Aintree Grand National 2019 – Runner By Runner Guide

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The 2019 running of the Grand National is nearly upon us and we al know how difficult it is to pick the winner. There will be people up and down the country and even world sticking a pin in the morning paper or drawing a horse in the office pool.

To be honest this could be the easiest way to pick the winner but for those looking for an in-depth preview, we have written a runner by runner guide which should hopefully help in picking that elusive Grand National winner

The National is the only race at Aintree on Saturday so we have also reviewed the other races which can be read below.

Anibale Fly
Trainer: Tony Martin
Jockey: Barry Geraghty
National Form:
4
Chance (1-5):
4

Tony Martin has had this race as his target for this JP Mc Manus own gelding since the start of the season all roads have been leading to Aintree with this imposing type and the rate of improvements was evident with a runner up finish in racings blue ribbon event the gold cup Cheltenham from last month if Barry Geraghty had gotten a better jump at the second last fence he may even have troubled the winner Al Boum Photo if taking to the unique Aintree performances then a victory could be on the cards.

Valtor
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Jockey: Daryl Jacob
National Form: Debut
Chance (1-5): 1

This French-import is only having his third start on British soil. He was very impressive when winning on British debut at Ascot in December. He was bitterly disappointing in the Cotswold Chase where he jumped right throughout which I think is enough to look elsewhere.

Tiger Roll
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey:
Davy Russell
National Form:
1
Chance (1-5):
5

Last seasons winner seems to have gone from strength to strength since his Aintree exploits. He’s been a runaway winner of his only two starts this season which included a third Cheltenham festival victory in the cross-country race, which he used as a stepping stone to win last year. Better horses have failed to land back to back victories but that being said this diminutive warrior seems to always silence the critics.

Outlander
Trainer: Richard Spencer
Jockey:
Keith Donoghue
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
3

Outlander was purchased by members of the Rebel Racing Group at the Goffs UK Aintree Sale which took place last night. Set to be partnered by Keith Donoghue the sale is an interesting move. The 11-year-old has had two heavy defeats on his last two outings and one would question both his stamina and current form before backing him in the Grand National. This is the son of Stowaway’s first time running at the Aintree track.

Don Poli
Trainer: Philip Kirby
Jockey:
Patrick Mullins
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
3

Gordon Elliott did train Don Poli until last night where he was purchased by David Yeats, who’s intended National runner Blaklion was ruled out last week. Don Poli will still go to post under the guidance of Patrick Mullins. The ten-year-old was beaten by just a length and a half by Sizing John in the 2017 Irish Gold Cup before suffering a tendon injury. The ex-Gigginstown House representative last outing witnessed him finish third in a three miles and two furlongs chase at Down Royal last month.

In the past, Elliott has described the 2017 Irish Gold Cup winner as:

“He isn’t the most impressive to look at and isn’t the biggest horse we have, but he has a big heart.”

It will be a massive ask but he may just be one to watch if ground conditions are in his favour.

Go Conquer
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Jockey:
Sam Twiston-Davies
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
2

Easily won a valuable handicap chase at Doncaster in January which is his best form. Sam Twiston Davies has chosen to ride him ahead of his father Nigel’s other runner. Yet to tackle further than 3m 2f but based on his last run it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Has experienced the National fences once before where he was the last of the finishers in the Topham in 2017.

Mala Beach

Mala Beach
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey:
Jamie Codd
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
2

Mala Beach represents owner Chris Jones and is set to run under the guidance of Jamie Codd. The ten-year-old, twice a winner at Grade 2 level over hurdles as a young horse, has become notoriously tricky to keep sound in recent seasons but remains a high-quality performer on his favoured heavy ground. The Troytown Chase winner will need all his stamina if he is to feature here and on overall form, I think he may struggle.

Minella Rocco
Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill
Jockey:
Richard Johnson
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
3

Jonjo’s inmate has been disappointing in three runs this season including when never travelling and pulling up early on at Cheltenham. Minella Rocco prior to this run had an exemplary Cheltenham record with victory in the National Hunt Chase and a runner-up finish in the Gold Cup to his name.

I don’t think anybody would argue that the National has been his season-long target and should he recapture that Gold Cup form, then he could prove well handicapped.

