Grand National 2019
6th April 2019 ● 5:15pm ● Aintree Racecourse
Winner of last year’s Grand National, Tiger Roll is bidding to become the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back nationals. Looks certain to go off as the shortest priced favourite in the history of the Grand National.
Great horse, great history but has only been seen once since April last year. He did win that race at Fairyhouse but is it enough to get him around the Grand National course?
Owned by Grand National winner Trevor Hemmings and trained by winner Sue Smith so Vintage Clouds is primed for a shot at the 2019 Grand National. He was also third in last years Scottish National so has stamina in bucket loads.
4th in last years Grand National and will be hoping to improve on that for 2019. He will be carrying top weight as Bristol De Mai was withdrawn but a second place in the Gold Cup means he is all class.
I really like Lake View Lad but question whether he can go the distance. Other than that he ticks a LOT of boxes and is really good over fences. A third-place finish in the Ultima at Cheltenham definitely boosted his 2019 Grand National claims.
With nine wins or places from 11 chase starts, Jury Duty has seen his odds go down rapidly. Helped by a win at Down Royal over 3m2f on March 16th! A good horse with plenty of Grand National 2019 potential.
Winner of the Scottish National last season and according to the trainer, Rebecca Curtis, is in great form and will love the trip around Aintree.
Was beaten by Tiger Roll last year by the closest of margins. A photo finish was even required. Was 9th in 2017 so is more than capable of handling the Grand National fences and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Fan of The Clash will be all over Rock The Kasbah this year. A horse with plenty of stamina, if he is in good form on the day he could definitely contend. Can he give jockey Richard Johnson his first win in the Grand National on his 21st attempt?
Would almost certainly be a top contender if it wasn’t for his age. At just 7 years old, a win in the Grand National is statistically unlikely. That said, he was second in the Welsh National and second in the Grand National trial at Haydock…and he will technically be 8 years old two days after the race…
Lightly chased but that hasn’t stopped him winning the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown (3m5f). He was also a worthy 6th at Warwick last time out – also over 3m5f so definitely has stamina. Has never unseated or pulled up and a little bit of rain so the going is Good-Soft would really be a bonus for him.
Was looking good after the Becher Chase but was a long way off the mark at Exeter in March and that was only over 2m7f. Stamina may let him down for the 2019 Grand National.
The 2017 winner is back after injury and hoping to regain his title in the Grand National 2019. It will be tough and he has unseated in both of his runs this season so he doesn’t seem like he is back to form yet. Though his trainer Lucinda Russell has said he is doing really well.
Finished last season by getting pulled-up three times in a row. Has gotten better as this season has gone along and had a really good win at Punchestown in February. Has stamina and a decent weight. Worthy consideration for the each-way Grand National bet.
Hasn’t been run a lot in the last few years, in fact he had a 600 day break and only returned in December for the Becher Chase where he finished 9th from 18 runners. But he has been given a much lower weight than he usually carries so that will go in his favour.
This will be a tough ask for Up For Review. He has only run in chases five times, never run more than 3m1f – and only four times at that distance. And the ground will need to be soft or heavy.
Frequently promises more than he delivers unfortunately. Has only won one chase start from 15 and that was three years ago. He pulled up last time out at Cheltenham.
Second in last season’s Scottish National but fell in the Becher Chase. Did well in the Coral Welsh National and is a runner that loves the long races which will help with the 2019 Grand National!
Winner of last season’s Irish Grand National, General Principle runs a lot but doesn’t always produce the goods. He may be inconsistent but he goes the distance and never pulls up or unseats his rider.
Could we see Lizzie Kelly on Tea For Two in the 2019 Grand National? She partners with him the most though her last attempt in the Glenfarclas Chase resulted in her getting unseated. But was looking good before the stumble.
Doing very well this season, winning or placing in all three starts. Good weight but the distance may challenge him.
A true stalwart of the Grand National, this will be the 4th attempt at a win for Vieux Lion Rouge. He has placed in the top 7 on all three of his previous national runs and it would be incredible to finally see him win it.
