Grand National Tips

Aintree Grand National 2024: Daryl Carter's runner-by-runner guide and 1,2,3,4,5 prediction for the big one

Aintree Grand National Field.
Daryl Carter takes a look at the Aintree Grand National runners

Get expert tipster Daryl Carter's views on the full 2024 Grand National field in our runner-by-runner guide to the big race at Aintree...


Rachael Blackmore Superboost



Day one of Aintree saw Betfair's Superboost land as Rachael Blackmore and Bob Olinger finished in the top two on Thursday, and today we are boosting her once again onboard Minella Indo in the Grand National!

You can back Rachael and Minella Indo for a Top 10 finish in the 16:00 today at Aintree at the Superboost price of 2/13.00! (was 5/42.25).

Back Minella Indo to finish in the Top 10 in the 16:00 at Aintree @ 2/13.00

Bet here

Corach Rambler

Last year's winner will look to emulate Tiger Roll and the great Red Rum by winning back-to-back Grand Nationals. Prominent in the betting after an excellent third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on his latest start, he is a horse with an outstanding spring record. His form figures in March or April read 31111, and the ten-year-old holds strong claims again despite being rated 13 pounds higher than his excellent victory in this race last year.

However, the negatives are relatively easy to find on this second attempt for those who want to take on the head of the market. Eight of the last 11 winners were aged between seven and nine, and no horse older since Pineau De Re in 2014. At the same time, he finished exhausted in the gruelling, hard-paced Cheltenham Gold Cup, which may have left a mark.

It's impossible to rule him out, but he may find one or two better treated this year. Admirable horse and a big player.


I Am Maximus

Willie Mullins' I Am Maximus shot to the head of this market after a 14-length victory over 2023 Grand National runner-up Vanillier at Fairyhouse last month. This dour stayer may relish this Aintree test. He will tackle these National fences for the first time in his career, and the lightly raced 2023 Fairyhouse Irish Grand National winner can not be dismissed easily.

He will be popular, but it may concern his backers that all his victories since a Maiden Hurdle at Newbury in 2021 have come at his favoured Fairyhouse. He has yet to replicate those performances anywhere else, suffering heavy defeats in five attempts.

You get the feeling he has more to come, but he must prove himself away from the Fairyhouse. He may be an all-or-nothing type of candidate for those who like him. Risky.


Vanillier

Last year's Grand National second Vanillier was caught too far off the pace but finished with a powerful kick to close on the winner, Corach Rambler, to whom he had allowed too much rope. He made up significant ground to be beaten under three lengths, and this year, Vanillier is only four pounds higher in the handicap and has a nine-pound pull at the weights with Corach Rambler.

Gavin Cromwell has had remarkable success in Britain this year, particularly with staying chasers. At the time of writing, he had seven winners and four seconds from 24 runners over 2m7f plus.

For the last 12 months, Vanillier has only had one race in sight. He had three runs over trips of 2m, 2m4f and 2m5f before his heavy defeat to I Am Maximus, so he shouldn't be judged too harshly on that. A quiet preparation for his sole seasonal target could just be what the doctor ordered.

He is a huge player.


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Meetingofthewaters (pictured above right)

Powerhouse owner JP McManus had recently purchased Meetingofthewaters. He ran a screamer in the owners' colours the first time he asked, catching the eye travelling powerfully through the Ultima Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival. Willies Mullins' lightly raced seven-year-old is highly progressive and was seen to good effect to win the Paddy Power Listed Chase at Leopardstown in December.

His jumping is improving, and he stays well. Four of the last five Grand National winners and eight of the last 16 have come from the Cheltenham Festival, and he sits on a very tempting handicap rating of just 147. The previous three winners and six of the last ten have been rated 146-148 when winning this race.

This young improver is the best handicapped horse running in the race this year, has been targeted at this contest and has had the perfect preparation. He ticks all the boxes and is a stand-out candidate for a yard that has dominated the National Hunt season.

He must be backed.


Kitty's Light

Christian Williams is a master at target training horses for big staying handicaps, and Kitty's Light has had this as his one target all year, so it's best not to take his recent form figures of 75074 in the last 12 months too literally. He has abundant stamina, highlighted by his excellent Newcastle Eider Handicap Chase win in February 2023 over 4m1f. He has finished first, second or third in 16 of his 25 runs over fences but never when the ground has been soft, so backers will be hoping good appears in the going description.

