4th April 2016, 2:07pm
Runner by runner guide to the big race
Crabbie’s Grand National Chase (Grade 3) (4m2f74y)
5.15 Aintree: Saturday 9th April.
The most famous race in the world takes place this Saturday at Aintree. 40 runners will line up for The Grand National, 30 fences over four and a quarter miles lies in front of them. For one horse and jockey it be their biggest moment in racing and here we look at the 2016 runners.
1st Many Clouds Click Here To Bet @ 8/1
2nd Holywell Click Here To Bet @ 16/1
3rd The Last Samuri Click Here To Bet @12/1
4th Just A Par Click Here To Bet @ 50/1
|The Last Samuri|
|The Last Samuri||20||20||20||20|
|The Young Master|
|The Young Master||20||25||25||33|
|Cause Of Causes|
|Cause Of Causes||33||40||40||40|
|The Druids Nephew|
|The Druids Nephew||50||50||50||50|
|Vieux Lion Rouge|
|Vieux Lion Rouge||50||66|
|Venitien De Mai|
|Venitien De Mai||66|
|Henri Parry Morgan|
|Henri Parry Morgan||66|
|Vyta Du Roc|
|Vyta Du Roc||66|
|O Faolains Boy|
|O Faolains Boy||66|
Guide to the main contenders
Many Clouds (8/1 Bet365)
Last years winner trained by Oliver Sherwood and has done nothing wrong in the lead up to this years race. Has to carry just one pound more than twelve months ago but this is arguably a stronger renewal. Great chance of back-to-back victories, not been done since Red Rum.
The Last Samuri (12/1 Skybet)
Trainer Kim Bailey won the National with Mr Frisk and has his best chance since then with this 8yo. Won his last two starts and would be carrying much more weight if the handicapper could reassess the ratings. Not the biggest horse but jumps well in the main.
Silviniaco Conti (12/1 William Hill)
Trained by Paul Nicholls who is chasing another trainer’s title, this 10yo bypassed the Cheltenham Festival to come here a fresh horse. Has won here at Aintree three times before and won his last race at Ascot by 20 lengths. Class horse but with slight stamina worries.
Holywell (16/1 Betfred)
Richie McLernon gets on really well with this 9yo and together they have won at the Cheltenham Festival twice and also been placed twice. Came back to form last time after a quiet spell and trainer Jonjo O’Neill is a master at winning big handicaps and won this in 2010.
The Druids Nephew (16/1 Bet365)
Considered a bit unlucky last year when going well in the lead and coming down with 5 to jump. Who knows what would have happened but is now 9lbs worse off so maybe he missed his big chance. Beaten 10 lengths by The Last Samuri last time and hard to see him getting revenge.
Saint Are (16/1 Paddy Power)
Last year’s runner-up and comes here on the back of a victory in a veteran’s chase at Doncaster. Often saves his best for Aintree but would need a personal best to win this off 146. Looks sure to get round and could nick a place if things go his way.
Shutthefrontdoor (20/1 BetVictor)
The main hope of the J.P.McManus runners and a second runner for Jonjo O’Neill. He was the favourite last year but could only finish 5th after failing to get home. Had a light preparation with just this race in mind but needs to bounce back after a no show last time out.
Goonyella (22/1 888sport)
Possibly the leading Irish challenger this year and he will relish this stamina test. He won the Midlands National at Uttoxeter last year and followed up with a second in the Scottish version. Hasn’t really taken to these fences on two attempts so that has to be a concern.
Kruzhlinin (25/1 Bet365)
A 9yo trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by the champion jockey elect Richard Johnson. He’s been trained with the race in mind ever since he left the McCain yard last year. He was 10th in 2014 but looks an improved horse these days. A solid jumper and one for the shortlist.
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Bishops Road (33/1 Stan James)
Trainer Kerry Lee is having the time of her life in her first season since taking over the reigns from her father and this would be a fairy tale victory. The horse has done nothing but improve since being bought from Ireland and comes here in cracking form and well in at the weights.