Lake View Lad
Trainer: Nick Alexander
Jockey:
Henry Brooke
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
3

Nick Alexander’s charge has always been a decent yardstick but has taken his form to a new level this season with a brace of graded victories and a fine run in the Ultima at Cheltenham. He jumped well that day and was staying on again at the finish which gives hope for him getting this trip but I’d worry that those excursions may leave him slightly flat and others hold stronger claims.

Pleasant Company

Pleasant Company
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey:
Paul Townend
National Form:
92
Chance (1-5):
3

Another Willie Mullins inmate and last seasons runner up who came agonisingly close to giving David Mullins a first victory in the race. He got outpaced just before the elbow before rallying late on to become up just a head short behind Tiger Roll. This was Pleasant Company’s second crack at the race and I just fear that he may have missed his opportunity. His current form would have been to be a negative given how comprehensively beaten he was in the Thyestes when last seen.

Ballyoptic
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Jockey:
Tom Bellamy
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
2

Very good on his day which has seen him win a Towton Novices’ Chase and the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle. Not so good this year with just one completion – 6th in the Welsh National which shouldn’t be strong enough form. Should stay and was 2nd in the Scottish National last year.

Dounikos
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey: Jack Kennedy
National Form:
Chance (1-5):
1

The Jack Kennedy mount has mixed record to his career history. The eight-year-old was the worthy winner of the three-mile and four furlongs BoyleSports Grand National Trial which took place at Punchestown last month. Dounikos and Davy Russell landed the long distance event by four and a quarter lengths for Elliott and owners Gigginstown House Stud. An interesting contender in my opinion.

Rathvinden (No. 11)

Rathvinden
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey:
Ruby Walsh
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
4

Rathvinden looks to give Willie Mullins another victory in this race he was a fine winner of the four-miler at last seasons Cheltenham festival under Patrick Mullins he rounded off the year with a four place finish in the Grade 1 champion novice race at the Punchestown festival.

On seasonal debut, Rathvinden was a very impressive winner of the Grade Three BobbyJo Chase at Fairyhouse. He was staying on strongly at the finish there’s no doubt that this race would have been a season-long target and after proving his staying prowess at Cheltenham last year.

One For Arthur
Trainer: Lucinda Russell
Jockey:
Derek Fox
National Form:
1
Chance (1-5):
3

Lucinda Russell inmate won the race in 2017 but unfortunately, he was unable to defend his crown having been ruled out by injury. He’s had a far from ideal prep coming into this race having unseating on both starts but if he can iron out these jumping frailties then he must have a chance of reclaiming his crown.

Rock The Kasbah
Trainer: Philip Hobbs
Jockey:
Richard Johnson
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
3

Philip Hobbs will be looking to provide Richard Johnson with a well overdue success as he currently holds the unenviable record of the most rides in the race without a victory. We haven’t seen Rock The Kasbah since the middle of December and he has to contend with a career-high mark but when on song he’s a decent horse. I think there is better handicapped in the race and “Dickie” will have to wait another year.

Warriors Tale

Warriors Tale
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey:
Harry Cobden
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
3

Warriors Tale represents the National loving owner Trevor Hemmings who’s previously won the race with Ballabriggs, Hedgehunter and Many Clouds. He won the Sefton back in December and although his two runs since have been disappointing a return to this track will suit.

Regal Encore
Trainer: Anthony Honeyball
Jockey:
Mark Walsh
National Form:
8
Chance (1-5):
2

8th in the race 2 years a go and a non runner last year, he has been campaigned specifically for the race with a spin over hurdles at the start of the year and a fair effort at Ascot soon after the weights were released. He’ll be a lot better for that and has place chances on his best form which includes being beaten by ¾ length by last years second Pleasant Company.

Magic of Light
Trainer:
Jessica Harrington
Jockey:
Paddy Kennedy
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
2

Jessica Harrington has her first runner in this great race with Magic Of Light. The Potts owned mare has had quite a busy campaign but I think she’ll struggle to feature here.

A Toi Phil
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey:
Denis O’Regan
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
2

Another Gigginstown House representative that is A Toi Phil who is set to be ridden by Denis O’Regan. The nine-year-old has recently taken to the 3-mile distance and it seems like a better fit. On his last outing, he ran a solid race when running in the handicap hurdle at Cheltenham Festival last month where he finished fifth. The question will remain however will he stay for the National? It certainly is a big ask.