A gutsy little horse who is handicapped to have a big say from this rating of 145, but these big National fences could prove troublesome.


Panda Boy

Extreme staying trips could prove right up the street of the Martin Brassil-trained Irish raider Panda Boy, whose seasonal highlight was a second to Meetingofthewaters in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown on unfavourable soft ground at Christmas. The trainer has been open about his target being the Grand National, and at just eight years old, he hasn't had much racing.

He will be seen to have the best effect on good ground. In his prep run over hurdles at the Dublin Racing Festival in February, he caught the eye, staying on firmly at the end of three miles, is lightly raced, unexposed, and at the right end of the handicap. A dry week will enhance his claims on this first visit to England.


Mr Incredible

Mr Incredible was a 14/115.00 chance in this race last year when his saddle slipped, causing him to unseat the rider at the Canal Turn. However, the lightly raced eight-year-old of Willie Mullins' caught the eye with how powerfully he travelled through the race and set himself up for a potential second tilt with a fine comeback second at Uttoxeter over 4m2f in deep ground.

The British Handicapper has taken no chances by hiking him up another five pounds this time around, but he is a classy horse and must have a fine chance. Although his claims are less obvious than some he should not be written off. Dark horse.


Limerick Lace

The Mares' Chase winner at the Cheltenham Festival over 2m4f, but her only three-mile try saw a fine staying-on second to Coko Beach in the Navan Troytown Handicap in November. She has plenty of stamina in the pedigree and is on the upgrade.

However, her jumping can sometimes be a cause for concern, and she will attempt to be the first mare to win this race since Nickel Coin in 1951. This is a stiff task, and she has little chance.


Mahler Mission

A fine second in the Newbury Gold Cup when last seen in December, he was possibly not done with when falling in the National Hunt Chase at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. He is a smooth traveller and a strong stayer, but an enormous weight with a handicap rating of 155 leaves him with a tall order and vulnerable to others better treated.


Minella Indo

The former 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner still retains a level of ability, highlighted by his rating of 159, and has been an outstanding servant to National Hunt Racing. However, at the grand old age of 11, he is not quite the horse he once was and will indeed find younger legs too strong at the finish with his stamina unconfirmed. Easily passed over.


Capodanno

Another representative of Irish powerhouse stable Willie Mullins, this young, improving eight-year-old must be of interest despite carrying a big weight. He arrives in career-best form, having won the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in January and finished a staying-on fourth in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival over a trip too short.

He officially pulled up in this race last year after the second-to-last fence, and some sloppy jumping did not help his cause. However, he travelled well through the race for a long time, and that experience will not be lost. It's a risky proposition but not entirely dismissed.


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Galvin (pictured above)

Having been highly touted for this race last season, Galvin unseated his rider at the first, and Gordon Elliott's runner had no chance to show what he could do. The ten-year-old is another whose claims will be significantly enhanced should he see good in the going description, and the former 2023 Cross Country second and 2021 National Hunt Chase winner will have no issue with stamina.

He missed his intended engagement at the Cheltenham Festival when the Cross-Country race was abandoned due to saturated ground, but arriving here after a 62-day break could easily be a blessing in disguise, with a good record fresh.

He is 11 pounds lower in the handicap than when lining up here in 2023 and must have strong each-way claims.

Big player at a generous price.


Latenightpass

The 11-year-old Latenightpass has won four of his eight outings over fences and finished second in two more, highlighting his reliability. He had taken very well to Cheltenham's Cross-Country course before performing poorly at Haydock on his final outing for Dan Skelton.

He should enjoy this spin having won the Open Hunters' Chase at this meeting two years ago but this is a much bigger task against some seriously talented rivals.

Passed over.


Noble Yeats

The 2022 Grand National winner, who was tipped by Betting.Betfair's Tony Calvin at 84/185.00, and 2023 fourth has shown his talents over hurdles this season, winning the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle and running adequately in the Grade 1 Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle. He returned to action this term in a first-time tongue-tie, which suggests connections had a concern about his breathing, but he relishes this test and can't be written off one pound lower than his effort last term.

However, he may be stuck between a rock and a hard place for now and find a handful better handicapped. Place chance.


Chemical Energy

Gordon Elliott's eight-year-old wants good ground to be seen at his best. Still, it may be significant that he was one of a handful that the trainer wanted to keep hold of in the Caldwell Construction dispersal sale in February, paying 215,000 Euros.