Gallant Oscar (33/1 Bet365)
Irish raider who has a good record in big handicaps. Won at the Punchestown Festival last year which saw his rating go up 13lbs. He was 5th last month in the Leinster National at Naas which would have put him spot on for this. Another runner owned by JP McManus and respected.
Boston Bob (33/1 William Hill)
Probably the best of the Willie Mullins horses and the mount of Ruby Walsh. Won a Grade 2 contest at Fairyhouse last time out, which ended a poor run of form. Won the Melling Chase in 2014 the last time he was at Aintree but this a much stiffer task off a mark of 151.
Morning Assembly (33/1 Skybet)
Consistent 9yo who was third in the 2014 RSA Chase and 4th in the Ultima Handicap at the Festival this season. He’s only had eight starts over fences so one of the more inexperienced runners but has the assistance of Davy Russell who knows his way around here.
Ucello Conti (33/1 Betfred)
Interesting runner for trainer Gordon Elliott who won this race in back in 2007. The Ex-French import has had three runs for his new connections and has been placed in both the Paddy Power Chase and the Thyestes Chase. A definite dark horse and could be anything in time.
Unioniste (33/1 Betway)
Another Paul Nicholls runner and owned by John Hales of Neptune Collonges fame. Ran over these fences three times but has yet to show he enjoys the experience. Was second to Many Clouds last time out at Kelso so comes here in good nick and is 8lbs lower than last year.
Triolo D’Alene (33/1 William Hill)
Nicky Henderson trains this one and it’s amazing that the former champion trainer has yet to win the National. This 9yo won the Topham Chase in 2013 but pulled up in Pineau De Re’s National. Needs good ground to show his best but has been in decent form this season.
Sir Des Champs (40/1 Bet365)
A Gigginstown Stud representative trained by Willie Mullins. Dropping down the weights after missing nearly two years with an injury and yet to really show he’s anywhere near to former self.
O’Faolains Boy (40/1 Skybet)
Former RSA Chase winner but been a bit in and out this season. Finished 7th in the Gold Cup behind Don Cossack beaten miles and although this is easier I cant see him bouncing back unless the rain softens things up a bit.
First Lieutenant (40/1 Betway)
Finished the course last year but got well behind after some early mistakes. Has not won now since April 2013 yet still finds himself on a mark of 159 here. Classy performer when on song and place hopes at best.
Just A Par (50/1 Bet365)
This 9yo pulled up on his only attempt over the National fences when contesting the Becher Chase in 2014. He has ran some fine races since then including last time out at Exeter and needs good ground to show his best. Not a forlorn hope from the Nicholls camp.
Just A Par
La Reve (40/1 Bet365)
Finished 3rd in last years Bet365 Gold Cup over 3m5f at Sandown and ran his best race this season at the same track in February. Not as good elsewhere and on his highest mark ever now so probably needs a personal best to land this.
Alvarado (40/1 Ladbrokes)
This 11yo has a cracking record around Aintree and is solely trained for this event these days. Has finished 4th the last two years coming from miles back on both occasions. Had a recent warm up at Newbury and will no doubt complete the course once again.
The Romford Pele (50/1 Stan James)
The second runner from the Rebecca Curtis camp and this one has been hurdling recently. Fell the last time he went chasing so not a great prep and has been rather disappointing all season.
Black Thunder (50/1 Skybet)
This horse has been bought by Robert Waley-Cohen just in time to carry his colours and his son Sam will ride. The horse can make the odd blunder, which is not ideal here, and to be honest his current form is not good enough.
On His Own (50/1 Ladbrokes)
Same owner/trainer as Boston Bob and the mount of the trainers son Patrick Mullins. A 12yo now so not getting any better and was outclassed in the Gold Cup last month. Finished 6th in the Becher Chase a few years back on his only run over these fences and others prefered.
Rule The World (50/1 Boylesports)
The Mouse Morris trained 9yo has yet to win over fences so you would think this is a step too far. On a losing run of 14 races stretching back to January 2014 and has been second on seven occasions in that time.
