Grand National Pinstickers' Guide

Grand National runners: Horse-by-horse preview and tips


The final field has been declared for the Randox Grand National and you can check out our horse-by-horse guide to all 40 runners.


Randox Grand National


It's 50 years since Red Rum won his first Grand National and in honour of the Aintree great, we're using a glass of Red Rum rather than stars on this year's guide.

They range from one glass to give and the more Red Rums, the better we think the horse's chance is.


ANY SECOND NOW

…Ted Walsh is going to grab you, tell you the handicapper has been a disgrace and he can’t possibly win from eight pounds higher than when second last year. Thank him and only when out of ear shot mutter ‘maybe not but he’ll still run very well given his record around here and good win at Navan last time.’ Must stress the out of ear shot part, though.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷


NOBLE YEATS

No dentist in the saddle this time with Sam Waley-Cohen hanging up his saddle and pro cush after last year’s explosive win. Sean Bowen is getting a fine tune out of the eight-year-old though and they say back-to-back winners are going to become more common in the new Nash. We’ll see.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷

Noble Yeats pictured with winning connections
Noble Yeats pictured with 2022 winning connections


GALVIN

Davy Russell came out of retirement for Cheltenham, went back in it during the final day of that meeting, only to be resurrected over Easter to take the ride on this fellow. Tiger Roll’s jockey teams up with Gordon Elliott again and has a big chance of bowing out in glory – if in fact he is bowing out. Or is out of retirement.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷


FURY ROAD

Got going too late in the Ryanair at Cheltenham but is talented and might just take to this test too. One of the Gordon Elliott armada and a player.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷

Paddy Power - delete


THE BIG DOG

He’s not you know, instead a very tough, talented and reliable staying chaser. He’s won a National in Munster, finished third in one in Wales but if he’s to win the Grandest of them all, he’ll need to avoid making the odd mistake that he’s prone to.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷


CAPODANNO

Had a setback in the autumn but top connections decided to swerve Cheltenham and have a tilt at this once they saw the weights. He’s a bit light on experience over fences but then again so was Noble Yeats last year. If he takes to the place he’ll just about win.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷


DELTA WORK

Owned by Michael O’Leary, trained by Gordon Elliott and the winner of the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase. He’s not Tiger Roll but is a very plausible Randox Grand National winner for the same team minus Davy Russell. Who is still out of retirement as I type this.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷


SAM BROWN

Not sure if he’s named after the ‘blue-eyed soul and jazz singer, and ukulele and piano player’ but I hope he is. She burned bright in the late 1980s, unleashing six singles (kids ask your dad) but her equine namesake has more longevity. And a fair bit to find in this.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


LIFETIME AMBITION

Would be a popular winner for Jessie Harrington but got tired late on when fourth in the Grand Sefton over these fences in November and has another mile and five furlongs to run on Saturday. Hope he’s got plenty of miles into the legs at home.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷

DELETE


CAREFULLY SELECTED

Had nearly two years off the track but won at Gowran in January and shaped well in the Bobbyjo too. A player for Team Mullins.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷


COKO BEACH

He’s grey and cut a fine sight out in front for much of last year’s race. He didn’t stay – nor did he in the Irish National previously. If you like to back a horse you’ll get to see a lot during the race on ITV then you could do a lot worse. If you want one who’s in front on ITV at the winning post, you could do a lot better.

Red Rum rating: 🍷

Download the Sporting Life Grand National sweepstake kit
Click here to download the Sporting Life Grand National sweepstake kit


LONGHOUSE POET

Travelled serenely through last year’s race but the petrol tank emptied, and creative juices dried up late on as he tired into sixth. He’s dusting off the cravat for another go and Hedgehunter won the Nash having appeared not to stay the previous year. There’s always that.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷


Sky Bet's Grand National Specials

What will the Grand National race winning distance be?

  • Under 2.25 lengths - 13/8
  • 2.25 Lengths to 5.75 lengths inclusive - 7/4
  • Over 5.75 lengths - 13/8

Click here for more specials and all the latest Aintree odds


GAILLARD DU MESNIL

Not a frequent winner but did land the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last time. He might have been lucky there, might have had too hard a race to back it up and be on song in the National, but he might just have the right mix of class and stamina to win a National too. You pays your money, you takes your choice.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷

Gaillard Du Mesnil wins at Cheltenham
Gaillard Du Mesnil wins at Cheltenham


DARASSO

I backed him ante-post for the 2020 Champion Hurdle. No honestly, I did. I won’t be backing him for the 2023 Randox Grand National as he’s been out-of-sorts of late. But haven’t we all.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


LE MILOS

Hmmm. One of two big British players having won the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury and giving the impression he’d have followed up at Kelso next time had Harry Skelton counted to ten. He’ll need to get to 20 on Saturday but if he does, he has the mount to give him a memorable spin.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷


ESCARIA TEN

Ninth last year but beaten…let me count…75 lengths. Pulled up at Cheltenham last time and while that might have been putting the finishing touches to his Aintree preparations, much, much more is needed at the weekend.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


THE BIG BREAKAWAY

One for fans of the Jim Davidson and John Virgo TV spectacular and the yellow-wrapped chocolate biscuits of the same era. Not for me though. Any of the three.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


CAPE GENTLEMAN

Shark Hanlon was tasked with finding a National runner for a new American owner. Mission accomplished with this fellow but even his optimistic trainer admits there are some stamina doubts to answer.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