We have yet to see the best of him, but his stamina is not proven. He was outstayed in the 3m6f National Hunt Chase in 2023 before pulling up in the Irish National and fading late in the Kerry National.

Risky proposition.


Delta Work

He was as short as 11/112.00 for this race last year, after a good Cheltenham Festival Cross Country victory over Galvin, before unseating his rider at the 21st when still travelling well. He is another one who missed the Cross Country engagement at this year's Cheltenham Festival. Although he is no forlorn hope, with an excellent third in this race in 2022, he is vulnerable to something less exposed now at 11 - an unlikely winner.


Galia Des Liteaux

The second mare in the line-up put in an excellent shift to finish second in the Warwick Classic Chase in January before a below-par effort when turned over at odds-on in a run-of-the-mill contest at Exeter.

She is hard to predict but talented on a going day - the deeper the ground, the better her chances. However, it's hard to see her landing an event like this. Best to look elsewhere for the winner.


Nassalam

Gary Moore's seven-year-old was a dominant 34-length winner of the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow in December but flopped at Cheltenham when a big-priced chance in the Gold Cup.

He would be of interest if the ground were extremely testing, and this was at Chepstow, having been well beaten on two attempts at this Aintree venue, including over the National fences in the Grand Sefton when rated 142.

His rating of 161 looks outrageously high on the bare form, and he has a mammoth task to win this handicap, giving away so much weight to the Irish. No case can be made through any line of form to suggest he is well-treated off of a rating of 161, and he is impossible to fancy from a handicap standpoint.


Adamantly Chosen

He is a seven-year-old who rocketed back to form with an excellent victory at Down Royal and one that has always offered promise since his early days.

Another unexposed runner for Willie Mullins, who can't be entirely dismissed. However, his two efforts when travelling out of Ireland have seen him well beaten. Travel issues?


Glengouly

He had a quiet run at Cheltenham in the Plate Handicap but was previously a solid second in the 3m1f Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park when tackling the longest distance he has tried. He is another of Willie Mullins' who is unexposed at staying distances, but this is an extreme test and maybe a step too far.


Stattler

His last victory came when a dominant eight-length winner of the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022 over 3m6f, where he had 2023 Grand National runner-up Vanillier back in third. He hasn't been disgraced in six outings since then, contesting graded races before looking far from in love with his experience of the Punchestown Banks course last month.

It's best to forgive that latest effort. His finishing second to dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Galopin Des Champs in the Irish Gold Cup last year makes him of interest down into a handicap off this rating of 158.

In this scenario, he can be a big player and looks overpriced on his handicap debut. Dark horse.


Coko Beach

Coko Beach ran well for a long way in this race last year before eventually pulling up, but that effort and his 66-length defeat to Noble Yeats in 2022 suggest he is an unlikely winner.


Roi Mage

A highly tried 12-year-old with 55 races under rules and 42 chase starts but only nine in Ireland or Britain. He ran an excellent race in this event last year to finish seventh and could easily outrun his odds again. He goes there with every chance but may prove vulnerable to younger legs for win purposes.


Ain't That A Shame

A Henry De Bromhead representative who shaped better than the bare result of beaten 106 lengths in this race last year, having travelled powerfully for Rachael Blackmore. He was well held in the Kerry National behind Desertmore House in September before a no-show in the Troytown at Navan behind Coko Beach. Still, he was excellent in January, winning the Thyestes Handicap.

Since then, jockey David Maxwell has brought him to ride in this event. By his admission, Maxwell has said, "I'm just not that good." Without being too harsh on the owner, who admirably puts his heart and soul into National Hunt racing, punters must expect to have little help from the saddle.


Minella Crooner

A highly tried eight-year-old who has pulled up three of his four outings beyond three miles in the last two years, with the other a 25-length defeat, third of four in February. He showed little when a 33/134.00 chance in the Ultima Handicap at Cheltenham when pulling up, and he has now twice failed to complete when travelling to England. Easily dismissed.


The Goffer

All the rage for the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but well beaten into fifth by 34 lengths when shaping like a non-stayer. Beaten nine lengths by Desertmore House in the Kerry National and 14 by Kitty's Light at Sandown last April over 3m4f. Non-stayer.