Jury Duty
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey:
Robbie Power
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
4

Gordon Elliot’s inmate has a somewhat unusual profile coming into this having won the American grand national back in October. He made a somewhat surprising winning seasonal debut at Down Royal last month when comfortably beating stablemate Mala Beach. Gordon may have thought that winning this race was somewhat easy when Silver Birch gave the fledging trainer a victory with his first runner in the race, as we all know its far from a cake walk. Jury Duty will be the first horse to land the American/Aintree double but he’s on an upward curve and must have a chance.

Noble Endeavor
Trainer:
Gordon Elliott
Jockey:
Sean Bowen
National Form:
Chance (1-5):
2

Noble Endeavor is owned by property developer and Leopardstown committee member Chris Jones. On the ten-year old’s penultimate outing he ran in a handicap at Aintree last December and although promised, he only managed to finish ninth. Previous to this run, the son of Flemensfirth had 600 days off the track. A big ask, and I think he may struggle.

Monbeg Notorious
Trainer:
Gordon Elliott
Jockey:
Sean Bowen
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
1

Last season’s Thyestes winner has been bitterly disappointing this seas and I just can’t see him getting involved even with the assistance of Sean Bowen.

Ramses De Teillee
Trainer: David Pipe
Jockey:
David Noonan
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
2

2nd in the Grand National Trial at Haydock and was also 2nd in the Welsh National so comes into this race with at the top of his game. Experience is a negative as he is still only 7 so the National test could come too soon for him as no 7 year old has won since 1940.

Tea For Two

Tea For Two
Trainer:
Jane Williams
Jockey:
Lizzie Kelly
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
1

This former Grade 1 winner looks a shadow of himself and came to grief in the cross country race behind Tiger Roll at Cheltenham. I find it hard to see him bouncing back but he should give regular partner Lizzie Kelly a good ride.

Just A Par
Trainer:
James Moffatt
Jockey:
National Form:
15 & 14
Chance (1-5):
1

Just A Par has got a good record over the National fences including when finishing in the big race itself in 2016 & 2017. He had his first start for new connections in the Becher in December. He looks sure to jump around but isn’t good enough to win.

Step Back
Trainer: Mark Bradstock
Jockey:
Nico De Boinville
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
2

Mark Bradstock trains the nine-year-old Step back who was an impressive winner of the Gold Cup at Sandown last season but has only run twice this campaign. He has reportedly schooled well over the National fences and has had excuses on both starts this term.

The trainer recently said:

“ I think Step Back is the right type to jump the fences and keep going – he’s got incredibel stamina”.

He’ll need all that stamna if he is to feature here and all overall I think he may struggle.

Ultragold
Trainer:
Colin Tizzard
Jockey:
Tom O’Brien
National Form:
Debut (Dual Topham Winner)
Chance (1-5):
2

Ultragold has got a fantastic record over the National fences highlighted by him taking the last two renewals of the Topham. Colin’s horses haven’t been in great form this season and he ran poorly in the cross country race at Cheltenham when last seen. His course form alone must give him a chance.

Bow By Blow

Blow By Blow
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey:
Andrew Ring
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
1

This eight-year-old is set to be partnered by Andrew Ring. Coming off the back of a three mile chase at Naas where he pulled up two out from the finish would not fill any punter with optimism. His recent form would not be one to go on, and I wonder will the famous Grand National be too much of an ask for the son of Robin Des Champs.

Up For Review
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey:
Danny Mullins
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5): 2

Was well fancied for the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival though ended up fading very badly. Ran well in the Thyestes Chase in January and handles all ground though just the 2 wins over fences and this is a huge step up in class.

Singlefarmpayment
Trainer: Tom George
Jockey:
Paddy Brennan
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
2

Has run many good runs in defeat especially at Cheltenham but has just 1 win from 14 over fences and none since 2016 so would be a big surprise to see that trend broken here. 3 mile 2 has seemed to stretch his stamina so the extra mile shouldn’t be in his favour.

