Grand National 2017

Grand National 2017: Runner-By-Runner Guide

Steve Mullington
2017-04-04
Steve Mullington previews all the runners and riders

The Last Samuri

A great run from The Last Samuri in the 2016 National saw him finish in second place. He warmed up for this race by running second in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster. Carrying top-weight may curtail his chances this year.

More Of That

More of That finished sixth in the Gold Cup, beaten just under 10 lengths in what was his best effort since switching to fences following his 2014 Festival triumph. “The best horse I have ever trained” says Jonjo O’Neill.

Shantou Flyer

He finished second behind Cue Card in the Ascot Chase in February. The seven-year-old is owned by Birkdale businessman, Carl Hinchy.

Perfect Candidate

Perfect Candidate advertised his National claims with an all-the-way win at Exeter in February. He bypassed the Gold Cup in favour of this race.

Saphir Du Rheu

A classy runner who may go well in the Grand National especially as he came out of the Gold Cup in good form. He appears to be in love with the chasing game again.

Roi Des Francs

He has never fallen or unseated and has only pulled up once in his career. He recently recorded a victory at Down Royal in the Daily Mirror Chase.

Wounded Warrior

Last year’s winner Rule The World was soundly beaten at Naas by Wounded Warrior back in January 2015 but the eight-year-old has shown very little since.

Wonderful Charm

He finished second in the Foxhunter's Chase at Cheltenham and is clearly in good heart. Katie Walsh takes the ride.

Tenor Nivernais

Tenor Nivernais put in an exhibition round from the front to score for the first time this campaign in the Keltbray Swinley Chase. Probably needs the ground much softer in all honesty.

Blaklion

He was second in the Grand National Trial and is clearly a top class horse. The eight-year-old has already amassed £214K in prize money.

Drop Out Joe

Drop Out Joe has been absent from the track since landing a valuable staying prize at Uttoxeter in June. He finished 9th in the 2015 Scottish Grand National.

Le Mercurey

Le Mercurey finished second to Many Clouds over regulation fences at Aintree back in December and also chased home Native River in the Denman Chase.

The Young Master

He is ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen, the amateur jockey who has an enviable record around Aintree. The eight-year-old will have to put some very poor runs behind though him to figure in this.

Cause Of Causes

Gordon Elliott's Cause Of Causes picked up to lead at the final obstacle and galloped up the hill for a nine-length success in the Cross-Country Chase at Cheltenham. A reproduction of that run will make him a leading player here.

Regal Encore

Regal Encore has been schooling over Lambourn's National fences in the lead up to this race. It is hard to get excited about a horse that has pulled up six times out of his last eight runs however.

Vieux Lion Rouge

He won the Becher Chase over the National fences and the Grand National Trial at Haydock. He finished in 7th place last year as a seven-year-old so it remains to be seen if his stamina holds out a year on.

Definitly Red

Definitly Red’s odds were slashed for the Grand National after he cruised home in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster. Prior to that he won the Rehearsal Chase and the Rowland Meyrick Chase. Will have to prove he stays this trip however.

Ucello Conti

Trainer Gordon Elliott sees Ucello Conti as his best chance to win the race he first won back in 2007 with Silver Birch. Ran a blinder in the Becher Chase and the Leinster National. He looks sure to improve on last year’s 6th place.

Double Shuffle

Won back in December at Kempton and then returned in February, just going down by half a length in the BetBright Handicap Chase.

Houblon Des Obeaux

An experienced chaser who is saddled by Grand National winning trainer, Venetia Williams. He ran well when finishing fourth in the Midlands Grand National in March.

Pleasant Company

Dual National-winning jockey Ruby Walsh rides Willie Mullins' Bobbyjo Chase winner Pleasant Company. He has run just 13 times under rules and has done most of his winning on soft ground.

One For Arthur

He was most impressive in the Classic Chase at Warwick in January. One For Arthur will be bidding to become Scotland's second National winner following Rubstic in 1979.

Ballynagour

Pulled up on his last three runs and has not showed any sparkle of old. Probably better to look elsewhere.

O'Faolains Boy

Has reportedly had a wind-op but this will need to work wonders if he is to put his bad recent form behind him.

Highland Lodge

He finished second in the Becher Chase over the National fences in December and is expected to put up a bold show.

Bishops Road

Won the Grand National Trial last season and certainly has plenty of stamina.

Lord Windermere

Won the coveted Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2014 but has struggled to recapture that form since.

Saint Are

Has run at Aintree a total of 11 times now and is somewhat of a Grand National veteran. Davy Russell is an interesting booking.

Vicente

Vicente was the winner of the 2016 Scottish Grand National and finished 6th in the Coral Welsh National in December. Scottish Grand National form has been key in recent years.

Just A Par

Finished 15th in the 2016 Grand National and bounced back to form recently at Newbury.

Measureofmydreams

Lightly raced and may lack the necessary experience needed to get around the National fences. He usually needs heavy ground to figure.

Raz De Maree

Winner of two Cork National’s and a Munster National, this twelve-year-old certainly knows how to run well in a stamina test. His second to Native River in the Welsh National is excellent form.

Stellar Notion

This season he has notched up two seconds, a third and a fourth place and could run well at big odds here. Last year’s winning jockey, David Mullins, takes the ride.

Pendra

Finished in second place at Cheltenham in the Kim Muir Challenge Cup and ran 13th in this race last year.

Rogue Angel

Won the Irish Grand National last year but has struggled to recapture that form. Ran reasonably well in the Thyestes Chase last time out which was encouraging.

Cocktails At Dawn

Has been out of form for almost two years and he is on the lowest mark of his career now. Can he exploit it?

Thunder And Roses

Won the Irish Grand National in 2015 and was second in the BobbyJo chase earlier this season.

Gas Line Boy

Finished fourth to Vieux Lion Rouge in the Grand National Trail at Haydock in February. Fell on his only run in this race in 2015.

Goodtoknow

Kerry Lee’s runner probably needs the heavens to open to have any whiff of a chance of winning this marathon.

La Vaticane

This looks a real tall order for the grey mare. The eight-year-old finished eighth in last year’s Topham Chase so at least she has experienced the fences.