Classy lineup set for the Aintree Grand National

This week saw the latest set of entries for the Grand National, to be run on 13th April at Aintree and despite the withdrawal of top weight Hewick, who will be aimed at a Grade 1 Chase at the meeting earlier in the week, we have a top quality list of entries expected to line up.

We have 22 horses rated 150 or above, headed by former Gold Cup third Conflated. That compares favourably with 17 horses at 150 or higher in last year’s renewal. It also perhaps explains why the Irish National to be run on Easter Monday is perhaps a little substandard. That of course is closely linked due to the fact so many Irish horses will be running at Aintree.

With a reduced field of 34 this year, only six horses trained in Britain look set to run as the other British entries are simply not rated high enough. The five include the 2023 winner Corach Rambler who must race off a 13lbs higher mark this time around. The other four are Welsh National winner Nassalam, Joe Tizzard’s Eldorado Allen who has been well below par on his last two starts, Latenightpass who was fourth in the Hunter Chase over the big fences last year and has been plying his trade successfully in Cross Country races this season, Mac Tottie, winner of the Topham in 2023 and Galia Des Liteaux from the title chasing Dan Skelton yard.

As well as the 2023 winner, Noble Yeats returns having won this in 2022 and who was a brave fourth off a 1lb higher mark last season. Last year’s runner-up Vanillier has been popular in the betting and is 9lbs better off with last year’s winner with a solid racing weight of 10-11 allotted. Inevitably the two training powerhouses of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott will be extremely well represented.

Willie has eight currently making the cut including the classy Cotswold Chase winner Capodanno, the 2023 Irish National winner I Am Maximus and the progressive young stayers Mr Incredible and Meetingofthewaters. Elliott is currently outdoing his nemesis with ten in the line up including Troytown winner Coko Beach, although his challengers seem less strong overall.

Mahler Mission was a fine second in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury and has been kept fresh for this since and represents one of the smaller yards in John McConnell.

One interesting story is that earlier this month veteran amateur jockey David Maxwell bought Thyestes winner Ain’t That A Shame to fulfil a lifelong ambition of riding in the race. However the horse failed to stay when well beaten last year and would be an unlikely winner.


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