Twenty years ago the fields for the Grand National were quite different from what they are today. In those days you could forget half of the field as they were out of the handicap, half a dozen of the rest were old plodders who turned up year after year, then there were the non-stayers leaving maybe five or six to pick from. These days with the fabulous prize money on offer there is a better class of horse turning up as shown by the fact the top 52 of the entries are in the handicap.
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This year we have one of the shortest priced favourites since Red Rum in Tiger Roll. Last year’s winner has had an excellent season culminating in winning the X-Country at Cheltenham so his favouritism is well merited. However as every runner looks to be in the handicap, any one of them has a chance of winning so I have chosen five that represent the best value. All prices are with Bet365.
Top 5 Outsider Horses To Win The 2019 Aintree Grand National – Longshots To Back
Nigel Twiston-Davies’s 9-year-old has been aimed at this race since going down by a nose in last year’s Scottish National. However the gelding has had a terrible season this time around. In the Becher Chase here over the National fences in December he fell when making headway. Then in the Welsh National at Chepstow he finished sixth on ground that didn’t suit. He then turned up at Haydock for the Grand National Trial and was pulled up after 14 fences. The jockey, Tom Bellamy, said the gelding was never travelling in the heavy going. He is better than those runs and given better going here at Aintree he has the ability on his current handicap mark to stay out of trouble and figure in the finish.
One of Gordon Elliott’s many entries for this race. In his only run this side of the Irish Sea he unseated his rider at Cheltenham. That was in last year’s National Hunt Chase when he was sent off favourite, he jumped really badly that day but this season he has come on by leaps and bounds. His latest victories at Down Royal and Far Hills USA has set him up nicely for this. He has now become a solid jumper and has the speed to be a contender here.
Jonjo O’Neill’s charge won the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in 2016 beating Native River. He ran second in the Gold Cup the year after and is still only a 9-year-old. He is reported to have had a wind operation and looked as though he needed the outing when running last behind Frodon in January, finishing tailed off. He then had a run at Exeter where he raced prominently then weakened after the second last, finishing 13 lengths behind the winner. His latest outing was in the Ultima where the ground was against him and his jockey reported he was never travelling. He will be better suited by the flat track and more suitable ground.
ROCK THE KASBAH
This is the champion jockey’s, Richard Johnson, chosen ride in this year’s big race. It is a race Johnson has yet to win and he must have a good chance on this 9-year-old from his home stable. Trainer, Phillip Hobbs, has put the horse away since he ran sixth to Cogry at Cheltenham in December. He was giving the winner a stone that day and can come on for that. Prior to that he had won at the same course over three and a half miles so establishing his National credentials. He will be coming into this race fresh and Hobbs will have him trained to the minute.
WALK IN THE MILL
A course winner when winning the Becher Chase in December, he has been raised 7lbs for that fine victory. I don’t see that being a problem as he has gone out since and run third twice in novice hurdle races in preparation for this. Trainer Robert Walford is very astute and has planned this horse’s pathway very carefully ever since his Becher Chase win. In that race he had many of the protagonists he will face here behind him, he can jump the fences and must have every chance.