2018 Aintree Grand National Runner-By-Runner Guide

Have you picked your horse yet, for the world’s most famous horse race? Seymour Biz provides his runner-by-runner guide to the 2018 Aintree Grand National, which takes place on Saturday.

You will read a lot about formulae for picking the winner of the big race, however these have been thrown into disarray in recent years due to the large pot of cash up for offer. The race now attracts a better class of animal, the fences are now not so much of a lottery and the general trend has seen younger, less exposed horses winning. There have been two eight year old winners in the last three years the first of that age since 1992.

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As to weight, in the last ten years there have been five winners under 10 stone and five over, so weight does not seem to be an issue. Age is important, the winners seem to come from between eight to eleven year old, older horses do not seem to do so well as in past years due to the better class of younger horses now running in the race. As to experience they should have run in at least ten chases and have won over three miles or further.

So after digesting all those criteria you are ready to pick the winner of the worlds greatest steeplechase, with that in mind here is my list of the forty in at the five day stage and four reserves.

Minella Rocco. 11st 10lbs. Second in Gold Cup at Cheltenham last year, has too much too carry round here over four and a quarter miles. Fell in Ireland last time out.⭐⭐

Blaklion. 11st 9lbs. A class act, has won over these fences. Second here last time out. Fourth in this race last year. Has been raced this season purely with this race in mind. Every chance.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Anibale Fly. 11st 7lbs. Third in this years Cheltenham Gold Cup, when was staying on at end, however that was his lifetimes best run and he is unlikely to repeat it.⭐⭐⭐

The Last Samurai. 11-7. His third effort in this race so is a bit of an old campaigner. Was second in 2016, got round last year but was out with the washing, past his best.⭐⭐

Valseur Lido. 11-6. Was a smart stayer a couple of years ago but has suffered injuries. Would be a surprise if he is up to this, has had a poor year.⭐

Total Recall. 11-4. One of the stars of the Willie Mullins stable. Has won three of last four, fell in the Cheltenham Gold Cup but won the Munster National easily. Great chance.⭐⭐⭐⭐

Alpha Des Obeaux. 11-3. His trainer Mouse Morris has won a National so he knows what is required. This horse has been highly tried, will stay.⭐⭐⭐

Gold Present. 11-3. Did not jump well in last years Topham Chase and was pulled up at Cheltenham . However has been aimed at this race since the beginning of the season.⭐⭐⭐

Perfect Candidate. 11-2. Sadly seems out of form this year and was pulled up in this race last year. Very little chance of success.⭐

Shantou Flyer. 11-1. Fair handicapper, prefers soft going. Been second on last four occasions including in the Ultima at Cheltenham, always seems to find one too good.⭐⭐

Tenor Nivernais. 11-0. Was out with the washing in this last year. Has raced twice this year and been pulled up and last, can’t give him much hope at eleven years old.⭐

Carlingford Lough. 11-0. Irish chaser owned by J.P.McManus, poor form this season, has not run in 2018. Has not visited these shores since 2016, long in the tooth now.⭐

Vicente. 10-12. Fell at the first last year however an excellent handicapper on his day. Has won Scottish National twice and will be going to Ayr to try for hat-trick.⭐⭐⭐

Tiger Roll. 10-12. On a great handicap mark, won the Cross Country at Cheltenham last time. It is reported Gordon Elliot has him spot on for this, however has never jumped a National fence.⭐⭐⭐

Regal Encore. 10-12. Was eighth in this last year, won a good three mile chase at Ascot in February, however I don’t think he has enough to figure here.⭐⭐

Vieux Lion Rouge. 10-12. David Pipe’s main hope. Has completed in both his starts in this race finishing sixth and seventh, he is still only a nine year old and not without a chance.⭐⭐⭐

Chase The Spud. 10-11. Won the Midlands National at Uttoxeter last year, earlier in the season won in a bog at Haydock however he won’t find those conditions here. Pulled up last twice.⭐⭐

