Grand National 2018: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

Grand National horses
Forty horses will be running over the famous fences in the Grand National at Aintree.
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Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Grand National at Aintree, and pick out their 1-2-3...

"...in the process of running well when falling in the Gold Cup last time. Has proven form in big-field races."

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2. BLAKLION (Nigel Twiston-Davies/ Sam Twiston-Davies)
Last year's fourth who proved better than ever when chasing home Bristol de Mai on his return in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in November, and was most impressive when going one better in the Becher Chase back here in December, beating The Last Samuri and Highland Lodge, by nine lengths. Not in the same form at Haydock last time, but looks sure to mount another bold bid despite 9 lb higher mark.

3. ANIBALE FLY (Tony Martin/ Barry Geraghty)
Won the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown (by 7 lengths from Ucello Conti) in December and shaped well when third to Native River in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham last time, suited by a thorough test of stamina. Looks the type to come into his own over extreme distances and commands plenty of respect as a result.

4. THE LAST SAMURI (Kim Bailey/ David Bass)
2016 runner-up who has been placed in three of his four starts over the National fences, latest when chasing Blakion home Becher Chase in December. Stuck to his task well when fourth behind Definitly Red at Cheltenham the following month, and ran well when third to Tiger Roll in the Cross Country at Cheltenham last time. Well held under top weight in this race 12 months ago but capable of giving another good account.

5. VALSEUR LIDO (Henry de Bromhead, Ireland/ Keith Donoghue)
One-time top-class chaser whose last victory came in jnwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal in November 2016. Shaped as if retaining ability after year's absence at Leopardstown at Christmas but hasn't fared too well in two runs over shorter since.

6. TOTAL RECALL (Willie Mullins, Ireland/ Paul Townend)
Showed much-improved form on his stable debut when winning the Munster National at Limerick in October, before defying a huge hike in the weights to follow up in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury. Capitalised on a lower hurdles to mark to complete the hat-trick at Leopardstown in February and was in the process of running well when falling in the Gold Cup last time. Has proven form in big-field races and looks sure to progress further.

7. ALPHA DES OBEAUX (Mouse Morris, Ireland/ Rachael Blackmore)
Very smart chaser who won Clonmel Oil Chase (by five and a half lengths from A Toi Phil) in November. Well below form in Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown last time, off the bridle a long way out. Has reportedly bled twice over fences.

8. PERFECT CANDIDATE (Fergal O'Brien/ Alain Cawley)
Smart handicap chaser who won a Grade 3 at Cheltenham (by neck from Vicente) in November, but well below form last two starts, latest when a well-beaten fifth in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.

9. SHANTOU FLYER (Richard Hobson/ James Bowen)
Very smart chaser who has stacked up the seconds this season, putting up career-best effort in a first-time visor when runner-up to Coo Star Sivola in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last time. Has stamina to prove but shapes as though worth a try at this sort of trip.

10. TENOR NIVERNAIS (Venetia Williams/ Tom O'Brien)
Won listed handicap at Ascot in 2016/17, but below form since, including when well beaten in last year's Grand National. Stamina doubts, and not one to trust.

11. CARLINGFORD LOUGH (John Kiely, Ireland/ Mark Walsh)
Won Irish Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup in 2016, but yet to hit form this season, pulled up in the Christmas Chase at Leopardstown last time.

13. TIGER ROLL (Gordon Elliott, Ireland/ Davy Russell)
Won the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in 2016/17 and returned to form at the Festival this year when landing the Cross Country Chase by two lengths from Urgent de Gregaine. Stays well and acts on any ground, but not the biggest and slight worry that this test may put too much strain on his jumping.

14. REGAL ENCORE (Anthony Honeyball/ Richie McLernon)
In-and-out record overall, but smart on his day and proved as good as ever when winning listed handicap at Ascot last time by 1½ lengths from Minella Daddy. Looks fairly handicapped but could only manage eighth, passing beaten horses, from same mark 12 months ago.