A good solid chaser who doesn’t pull-up or fall or unseat his jockey. He’s the kind of horse that will get around the course but not necessarily come home in the places. A bit of rain to soften the ground would help him.
The kind of horse that will run all day. He doesn’t unseat, pull-up or fall. But he also doesn’t win that often. 4th in the Irish National, 8th in the Coral Welsh National, 6th in the Midlands Grand National. With luck he could place. Worthy of an each-way bet.
Loves Cheltenham and has run there in his last six races. Will he take to Aintree as well? He has stamina but will need a nice dry course to perform at his best.
A very classy horse but one who has done most of his running in France. Has only been with trainer Nicky Henderson since November and run twice for him. Won one and pulled-up in one. The Grand National might be a bit of a shock for him!
Always does well when the ground is soft or heavy so if there’s rain think of Mala Beach for the each-way bet.
Winner of the Topham Chase at Aintree last year (over the same fences as the Grand National), he was also third in the Becher Chase. Great around the course with plenty of experience.
Ran last year and looked good but unseated his jockey. Is having another solid season but very far down the list of entries (no. 70) so may not make the cut for 2019.
Ran in the Grand National two years ago and finished in 8th spot so can get over the fences. Has had two races this season and trainer Anthony Honeyball believes he’s in great form and ready for the race!
Two swallows do not make a summer and two races at 3m do not make a serious Grand National runner. A very classy horse but one who is definitely more comfortable at 2m4f!
Has run seven times this season alone with mixed results. If you backed a horse purely on form, unfortunately Valseur Lido would not be it.
You can never really write off a horse trained by Willie Mullins and owned by the Ricci family. That said, he really doesn’t have the chasing experience and of the three he’s attempted at more than 3m he hasn’t done very well.
Still needs 10 runners to get withdrawn to make the cut for the 2019 Grand National. However, he is 14 years old which is almost unheard of in hunt racing at this level. Ran at Cheltenham in the Glenfarclas but pulled-up.
Undoubtedly a classy runner, Outlander was entered last year but withdrawn over a weights dispute. Back this year and has been running reasonably well. Hasn’t managed any wins but has run nice and cleanly.
Ran but pulled up last year under jockey Sean Bowen. Has already won the Grand Sefton Chase at Aintree this season but pulled up last time out so form is mixed.
Was sidelined for nearly two years but returned this season and has added three runs to tally. The first two weren’t great as he pulled-up in both but he did redeem himself at Down Royal with a third place last time out.
Has stepped up in trip recently but has only run four times at 3m. Unlikely he will have the stamina to go more than 4m in the Grand National 2019.
A potential dark horse in the 2019 Grand National, Magic Of Light has a really good record in chases and has two wins and two places already this season. It’s possible the distance may be too much but otherwise a classy runner.
Ran in the Grand National two years ago and was 14th, so clearly he has the ability to get round the course. Might be one for the each-way backers.
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The 2019 Grand National will be held at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, April 6th and the race starts at 5.15pm.
Sponsored by Randox Health, the world’s most famous horse race will be run over 4 miles 514 yards, with the runners jumping 30 fences over two laps. An estimated 600 million fans will tune in to watch it, and if you are in the UK it will be televised live on ITV.
It’s a fascinating race and most people research which horses are running in the Grand National. The field is made up of a maximum of 40 runners, although last year there were only 38 as two horses dropped out on the day of the race. Those 40 runners come from a much larger list of entries. This year 112 potential runners got entered. The final line-up for the Grand National 2019 will not be known until the day before the race.
Those horses are then given weights by the BHA Handicapper. It is his job to look at each entry and work out who he thinks has the best chance of winning. That is usually based on each horse’s Official Rating. The higher the rating, the better the horse and the greater the chance of winning the 2019 Grand National. The Handicapper then allocates a weight to each horse starting at 11-10, which the maximum a Grand National runner can carry.
Once every horse has a weight they are then put in order from highest to lowest. This also determines the number that they will wear on the day. So the top weight horse will carry 11-10 and be number one, the next highest weighted horse will be number two and so on.
