Will Tiger Roll win this year’s Grand National? He may well do but here are some that can beat him.
The world and his wife will be seeking tips for the big race. It’s the one day of the year when the pin-stickers have a go at finding the winner. They’ll say anything can win it. However, it’s hard to see beyond the top nine or ten in the betting. The best advice is to bet early, as all the leading fancies will shorten in price on the day.
Last year’s winner Tiger Roll carries 6lb more this time. He looks sure to start the shortest priced favourite in modern times. He’s 7-2 now but may be shorter on the day.
Anibale Fly, a 10-1 shot, carries top weight of 11st 10lb. He finished fourth to Tiger Roll last year with 11st 8lb and came second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month.
Owner Trevor Hemmings has already won the Grand National three times and has two strong contenders in Vintage Clouds (12-1) and Lake View Lad (14-1). They finished second and third respectively in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last month. With just 10st 4lb to carry, Vintage Clouds makes the most appeal.
Champion jockey Richard Johnson has yet to win the great race. He rides Rock The Kasbah (16-1), who won over 3m 3½f at Cheltenham in November. However, he has not run since finishing a moderate sixth there in December.
Other leading Grand National contenders
Rathvinden (10-1) won last year’s four-mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham. That’s the same race Tiger Roll won the year before his Aintree triumph. He won the Grade 3 Bobbyjo Chase in February after the Grand National weights had been announced. That puts him officially 8lb well in.
Pleasant Company (20-1) came within a head of catching Tiger Roll when second in last year’s Grand National. He carried 10st 13lb then but has 4lb more this year. He’s still better off with Tiger Roll at the weights but has shown nothing in two starts this season. That said, trainer Willie Mullins will have trained him just for this one day.
Last year’s Scottish Grand National winner Joe Farrell (14-1) scrapes into the race with just 10st 2lb. He’s been well backed in the last couple of days. He received a stone from Ballyoptic when beating him a nose at Ayr 12 months ago and there’s not much between them here.
Jury Duty (22-1) won the American Grand National at Far Hills in October. Last time out he beat Mala Beach and Don Poli at Down Royal, giving them both 10lb. With 10st 11lb to carry, he looks well weighted.
At around 20-1, Jury Duty looks the value each-way bet in this year’s Grand National. I’d much rather have him at 5-1 quarter the odds than Tiger Roll at half those odds.