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.40 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 267-11 | WEIGHT: 10-07 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: D PIPE
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 and four places 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.6 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 112-53 | WEIGHT: 11-05 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: K BAILEY
A potential Grand National 2017 runner that is definitely worth taking a second look at, Blaklion has won three and placed in a further three chases from just 10 starts, notching up over £214K in earnings. Despite being only 8 years old, he is definitely a long distance chaser, has run at Aintree and has bagged three wins at Cheltenham all at significantly more weight than he has been allocated for the Grand National.
NO.24 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 13-453 | WEIGHT: 10-10 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: N TWISTON-DAVIES
ONE FOR ARTHUR
A horse on very good form this season, One For Arthur started the season with a win at Kelso, followed by a 5th place finish in the Becher Chase around the Grand National fences at Aintree, before getting back to winning ways at Warwick in January. He will definitely make the cut having been given a decent weight by the Handicapper so it's all systems go for everybody who knows anybody called ‘Arthur' sticks their bets on him!
NO.45 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 43-151 | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: L RUSSELL
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 is only 7 years old so while he has excellent credentials, I can't see his connections giving the go ahead for the race especially with the Gold Cup on the cards.
NO.9 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 21-3FU | WEIGHT: 11-02 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: J O'NEILL
Entered in both 2016 and 2015, Carlingford Lough has been withdrawn both times with connections opting to got to Cheltenham and the Gold Cup instead.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 six wins and five places from his 23 Chase starts, Carlingford Lough is a very highly rated horse who has notched up over £530K in earnings over the course of his career.
NO.5 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 14-144 | WEIGHT: 11-06 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: J KIELY
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.39 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 6-7472 | WEIGHT: 10-07 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
MORE OF THAT
Third in last season's Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, More Of That is certainly a worthy Grand National contender but this season he has had a couple of bumps in the road when pulled-up at BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November and unseated his jockey in the Irish Gold Cup last time out. That said, he is World Hurdle winner and has been given a very good weight – the lowest he will run off since 2013.
NO.11 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 3-P36U | WEIGHT: 11-01 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: J O'NEILL
THE YOUNG MASTER
The first Grand National entry for the Neil Mulholland trained The Young Master 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 unfortunately that didn't continue as he fell first time out this season at Aintree, in the Becher Chase and he didn't do much better last time out at Cheltenham where he finished 14th from 15 runners.
NO.34 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 631-F0 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: N MULHOLLAND
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 finished 17th in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown before an equally unimpressive 7th place finish over hurdles last time out. He's also very far down the pecking order for the National and unlikely to make the cut.
NO.70 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 5U-407 | WEIGHT: 10-01 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: A J MARTIN
A horse that is definitely on a roll with three back-to-back wins all with Katie Walsh on board. To put that in context, form the five times she has partnered him has won four of them, including his first ever race back in 2012. Even more remarkable is the fact that in the last two wins he carried 12st, and has only been given 10-12 for the Grand National. That said, he likes the ground a bit soft and has never really been tested over a distance like the National.
NO.20 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 552111 | WEIGHT: 10-12 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: T WALSH
O FAOLAINS BOY
Every time O'Faolains Boy hits his strides he seems to fall prey to injury including being sidelined for a year between November 2014 and 2015. On his return he had five starts but was pulled up in two of them and was set for a seasonal return in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in November 2016 but again got injured. He is due for a couple of runs very soon so time will tell if he has found his good form again.
NO.44 | JOCKEY: | FORM: P1P87- | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: R CURTIS
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 39 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.31 | JOCKEY: | FORM: P-5P05 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
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 38 starts under race rules. From 32 chases he has won four and placed in five more, winning the Irish Grand National in 2016. However, his form this season has been less than impressive despite being tested on different types of going and across a wide variety of weights.
NO.60 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 080095 | WEIGHT: 10-03 | 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 and with a weight of just 10-05 for the Grand National, Nicholls must be very optimistic about his chances.
NO.50 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 51-F66 | WEIGHT: 10-05 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
As form goes, Regal Encore is erratic to say the least. In his four races since November 2016, he has pulled up three times but won at Ascot and he clearly doesn't like Cheltenham, pulling up on all four occasions that he run there since January 2016. From 12 chase starts he has won two and placed twice more. Maybe Aintree can be the making of him but with six pull ups form his last eight races I won't be backing him!
NO.33 | JOCKEY: | FORM: -2PP1P | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: A HONEYBALL
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.18 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1P0-29 | WEIGHT: 10-12 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: N MULHOLLAND
A runner well worth keeping an eye on, Definitly Red has only had one blip in form this season and that was last time out at Haydock when he unseated Henry Brooke but had three wins and a third place finish before that. He has an impressive return on runs and has won or placed in six of his eight chase starts.
NO.35 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1-131U | WEIGHT: 10-07 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: B ELLISON
This nine year old from trainer Henry De Bromhead looks to be in fine form notching up back-to-back wins in January. From 11 chase starts he has has a healthy return rate of four wins and three places but he's also booked in for the Ryanair Chase and the Gold Cup so whether he makes it to Aintree will have to be determined later in the season.
