), Trainer: Evan Williams, Owner: Mr T Hywel Jones
Victor in the Veterans’ Handicap Chase, at Sandown in January. Missed Aintree last year. A reliable jumper, with an outside chance.
Childrens List (IRE)
10st 8lb, Age: 8 (Foaled June 7th, 2010), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Presenting – Snipe Hunt (IRE) (Stalker), Trainer: W P Mullins, Owner: Mrs S Ricci
Has raced just twice, since scoring at Punchestown in December of 2016. Was pulled-up by Danny Mullins at the same track, last time out. There’s not a lot to like about this one.
Houblon Des Obeaux (FR)
10st 7lb, Age: 11 (Foaled March 5th, 2007), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Panoramic – Harkosa (FR) (Nikos), Trainer: Miss V Williams, Owner: Exors Of The Late Mrs J Blackwell
Charlie Deutsch held him up at the rear of the field, last year, but was unable to get a response from him at the business end of the race. Won the Veterans’ Handicap Chase, at Sandown in November. Has had 5 runs since then and hasn’t pulled up too many trees. Does look well-handicapped, however.
Lord Windermere (IRE)
10st 7lb, Age: 12 (Foaled March 11th, 2006), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Oscar (IRE) – Satellite Dancer (IRE) (Satco (FR)), Trainer: J H Culloty, Owner: Dr R Lambe
8th last year but time is no longer on his side. The 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup Champion has failed to win since then and he was pulled-up in the Becher Handicap Chase here, in December.
Captain Redbeard (IRE)
10st 7lb, Age: 9 (Foaled April 30th, 2009), Sex: Chestnut Gelding, Breeding: Bach (IRE) – Diesel Dancer (IRE) (Toulon), Trainer: W Coltherd, Owner: Mr S Coltherd
In cracking form and easily won the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase, at Haydock. Gave a decent account of himself, in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase, before picking up another victory at Ayr under Sam Coltherd. Genuine place chance, at least.
Bless The Wings (IRE)
10st 6lb, Age: 13 (Foaled March 24th, 2005), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Winged Love (IRE) – Silva Venture (IRE) (Mandalus), Trainer: G Elliott, Owner: Adrian Butler/P O’Connor
Finished just once in his 5 most-recent outings, but that was in December’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham where he beat the likes of Cantlow, Josies Orders and Kingswell Theatre. You would expect the Aintree fences to find him out, at his age though.
10st 6lb, Age: 11 (Foaled March 21st, 2007), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Milan – Ardenbar (Ardross), Trainer: N B King, Owner: Mr Robert Bothway
Neil King has given the ride to the brilliant Bryony Frost. Could she become the first female jockey to win the Grand National, on Saturday? The horse has been running well and won the Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick, crushing Cogry by 11 lengths. 2nd in the Midlands Grand National, but has never raced at Aintree before.
Double Ross (IRE)
10st 6lb, Age: 12 (Foaled April 1st, 2006), Sex: Chestnut Gelding, Breeding: Double Eclipse (IRE) – Kinross (IRE) (Nearly A Hand (IRE)), Trainer: N A Twiston-Davies, Owner: Options O Syndicate
Was unfortunate in 2016 when going well, before Ryan Hatch lost his irons and was unable to recover (pulled-up). Finished 4th in the Kim Muir, at Cheltenham this year, but was well-beaten and few give Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge much of a chance here.
Final Nudge (IRE)
10st 6lb, Age: 9 (Foaled May 4th, 2009), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Kayf Tara – Another Shot (IRE) (MasterWillie), Trainer: David Dennis, Owner: Corbett Stud & Andrew George
Finally makes a return to Aintree, since pulling-up in the 2015 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle. Never on terms in the Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase at Cheltenham, but put in a good performance when 3rd in the Welsh National. Outside chance.
Thunder And Roses (IRE)
10st 5lb, Age: 10 (Foaled March 31st, 2008), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Presenting – Glen Empress (IRE) (Lancastrian), Trainer: M F Morris, Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Landed the Irish Grand National Chase back in 2015, but has not troubled the winners enclosure since then and fell in his last 2 races. Others are preferred.
10st 5lb, Age: 8 (Foaled April 9th, 2010), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Mahler – Olivia Rose (IRE) (Mujadil (USA)), Trainer: Mrs S J Smith, Owner: McGoldrick Racing 3
One of the younger runners and making his debut at Aintree. Won a modest handicap chase at Catterick, in November, but hasn’t shown a great deal since then in terms of form.
Road To Riches (IRE)
10st 5lb, Age: 11 (Foaled June 12th, 2007), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Gamut (IRE) – Bellora (IRE) (Over The River (FR)), Trainer: N Meade, Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
It’s the first time we will see him competing in England, since he finished 3rd in the 2016 Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham. An undoubted talent, but connections must be disappointed with how his career has panned-out and the 11-year-old has not won since 2015. Looked a shadow of his former self, when pulling-up in the Grand National Trial Handicap Chase at Punchestown.
Vintage Clouds (IRE)
10st 4lb, Age: 8 (Foaled April 25th, 2010), Sex: Grey Gelding, Breeding: Cloudings (IRE) – Rare Vintage (IRE) (Germany (USA)), Trainer: Mrs S J Smith, Owner: Mr Trevor Hemmings
The grey won a modest contest here, last October, but many will draw a line through the form of that race as so many fences were omitted. However, Vintage Clouds finished 3rd in the Ultima Handicap Chase and just 6 lengths behind Coo Star Sivola (similarly weighted). One to consider.
Walk In The Mill (FR)
10st 4lb, Age: 8 (Foaled May 11th, 2010), Sex: Bay Gelding, Breeding: Walk In The Park (IRE) – (Lost World (IRE)), Trainer: R Walford, Owner: Baroness Harding
Comfortably saw-off the challenge of Brandon Hill, at Ascot in November and was far from disgraced when 3rd in the Silver Cup Handicap Chase at the same venue. Didn’t look like he fancied it much, in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase though an this will be his first outing since pulling-up in that encounter.
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