In early April every year, over 600 million people sit down to watch the greatest steeplechasing event in the world, The Grand National.
40 horses and jockeys face a debilitating 4 miles and 30 fences between them and glory on the final day at Aintree.
Not sure who to back this year? Have a look at our comprehensive list of Grand National runners for 2019.
Aintree Grand National Runners 2019
- Anibale Fly
Regular Grade 1 runner and likely to be popular with punters after his Gold Cup second last time. Fourth in last year’s Grand National despite nearly being brought down at the first. Stays the trip and could go close for his shrewd connections.
Ex-French-trained stayer who shocked everyone when bolting up on his first run for Nicky Henderson at Ascot in December, for which he was raised 12lb in the handicap. This race has been the target for a long time.
- Tiger Roll
What a horse this little fellow is. Following victory in the Cross-Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season, he won the Grand National in a thrilling finish. Has had the same preparation this time around and looked better than ever. Will be a short price but is by far the likeliest winner.
Another good Grade 1 performer in his time but age seems to be catching up with him. Not the greatest jumper, so that has to be a concern, and isn’t certain to stay the trip. Easily beaten by Rathvinden in February and will struggle to turn the form around.
- Don Poli
No doubts over stamina. He has been called a few names in his time but was crying out for a race like this when with Willie Mullins in 2016. Suffered an injury and had plenty of time off, which seems to have had an effect on him, and he may struggle to go the pace.
- Go Conquer
Despite being a ten-year-old, Go Conquer remains pretty unexposed after 22 runs and could be open to improvement over this trip. Jumping is his best asset, and he is one of the more likely to complete, but he may lack the ability to win.
- Mala Beach
Has a lot to find to win a Grand National and rarely goes through a race without making a mistake, which is far from ideal here. Trip shouldn’t be a problem, though, and he is far from the worst horse in this field.
- Minella Rocco
Cheltenham specialist but you are never quite sure what you are going to get with him, even at his favourite track. Has the class to win a Grand National but his inconsistency is the concern. You wouldn’t want to be on many other horses if he is challenging at the last, however, and it’s not inconceivable he could go close.
- Lake View Lad
Unlike many in this race, Lake View Lad is still improving and rates an interesting challenger from the North. Trained by Nick Alexander, the nine-year-old carried top weight to finish third at Cheltenham when last seen, will relish the trip and jumps well. Owner Trevor Hemmings loves this race.
- Pleasant Company
Lightly raced veteran who has had this race as his main target for each of the last three seasons. A stout jumper who is likely to complete, Pleasant Company has finished ninth and second in the last two runnings and will run his race again for powerful connections.
Jumping is a problem but Ballyoptic certainly has the ability to feature if producing a run close to his best. Fell in the Becher Chase last year on his only start over the National fences but ran well to finish sixth in the Welsh Grand National since. Has to be a worry about him getting around.
Seems to run a screamer or a shocker, nothing in between. Finished fourth in the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase last February before being pulled up on three subsequent starts. Wasn’t at his best early this season but stayed on well to win last time and may be underestimated.
A major player. Number one hope for Willie Mullins after his seriously impressive reappearance victory in the Bobbyjo Chase. Stamina is assured – he won the four-miler at Cheltenham last year – and is a prolific winner. Jumping isn’t as fluent as others but he is very well handicapped.
- One For Arthur
Successful in this race when beating Cause Of Causes in 2017 but had an injury that forced him to miss all of last season and has unseated in two starts this campaign. Serious question marks about his chance after his preparation but loves the National fences.
- Rock The Kasbah
Suited by decent ground and will relish this stamina test. Won a handicap chase at Cheltenham in November before putting in a below-par run when last seen. Given a break since December but may lack the required class.
- Warriors Tale
Another horse to have this race as his main target this year, Warriors Tale was pulled up in the National last year when sent off at 33-1 and although he should jump more fluently than most, his stamina barely stretches four miles and can be dismissed on that basis.
- Regal Encore
Likely to be falling out the back of the TV in the early stages such is his racing style. Regal Encore is pretty sure to stay – finished eighth in this race in 2017 – but might be better suited by smaller fields. Had a nice prep run in February, however, and there are worse 66-1 shots.
- Magic Of Light
Improving mare over trips up to 3m this season but has had a hard campaign with six races between November and March, so although she is fit, you would have to think all those runs will have taken something out of her. Jumping is a concern.
- A Toi Phil
Formerly a good novice chaser, but wouldn’t beat most of this field in a normal 3m contest. Reverted to hurdles the last twice, finishing well to take fourth at Punchestown in February to qualify for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham, where he finished a highly creditable fifth. Not that well treated over fences but does jump well.
- Jury Duty
Slow-developing type who had a fantastic 2017-18 campaign and was sent off a warm order for the four-miler at the Cheltenham Festival, where he unseated two out when beaten. Stamina looks assured and arrives in cracking form after back-to-back wins. Player.