ROI MAGE

I spent ages trying to get the English translation and think it’s wise man – something I’m clearly not. Another useful Irish staying handicap chaser who if he gets the break might pick up some gold.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷


DIOL KER

Won a National in Leinster and ran a cracker when second in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas. There are worse 66/1 chances knocking around in this year’s race.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷


A WAVE OF THE SEA

Not an obvious stayer or winner – the Timeform analyst reaching for the word “abysmal” when trying to sum up his run in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham. Presume he won’t be firing up Oddschecker to see what price this fellow is on Nash morning.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


MINELLA TRUMP

Fans of the former President, owners of “Make America Great Again” baseball caps and the flatulent might be lining up to back this one. He’s trained by Donald McCain who’s won the Nash and his dad Ginger McCain trained Red Rum. Now there’s an Aintree pedigree.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷


VANILLIER

Ice, Ice Baby. Sorry only me then. He’s a player – the horse, not good old Vanilla – after a fine prep in the Bobbyjo (see for yourself with the full replay below). So stop, collaborate and listen: get him on the shortlist.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷

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VELVET ELVIS

Second to Any Second Now at Navan last time and fans of the King (Presley not Charles) will be lining up to back this fellow. Can’t have them all on the shortlist though.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


AIN’T THAT A SHAME

It is but thems the breaks and this fellow is most definitely on what is now a longlist. Travelled powerfully through a couple of really good handicap chases in the winter. Henry De Bromhead knows what it to takes to win a National and has resisted other temptations to send this fellow to Aintree.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷


CORACH RAMBLER

Sounds like a knitwear range modelled by John Craven but is in fact the favourite for this after winning the Ultima at Cheltenham in March. The handicapper would love another swing at him but can’t – Lucinda Russell has won the great race before for Scotland and the only problem with this fellow is the price. He has just about everything else going for him.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷


ENJOY D’ALLEN

James Bond may be 007 but Enjoy D’Allen is 0006 this season and that doesn’t suggest he’s about to win a National.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


MR INCREDIBLE

Now there’s quirky and then there’s this fellow who very much decides what he wants to do – and when. The Mullins team have been steadily working him out all year and if Brian Hayes can get a tune out of him then he has the ability to win this. Whether he fancies doing so might be another matter though.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷


MISTER COFFEY

Nicky Henderson has never won the Nash. He says he doesn’t mind people pointing it out but probably does. This quirky so and so ran OK behind Gaillard Du Mesnil at Cheltenham and is no forlorn hope but lost interest after a mistake at Becher’s in the Topham and might not stay. The wait is set to go on.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷


CLOUDY GLEN

Carries the colours of the late Trevor Hemmings which are so synonymous with the great race but hard to get too enthusiastic over his recent efforts.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


HILL SIXTEEN

The pride of sporting Dundee and proven around these big fences but probably needs a deluge or two to have a chance of sending his owners and legions of fans dancing for joy on the banks of the Tay.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷

Hill Sixteen (left) and Snow Leopardess battle it out at Aintree
Hill Sixteen (left) and Snow Leopardess battle it out at Aintree


GABBYS CROSS

Another for the De Bromhead team and don’t throw the ticket away if you draw him in the office sweep – especially if there are prizes down to sixth. There aren’t in ours which is a disgrace.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷


RECITE A PRAYER

Won his National in Killarney but never looked like getting involved in the Becher Chase over these fences in November and Team Mullins have other bigger players.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


EVA’S OSKAR

Represents Wales and having a good season. Proved his stamina for this sort of test when fourth in the Eider Chase but this is deeper, and he needs more.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


OUR POWER

Another for Wales and arrives on a roll having won valuable pots at Ascot and Kempton (see latter replay below). From a handicapping perspective he’s a contender and he has a lovely light weight too.

Red Rum rating: 🍷🍷🍷

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DUNBOYNE

Hope he doesn’t get to chat to Mr Incredible before the race having also refused to jump off in the past. Talented on his day but quirky and needs to be on his very best behaviour.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


FRANCKY DU BERLAIS

Was running a cracker when refusing at the last in the Cross-Country at Cheltenham and might well have finished third. Has a good record of completing over these fences but no record of staying this far.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


FORTESCUE

Didn’t convince in last year’s Nash (unseated four out) or when fourth in the Becher in December that these fences really are for him. And they need to be on Saturday.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


BACK ON THE LASH

If you are please do so responsibly and have a soft drink between every alcoholic one. It’s a long day. Harry Redknapp part owns this fella but he ran no race at Cheltenham (Back On The Lash, not Harry) and that’s not ideal.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


BORN BY THE SEA

He’ll be a big price – and understandably so – so one for those who can see the beach when they fling open their curtains on a morning. Or those who moved inland but used to be able to.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


GEVREY

Exceeded expectations when fourth at Cheltenham last time and that’s always a nice thing to get on your report. The fact that consistency isn’t always his strong point isn’t. Was also engaged in Monday's Irish Grand National.

Red Rum rating: 🍷


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CONCLUSION

A fascinating National and I couldn’t put anyone off Corach Rambler or Le Milos among the home team. But the Irish raiding party will be hard to repel. Capodanno and Ain’t That A Shame are two Aintree newcomers who are fancied to go close but preference is for DELTA WORK who ran a cracker to be third last year and arrives off the back of another Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase win at Cheltenham.

1. DELTA WORK

2. Capodanno

3. Corach Rambler

4. Ain’t That A Shame

5. Le Milos


Our full Grand National coverage


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