List of possible runners for 2018 Aintree Grand National

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Updated: February 14, 2018
aintree grand national
Definitly Red, impressive winner of the G2 BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham last month, heads the weights for the £1-million Randox Health Grand National with 11st 10lb and a rating of 165.
The world’s greatest and richest chase is the highlight of Aintree’s three-day Randox Health Grand National Festival and takes places with a maximum of 40 runners at5.15pm on Saturday, April 14.
Definitly Red (trained by Brian Ellison, 20/1 with Betway) was one of the leading contenders for 2017 Randox Health Grand National, but pulled up on the first circuit with a tack problem when rated 149.
The nine-year-old has improved again this season, with G2 triumphs in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree in December and the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase on January 27, in which he defeated American (Harry Fry, 11st 2lb, 50/1) by eight lengths.
Blaklion, the 10/1 favourite with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National, has been allotted 11st 6lb following his 12-length victory in the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree in December.
His trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, who is the only current handler to have won the Grand National more than once, also has G1 Betfair Chase hero Bristol De Mai (11st 9lb, 33/1) and Aintree G1 scorer Flying Angel (10st 7lb, 80/1) among his five contenders.
Ireland’s champion Jump trainer Willie Mullins lifted the spoils in 2005 with favourite Hedgehunter and has the leading Irish-trained contender this year in Total Recall(11st 1lb, 14/1). Total Recall stayed on strongly to defeat Whisper by a neck in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in December and took advantage of a lower handicap mark over hurdles at the Dublin Racing Festival on February 4.
Mullins’ 10 entries also include promising novice Rathvinden (10st 9lb, 50/1),Pleasant Company (10st 7lb, 50/1) and Polidam (10st 5lb, 40/1).
Multiple G1 scorer Outlander (Gordon Elliott IRE, 11st 8lb, 40/1) has the most weight of the 11 Gigginstown House Stud-owned contenders. Others to note for Michael O’Leary’s operation include Valseur Lido (Henry de Bromhead IRE, 11st 5lb, 40/1) and G2 National Hunt Chase hero Tiger Roll (Gordon Elliott IRE, 10st 9lb, 50/1).
Last year’s runner-up Cause Of Causes (10st 12lb, 25/1), also trained by Elliott, is one of seven entries for owner J P McManus, who also feature recent G1 Irish Gold Cup hero Edwulf (Joseph O’Brien IRE, 11st 9lb, 25/1), last year’s Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup second Minella Rocco (Jonjo O’Neill, 11st 7lb, 20/1) and Anibale Fly (Tony Martin IRE, 11st 4lb, 33/1).
Elliott’s 10 entries also include the Chris Jones-owned pair of Mala Beach (11st 3lb, 40/1), winner of the Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan in November, and Noble Endeavor (10st 13lb, 33/1).
Gold Present (11st, 20/1), successful in competitive handicaps at Newbury and Ascot this season, headlines three contenders for Britain’s champion Jump handler Nicky Henderson. The Lambourn trainer could also run O O Seven (10st 11lb, 66/1) andVyta Du Roc (10st 6lb, 33/1).
Paul Nicholls triumphed with Neptune Collonges in 2012 and his six entries are led by dual Scottish Grand National winner Vicente (10st 10lb, 28/1), more likely to head back to Ayr, course scorer As De Mee (10st 8lb, 50/1) and Warriors Tale (10st 8lb, 50/1), beaten narrowly on both his starts this season.
Irish handler Mouse Morris saddled the 2016 winner Rule The World. His three entries, all owned by Gigginstown House Stud, include Alpha Des Obeux (11st, 66/1) and 2015 Irish Grand National scorer Thunder And Roses (10st 1lb, 66/1).
Further down the weights, Welsh Grand National hero Raz De Maree (Gavin Cromwell, 50/1), who at the age of 13 is the oldest winner of the Chepstow showpiece, has been handed 10st 5lb, while impressive G3 Classic Handicap Chase victorMilansbar (Neil King, 40/1) is 69th on the list on 10st 2lb. One For Arthur took the Classic Handicap Chase prior to this Randox Health Grand National success last season.
Trainer Dr Richard Newland and owner John Provan combined with 2014 winner Pineau de Re. They have another interesting contender in Abolitionist (10st 4lb, 33/1), who finished third in last season’s Irish Grand National.
