Horse by Horse Guide to the Grand National

The Grand National takes place on Saturday afternoon, and if you are struggling to pick a horse for the race then our horse by horse guide to the race will help you out! Here we go through the field, giving you a little information about each runner and their chances in the race.

Anibale Fly – Ran a career best when second in the Gold Cup and has been kept fresh this season for this race, finished fourth last year but looks to have a great chance of going closer this time around, big chance of winning the race

Valtor – Surged clear to win by a wide margin on British debut but was then pulled up at Cheltenham. Intriguing type but this stamina test could well find him out, he looks one of the suspect stayers in the line up

Tiger Roll – Last year’s winner, comes here trying to win back to back Nationals and arrives in better form than last year. Loves racing, tries his heart out and looks to have a great chance at the weights, although he is very short in the betting

Outlander – Bought from the sales on Thursday night, although looks to be a big outsider here. Has doubts over both his stamina and current form and it would take a huge bounce back for him to feature in the finish

Don Poli – Another bought from the sales on Thursday night, high class in his prime although those days appear to be behind him now. Pulled up twice and a distant third on his three starts this year, and that doesn’t inspire too much confidence

Go Conquer – Stamina unknown but he did stay on very strongly over three miles at Doncaster when he won there in January. That was his best staying performance so far, and he has since been kept fresh for this. Has an outside chance if seeing the trip out

Mala Beach – Only once seen over anything beyond 3m2f, but his trainer has always regarded him as a strong staying horse. Will love the ground and the more rain the better for him, although it would have been nice to see him run well over an extreme distance before

Minella Rocco – Question marks over the ground, especially if we get more rain and that was the excuse after his poor run at Cheltenham. Won the four miler at Cheltenham in his younger days so certainly stays but the recent rain has been off putting

Lake View Lad – Ran a storming race at Cheltenham to finish third (just behind Vintage Clouds) over 3m1f. Signs were positive about being a stayer that day, he is a very solid jumper and based on that Cheltenham run he is well in at the weights

Pleasant Company – Well beaten twice last season before storming home to lose by a head to Tiger Roll in the 2018 edition. Has been beaten twice by a long way this year, can he bounce back at Aintree and go close again? Certainly has the ability to

Ballyoptic – He is out of form which doesn’t help, but what is more of a concern is his jumping ability, which has let him down before. If he gets round in one piece then he will stay the trip and like the ground, but it is a big if based on what we saw from him over these fences in December

Dounikos – Has done nothing for two seasons up until his latest run when he was very impressive landing a handicap over 3m4f. Certainly wasn’t stopping that day, and looked as though he would relish further, but was that a fluke or has Gordon Elliott finally found the key to him? Interesting runner for sure

Rathvinden – The winner of the four miler at Cheltenham last season, so stamina certainly won’t be an issue. We’ve only seen him once this season when he won in impressive fashion, and his only negative appears to be his jumping, which can be suspect, good chance otherwise

One For Arthur – Winner of the race in 2017, had the full 2018 season off and has come back this season, unseating his rider on both occasions. Strictly at the weights based on his 2017 win he has a very good chance, but based on what we have seen so far this season, he has little chance

Rock The Kasbah – Certainly one of the better jumpers in the field, and you can see him going well for a long way around here. However, 4m2f looks like it will stretch him, and as the stronger stayers kick in, I can see him fading away

Warriors Tale – A winner over these fences, which is a plus, but that is about all he has going for him. Has been well out of form since that win, and his stamina looks to be a major doubt, as does him handling the ground if we have any more rain

Regal Encore – A tough horse to catch right, with regular good and bad days. On a going day, he can run well here, and has jumped around in this race before which helps him, however on a bad day he would have no chance

Magic Of Light – Two concerns about her, this first is her jumping ability after unseating her rider two starts ago and the second is her staying ability. She ran over 3m1f at Cheltenham, her longest race so far and wasn’t crying out that she needed further, so big doubts on that front

A Toi Phil – Jumping concerns and stamina concerns put me off this horse straight away, he looks to be really up against it here

Jury Duty – A Grand National winner, although he won the USA version, which is 2m5f and over hurdles, so very different to ours! Did it nicely last time though over 3m2f and fences, and if that kind of run comes again, he would certainly have an each way chance in the race

Noble Endeavor – Solid pieces of form in his history, although his preparation is a problem. First run for 600 days when returning this season and he needed it, then he was off another three months before looking like he needed it again. Will he be 100% fit here? He needs to be to have any chance