That gives the initial 40 horses who could potentially line up for the 2019 Grand National.
What then follows is a number of set date dates that trainers can withdraw their horses from contention without penalty. As each horse gets removed the one below it moves up the list, taking its place. As many as 30 of the original 40 on the list can get withdrawn but eventually, by race day there are 40 Grand National Runners – hopefully!
And of course, 40 horses need 40 jockeys. They won’t be announced until much closer to the race. Jockeys are often employed by trainers will know the horses very well.
A race like the Grand National also gives jockeys time to prepare and run out on the gallops and over practice fences ahead of the race.
And they certainly need the practice as the fences at Aintree are notoriously difficult. There are 16 different obstacles that need to be tackled. All fences will be jumped on the first lap of the race. On the second lap, the last two are bypassed and the horses will instead make the long run-in to the finish line.
Famous Grand National fences include Becher’s Brook, which is fence number 6 (and 22 on the second lap). It is five feet high and the difficulty lies in the fact that the land side is lower than the take-off side.
Foinavon is fence number 7 & 23 and is one of the smallest fences on the course. It was named after the 1967 winner who won the race despite being a 100/1 long shot.
The Chair, which is fence number 15, is one of the most difficult on the course. That is because the jump must take in the 6ft wide ditch that is immediately in front of it.
The fences used in the Grand National underwent significant changes a few years ago. The wooden posts that traditionally made up the framed were replaced with a more flexible plastic birch that is more forgiving if the horse knocks into it. Spruce is then piled on top. Visually there is no difference to the fences, they have just been made safer on the inside.
While the Grand National is difficult, equine safety is paramount and the improvement in the fences has made a tremendous difference to the race. As a result, there have been fewer injuries to both horse and rider. But that still doesn’t guarantee that all horses will finish the race.
Only 12 of the 38 runners finished last year. Of the remaining 26, two of them were brought down, six fell, five unseated their rider and 13 were pulled up by their jockey.
So with only about a third of the field making it home in the Grand National, how do you know what to bet on? Grand National odds vary hugely from horse to horse and trying to pick a winner is not easy.
Some opt for a horse because of its name. Others like the jockey. Some will go on the colour of the silks that the jockey wears and some study the form.
Form takes in the weight of the horse, his age, how well he has been running etc…
To make it simple for you, try to narrow down your selection by looking at horses that are going to carry 11-00 or less. Ideally, they should be 9, 10 or 11 years of age and favourites don’t win enough so look for horses with odds between 14/1 and 33/1.
And if you want to dig a little deeper make sure your horse has run at least three times this season and give extra marks to those who have won or placed in races of 3m or more.
If you successfully pick the winner then good for you! You will want to know how much you have won. In it’s simplest terms, if you backed the winner, then you multiply the amount you bet by the large number in the odds. So if you put £5 on a horse at 20/1 and he won, you multiply 5 x 20 and you get £100 (plus your £5 stake back).
If you bet online then your winnings will be in your account shortly after the race ends. But give your bookmaker a little bit of time. Sorting out millions of bets takes a bit longer than normal!
While there is no formal dress code at Aintree, the Grand National is quite a prestigious race so you should dress appropriately. It is usual for men to wear suits and for women to look chic and, while not compulsory, many women opt to wear hats or hairpieces.
Famous quotes about the Grand National and horse racing.
Jockey Captain Becher remarked after falling into the water jump. The fence is now called ‘Becher’s Brook’.
Jockey Mick Fitzgerald after winning the 1996 Grand National on Rough Quest.
Churchill quoted on the aesthetics of horses.
Our Grand National 2019 tips can be viewed here.
You can’t rule him out after last year’s win especially as he has been given such a fair weight for the 2019 Grand National. He has just won another Glenfarclas Chase at Cheltenham!
A great chaser on very good form and could give Richard Johnson and Philip Hobbs their first Grand National win.
Great horse and ran a blinder at Cheltenham. Consistently good and has never unseated or pulled-up in a race.
Ticks a lot of boxes. Doesn’t unseat, fall or pull-up and is on excellent form this season.