British Horseracing Authority Head of Handicapping Phil Smith, framing the Randox Health Grand National weights for the 20th and final time in 2018, commented: “One of those most interesting aspects of this year’s Randox Health Grand National is the top three horses in the handicap.
“Defintly Red, Bristol De Mai and Edwulf are all on higher ratings than last season and that is down to their wins in Pattern races. A year ago, they were all rated significantly lower. It is what they have done this season that has moved them upwards with Definitly Red taking the Cotswold Chase, Bristol De Mai the Betfair Chase and Edwulf the Irish Gold Cup.
“It will be great if Definitly Red lines up on April 14, because I am confident that he will have already at least been placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup by then. In what looks like an open Cheltenham Gold Cup, I think he will finish in the first four.
“In the past, horses at the top of the handicap have been very worthy horses, such as horses that had run well in Gold Cups for example, but were perhaps horses on their way down. The progressive horses at the top of the handicap is the biggest change for me when looking at this year’s race.
“We also have the established stars like Outlander and Minella Rocco at the top of the handicap. Outlander is a three-time G1 winner in Ireland and Minella Rocco has finished runner-up in a Cheltenham Gold Cup.
“Outlander is a horse that has had a stellar career but has slipped slightly under the radar – if the Grand National was run at Leopardstown, he would be the winner as he is real specialist there. Minella Rocco is a horse that has always looked like he would stay further and it will be interesting to see how he gets on.
“There wasn’t a specific race run this season that helped me frame the handicap in a particular way. The closest association at the top of the weights is Edwulf and Outlander, who were first and second in the Irish Gold Cup. There was a neck between them at Leopardstown and there is a pound between them in the handicap for Aintree.
“The top of the handicap is not so dominated by Irish-trained horses this year, in contrast to 12 months’ ago. There is a good mix at the top this year – four of the top eight in the handicap are GB-trained and four are Irish-trained.
“Obviously, there are also horses that have form over the Grand National fences including Blaklion, The Last Samuri, Cause Of Causes and Saint Are. That is something that is great about the Randox Health Grand National – established star performers over the fences who come back for more.
“The most difficult horse for me to assess, no doubt about it, was Bless The Wings. The reason being was that he is rated 17lb higher on his Cheltenham cross country form compared to his rating in Ireland.
“The form of the cross country races at Cheltenham has historically been very good in relation to Aintree with the likes of Silver Birch, Balthazar King and Cause Of Causes.
“On the one hand, Bless The Wings’ rating of 137 in Ireland would not get him in the race but 154, his cross country rating, seemed to me to be too high compared to his form on park courses.
“In the end, I settled on 143 as a compromise which should hopefully get him in the race. He is a very interesting horse – even though he is a 13-year-old. He is an absolutely super jumper and his cross country form is very good indeed.
“Horses which have tumbled down the weights include Carlingford Lough, who was joint top-weight back in 2015, but is on 10st 11lb this year. Lord Windermere is a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner on 10st 3lb, while Road To Riches is on 10st 1lb this year compared to 10st 13lb a year ago. It will be very interesting if any of these can bounce back to form.
“There is less discrepancy than ever before between British and Irish ratings.
“The biggest difference we do have is with Pleasant Company (10st 7llb) who was going really well last year before making a terrible error at Valentine’s on the second circuit (25th). After that, he just coasted home and finished ninth.
“I didn’t feel I needed to drop Pleasant Company very much for Aintree this year because of that one bad error – his finishing position was not commensurate with how he actually ran on the day. I have him 3lb higher than his Irish rating.”
The 2018 Randox Health Grand National weights will be unveiled this evening, Tuesday, February 13, at BAFTA in London and announced publicly at 7.30pm.
 