Monbeg Notorious – Loves the mud so the more rain the better for this one, although on the two occasions we have seen him over staying trips he has been very disappointing, which makes it hard to fancy him around here

Ramses De Teillee – The youngest in the race at just seven, but already has some solid form to his name. Second in both the Welsh National and the Grand National trial at Haydock give him a chance. He looks a strong stayer and if getting into a rhythm jumping over these fences he has a great each way chance

Tea For Two – Shown nothing of note this season to get excited about, but his win in the Aintree Bowl and his third in the King George from a couple of years ago makes him of real interest, has to bounce back though

Step Back – Won in decisive fashion over 3m5f last April to throw his hat into the Grand National ring. Since then we have seen him twice, but prep races to get him fit for this. Could still be well handicapped and while his jumping is a slight worry, he has to be respected

Ultragold – Big positive for him is that he loves these fences, with two wins and a good third over them in his career. However, the big negative is the trip, he faded over 3m5f this season, so no reason to think he will get the 4m2f in this

Blow By Blow – Very disappointing this season after being a hurdles winner at the Cheltenham Festival in the past. Has had wind surgery, doesn’t jump particularly well and has stamina doubts, so plenty against him here

Up For Review – Was going really well at Cheltenham until making a big mistake and fading. That was over 3m1f and was the furthest he has raced over. Has to prove his stamina, but if he stays then he certainly has a chance here

Singlefarmpayment – Not the easiest to win with, and he won’t like the rain that we get to soften the ground. He does travel well though, and can jump for fun which will help, and certainly looks worth a shot at a distance like this

Vieux Lion Rouge – Ran six times over these fences and competed on every occasion, so clearly likes them and that is a positive. However, his best form over them has been over shorter distances, and that is a big worry with him, he doesn’t look like he can get home over this longer trip

Valseur Lido – Ran well for a very long time last season, although he faded dramatically and eventually finished 58 lengths behind the winner. Stamina a big doubt for him, and his lack of recent form is also a worry

Vintage Clouds – Not the best jumper, which is a doubt but he looks to be a huge player if getting round. Ran a storming race at Cheltenham and this additional distance will play to his strengths. Well in at the weights, and there are a lot of reasons to like him

General Principle – The bare form of some of his runs gives him a great chance, and I think this kind of distance is where we will see the best of him. You have to excuse a couple of bad runs with him, including last time out at Cheltenham, but it would be no surprise to see him go well here

Livelovelaugh – His best form is over two and a half miles and not three, which begs the question whether this trip will bring out the best in him, I have a huge doubt over that and have ruled him out on that basis

Walk In The Mill – Stormed home to win the Becher over these fences in December over 3m2f and kept to hurdles since then to protect his mark. Rise in the weights does make it tougher, but there is every chance he is going to be even better over this longer trip and has a chance based on that

Folsom Blue – His 4th and 5th in this race previously show he can run well here, but he has been well below that recently in the Welsh National and the Midlands National. Based on those runs, he can be passed over here, especially as a 12 year old

Captain Redbeard – Has some decent form in the book but his three runs over these fences have proved problematic and that doesn’t encourage me. I’d also have reservations about his stamina for this trip too, which is very questionable

Bless The Wings – Now 14, and likely that his best days are behind him, although he did finish third in the race last year and has shown some spark on one run this season, but still has a lot to do here

Joe Farrell – Excelled last Spring which bodes well, and won the Scottish National over 4 miles then, which is another positive. Been off until recently but ran nicely on his reappearance and last time out. Those should have put him spot on for this. Stays the trip and jumps well, and is certainly in with a chance

Just A Par – Nice form to his name from a few years ago, and showed some spark over these fences after nearly 600 days off in December. Hasn’t been seen since then, and has plenty to prove really if he is to get involved.


Should any of the above be non runners before the race then the three reserves will run in their place. These horses will only run if we have non-runners, so aren’t guaranteed a place in the field just yet.

The Young Master – Has won twice this season, and finished a good third at the Cheltenham Festival last time out. He is in good form, but his jumping is a big worry here, he has fell twice already in his career over these fences and that is enough to put me off

Isleofhopendreams – Nice handicap mark to run off, and he is a horse that will excel over this distance, and the more rain the better. If he gets into the race and we have some rain then he becomes an interesting contender after a good second last time out

Exitas – Has unseated and being pulled up in recent races which is a big worry with him. That is enough to put me off him, and it would take a huge turnaround of form to see him involved

Grand National Predictions

1st – Anibale Fly

2nd – Ramses De Teillee

3rd – Tiger Roll

4th – Vintage Clouds