- Noble Endeavor
Has had plenty of breaks in between his races in recent seasons but has generally been campaigned in marathon contests and proved he handled the fences when finishing ninth in the Becher earlier this season. Not the easiest to win with.
- Monbeg Notorious
Unexposed eight-year-old but seems to have his own ideas about the game and is often subject to an early reminder in his races. Extreme distances are his forte and he would be a player on a going day, but you won’t know that until he jumps the first.
- Ramses De Teilee
Improved through the ranks with a number of good performances on heavy ground and a wind operation over the summer seems to have improved him further. A good second in the Welsh National on his penultimate outing and went close in a trial for this race when last seen. Real player for a resurgent yard.
- Tea For Two
Brilliant horse for Nick Williams and Lizzie Kelly over the years and achieved a peak rating of 164, so looks well handicapped if retaining his ability off 149. Has run in snatches at times this season, though, and although he travelled well in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham, it’s not wise to back a horse who unseated on his last run.
- Mall Dini
If you don’t know much about trainer Pat Kelly, he is a shrewd man. It would be typical of him to produce a horse like Mall Dini, who hasn’t really built on his Pertemps Final victory in 2016, to win the Grand National. On recent form, you would write him off, but that would be foolish given his connections.
- Step Back
Former point-to-pointer who didn’t run under rules until 2017, but flew up the ratings after a couple of impressive staying victories at Fakenham and Sandown in April last year. Will appreciate the likely decent ground at Aintree but isn’t particularly well handicapped.
Colin Tizzard always targets Ultragold at this meeting and he has landed the Topham Chase – also run over these fences – for the last two seasons. Jumping is his main asset and you certainly would expect him to put in a few prestigious leaps, but stamina is a major worry.
- Blow By Blow
It’s all or nothing with this horse. He doesn’t like racing by himself and although he is a front-runner, he needs a horse alongside him otherwise he loses focus. Ground may have been too soft recently. Has ability but is 100-1 for a reason.
- Up For Review
A prominent racer who has a tendency to jump left at some of his fences. Career-best effort came when fourth in a Grade 1 novice chase last season but hasn’t done much since and although he ran all right at Cheltenham, he has never gone beyond 3m1f.
Tom George’s runner has his followers due to the way he travels through his races, but he is so often the bridesmaid that he has become a cliff horse for many. Will be out the back early and look to come through the field, so could find a few fallers in his way. Can’t see him winning but he may give you a run for your money.
- Vieux Lion Rouge
Aintree regular who loves the Grand National fences and has completed all six times he has run on this course, including when winning the Becher Chase in 2016. Beaten a long way by Tiger Roll in last year’s National and it’s hard to see the form reversed. Pulled up the last twice but the yard is in better form now.
- Valseur Lido
Eighth in this race last year but practically walked over the line and he hasn’t been as good since. Well beaten by Rathvinden two starts ago before a below-par performance at Cheltenham. Would need to recapture old form to have a chance but stamina a serious doubt.
- Vintage Clouds
Another Trevor Hemmings-owned runner who fell twice in his novice chasing season in 2017 but jumps much better now. Stamina is assured, so if he is challenging as they jump the last you would expect him to go close. Ran a really nice race at Cheltenham on his first start since wind surgery and should be spot on. Contender.
- General Principle
Pulled up in the Ultima at Cheltenham but ran a fine race for third in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown in February. The ten-year-old won the Irish Grand National in comfortable fashion last April and looks a contender on the best of his form.
Finished midfield in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham last time and has just a single win over fences to his name from seven starts. Jumping errors have been costly for him and he will need to up his game here to be involved.
- Walk In The Mill
This season’s Becher Chase winner really took to the National fences with a polished display to beat Vieux Lion Rouge by four and a half lengths. He’s finished third in both his hurdles start since and is primed to run a big race over the furthest he’s been so far.
- Folsom Blue
Winner of the Punchestown Grand National Trial last year, Folsom Blue arrives off the back of a sixth in the Midlands Grand National and has yet to fully recapture his form from last term.
- Captain Redbeard
A stalwart of Stuart Coltherd’s yard, this ten-year-old unseated at Foinavon on the first circuit last year but is normally an assured jumper. However, he has yet to win over further than 3m2f so stamina would have to be a worry.
- Bless The Wings
The oldest horse in the field at 14 but ran a fine race here to finish an 11-length third behind Tiger Roll, just edging out Anibale Fly. Beaten comprehensively on his last two starts by Tiger Roll, the trip is not a concern and he seems to thrive around Aintree.
- Joe Farrell
Last season’s Scottish Grand National winner has a solid record with two wins and three placings from eight starts over fences. He just edged out Ballyoptic at Ayr despite some less than fluent jumps but has plenty of stamina and ran respectably on his second start last time.
Tickets for this years Aintree festival can be found here.