NO.2 | JOCKEY: | FORM: FP-311 | WEIGHT: 11-09 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: H DE BROMHEAD
Le Mercurey generally carries a lot of weight despite being only 7 years old so the 10-09 he has been given by the Handicapper must have been a huge relief for connections. His form is very good and from 11 chase starts he has won three and placed in another five which is great but they were all Novice Chases and he has never won beyond 2m7f so the trip to Aintree may be a challenge.
NO.29 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1-3252 | WEIGHT: 10-09 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
A winner last time out at Exeter, Perfect Candidate was entered last year and made it to the reserves but ultimately didn't make the cut so what a difference a year makes as he is now most definitely in the top 40 and with 11-00 to potentially carry, has seen his weight go up by 12lbs, on the 10-02 he was given in 2016.
NO.13 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1-02P1 | WEIGHT: 11-00 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: F O'BRIEN
Fourth in the 2014 Grand National, he followed it up with another 4th place finish in the 2015 renewal. last year he opted for the Scottish Grand National over Aintree and was rewarded with a second place finish. His most recent trip to Aintree in the Becher Chase wasn't as successful and unfortunately he fell which seems to be his undoing as the Handicapper marked him so low he has almost no chance at all of making the cut for the 2017 renewal.
NO.101 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 82-6F6 | WEIGHT: 9-05 | AGE: 12 | TRAINER: F O'BRIEN
It would be an absolute miracle if Hadrians Approach actually made it into the line-up for the Grand National this year. Currently he is so far down the list, that he has almost no chance. He's a good, solid chaser but unlikely we will see him take part this year.
NO.75 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 7U6-94 | WEIGHT: 9-12 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: N HENDERSON
SAPHIR DU RHEU
A potential runner with a lot of options on the table for this season including Ascot, Kempton and both the Ryanair Chase and Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Whether or not he will go to Aintree will be decided by connections but don't be surprised if he goes for glory elsewhere this year with a view to running at Aintree next season.
NO.14 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 65-3F2 | WEIGHT: 11-00 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
A stalwart of the Grand National, Saint Are finished 2nd in the 2015 running before heading back in 2016 as one of the favourites. Unfortunately, he couldn't keep up and had to be pulled up by jockey Paddy Brennan. Back again for 2017, he's on the same weight as last year but form has been sketchy including a fall in the Becher Chase back in December. Don't rule him out entirely as he is capable of a big performance and likes Aintree.
NO.49 | JOCKEY: | FORM: P0-53F | WEIGHT: 10-05 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: T GEORGE
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.62 | JOCKEY: | FORM: P9-87P | WEIGHT: 10-03 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: J. O'NEILL
Was unlucky not to make the cut in 2016 when he ended up as a reserve but has definitely secured his place for the 2017 National. He's had a few runs this season but in quite small races, the last two of which were hurdles but that could be a clever preparation route if the Grand National is the ultimate goal for connections.
NO.32 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 61-450 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 12 | TRAINER: P GRIFFIN
Sausalito Sunrise hasn't quite manage to recapture his good form of last season where he won or placed in five of his six runs. From his three starts so far this season, he has finished 11th, fifth and unseated his jockey Richard Johnson last time out. That said, he still has a couple of runs penned in and if he does well his National credentials will definitely be given a boost.
NO.17 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 43-05U | WEIGHT: 10-13 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P HOBBS
Another solid entry from trainer Gordon Elliott, Tiger Roll is on good, consistent form and unlike a lot of potential runners, runs throughout most of the year and doesn't appear to need a lot of rest in between races if the 13 race starts since March 2016 are anything to go by. A few things to consider though including the fact that he is only 7 years old and doesn't have a huge amount of experience over the longer distances.
NO.27 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 222133 | WEIGHT: 10-10 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
Save your money, this runner has absolutely no chance of making the cut. At number 96 when the weights came out, he could be a million to one and it would make no difference as he won't get within sniffing distance of the Grand National starting line.
NO.96 | JOCKEY: | FORM: P-31FP | WEIGHT: 9-07 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: J DREAPER
A lot of potential runners need to get withdrawn for Potters Cross to have any hope of making the cut this year. In fact, it's highly unlikely. Aside from that, Potters Cross has also had a mixed season so far with two wins, a second place and yet also been pulled up twice. As potential Grand National runners go, he's just ‘ok'.
NO.77 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 61P21P | WEIGHT: 9-11 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: R CURTIS
Highland Lodge just missed the cut for the 2016 National but thankfully is back this year with a better rating and at number 42 after the weights were released is more than guaranteed his spot in the starting 40. 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.42 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 721P-2 | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: J MOFFATT
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 February 20th 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.
The horses listed on this page are the potential entrants in the 2017 Grand National. No horse is guaranteed a run until the final declaration stage (6th April). Ante-post terms and conditions apply until Bookmakers announce they are ‘Non Runner No Bet’. Until then you may lose your stake if you bet in the antepost market and your selection does not run. A maximum field of 40 runners is permitted.
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 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 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!