With the five-day confirmations just a week away on April 9th and the final declarations being made at 10am on April 12th, we take a look at the probable final line-up with a brief runner-by-runner guide.

There is a maximum field of 40 runners plus four reserves - check out our thoughts on the first half of the field here...

 

Shantou Flyer

Notched up four second place finishes on the bounce this season, the last of which was at the Cheltenham Festival but all were on heavy ground. He pulled-up in last year's race and the suspicion is that connections will run him in the Topham instead.

 

Warriors Tale

Second in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster in January but this distance is somewhat of an unknown for him.  Recently bought by leading Grand National owner, Trevor Hemmings, and comes from the Paul Nicholls yard that won this in 2012.

 

Buywise

Regarded by many as somewhat of an enigma but on his day he can spring a surprise. Well handicapped on old form and was 12th in the 2016 running.  Don’t expect to see anything of him until very late in the race.

 

Alpha Des Obeaux

Ran second in the 2016 Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and came 8th in the 2017 Irish National. This Irish runner is often seen in Graded races and his yard took this race in 2016 for the same connections. Not one to dismiss lightly.

 

Baie Des Iles

Katie Walsh’s third on Seabass remains the closest any female jockey has come to landing the world’s greatest steeplechase and she will be hoping to go two better here on the seven-year-old mare trained by her husband. No seven-year-old has won since 1940 and the last winning mare was in 1951.

 

Captain Redbeard

Won the Tommy Whittle Chase this season at Haydock Park.  He is 9lbs higher for that win but ran a creditable second in the Peter Marsh off this rating next time. He came 6th in the Grand Sefton so has handled these fences this fences before. There are certainly a lot worse 100/1 chances around.

 

Carlingford Lough

Former winner of the Grade One Punchestown Gold Cup and has run well in some top company during his career, notching up more than £500k in the process. Hopelessly out of form this season but does have plenty of back class should he rediscover it.

 

Perfect Candidate

The eleven-year-old was pulled up last year but does have 6lbs less to carry this time and was a good winner at Cheltenham in Nov over 3m3f. He has only pulled-up twice in his 30 start career.

 

Tenor Nivernais

Came 17th in the race 12 months ago and gets in off the same mark this year. Stable won the race in 2009 with Mon Mome but this runner does not appear to be in the same league as him.

 

Go Conquer

Has been aimed at this race all season and goes into the race in good form having won two of his four starts since October. Often front-runs but will his stamina last out in this marathon test?

 

Acapella Bourgeois

He was a 32 length Grade One winner at Navan last season. However, he has been the beaten favourite many times this season and is a pretty unreliable sort at the moment.  Look elsewhere.

 

A Genie In Abottle

Ran well to be second in the BobbyJo Chase at Fairyhouse in February and skipped the Irish Grand National in favour of a tilt at this. Has beaten Tiger Roll and Mala Beach this season so is certainly no slouch. There is however an unknown quantity about the trip.

 

Chase The Spud

Won the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter last season and started this season off with another win at Haydock but has subsequently been pulled up at Chepstow and Newcastle. He probably needs rain of biblical proportions to figure here.

 

Saint Are

Saint Are is an Aintree stalwart and has run there 12 times including the last two Grand Nationals where he fell the first year but was a very respectable third place finisher last year. His experience over the fences will be invaluable and you can see him being in the shake up again this year.

 

Beeves

Has the experience over the national fences having competed in the Becher Chase in 2016 when finishing in eighth after a clear round. Finished off last season in fine form with wins at Fakenham and Perth. Trainer Jenny Candlish does seem to peak around this time every year so this one is worth a precautionary look on the day.

 

Virgilio

Virgilio has run at Aintree six times, winning three times and finishing third on a fourth occasion. He has put in two poor runs this season but has since undergone a wind operation which may or may not revive his fortunes.

 

Maggio

Maggie sprang a 50/1 shock victory in 2016 in the race just before the Grand National after he failed to make the cut for the main event itself. This year the thirteen-year-old has finally made the race proper but you would suspect he would want some juice in the ground again.

 

Pendra

Pendra has only been seen three times since December 2015. He ran in the 2016 Grand National and finished 13th, came second in the 2017 Kim Muir, then ran 15th in the Kim Muir this season. He is clearly a fragile sort and winning this race looks an extremely tall order.

 

Final Nudge

Third in the Welsh National and gets in off a low weight here. Acts on most ground and finished in the top three in 7 of this 10 chase starts. Likely to get overlooked in the betting because he doesn’t come from a well known stable.

 

Childrens List

Fair bits of form, but pulled-up in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown in February. Certainly does not look like Willie Mullins’ best chance and most be a doubtful starter.

 

Lord Windermere

Winner of the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup and was 7th in this race 12 months ago. This will be his third attempt at the race. Dangerous to ignore purely because of what he has achieved in the past and the fact that he could just recapture that old spark.

 

Double Ross

He finished fourth in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last time out showing signs of his old ability. His trainer is no stranger to sending out Grand National winners having done so twice before.

 

Houblon Des Obeaux

Finished in 10th place in last year's Grand National and will be carrying 6lb less this year. Venetia William’s eleven-year-old has contested some top races over the years but you do get the distinct impression that his form is waining nowadays.

 

Splash Of Ginge

A decent handicapper that won the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham this season and ran a blinder at The Festival last time out. Very borderline whether he will get in but should he do so he would be a very popular winner for local businessman John Nield.

About the Author
By
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horseracing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.


He writes for a number of websites and online publications and you can sometimes hear him at the weekend discussing racing on a number of local radio stations. 

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