Winner of the 2015 Grand National for trainer Oliver Sherwood, giving jockey Leighton Aspell back-to-back wins in the event and a third National win for owner Trevor Hemmings. He aimed for the elusive back-to-back wins in 2016 but couldn’t make the dream happen and had to settle for completing the race in 16th place. With any luck he’ll be given another shot at the Grand National in 2017.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 62210-1 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: O SHERWOOD
THE LAST SAMURI
A terrific run from The Last Samuri in the Grand National 2016 saw him finish in second place behind the winner Rule The World. Another year on and he should definitely be in contention for the ultimate prize especially as he is currently on 5 wins from just 11 chase starts. A continuation of good form and expect to see The Last Samuri plummet in the odds as the race draws closer.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 3112-53 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: K BAILEY
While it would no doubt be a huge coup for the Grand National 2017 if Don Poli were given a run, it’s also a little unlikely with the Gold Cup at Cheltenham beckoning. Of course both are not impossible as he did run in the Aintree Bowl Chase just 20 days after his Gold Cup run in 2016 but at just 8 years of age I wouldn’t be putting any bets on him just yet.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1132-3P2 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
Entered in both 2016 and 2015, Carlingford Lough has been withdrawn both times with connections opting to got to Cheltenham and the Gold Cup instead. With a 50% win or place rate from his 22 Chase starts, Carlingford Lough is a very highly rated horse who has notched up over £500K in earnings over the course of his career.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 4614-1 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: J KIELY
VIEUX LION ROUGE
Despite being only 7 years old at the time and going off at 66/1 in the 2016 National, Vieux Lion Rouge gave a very encouraging account of himself when he finished in 7th place. Fresh off the back of a Becher Chase win, he seems the sort that prefers heavier ground but maybe a couple of spring time trips could boost his 2017 Grand National credentials.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1U267-1 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: D PIPE
An exciting prospect from Colin Tizzard but the chances of seeing Native River lining up for the Grand National 2017 hover somewhere between nil and zilch. He will be just 7 years old when the race rolls around and although he has had an impressive career to this point with a 100% record of wins/places from his nine chase starts, including a win in the Coral Welsh National in December 2016, I can’t see his connections running him in the National.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 3321-211 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: C TIZZARD
Fresh off the back of a win in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown in December, Nobel Endeavor is a solid runner but one who perhaps lacks the necessary experience to have a go at the Grand National 2017. With only eight chase starts and only one big win under his belt, connections may hold off for another year – time will tell.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 12F-P541 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
THE YOUNG MASTER
Possibly a first Grand National entry for the Neil Mulholland trained The Young Master if he gets the nod in 2017. Since November 2015 he has been ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen with mixed success. A win at Sandown back in April gave connections a good end to the season but unfortuntely that didn’t continue as he fell first time out this season at Aintree, in the Becher Chase.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: U4631-F | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: N MULHOLLAND
EMPIRE OF DIRT
With three back to back wins under his belt, things are looking very good for Gordon Elliott’s Empire Of Dirt. From 13 chase starts, he has bagged four wins and another three places so is in the money roughly 50% of the time. A solid chaser but one who hasn’t been tested over the longer distances very often.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: F2P11-1 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
Finished fourth in the 2016 Grand National under jockey Robbie Power and definitely has what it takes to go even further in the 2017 renewal. He will be hitting his stride as a nine year old and a good prep season between now and then could see his National credentials get a big boost.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 4554-2B | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: E BOLGER
Was a firm favourite ahead of the 2016 National and went off as short as 11/1 but unfortunately Richie McLernon wasn’t able to navigate Holywell beyond the second fence of the race where he fell. He should be back for the 2017 renewal where hopefully his full potential will be realised.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: P2F-70P | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: J O’NEILL
CAUSE OF CAUSES
Was a firm favourite for the 2016 National before a late withdrawal as connections opted to run in the Scottish Grand National where he subsequently pulled up under jockey Barry Geraghty. A solid chaser with 38 starts under race rules, Cause of Causes is certainly not short on experience and hopefully he will get the chance to show that in the 2017 Grand National.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 51P-5P0 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
Winner of the national Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in 2016, Minella Rocco is shaping up to be a fantastic chaser however, he’s still very young and will only be 7 years old when the 2017 Grand National rolls around so while he has excellent credentials, I can’t see his connections giving the go ahead for the race.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: P621-3F | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: J O’NEILL
If Mouse Morris is looking for back-to-back wins in the Grand National then Rogue Angel could be his best prospect. Another Gigginstown horse, Rogue Angel is well chased with 37 starts under race rules. From 31 chases he has won four and placed in five more, winning the Irish Grand National in 2016. Definitely one to watch on the run up to the big race.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 08009 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: M MORRIS
Trained by Paul Nicholls, Vicente is the winner of the Scottish Grand National 2016 and a 6th place finisher in the Coral Welsh National in December so clearly he’s a horse who loves the longer distances so Aintree may very well suit him.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1451-F6 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Seeyouatmidnight is a pretty handy chaser who ran and finished 6th in last season’s Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham before heading to the Scottish Grand National where he placed third. He has already had two runs this season and won at Carlisle before getting pulled-up when he ran at Haydock in November.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 11173-1P | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: S THOMSON
Gallant Oscar had plenty of potential back in the 2014-15 season but unfortunately, he hasn’t been on form since he unseated his rider in December 2015. He unseated in the 2016 Grand National and last time out finished 17th from 28 runners in the Paddy Power Chase at Leoprdstown.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 75U-40 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: A J MARTIN
Ucello Conti was reasonably well fancied for the 2016 Grand National, going off at 25/1. He got around and finished in sixth place so another trip around the Aintree fences could be on the cards for 2017. Well chased and in the money 50% of the time, he’s still on form as indicated by his recent 4th place finish in the Becher Chase.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 36-747 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
A potential Grand National 2017 runner that is definitely worth taking a second look at, Blaklion has won three and placed in a further two chases from just seven starts, notching up approx £200K in earnings. Despite being only 7 years old, he has already won at more than 3m, has run at Aintree and has bagged three wins at Cheltenham.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 113-453 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: N TWISTON-DAVIES
A well raced chaser with 23 starts under race rules, Caroles Destrier finished in 9th place last time out in the Coral Welsh National and that was on the back of a second place finish in the Hennessy Gold Cup back in November. Won at Sandown over 3m5f in December 2015 so can go the distance but that was also his last win.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1P0-29 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: N MULHOLLAND
Went off as the race favourite for the Grand National in 2015 with AP McCoy on board but the fairytale ending did not materialise and instead he had to settle for fifth place. He returned in 2016 but couldn’t improve on his previous result and instead finished in ninth place under jockey Barry Geraghty.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 3P9-87P | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: J. O’NEILL
Fancied by many for the 2016 Grand National he finished in fifth place and in the money for those who went with a bookmaker that paid out to five places. He has had two runs already this finishing in sixth and fourth place so quite credible.