For further information please contact:
Grant Rowley, Regional Communications Manager, The Jockey Club (North West) on 07884 655990 email:   grant.rowley@thejockeyclub.co.uk
or
Nigel Payne, Press Officer for Aintree for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National, on 07768 025265 email:  nigel@earthsummit.demon.co.uk
 
About Aintree Racecourse / The Jockey Club
Aintree is home to The Randox Health Grand National, the most famous horse race in the world which is the climax to a three-day Festival meeting in April every year. The racecourse hosts five other fixtures and is a leading conference centre in the north west of England. More information is available at aintree.thejockeyclub.co.uk . Aintree is part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences we offer through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny we make goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. We were founded in 1750 and today we are the largest commercial group in Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and our charity, Racing Welfare. For more information visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk
Randox Health Grand National – Betway odds
10/1 Blaklion
14/1 Total Recall
20/1 Definitly Red, Gold Present, Minella Rocco, The Last Samuri
25/1 Cause Of Causes, Edwulf
28/1 Vicente
33/1 Abolitionist, Bristol De Mai, Vyta Du Roc, Ucello Conti, Vieux Lion Rouge, Gas Line Boy, Anibale Fly, Bellshill, Noble Endeavor, Wild West Wind
40/1 Go Conquer, Mala Beach, Milansbar, Outlander, Polidam, Saint Are, Seeyouatmidnight, Valseur Lido
50/1 Acapella Bourgeois, A Genie In Abottle, Wounded Warrior, Tiger Roll, Final Nudge, Pendra, Buywise, Vieux Morvan, Arbre De Vie, Rogue Angel, Sametegal, American, Baie Des Iles, Carlingford Lough, Chase The Spud, Childrens List, Cogry, Delusionofgrandeur, Morning Assembly, Pairofbrowneyes, Pleasant Company, Rathvinden, Raz De Maree, Sub Lieutenant, The Dutchman, The Young Master, Three Faces West, Warriors Tale, Bless The Wings, As De Mee, Vintage Clouds
66/1 Shantou Flyer, Relentless Dreamer, Perfect Candidate, O O Seven, Mysteree, Missed Approach, Minella Daddy, Lord Windermere, General Principle, Alpha Des Obeaux, Vic De Touzaine, Braqueur D’Or, Bonny Kate, Ballyalton, Walk In The Mill, Bravissimo, Henri Parry Morgan, I Just Know, Out Sam, Regal Encore, Road To Riches, Rock The Kasbah, Silsol, Sir Mangan, Sizing Codelco, Splash Of Ginge, Thunder And Roses
80/1 Double Ross, Flying Angel, Long House Hall, Tenor Nivernais, Virgilio
100/1 Thebarrowman, Alfie Spinner, Knock House, Phil’s Magic, Houblon Des Obeaux, Goodtoknow, Dancing Shadow, Beeves, Captain Redbeard, Krackatoa King, Maggio, Third Intention, Traffic Fluide
Betway Specials
 
* All Runners To Jump The First Fence: 11/8
* At least One Horse To Fall Or Unseat At The First: 8/15
* The Winning Distance:
Under Three lengths 15/8
Between Three To Nine lengths Inclusive 6/4
Over nine lengths 2/1
* Number Of Horses To Finish:
16-18 To Finish 6/4
Under 16 To Finish 7/4
Over 18 To Finish 15/8
* How Old Will The Winning Horse Be:
7 Or 8 Year Old 2/1
9 Year Old 7/4
10 Year Old 5/2
11 Years Or Older 3/1
* Irish Trained Winner: 5/2
* Winning Weight:
10st 7lb Or less 15/8
10st 8lb – 10st 11lb 9/4
10st 12lb Or more 11/8
* Winner To Be Owned By J P McManus: 14/1
* Will There Be A False Start: 6/4
* The Winner To Be Trained By A Female Trainer: 25/1
* The Winner To Be Trained by Gordon Elliott: 12/1
 