Warriors Tale. 10-11. Paul Nicholls is training this horse for Trevor Hemmings, who knows all about having a National winner. Has yet to jump these fences but has good form this year.⭐⭐⭐⭐

Seeyouatmidnight. 10-11. Good dour stayer trained by Sandy Thomson, has been backed down during the past week, fancied and will be suited by the going.⭐⭐⭐⭐

Gas Line Boy. 10-10. Won the Sefton Cases in December over these fences, was fifth in this race last year. However although he will probably run a good race, will not be good enough.⭐⭐

The Dutchman.10-10. Colin Tizzard’s hope here after Native River won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, he won the Peter Marsh chase at Haydock then was pulled up in the National Trial there. Has a chance on better ground.⭐⭐⭐

Pleasant Company. 10-10. Was ninth here last year but has not shown any form this year.⭐⭐

Ucello Conti. 10-9. Unseated his rider in this last year. His trainer, Gordon Elliot has only lightly raced him this year with this in mind, however has not visited the winners enclosure since 2014.⭐⭐⭐

Saint Are. 10-8. Has been talked up by ITV pundits, been placed here three times but now a twelve year old  so may plod round in his own time.⭐

Beeves. 10-8. Won three small races last summer, had a break and came back to be well beaten on his last two starts, very little chance here.⭐

Raz De Maree. 10-8. Winner of the Welsh National, but as a 13 year old, no chance here.⭐

I Just Know. 10-7. Sue Smith will have him spot on for this, he won the North Yorkshire Grand National earlier in the year , then ran a good second at Uttoxeter in a prep race for this. Has been backed this week. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Virgilio. 10-7. Dan Skelton’s charge won over the Mildmay fences here last May, pulled up latest, not much to recommend him here.⭐

Baie Des Iles. 10-7. Has been quietly backed during past week, trained by Ross O’Sullivan in Ireland, form shows a strong contender in chases but has never jumped these fences.⭐⭐⭐

Maggio. 10-7. Very inconsistent performer, out of his depth here.⭐

Pendra. 10-7. Well down the field in this two years ago and has shown nothing to show he can improve on that.⭐

Buywise.10-7. Evan Williams has high hopes for this horse after a fine victory at Sandown in January, he finally fulfilled the promise he has shown. Has had a nice prep race over hurdles in readiness for this.⭐⭐⭐

Children’s List. 10-7. Another from the Mullins stable. A winner in Punchestown in December but otherwise not much to recommend him.⭐⭐

Houblon Des Obeaux. 10-7. Tenth in this last year but a bit long in the tooth now, has not shown very good form for Venetia Williams this year.⭐

Lord Windermere. 10-6. Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, seventh last year in this. Ran in the Becher Chase and fell that day. Glory days are behind him.⭐

Captain Redbeard.10-6. Won on heavy ground at Haydock Park but is not up to this class.⭐

Bless the Wings. 10-5. Pulled up in Irish Grand National and will probably suffer the same fate here.⭐

Milansbar. 10-5. Quietly fancied. Bryony Frost booked to ride, could she be the first woman to win the National? The horse has been running well this season for trainer Neil King including a victory at Warwick. An interesting proposition.⭐⭐⭐

Final Nudge. 10-5. Best form is third in the Welsh National, well beaten at Cheltenham last time. Little chance.⭐

Double Ross. 10-5. Fourth in the Kim Muir this year, pulled up here in 2016, not good enough.⭐

RESERVES
Road To Riches. 10-4. Pulled up latest at Punchestown.⭐
Delusion Of Grandeur. 10-4. Not in this class.⭐
Thunder And Roses. 10-4. Unseated here last year, since then pulled up, fell, fell. No chance.⭐
Walk In The MIll. 10-3. Pulled up at Haydock last time behind The Dutchman. Won at Ascot in November.⭐⭐

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Contact Seymour Biz, with your own thoughts, tips and questions, at the following address: ahroberts99@yahoo.com