2017 GRAND NATIONAL RUNNERS & ODDS
The 40 runners and their Paddy Power Odds…
A horse well worth keeping an eye on, Definitly Red recently won the Grimthorpe Chase and his odds have shorten ever since. He can go the distance, jumps beautifully and if you're a Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal or basically a fan of any team that plays in red, then there's that reason to back him too!
NO.17 | JOCKEY: D COOK | FORM: 131U1 | WEIGHT: 10-12 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: B ELLISON
Not a particularly experienced runner with only six chase starts under his belt, despite being 9 years old. That said, he has won three of them including the BobbyJo Chase at Fairyhouse on February 25th. He skipped Cheltenham so will be fresh for Aintree but will his inexperience show?
NO.21 | JOCKEY: R WALSH | FORM: 3P-141 | WEIGHT: 10-12 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: W MULLINS
A runner that is definitely worth taking a second look at, Blaklion has notched up over £214K in earnings, despite being only 8 years old. He was second in the Grand National Trial and is in fine form this season so if you think this lion will roar at Aintree he's certainly worth an each way bet.
NO.10 | JOCKEY: N FEHILY | FORM: 3-4532 | WEIGHT: 11-01 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: N TWISTON-DAVIES
VIEUX LION ROUGE
Despite being only 7 years old 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. Now 8 years old, he has since won the Becher Chase over the National fences and the Grand National Trial at Haydock which turned him into an instant favourite for the 2017 Grand National.
NO.16 | JOCKEY: T SCUDAMORE | FORM: 267-11 | WEIGHT: 10-12 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: D PIPE
MORE OF THAT
If the Grand National was Hurdle race over two and a half miles you'd back this fella all day long. He's described by Jonjo O'Neill as “The Best Horse I've Trained” and Jonjo has trained more than his fair share of great horses! However, nagging doubts remain over his ability to cope with the extreme distance and those big fences – having said that, if he settles into the race he could go close.
NO.2 | JOCKEY: B GERAGHTY | FORM: P36U6 | WEIGHT: 11-06 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: J O'NEILL
CAUSE OF CAUSES
Was 8th in the 2015 National, skipped the 2016 renewal but is back for 2017 as one of possibly three hopefuls for in form trainer Gordon Elliott. While he has clocked up plenty of runs and earnings in his career, his recent form hadn't been great until he ran a blinder at Cheltenham improving his Grand National chances no end.
NO.14 | JOCKEY: J CODD | FORM: 5P051 | WEIGHT: 10-13 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
ONE FOR ARTHUR
Expect the odds on this fella to keep dropping if for no other reason than everybody even mildly related to somebody called Arthur will be backing him. There are worse reasons to part with your money but the good news is this runner is in with a shout. His form, weight, and ability to stay the distance tick plenty of boxes.
NO.22 | JOCKEY: D FOX | FORM: 43-151 | WEIGHT: 10-11 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: L RUSSELL
THE YOUNG MASTER
He has been ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen since 2015 and while the amateur jockey has an enviable record around Aintree, he may have his work cut out for him this year if The Young Master's recent form is anything to go by. And that is the problem. He is a good horse, who can win big races and do very well – when he is on form. Will it be the Gold Cup Chase winner who turns up on the day or the horse that fell in the Becher Chase – who knows?
NO.13 | JOCKEY: S WALEY-COHEN | FORM: 31-F06 | WEIGHT: 10-13 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: N MULHOLLAND
We tipped him last year and we're tipping him again this year. Trainer Gordon Elliott sees Ucello Conti as his best chance to win the race he first won back in 2007 with Silver Birch. Ucello Conti is primed to improve on his 6th place finish in last years National and backers can be confident that his trainer will have him firing on all cylinders come race day – Strong contender
NO.18 | JOCKEY: D JACOB | FORM: 74724 | WEIGHT: 10-12 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
THE LAST SAMURI
A terrific run from The Last Samuri in the 2016 National saw him finish in second place. Another year on and he should definitely be in contention for the ultimate prize especially as he also finished 2nd in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster. Nevertheless, it will be a battle for The Last Samuri as the handicapper has given him a stone more to carry this time round.