The Randox Health Grand National
Grade 3 handicap chase, £1 million total prize fund. Aintree, 5.15pm Saturday, April 14, 2018. 4m 2f 74yds over the Grand National fences. For seven-year-olds and upwards which, have started in a chase during the current season and who, up to and including March 19, have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a steeple chase with an official distance description of’ two miles seven and a half furlongs’ or more and which are allotted a rating of 125 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 11. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at closing may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including February 11 would merit a minimum rating of 125. To qualify, horses must have run at least three times in chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Racing Authority up to and including February 11. At the Handicapper’s discretion, such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. Entries closes January 30, entries revealed January 31 (105 entries), weights revealed February 13 (104 go forward - 1 not qualified), first scratchings deadline February 27, second scratchings deadline March 20, five-day confirmations April 9, final declarations 10am April 12. Maximum field of 40 plus four reserves.
Horse
Age
Wgt
Rating
Owner
Trainer
1)
DEFINITLY RED (IRE)
9
11-10
165
Phil & Julie Martin
Brian Ellison
2)
BRISTOL DE MAI (FR)
7
11-09
164
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nigel Twiston-Davies
3)
EDWULF
9
11-09
164
J P McManus
Joseph O’Brien IRE
4)
OUTLANDER (IRE)
10
11-08
163
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
5)
MINELLA ROCCO (IRE)
8
11-07
162
J P McManus
Jonjo O’Neill
6)
BLAKLION
9
11-06
161
Simon Such & Gino Paletta
Nigel Twiston-Davies
7)
SUB LIEUTENANT (IRE)
9
11-05
160
Gigginstown House Stud
Henry de Bromhead IRE
8)
ANIBALE FLY (FR)
8
11-04
159
J P McManus
Tony Martin IRE
9)
THE LAST SAMURI (IRE)
10
11-04
159
Paul & Clare Rooney
Kim Bailey
10)
MALA BEACH (IRE)
10
11-03
158
Chris Jones
Gordon Elliott IRE
 
11)
VALSEUR LIDO (FR)
9
11-03
158
Gigginstown House Stud
Henry de Bromhead IRE
12)
AMERICAN (FR)
8
11-02
157
The Jago Family Partnership
Harry Fry
13)
TOTAL RECALL (IRE)
9
11-01
156
Slaneyville Syndicate
Willie Mullins IRE
14)
ALPHA DES OBEAUX (FR)
8
11-00
155
Gigginstown House Stud
Mouse Morris IRE
15)
GOLD PRESENT (IRE)
8
11-00
155
John & Barbara Cotton
Nicky Henderson
16)
NOBLE ENDEAVOR (IRE)
9
10-13
154
Chris Jones
Gordon Elliott IRE
17)
PERFECT CANDIDATE (IRE)
11
10-13
154
ISL Recruitment
Fergal O’Brien
18)
SIZING CODELCO (IRE)
9
10-13
154
Ann & Alan Potts Limited
Colin Tizzard
19)
CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA)
10
10-12
153
J P McManus
Gordon Elliott IRE
20)
SHANTOU FLYER (IRE)
8
10-12
153
Carl Hinchy
Richard Hobson
 
21)
CARLINGFORD LOUGH (IRE)
12
10-11
152
J P McManus
John Kiely IRE
22)
O O SEVEN (IRE)
8
10-11
152
Christopher Hanbury
Nicky Henderson
23)
TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR)
11
10-11
152
Boultbee Brooks Ltd
Venetia Williams
24)
GO CONQUER (IRE)
9
10-10
151
Paul & Clare Rooney
Jonjo O’Neill
25)
TRAFFIC FLUIDE (FR)
8
10-10
151
Galloping On The South Downs Partnership
Gary Moore
26)
VICENTE (FR)
9
10-10
151
Trevor Hemmings

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