Grand National 2016: runner-by-runner guide

Many Clouds

Won the race in 2015 and has been trained all season long with the defence of his crown in mind. The horse is definitely one of the classiest in the field but trying to emulate the legendary Red Rum with back-to-back wins is a tough ask.

Silviniaco Conti

A top class performer over recent seasons and has collected seven Grade One’s along the way. His stamina has appeared to give out over the course of the last two Gold Cups which does not bode well for this extra challenge.

First Lieutenant

One of Gigginstown’s finest performers who has mixed it with the best. Even at the age of eleven he is still capable of putting up a good show. He was placed in the Hennessey and the Lexus this term.

Wonderful Charm

Hails from a top stable but has never won a race further than 2m 5f which is a major concern.


Third in the Charlie Hall Chase at the start of the season but has not really built on that since. Looks high enough in the weights for a horse having a mediocre season.

O'Faolains Boy

Ran really well in this year’s Gold Cup before fading back towards the end of the race. Rebecca Curtis’ stable has been hitting form again recently after a spell in the doldrums and this is a runner that could surprise one or two.


Ran disappointingly in the Irish Gold Cup and got outpaced in the Ryanair Chase. However, Enda Bolger trains them to stay and this race may be more his cup of tea.

On His Own

Appears to sulk when he is unable to dominate a race but given a good sight up front he can still serve it up to his younger counterparts. Possible each-way darkhorse.

The Druids Nephew

Was he going as well as the pundits keep saying when falling four from home last season? He was certainly putting up to the field and anything similar this year would give him a sound chance again. Also ran a promising prep race last time out.

Triolo D'Alene

He won the Hennessey as a six-year-old but was dogged by some breathing and leg issues afterwards. He’d almost became a forgotten Henderson horse before returning this year as a nine-year-old showing plenty of his old spark.

Rocky Creek

 Has been well fancied for this race the last two seasons but has gone completely off the boil this season. He simply fails to see out this trip and can be passed over easily.

Sir Des Champs

Was one of the leading chasers around a few seasons ago before injury struck. Has not quite hit those heights again as yet but looks well treated on his old form here.


Has been to Aintree five times previously, often well fancied, but has only one once- that being the Mildmay Novices’ Chase. He does not appear to have the size and scope for these larger fences and is plenty short enough in the betting.


Former Irish Grand National winners like Shutthefrontdoor (2014 winner) have gone on to win the English equivalent regularly over the last twenty years. He was the ante-post favourite in the lead-up to the race twelve months ago, and finished in a creditable fifth place last season under A.P McCoy. Looks a big player again.


Comes into his own with plenty of cut in the ground but it would be a major surprise if this veteran performer had the legs on his younger rivals here.


Has become somewhat of an enigma in recent runs with his staying on late in the day style. Supporters will be hoping he times the staying on to perfection in this marathon.  Not a forlorn hope.

Boston Bob

Will probably be the mount of Ruby Walsh and will be priced up by the bookies with that in mind. Looks to have it all to do at this stage in his chasing career.


Game as a pebble and like most of Venetia Williams’ runners, revels with some cut in the ground. Keep an eye on the weather forecast to gauge just how highly or lowly you rank this one’s chances come the off.

Morning Assembly

Pat Fahy's stable star claimed the scalp of this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack as a novice a couple of seasons ago, but has since spent the best part of two years on the sidelines. A reproduction of form anything like the Don Cossack result and nine-year-old gelding enters calculations here at a handsome price.

Double Ross

Appears to barely stay three miles. Best to look elsewhere.


Has bags of stamina but appears to really dislike these Aintree fences having unseated in one Becher Chase and struggled in another.

Ucello Conti

Two fine efforts in the top Irish handicap chases, most recently in the Thyestes where Jacques Ricou took a rather unconventional route around the course, give massive grounds for optimism for backing this horse in the Grand National. Looks like a plot horse for Elliot/Munir/Souede.


Has been showing some old form but appeared to be out of love with the fences here last year so it is very hard to see why there would be any better showing this year.

Le Reve

Plenty of stamina and a sound jumper, but just cannot appear to do it on left-handed tracks. Very hard to ignore those poor statistics.

Gallant Oscar

Been bought along very quietly this term by the shrewd Tony Martin stable with this race in mind and he really caught the eye at Naas earlier this month.


If you go back to his run at Cheltenham earlier in the season, he was only two and a half lengths behind Blaklion, who of course went on to win the RSA Chase. Could be the new West Tip.

The Last Samuri

Kim Bailey is overdue another Grand National winner and his horse looks well in here. Impressive winner at Doncaster. All the signs are good for this solid jumper and traveller. The market support for him is justified.


Formerly trained by Donald McCain this horse was earmarked for the National back then. He was tenth in the National two years ago and has been brought on well by his new handler, Philip Hobbs. Another with leading claims.

Rule The World

A consistent chaser from a top yard but he is yet to break his duck over fences. Hard to imagine the Grand National would be the race to so it in either.

Just A Par

Won the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last season but has been a shadow of his former self since. Hard to recommend.


Has really struggled to regain old any form since returning from injury. Shows the odd glimmer of hope in each race but a leap of faith would be required to back him here.

Vics Canvas

Ran a very promising fifth in the Becher Chase and is not overly raced for a horse in his teens. Owner and trainer have had this race in mind all season. Definitely not the worst outsider you can back here.

Black Thunder

Has been a bit of sketchy jumper of late and has not really progressed that much from his novice days. Running here as an auction horse but it is hard to see any bids for glory coming in this marathon.


Was unlucky to be brought down in the National last year and was an eyecatcher at the Cheltenham Festival last month. One to watch in the betting should any momentum start to build behind him.

Hadrian’s Approach

Winner of the bet365 Cup in 2014 but has had a few problems since. Latest run at Kempton was encouraging and the nine-year-old may come on leaps and bounds for it. One to have a second look at.

Vieux Lion Rouge

Kicked off this season in fine form but did not look the most straightforward of horses at the Cheltenham Festival. Question marks over stamina.


Has always been viewed by his connections as a National type and would be one to consider if the going comes up really tacky. Currently unfancied in the betting but that may change.

Saint Are

Runner-up last year and gets in off a 1lb lower mark than twelve months ago. Comprehensively won a veterans' handicap chase at Doncaster last month and has to make anyone’s shortlist.

Home Farm

Always been well regarded by his trainer and has put up a good showing in the Irish Grand National in the past.  Could be somewhat of a sleeper here and may easily belie his odds.

The Romford Pele

Been mixing it over hurdles and chases of late and would be of some interest if the weather kept relatively dry. Probably best to concentrate on the other Curtis runner.