NO.1 | JOCKEY: D BASS | FORM: 12-532 | WEIGHT: 11-10 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: K BAILEY
SAPHIR DU RHEU
Was unlucky to fall in the Hennessy Gold Cup because other than that little blip, Saphir Du Rhea has had a perfect jumping record for more than two years with no falls, unseats or pull ups. He's a classy runner who may go well in the Grand National especially as he came out of the Gold Cup in good form.
NO.5 | JOCKEY: S TWISTON-DAVIES | FORM: 3F215 | WEIGHT: 11-05 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Trained by Paul Nicholls, Vicente was the winner of the 2016 Scottish Grand National and a 6th place finisher in the Coral Welsh National in December. Clearly a horse who loves racing over long distances and he will stay all day. He ticks nearly all the boxes when it comes to the profile of a potential winner and was recently purchased by three time Grand National winning owner Trevor Hemmings – A move which should give backers every confidence in his ability – strong chance!
NO.29 | JOCKEY: B HUGHES | FORM: 1-F669 | WEIGHT: 10-10 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Won the Irish Grand National last year but hasn't really produced the goods this season. Well beaten in the Becher Chase – 59L behind Vieux Lion Rouge, so would really need to dig deep to make an impact at Aintree. That said, trainer Mouse Morris won with Rule The World last season and he'd never even won a chase before so miracles do happen!
NO.34 | JOCKEY: B COOPER | FORM: 080095 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: M MORRIS
A stalwart of the Grand National, Saint Are finished 2nd in the 2015 before heading back in 2016 as one of the favourites. Unfortunately, he couldn't keep up and had to be pulled up. Back again for 2017, he's on four pounds more and a little bit older but you can never rule him out and you could do a lot worse than backing a horse who has run at Aintree 11 times and won over £320K there!
NO.28 | JOCKEY: D RUSSELL | FORM: 0-53F2 | WEIGHT: 10-10 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: T GEORGE
Highland Lodge just missed the cut for the 2016 National but thankfully is guaranteed his spot in 2017. His seasonal return was fantastic when he finished second in the Becher Chase over the National fences so if he can continue his good form he could do very well on April 8th.
NO.25 | JOCKEY: H BROOKE | FORM: 721P-2 | WEIGHT: 10-11 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: J MOFFATT
The Tom George trained horse is outside the age range you’d expect to find in a Grand National winner. However, the seven-year-old has landed a few nice races in his short career. Scored back in December at Kempton and then returned in February only to be beaten by half a length in the BetBright Handicap Chase.
NO.19 | JOCKEY: A P HESKIN | FORM: -2P512 | WEIGHT: 10-12 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: T GEORGE
THUNDER AND ROSES
A winner of the Irish Grand National in 2015 and second in the BobbyJo chase earlier this year, he is not without his merits and trainer Mouse Morris is more than capable of getting the best out of him.
NO.36 | JOCKEY: M ENRIGHT | FORM: 207226 | WEIGHT: 10-07 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: M MORRIS
Has never fallen or unseated and from 27 race starts has only pulled up twice (although one was last year's Grand National) so if it's consistency you're after you could do worse than backing Wonderful Charm. Finished second in the Foxhunter's Chase at Cheltenham and looks to be in fine form.
NO.8 | JOCKEY: K WALSH | FORM: P7-112 | WEIGHT: 11-02 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
DROP OUT JOE
Drop Out Joe regularly races over three miles so he should have no problems with the long Aintree course. This Charlie Longsdon trained 9-year-old ran in the 2015 Scottish Grand National where he finished in 9th place. His last race was over nine months ago and that makes it difficult to assess his chances – could be the dark horse?
NO.11 | JOCKEY: T O'BRIEN | FORM: 1570-1 | WEIGHT: 11-01 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: C LONGSDON
Ran carrying top weight in 2015 before being pulled up. In the two years since he has only ran three times, making his seasonal return in November 2016. He has done ok, run his races well but isn't on the form of his Gold Cup winning years. That said, a horse of his calibre can't be written off so easily and with such a good weight this year, he could surprise on the day.
NO.27 | JOCKEY: L ASPELL | FORM: PP/295 | WEIGHT: 10-10 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: J CULLOTY
RAZ DE MAREE
Raz De Maree has seen a big improvement in form this season, winning the Cork Grand National in October and finishing second in the Coral Welsh National in December. He's a solid long-distance chaser who's getting on but still going strong. No doubt he will appeal to all the Marie's out there!