15. VIEUX LION ROUGE (David Pipe/ Tom Scudamore)
Won the Becher Chase here and Grand National Trial at Haydock in 2016/17, both off lower marks, and looked back to form with the blinkers replacing cheekpieces in a listed event at Ascot last time won by Regal Encore. Has twice failed for stamina in the Grand National, though, including when sixth last year.

16. CHASE THE SPUD (Fergal O'Brien/ Paddy Brennan)
Strong stayer who won the Midlands National at Uttoxeter in 2016/17 and made winning return in heavy-ground handicap at Haydock in November. Has been pulled up in the Welsh National and Eider Chase at Newcastle both starts since, though, and has a career-high mark here.

17. WARRIORS TALE (Paul Nicholls/ Sean Bowen)
Finished runner-up last two starts, shaping like best horse for a long way when second to Wakanda in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster last time, just collared near finish. Has sometimes found less than looks likely, and needs to prove stamina.

18. SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT (Sandy Thomson/ Brian Hughes)
Won three of first five starts over fences in 2015/16, before running a cracker to finish third in Scottish Grand National on final start that season. Limited to just three starts last term and had hard race on belated return over inadequate trip at Newbury last month but looks attractively weighted on best form.

19. GAS LINE BOY (Ian Williams/ Robert Dunne)
Won the Grand Sefton Chase over these fences in December and was a respectable third to Buywise in Veterans' Handicap Chase Final at Sandown last time. Prominent racer who often travels strongly and should give backers another good run for their money after fifth last year.

20. THE DUTCHMAN (Colin Tizzard/ Harry Cobden)
Made winning return to fences in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in January. Broke a blood vessel when pulled up in the Grand National Trial (Handicap) at same track last time. Remains unexposed as a staying chaser, but needs to take another step forward.

21. PLEASANT COMPANY (Willie Mullins, Ireland/ David Mullins)
Won the Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase at Punchestown and Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse (by half a length from Thunder And Roses) in 2016/17, but has made little impact in both starts this season.

22. UCELLO CONTI (Gordon Elliott, Ireland/ Daryl Jacob)
Yet to win since joining this yard (won three times over fences in France), but was still going well when unseating at second Becher's Brook here 12 months ago. Finished a good second to Anibale Fly in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown on his return in December and turned in a rare below-par effort in the Thyestes Handicap at Gowran last time. Type to bounce back and is capable from this mark.

23. SAINT ARE (Tom George/ A P Heskin)
Runner-up in 2015 Grand National and third last year behind One For Arthur. Pulled up both outings at Cheltenham this term, always behind in cross-country at Festival latest, but this test brings out the best in him.

25. RAZ DE MAREE (Gavin Cromwell/ Robbie Power)
Veteran who proved as good as ever when winning Welsh Grand National at Chepstow last time by 6 lengths from Alfie Spinner. Has been let down by jumping, but completed 2014 Grand National and unlucky to unseat last year. Soft going in his favour.

26. I JUST KNOW (Sue Smith/ Danny Cook)
Useful novice chaser in 2016/17 and ran a career best when winning 3m6f handicap at Catterick in January. Tuned up for this over hurdles last time and bold show from the front looks on the cards, just a question of how long he can stay there.

27. VIRGILIO (Dan Skelton/ Harry Skelton)
Kept good company as a novice chaser and gained third course win when successful over regular fences at Aintree last May. Couple of poor efforts since following a six-month break, but reportedly undergone wind operation since last start in December.

28. BAIE DES ILES (Ross O'Sullivan, Ireland/ Ms K Walsh)
Smart mare who won 3m4f handicap at Punchestown in 2016/17 and finished creditable third to Folsom Blue in same race this February. Stays well and very much at home in testing conditions.

29. MAGGIO (Patrick Griffin, Ireland/ Brendan Powell)
Not won since causing 50/1 shock over regular fences at 2016 Grand National meeting. Failed to beat a rival most starts since and at the veteran stage now.