Chambard

His going days are few and far between now at 12. Still, he was a solid eighth in the Ultima Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival last time out and a dominant 13-length winner of the Becher Handicap Chase over these fences in December. He would be a surprise winner tackling some strong Irish opposition.


Eldorado Allen

A former classy Grade 2 sort for Joe Tizzard, he has looked a shadow of his former self the last two times, including when pulled up in the Ultima Handicap Chase. His overall profile would suggest he is on a steady decline.


Farouk D'alene

He has form that ties in with Vanillier and Stattler as a Novice Hurdler and chaser and returns to fences for the first time since a well-held fifth of six at Thurles in November. It is hard to know what to expect from him, but he has the back class to play a significant role in this race if on a going day, as he wasn't done with when falling in the Brown Advisory in 2022 before an absence kept him off the track.

One of the more interesting ones at a big price.


Foxy Jacks

He was an excellent winner of the Cross Country Handicap chase in November, comfortably beating subsequent winner Latenightpass. He put in his best jumping performance to date. Jumping had been an issue in previous outings, including when he took a heavy fall over these fences in the 2m5f Topham Chase won by Mac Tottie in April 2022.

A career-best is almost certainly needed to defy the handicapper's rating of 157, though.


Janidil

He has looked like a shadow of his former self in three runs this term, well held in competitive graded races, and his stamina is questionable. Avoid.


Mac Tottie

Loves Aintree and has won three of his four starts (2m4f, 2m5f) at this track (the other he fell 3m2f). He is unbeaten over the National Fences when completing. He returned from a 430-day absence to score on the Mildmay course before two quiet runs at Doncaster and Ascot last month.

His stamina is not guaranteed but should be fine given how he has finished his races off in the past. His pedigree gives confidence that he will have no trouble seeing out the finish. Ground is of little concern, as he has proven versatile, having won on soft and good ground. He has only had 17 outings over fences in his career and has snuck in at the foot of the weights.

Other than being an 11-year-old, the negatives are tough to find with one at such odds, and he holds excellent each-way claims for those looking for one at a big price.


Eklat De Rire

He was once thought to be a potential Graded horse, but subsequent efforts have put that theory to bed, including three in England, which he has failed to complete. Avoid.


Run Wild Fred

He fell when as short as 8/1 for this race in 2022 when rated 158 and now returns two years later rated 149. Still, he has failed to complete in his last three outings and no win since 2021. Even on his best form, he has plenty to find.


Aintree Grand National Verdict

Corach Rambler is very much respected in his bid for back-to-back victories, and a mark of 159 may not be beyond him. However, I can't help but feel that he ran his heart out 29 days ago in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and that's the first time I have seen him legless at the finish.

For that reason, I will overlook him for win purposes, but he is sure to make the frame if he has recovered.

Vanillier is a horse I tipped when the market came out (2pt win @ 11/112.00), and I am happy to be with him at that price. My confidence remains.

However, I think Meetingofthewaters should be vying for favouritism in this race and, at 10/111.00 or bigger, I must have him on the side. The unexposed seven-year-old was a big eye-catcher in the Ultima Handicap, tanking through the race but lacking the pace after the last to challenge.

Still, he kept on firmly and will love this move up in distance. He won't mind what the ground does, and based on his Cheltenham Festival run, he is undoubtedly well-handicapped off the same rating of 147.

When looking for a bet in this race in recent years, it has paid to attempt to find horses rated in the mid-140s who are potentially 160 plus horses, and Meetingofthewaters meets that criteria. He has already beaten a clutch of these rivals in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown, winning with stacks to spare, and he will get in at the foot of the weights in this contest.

Six of the last 10 winners have been rated between 146 and 148, and he is on a steep upward curve. Providing he gets a clear round, he must be a big player.

Of the remainder, I like Stattler and Galvin's chances the most. Galvin is 11 lbs lower than when unseating at first in this race last year, and he could still have more to offer off this fair rating of 155.

Stattler is high in the weights, but the nine-year-old is making his handicap debut today. He has been in some deep company in the past 12 months, running with credit but without getting the extreme stamina test that saw him to good effect when landing the National Hunt Chase a few years ago. He and Galvin will get some of my cash to hit the frame.

1, Meetingofthewaters
2, Vanillier
3, Stattler
4, Galvin
5, Corach Rambler


Now read: Ultimate Guide to Betting on the Grand National 2024: Tips, Odds and Predictions


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