Many Clouds won last year’s race and carries just 1 lb more this time. He is a former winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup (3.25M) and this season he has been in good form finishing runner up at Aintree and Cheltenham and winning his most recent start at Kelso. He has been prepared specifically for this race. There hasn’t been a back to back National winner since Red Rum but Many Clouds has an outstanding chance. Shortlisted
Silviniaco Conti is the class horse in the race and has been given a chance by the handicapper. He jumps well and likes to race prominently which should keep him out of trouble. He also has a very good record at Aintree over the Mildmay course (but not the National fences). I can see him running well for a long way but I have doubts about his stamina.
First Lieutenant has always competed at a high level. He was second in the Ryanair 3 years ago, and when running in handicap company has finished 3rd in the Hennessy twice. His last win came in the Bowl at Aintree over the Mildmay course 3 years ago. He ran in the National last season finishing 16th. There are others with better chances.
Wonderful Charm was a close up 3rd in a handicap over the Mildmay course at this meeting last season. He has been aimed at the National all season and has only run once. Good ground suits him but most of his wins have come in small fields and he may also have a bit too much weight.
Ballynagour has some good form to his name including a second behind Silviniaco Conti in the Bowl at Aintree last season. He was a decent 3rd in the Charlie Hall chase at Wetherby last October when he had Many Clouds and Holywell behind. Shortlisted
O’Faolains Boy was a top novice chaser in 2014 but has had injury problems since then. He showed signs of a return to form when 7th in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month.
Gilgamboa is a Grade 1 winner over 2.5 miles but there are question marks over his stamina over longer distances.
On His Own is a talented performer on his day. He was only beaten a short head in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2014, albeit that may have been a weak renewal. He was 5th in the Gold Cup last season. Two runs ago he put up a good effort when beaten a head by Boston Bob in the Bobbyjoe handicap at Fairyhouse (3M 1F). Aged 12 now he is an inconsistent performer.
The Druids Nephew has been aimed at this race since he fell 5 out when going well last season. He won a 25F handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season. He ran as though coming into his best form when second in the Grimthorpe at Doncaster last month (26F) Probably best on good or good to soft. Shortlisted
Triolo D’Alene won the Topham Chase over the National fences (2M 5F) and also won the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in the same year (3.25M). He was pulled up on his only previous attempt at the National but he was only 7 then. He has had injury problems and despite some signs of a return to form recently he has something to prove.
Rocky Creek Was 5th in 2014 but could only manage 17th last season. When he was at his best he was runner up in the Hennessy and won the Betbright Chase at Kempton. On his last start this season he could only finish 10th of 15 in the Betbright Chase and he seems to have gone backwards.
Sir Des Champs has been a classy chaser with 3 Grade 1 wins to his credit. He has had injury problems however and this test might be too much for him.
Holywell has an impressive CV including a win in an ultra competitive 3 m handicap in the Cheltenham Festival in 2014 and a second place in the same race this season. He has form at the highest level too having finished 4th in last season’s Gold Cup. He has also run well at Aintree before, although not over the National fences. He looks well handicapped and goes well at this time year. Shortlisted
Shutthefrontdoor was 5th in the National last season and won the 2014 Irish National over 29F. He is one to consider. Shortlisted
Soll likes these fences. He has finished 7th and 9th on his previous Grand National runs and was 4th in the Becher Chase (3.25M) over the National fences earlier this season. He has tackled these fences a number of times and has never fallen so he is a good bet to get round but is an unlikely winner.
Buywise was 3rd in the Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster in January. He has always been very consistent but most of his form is over shorter trips and there must be a doubt about his stamina.
Boston Bob won the Bobbyjoe Chase at Fairyhouse in February (3M 1F). He has some good from on his CV and does not look badly handicapped. Shortlisted
Aachen has won a couple of races this season but this 12 year olds form doesn’t look good enough.
Morning Assembly is an interesting runner. He was a classy novice and did well on his latest start when 4th of 23 in a competitive handicap at the Cheltenham Festival. Shortlisted
Double Ross was 5th in the Topham Chase over the National fences 2 years ago. His best performance this season was when 4th in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham over 2.5M with Buywise in second. He is an outsider worth a second look. Shortlisted
Goonyella has some very good form to his name. He won a grueling Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter (4M 1F) and the following month finished runner up in the Scottish National over 4 miles. He put in an encouraging effort last time out when second in the Leinster National at Naas over 3M. On the debit side he has tackled the National fences twice in the Becher Chase, unseating his rider on one occasion and finishing 9th this season. Shortlisted
Uccello Conti comes into the race in very good from having finished 2nd at Leopardstown and 3rd at Gowran Park on his last two starts both over 3M 1F. Looks fairly handicapped. Shortlisted
Unioniste is a classy type but he fell in last year’s race and could only finish 8th in this year’s Becher Chase over the National obstacles.
Le Reve had some solid form last season, finishing 2nd in the Betbright Chase (3M Kempton) and 3rd in the Whitbread at Sandown (3M 5F). He has won at Sandown this season and ran a solid race last time out at Kempton. All his wins have come when racing right handed.
Gallant Oscar was 3rd behind The Druid’s Nephew at Cheltenham last season and went on to win at Punchestown in a strong handicap (3M 1F). He warmed up for Aintree with an eyecatching run when 5th at Naas last month. Shortlisted
Onenightinvienna has some good form but 7 year olds have a miserable record in the race.
The Last Samuri comes here in fine form having won his last two starts, the most recent when beating The Druids Nephew by 10 lengths in the Grimthorpe at Doncaster. Shortlisted
Kruzhlinin was 7th in the Becher in 2014 and finished 10th in the Grand National earlier that year. 5th in a valuable handicap at Cheltenham last month where Holywell and Morning Assembly were 2nd and 4th respectively.
Rule the World was runner up in the 2014 Irish National and put in decent efforts at Listowel (3rd) and Gowran Park (5th) this season.
Just a Par won the Whitbread at Sandown last April over 29F.
Katenko hasn’t won since January 2013 and seems to have lost his way.
Vics Canvas is an Irish veteran. He won the Cork National over 3.5M last season and went on to finish runner up to Just a Par in the Whitbread. He was 5th in this season’s Becher Chase so he handles the National fences. At age 13 though he is an unlikely winner.
Black Thunder failed to get round in the Welsh National in January and generally doesn’t look good enough.
Ballycasey was brought down at the 8th fence in the National last year. He Was 5th in a 2M 5F handicap at Cheltenham last month. There are doubts about his stamina over extreme distances.
Hadrian’s Approach jumped well to win the Whitbread in 2014 and ran with promise when 7th in the Betbright Chase at Kempton in February. Shortlisted
Vieux Lion Rouge was 6th in the 4 miler at the Cheltenham Festival. 7 year olds have a poor record in the race.
Pendra was 10th in the Irish National in 2014. He won over 3 miles at Ascot in October.
Saint Are has an excellent record over the National fences. He finished runner up in the big race last season and was 9th in 2013. He has also finished 3rd and 7th in the Becher Chase. He comes into the race after a win at Doncaster. Shortlisted
Home Farm looks a doubtful stayer.
The Romford Pele is a big strong chaser but his form doesn’t look good enough.