Nine horses came out of the most famous chase this morning at the confirmation stage – top-weight Carlingford Lough, Alelchi Inois, Foxrock, Maggio, Vic’s Canvas, Ziga Boy, The Romford Pele, Straidnahanna and Sizing Coal.
The weights rise 1lb, with the new top-weight being the 2016 runner-up, The Last Samuri, trained by Kim Bailey and owned by Paul & Clare Rooney, on 11st 10lb. Bailey won the 1990 Grand National with Mr Frisk.
The Last Samuri is one the market leaders at 14/1 with Betway, official betting partner of the Randox Health Grand National Festival. Definitly Red (10st 12lb), trained by Brian Ellison in North Yorkshire and owned by Phil Martin, is the 9/1 favourite, with Cause Of Causes (Gordon Elliott IRE, 10st 13lb), More Of That (Jonjo O’Neill, 11st 6lb) and Vieux Lion Rouge (David Pipe, 10st 12lb) all priced at 11/1.
The 40th horse is either La Vaticane (100/1) or Doctor Harper (66/1), both trained by David Pipe and both on 10st 6lb. The highest-rated of the two tomorrow, decided on the latest handicap ratings released then, becomes the 40th horse.
The final declaration stage is at 10am on Thursday, April 6, when 40 declared runners and four reserves go forward. The reserves can be brought in for any non-runners by 1pm on Friday, April 7.
The three-day Randox Health Grand National Festival gets under way on Thursday, April 6, 2017, Grand Opening Day.
Meade keen on his two
Noel Meade, who trains near Navan in Co Meath, Ireland, is set to have two Randox Health Grand National runners – Wounded Warrior (11st 2lb, 50/1) and Measureofmydreams (10st 9lb, 40/1). Both horses are owned by Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud, successful 12 months ago with Rule The World.
Meade said today: “Both horses are in good form and will definitely travel over. Sean [Flanagan] rides one of them, although I am not sure which, and I am not 100 per cent sure who rides the other one yet.
“They both went to the Curragh last week for a school over the Grand National fences and it could not have gone better. Both jumped brilliantly.
“Wounded Warrior has always struck me as an ideal horse for Aintree. He stays really well, is a big horse and jumps a bit big too. Unfortunately, he is coming off a very bad run at Fairyhouse and why he ran so badly I don’t know. It was a miserable run. I think he is in a lot better nick now – at least I hope so because I was very happy with his last bit of work on Saturday. We will leave the blinkers off this time.
“Measureofmydreams was probably going to finish sixth or seventh at Cheltenham until he got stopped in his tracks at the second last (when 13th in the Ultima Handicap Chase). It was a reasonable enough run. Stamina is his forte and he just got outpaced coming down the hill before staying on again. The further he goes, the better.
“We are just keeping our fingers crossed that both of them get that little bit of luck you need on Saturday.”
Drying conditions have seen the going descriptions change this afternoon at Aintree.
Clerk of the Course Andrew Tulloch has described the Grand National Course as Soft, Good to Soft in places (from Soft), while the Mildmay Course is Good to Soft, Good in places, (from Good to Soft) and the Hurdle Course is Good to Soft (from Good to Soft, Soft in places on the stands’ side).
Tulloch said: “We have just walked the courses again and they have dried. Yesterday and today have been nice sunny days. It is not that warm but the courses are just quietly drying.
“We will see if we have to water the Mildmay and Hurdle Courses tomorrow or on Wednesday. There could be a few millimetres of rain tonight and then it is forecast to be dry.”
Latest Randox Health Grand National betting from Betway – official betting partner of the 2017 Randox Health Grand National Festival
9/1 Definitly Red
11/1 Cause of Causes, More Of That, Vieux Lion Rouge
14/1 Blaklion, One For Arthur, The Last Samuri
16/1 Pleasant Company
18/1 The Young Master, Ucello Conti
20/1 Saphir Du Rheu
25/1 Highland Lodge, Vicente
28/1 Tenor Nivernais
33/1 Le Mercurey, O’Faolains Boy, Rogue Angel, Thunder And Roses
40/1 Alvarado, Double Shuffle, Houblon des Obeaux, Just A Par, Measureofmydreams, Perfect Candidate, Raz De Maree, Saint Are, Wonderful Charm
50/1 Bishops Road, Goodtoknow, Lord Windermere, Pendra, Polidam, Regal Encore, Roi Des Francs, Royale Knight, Shantou Flyer, Stellar Notion, The Crafty Butcher, Wounded Warrior
66/1 Ballynagour, Bless The Wings, Dare To Endeavour, Doctor Harper, Drop Out Joe, Gas Line Boy, Knock House, Milansbar, Milborough, Potters Cross, Sambremont, Streets Of Promise, Viva Steve, Vyta du Roc
80/1 Cocktails At Dawn, Lessons In Milan, Silver Man,
100/1 Alfie Spinner, Beeves, Benbens, Cloudy Too, Emperor’s Choice, Father Edward, Federici, Gone Too Far, Katenko, La Vaticane, Lamb Or Cod, Racing Pulse, Waldorf Salad,
ALL QUOTED, NRNB, Enhanced Place Terms – 1/4 odds, first FIVE places