Vieux Lion Rouge

Vieux Lion Rouge
Trainer: David Pipe
Jockey:
Tom Scudamore
National Form:
769
Chance (1-5):
3

He’ll be making his 7th appearance over the National fences including a Beecher Chaswe win but has fared no better than 7th in his 3 National runs where he has tended to fade badly. Pulled up in the Welsh National and Haydock National trial so is hard to fancy in his current form.

Valseur Lido
Trainer: Henry De Bromhead
Jockey:
Rachel Blackmore
National Form:
8
Chance (1-5):
2

A distant 8th in the race last year but has now slid down the handicap and comes here on a mark which gives him a fighting chance. Doesn’t win often with the last of them coming in the Down Royal Champion Chase in 2016. Doesn’t hold that level of ability nowadays and it would be a surprise to see him feature.

Vintage Clouds

Vintage Clouds
Trainer: Sue Smith
Jockey:
Danny Cook
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
2

Vintage Clouds represents owner Trevor Hemmings and finished just in front of the fellow Hemmings owned Lake View Lad in the Ultima at the Cheltenham festival. That was his first run since pulling up in the Welsh National but he seemed to benefit for a recent wind surgery based on that Cheltenham run. Sue Smith’s inmate has been placed in a Scottish National and although he hasn’t run over the National fences he is 1-1 at Aintree. Obviously, you need a lot of luck in the National but in general, he jumps and stays well, which must give him a chance.

General Principle
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey:
J J Slevin
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
3

2018 witnessed Elliott achieve a world-record assault on his nation’s richest jumps race paid off when General Principle pulled off a last-gasp victory in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, giving the trainer a much-desired first triumph in the showpiece.

The ten-year-old’s recent form suggests he is not on top form as on his last outing he was pulled up when partaking in the handicap chase due to a blunder at fence 15. I wouldn’t however judge him solely on his last performance, and although a long shot, he may be a horse worth noting in terms of an each way bet.

Livelovelaugh
Trainer:
Willie Mullins
Jockey:
David Mullins
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
2

Livelovelaugh is one of the bigger outsiders in the race but with the soft going at Aintree he could come into the reckoning. This will be his first crack at the National fences and might just sneak into the places.

Walk In The Mill
Trainer: Richard Walford
Jockey:
James Best
National Form:
Debut (Won The Becher)
Chance (1-5):
3

An impressive winner of the Becher Chase in December and has been lightly campaigned since then with 2 spins over hurdles. You can ignore the result of those 2 runs as he is a different animal over fences and is one to enter the calculations based on his Aintree win.

Folsom Blue
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey:
Luke Dempsey
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
1

Another inmate of Elliott, Folsom Blue will be attempting to bring great joy to owners of the Core Partnership. Previously when asked about the son of Old Vic Elliott described him as: He stays forever and goes on that ground. However, it has been over a year now since he has returned to the winners’ enclosure and with rain forecast, he may struggle with ground conditions.

Captain Redbeard

Captain Redbeard
Trainer: WS Colthred
Jockey:
Sam Colthred
National Form:
U
Chance (1-5):
2

Sneaking into the race at the bottom of the handicap Captain Redbeard goes for his 2nd attempt at the Grand National where he was a faller on the first circuit last year. That was the only fall on his record so shouldn’t put you off. Beat the highly rated Definetly Red in a match race at Kelso and a close up 3rd to Vintage Clouds in November is solid form.

Bless The Wings
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey:
Robbie Dunne
National Form:
3
Chance (1-5):
3

Connections will be hopeful that Bless The Wings has not surpassed his best in terms of age. Now 14 years old, there is no doubt the question will arise, is he too old? However, the son of Winged Love finished third in this contest just last year. Set to be ridden by Robbie Dunne can the Gordon Elliott inmate prove age is just a number?

Joe Farrell
Trainer:
Rebecca Curtis
Jockey:
Adam Wedge
National Form:
Debut
Chance (1-5):
4

It had looked very unlikely earlier in the week that Joe Farrell would get a run but he just snuck in off bottom-weight. Joe Farrell was a good winner of the Scottish and if he can jump around then the ground/trip should prove no issue. He’s been the subject of a mini-gamble and holds strong claims here.

Aintree Grand National 2019 – Runner By Runner Guide
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