NO.00 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 9425-64 | WEIGHT: 00-00 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: J DREAPER
Odds Updated January 16th 2017
Check the odds with your bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur.
The horses listed above are the potential entrants in the 2017 Grand National. They are the ante-post selections from Paddy Power and no horse is guaranteed a run until the official entry deadline in January 2017. Ante-post terms and conditions apply until Paddy Power go ‘Non Runner No Bet’. A maximum field of 40 runners is permitted
We give each horse a rating based on how closely it matches the past trends and statistics of previous winners.
Unlikely to mount a serious challenge.
The horses listed above are the ante post selections for the 2017 Grand National. The odds displayed come from Paddy Power sportsbook, official entries for the 2017 race will not take place until January. If you back a horse in the Ante Post market you will lose your stake if he doesn’t make the final line-up in April.
Paddy Power are currently offering a Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets.
Who Decides The Runners & Riders?
Every year a maximum of 40 horses line up at the start of the Aintree Grand National and 600 million people worldwide tune in to watch them tackle the 30 notoriously difficult fences in a bid to put themselves into the history books. But how do those particular runners and riders make it to Grand National day?
A horse will be entered into the Grand National if it meets the minimum criteria for qualification and the owner and trainer feel the their horse is capable of handling the race. Not all horses are suited to the long Aintree course or have the necessary jumping ability. Even if a horse gets entered that doesn’t guarantee a place at the starting line.
The race is open to horses aged seven and upwards that have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more and who are allotted a rating of at least 120 by the BHA Handicapper.
The entry date for the race is always at the end of January, with the names and numbers announced by the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) the following day. In 2016 there were 126 entries, an increase of 28 on the 98 entered in 2015.
The BHA Head Of Handicapping then takes the list of entries and frames the weights. In other words, he decides which horses will carry the heaviest weights and which will carry the least. The handicap system is designed to give every horse a fair chance of winning the race, good horses will carry more weight than those perceived to have less ability.
The maximum weight any horse can carry in the 2017 Grand National will be 11st 10lbs and the minimum is 10st. Each runner’s weight will be largely determined by their OR (Official Rating) and the higher the rating, the higher the weight. Although the Grand National is the only race in Britain in which the Handicapper can ignoring the official ratings if he wishes, often to the consternation of owners and trainers.
Horses are then put in descending order from the highest to the lowest weighted and that also determines their race number. The top-weighted horse is number one, second heaviest weighted horse is number two and so on.
The weights are then announced, in 2016 it was on February 16th, and from then on a series of ‘Declaration Stages’ take place. At each of these stages, horses can be withdrawn from the proceedings by their trainers and as they are removed and the entries get whittled down so even horses that have not initially made the Top 40 may now do so as entries above them are taken out.
The very last declaration stage takes place at 10am on the Thursday immediately before Grand National day. This is the point where the top 40 horses will be near completion along with four additional reserves.
The following morning, Friday, at 10am any non-runners must be declared and be replaced by one of the four reserves. This is also the point where any horses who were previously allocated weights of less than 10st will have their weight increased to meet requirements.
Finally this results in the 40 declared horses who will line up for the 2017 Crabbies Grand National.
The criteria for professional or amateur jockeys wanting to taking part in the race are very specific. They must have ridden not less than 15 winners in chases or hurdle races under the Rules of Racing and/or the Rules of the Irish National Hunt Committee and ridden not less than 10 of these winners in chases.
A champion jockey like A.P. McCoy who primarily rode horses for super owner J.P. McManus had his pick of horses in the race before he retired. Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty are other top jockeys who can often choose their rides and odds will tumble on any horses chosen by the pair.
Amateur jockeys are now a rarity in the Grand National compared with races early days. Sam Whaley-Cohen is probably the most famous amateur rider in recent years and he enjoys a record over the Aintree fences which is the envy of many a professional.
Other jockeys will usually ride for the yards that retain them or a trainer will engage their services just for this race. In recent years a number of high profile jockeys have missed the race due to injuries picked up at the Cheltenham festival which is the last major National Hunt meeting before Aintree.
Don’t be put off backing a less well known jockey or even one who has never ridden the course before. In 2013 jockey Ryan Mania won the race at his first attempt!