NO.32 | JOCKEY: G FOX | FORM: U21722 | WEIGHT: 10-09 | AGE: 12 | TRAINER: G CROMWELL
Last year Perfect Candidate just missed the cut and this year, ironically, he may have been given too much weight (statistically) to be considered a serious contender. 11-05 is just outside of the sweet spot though he skipped Cheltenham so connections may be quite optimistic about the Grand National. Whilst he may not be the perfect candidate for the Grand National, he's not to be dismissed.
NO.4 | JOCKEY: P BRENNAN | FORM: 1-02P1 | WEIGHT: 11-05 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: F O'BRIEN
ROI DES FRANCS
Roi Des Francs ended his dry spell on March 17th with a win at Down Royal in the Daily Mirror Chase. To his credit though he has never fallen or unseated and only pulled up once in his career and that was two years ago so the chances are he'll probably get around but whether he can contest for the win is another question.
NO.6 | JOCKEY: J KENNEDY | FORM: 320541 | WEIGHT: 11-03 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
JUST A PAR
Just A Par is in good form based on his most recent win at Newbury. He finished 15th in the 2016 Grand National and will be fancied by plenty of golfers who will probably stick a few quid on him!
NO.30 | JOCKEY: H COBDEN | FORM: 02-4P1 | WEIGHT: 10-09 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
COCKTAILS AT DAWN
Unfortunately Cocktails At Dawn hasn't been on form for nearly two years. From his last five runs he has been pulled-up twice and fallen twice and was second-to-last in the fifth start. The one thing in his favour though is that the weight he has been given is the lowest of his entire racing career so with less on his back he may be able to do better than his recent form would suggest.
NO.35 | JOCKEY: N DE BOINVILLE | FORM: F-P4FP | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: N HENDERSON
One for all the medics out there, Doctor Harper has made the cut as no.40 for this year's national taking David Pipe's runners up to four for the big race. Things will be tough for the Doc as he has only just started running chases at 3m+ this season though he gave a decent account of himself at Cheltenham last month when finishing 7th in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase.
NO.40 | JOCKEY: C O'FARRELL | FORM: -P92P7 | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: D. PIPE
It’s worth noting that last year’s Grand National winner Rule The World was soundly beaten at Naas by Wounded Warrior back in January 2015. Shortly after that race he went on to score a third place in the RSA Chase but the Noel Meade trained eight-year-old has shown little fighting spirit since then.
NO.7 | JOCKEY: S FLANAGAN | FORM: 6-406P | WEIGHT: 11-02 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: N MEADE
If ever there was a runner that needed it to bucket down before the Grand National, then Tenor Niverais would be it. If you fancy backing him, hold off until the British weather has had its say before parting with your money. This horse has never won on good ground and likes a good ‘ole slog around in the mud – the heavier the better.
NO.9 | JOCKEY: A COLEMAN | FORM: 34312 | WEIGHT: 11-01 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: V WILLIAMS
HOUBLON DES OBEAUX
An experienced chaser with plenty of runs under his belt, Houblon Des Obeaux ticks the boxes for age and weight and of course is also trained by Grand National winning trainer, Venetia Williams. He also ran well and finished fourth in the Midlands Grand National in March so has a lot going for him and could spring a surprise.
NO.20 | JOCKEY: C DEUTSCH | FORM: P-3484 | WEIGHT: 10-12 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: V WILLIAMS
There is nothing regal about the performances from this horse over the last year. He has been pulled up six times from eight starts. Seriously, that's 75% of his races since January 2016. I'm sure his trainer must be tearing his hair out especially as he does show moments of brilliance but certainly not enough to make me part with my money and back him.
NO.15 | JOCKEY: R POWER | FORM: 2PP1P | WEIGHT: 10-13 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: A HONEYBALL
If recent form was the only indicator to a Grand National winner then Measureofmydreams wouldn't really feature. A lacklustre performance at Cheltenham that was preceded by being pulled-up at Gowran in January. He's lightly raced and may lack the necessary experience needed to get around the National fences. He's another runner who needs the ground on the heavy side to stand a fighting chance.
NO.31 | JOCKEY: D MEYLER | FORM: 3F0-P0 | WEIGHT: 10-09 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: N MEADE
A very good horse who has plenty of experience under his belt and of all the long-odds runners this year, he would be the one that's ripe for an each-way bet. This season he has notched up two seconds, a third and a fourth place in the likes of the Paddy Power Chase and the Munster National, he has never fallen or unseated and only pulled-up once in his career. He has also been partnered with David Mullins, last year's Grand National winning jockey, on his last four runs.