Onenightinvienna (50/1 Betway)
The youngest horse in the race at the age of seven. Only had four starts over fences so this is asking an awful lot. Was 5th last time out at Ascot in a Grade 2 novice chase and Tom O’Brien takes the ride.
Soll (50/1 Ladbrokes)
Finished 7th in 2013 and 9th last year so knows how to negotiate the fences alright. Was also 4th in the Becher Chase here in December but is on a stiff mark nowdays. 11lbs higher than last season and a top ten spot will be the aim again.
Buywise (50/1 Stan James)
Decent chaser on his day but can be frustrating and often finishes with a flourish. Stamina here though has to be a concern as his best form is over 2m4f. Stable and jockey have a great record in the race so know what it takes.
Gilgamboa (66/1 Bet365)
Decent type who ran well in a big Irish handicap recently. Been contesting Graded races for owner J.P.McManus and probbaly has just too much weight for a race such as this.
Highland Lodge (50/1 Bet365)
Only ran the once for the present connections and it was here in the Becher Chase last December. Been put away since as he goes well fresh and taking a chance on whether his mark of 143 is high enough. Lively outsider and should jump round ok. NR
Hadrians Approach (66/1 Stan James)
The second Nicky Henderson runner and the mount of Nico de Boinville. Won the Bet365 Gold Cup in 2014 but things haven’t gone right since with injuries. Made a comeback at Kempton recently and needs to show a lot more to get involved here.
Wonderful Charm (66/1 888Sport)
The mount of Sam Twiston-Davies for Paul Nicholls and a very classy horse on his day. Best when fresh so has not ran since December and needs good ground. Second last time out at Cheltenham over 3m2f and finished very tired that day so stamina is a worry.
Double Ross (66/1 Bet365)
The only runner for former National winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. The yard have been in terrific form lately unlike this 10yo who has failed to spark since his 4th at Cheltenham. Finished 5th in the Grand Sefton over these fences but was very deliberate.
Rocky Creek (66/1Skybet)
Another runner from the Paul Nicholls camp and not had the best of seasons. Was well fancied for this last year and was an 8/1 shot but finished only 17th. Was 5th in the year Pineau De Re won it so knows his way around here. A nice spare ride for veteran jockey Andrew Thornton.
Ballynagour (66/1 Bet365)
Big price for a classy horse trained by David Pipe. Well out of form this year but did show a little more last time out at the Festival in the Brown Advisory Plate where he finished 7th. Tom Scudamore rides and wouldn't completly rule out.
Pendra (66/1 Skybet)
Quite useful in his own grade and won a decent prize at Ascot in October. Struggled with his revised mark next time and may do so again here. 10th in the Irish National last year and likely to do something similar.
Vieux Lion Rouge (66/1 Bet365)
Only a 7yo and has been running well this season. A good second at Ascot was followed by a creditable 6th in the 4m Chase at the Festival. Should stay the trip at least and the third runner for the David Pipe stable.
Katenko (80/1 Stan James)
Once useful chaser who is on the decline and hasn't really produced his best for sometime. Well handicapped on his old form so if he did bounce back he would be interesting.
Vics Canvas (80/1 Betway)
13yo veteran and the oldie of the party. Ran ok here in December when 5th to Highland Lodge and was a good second in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last year. Poor form last twice and faces a big task here.
Ballycasey (80/1 Bet365)
Big price for a horse once tipped to be a Gold Cup contender. A 9yo Grey horse trained by Willie Mullins so will have his supporters. Ran 5th at the Cheltenham Festival and was brought down here last year.
Home Farm (100/1 Betfred)
Was a 100/1 shot in the Gold Cup last year and was pulled up and has been running over hurdles so far this season. Never won beyond 2m6f so will find this all to much.
Aachen (100/1 Paddy Power)
The second runner for Venetia Williams who won this with a 100/1 shot Mon Mome. This will be just as much of a shock if this 12yo could win here. Likes to make the runnning so will get his moment of glory.
Author: Graham Sarson