A maximum field of 40 runners have been declared for Saturday’s Aintree Grand National.
26 of the field are trained in Ireland, among them Noble Yeats who’ll bid to emulate Tiger Roll and Red Rum in winning back-to-back Grand Nationals. The top-weight is Any Second Now – who has been third and second in the last two renewals.
Corach Rambler is sure to be fancied by many as he’s well-handicapped based on his Cheltenham win. He’s trained by Lucinda Russell and ridden by Derek Fox, the trainer-rider combination that won the 2017 Grand National with One For Arthur.
Gordon Elliott has trained the winner of the Grand National on three occasions, and will saddle six in Saturday’s feature. Among Elliott’s contenders are last years third Delta Work, and Galvin who would provide Davy Russell with a fairytale final winner should he win the Aintree feature.
Willie Mullins last won the Grand National in 2005 with Hedgehunter, and he’ll be five-handed with Mr Incredible the shortest price of his runners. The enigmatic seven-year-old is unpredictable and has got his own ideas, but there’s every chance this unique challenge could bring out the best in him. Interestingly, Paul Townend has chosen to ride Gaillard Du Mesnil – a Grade One winning novice chaser last seen winning at the Cheltenham Festival.
Rachael Blackmore created history in 2021 when becoming the first female rider to win this historic race. She’ll ride Ain’t That A Shame, who’s lightly raced unexposed profile, leaves him a big player. He’s a horse that should have landed a big handicaps at Limerick and Leopardstown earlier this season. That means he could still be ahead of the handicapper, and he’s a big player of getting a trouble free passage.
Other Irish horses with chances are The Big Dog – Peter Fahey’s charge won the Bar One Racing Troytown at Navan back in November. He’s been over-looked by Keith Donoghue who’s chosen to ride Delta Work. Vanillier could surprise if he returns to the form of 2021. He’s a Grade One winning novice hurdler and finished second in the Bobbyjo Chase, a good trial for the Aintree Grand National at Fairyhouse on his last outing.
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