30. PENDRA (Charlie Longsdon/ Aidan Coleman)
Good second in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase at Cheltenham on sole start last season, but finished down the field in the same race on his first start since last time. Shaped much better than the distance he was beaten suggests, but has risks attached.

31. BUYWISE (Evan Williams/ Adam Wedge)
Ended long losing run in Veterans' Handicap Chase Final at Sandown in January and wasn't disgraced returned to hurdles at same course last time. Jumped round ok but never a factor in 2016 Grand National and not proven over long distances.

32. CHILDRENS LIST (Willie Mullins, Ireland/ Jonathan Burke)
Lacks chasing experience (only four runs over fences), though beat subsequent Irish Gold Cup winner Edwulf at Punchestown in 2016/17. Best effort when half-length second of 4 to Attribution in 19f minor event at Limerick on return but seemed not to stay much longer trip last time.

33. LORD WINDERMERE (Jim Culloty, Ireland/ A E Lynch)
Won Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2013/14 and pulled up in this race the following season. Took to the course better when finishing seventh last year, though fell in the Becher Chase on his return in December.

34. CAPTAIN REDBEARD (Stuart Coltherd/ Sam Coltherd)
Most consistent sort who's better than ever this season, winning at Haydock and (back over hurdles last time) Ayr. Good second in between to The Dutchman in Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock on first try beyond 3m. Needs to do lot better than on first try over these fences in Grand Sefton in December, however.

35. HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (Venetia Williams/ Charlie Deutsch)
Goes well in the mud and took advantage of a reduced mark when winning veterans' race at Sandown in November. Creditable third in similar event at Ascot last time, though barely enough of a test. Conditions more suitable than when completing for tenth in last year's National.

36. BLESS THE WINGS (Gordon Elliott, Ireland/ Jack Kennedy)
Veteran who won cross-country event at Cheltenham in December, only completion this season. Pulled up in gruelling edition of Irish Grand National less than two weeks ago.

37. MILANSBAR (Neil King/ Bryony Frost)
Won Classic Chase at Warwick in January and creditable second to Regal Flow in Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter last time. Won't lack for stamina, but isn't the most straightforward.

38. FINAL NUDGE (David Dennis/ Gavin Sheehan)
Reliable type who won two novice handicap chases last season. Beaten head in Badger Ales at Wincanton on reappearance before third to Raz de Maree in Welsh National at Chepstow. Better than distance beaten suggests in Kim Muir at Cheltenham last time.

39. DOUBLE ROSS (Nigel Twiston-Davies/ Tom Bellamy)
Not the force of old, but finished third to Native River in 2016 Hennessy Gold Cup and best effort for a while when fourth in Kim Muir at Cheltenham on latest start. Pulled up in 2016 Grand National.

40. ROAD TO RICHES (Noel Meade, Ireland/ Sean Flanagan)
One-time top-class chaser, but has been on the downgrade last two seasons and hard to fancy on recent efforts.

1. THUNDER AND ROSES (Mouse Morris, Ireland)
2015 Irish Grand National winner who produced best recent effort when fourth to Monbeg Notorious in Thyestes Handicap at Gowran in January. Unseated in this last year and fallen on last two starts, including in latest Irish Grand National.

12. DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR (Sue Smith/ Henry Brooke)
Good effort when neck third to Get On The Yager in Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby in December. Shaped as if still in form when fifth to Full Jack in handicap at Musselburgh, and ran well when third at Haydock in the mud last time. Likely better ground in his favour, but plenty on his plate here.

24. WALK IN THE MILL (Robert Walford/ Mr Sam Waley-Cohen)
Largely progressive over fences, and successfully upped in trip when winning over 3m at Ascot in November. Good third to Gold Present there next time, but latest start on heavy ground showed stamina limitations. Sound jumper.

***

Betfair Ambassadors, Paul Nicholls and Gordon Elliott, joined Barry Orr and Gary O'Brien to preview the Grand National.


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