NO.33 | JOCKEY: D MULLINS | FORM: 103242 | WEIGHT: 10-09 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: H DE BROMHEAD
GAS LINE BOY
Was moved to trainer Ian Williams a year ago and has done quite well under his guidance starting with a second place finish at Uttoxeter before notching up a win at Kelso in December and finishing fourth to Vieux Lion Rouge in the Grand National Trail at Haydock in February. A decent runner, on good form but one who fell on his only Grand National attempt back in 2015. If he can around he could contend for a place this year.
NO.37 | JOCKEY: R DUNNE | FORM: 243144 | WEIGHT: 10-07 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: I WILLIAMS
Trainer Rebecca Curtis has Shantou Flyer soaring again after his recent yard move. He finished second behind Cue Card in the Betfair Ascot Chase in February. Before that he bagged a decent prize purse at Cheltenham. On the downside he'll be carrying near top weight and statistically speaking he’s still too young to win the big one. Having said that he's still available at juicy odds and that could see eachway backers flying in.
NO.3 | JOCKEY: J MOORE | FORM: 529142 | WEIGHT: 11-05 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: R CURTIS
Le Mercurey generally carries a lot more weight than he has been given by the Handicapper for Aintree. His form is very good and at first glance he looks like a reasonable prospect but he hasn't won beyond 2m5f so the marathon Aintree trip may be a challenge for him.
NO.12 | JOCKEY: S BOWEN | FORM: 32523 | WEIGHT: 11-00 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Pulled up in November, pulled up in December and pulled up in January on three different types of grounds, carrying three different weights and over three different distances but all at Cheltenham. So maybe it's Cheltenham he doesn't like or maybe he's just not on form, either way it's difficult to see how he could go out and run a blinder in the Grand National. Then again, stranger things have happened!
NO.23 | JOCKEY: D NOONAN | FORM: 722PPP | WEIGHT: 10-11 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: D PIPE
I'm not normally keen on runners whose recent form is a bit off and that's exactly what O'Faolains Boy is – a bit off. In the last 12 months (roughly) he has run in five races and been pulled-up in three of them including in March 2017. Trainer Rebecca Curtis would need to be a miracle worker to get him to the point where he could seriously contend by April 8th.
NO.24 | JOCKEY: P TOWNEND | FORM: P87-PP | WEIGHT: 10-11 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: R CURTIS
Was unlucky not to make the cut last year but has definitely secured his place this time around. He can be a little inconsistent but there's no doubting that when he's on form he can really pull it out of the bag. Won the Grand National Trial last season and has also ran in the Coral Welsh national so has stamina in abundance.
NO.26 | JOCKEY: JAMIE MOORE | FORM: UF-403 | WEIGHT: 10-10 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: K LEE
Goodtoknow has definitely got his positives one of which is that he has made it into the money more than 50% of the times he has run. The down side is that he has also been pulled up four times in the last two years, including at last year's Scottish National which was won by fellow National contender, Vicente. The distance looks set to challenge him as will the fact that he has never run at Aintree so the fences may cause him problems.
NO.38 | JOCKEY: J GREENALL | FORM: -8521P | WEIGHT: 10-07 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: K LEE
It looks like trainer David Pipe will be fielding the favourite, Vieux Lion Rouge, and a 100/1 shot on Saturday. La Vaticane is a real long shot, she is a grey and a mare! The last mare to win the National was Nickel Coin back in 1951, and since then only a couple of mares have finished in the places – the last being Dubacilla who finished fourth in 1995. The odds would seem to reflect her chances of rewriting the record books.
NO.39 | JOCKEY: R McLERNON | FORM: -2515P | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: D PIPE
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.
Odds Updated April 8th 2017
Check the odds with your Bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur. Full Terms and Conditions for the free bet offers can be found on the Betfair and Paddy Power websites - please read them before signing up.
Paddy Power is now 'No Runner, No Bet' and is paying out each way bets to SIX places. Betfair is also 'No Runner, No Bet' and is paying out each way bets to FIVE places.
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 that 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 2017 there were 110 entries, 2016 had 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 2017 it was on February 14th, 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 Randox Health Grand National.
The criteria for professional or amateur jockeys wanting to take 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!