Picking the winner from a field of 40 each year is a tricky business to say the least, but the current Brexit Grand National is proving far more difficult to call!
The Jockey Club today announced the 40 Grand National 2019 runners. Weight and jockey information is below. Horses confirmed at be featuring in the 2019 line-up include favourite Tiger Roll (looking for back to back Grand National success after his 2018 victory!), 2017 winner One For Arthur and last year’s runner up Pleasant Company. The race will take place on ITV on Saturday 6th April at 5:15pm.
Current favourite to win the 2019 Grand National is the aforementioned Tiger Roll, who is 4-1 at time of writing. Second favourite is Rathvinden at 9-1, closely followed by Vintage Clouds and Anibale Fly (both available at 12-1).
Grand National 2019 Runners / Line-up:
Horse | weight | trainer/jockey
1 Anibale Fly, 11-10, Tony Martin/Barry Geraghty
2 Valtor, 11-06, Nicky Henderson/Daryl Jacob
3 Tiger Roll, 11-05, Gordon Elliott/Davy Russell
4 Outlander, 11-04, Gordon Elliott/Keith Donoghue
5 Don Poli, 11-03, Gordon Elliott/Patrick Mullins
6 Go Conquer, 11-03, Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies
7 Mala Beach, 11-02, Gordon Elliott/Mr Jamie Codd
8 Minella Rocco, 11-01, Jonjo O’Neill/Richie McLernon
9 Lake View Lad, 11-01, Nick Alexander/Henry Brooke
10 Pleasant Company, 11-01, Willie Mullins/TBC
11 Ballyoptic, 11-01, Nigel Twiston-Davies/Tom Bellamy
12 Dounikos, 11-00, Gordon Elliott/Jack Kennedy
13 Rathvinden, 11-00, Willie Mullins/TBC
14 One for Arthur, 11-00, Lucinda Russell/Derek Fox
15 Rock the Kasbah, 10-13, Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson
16 Warriors Tale, 10-13, Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden
17 Regal Encore, 10-12, Anthony Honeyball/Mark Walsh
18 Magic of Light, 10-11, Jessica Harrington/Paddy Kennedy
19 A Toi Phil, 10-11, Gordon Elliott/Denis O’Regan
20 Jury Duty, 10-11, Gordon Elliott/Robbie Power
21 Noble Endeavor, 10-10, Gordon Elliott/Mark Enright
22 Monbeg Notorious, 10-10, Gordon Elliott/Sean Bowen
23 Ramses De Teillee, 10-09, David Pipe/David Noonan
24 Tea for Two, 10-09, Jane Williams/Lizzie Kelly
25 Mall Dini, 10-08, Patrick Kelly/Sean Flanagan
26 Step Back, 10-07, Mark Bradstock/Nico de Boinville
27 Ultragold, 10-07, Colin Tizzard/Tom O’Brien
28 Blow by Blow, 10-06, Gordon Elliott/Andrew Ring
29 Up for Review, 10-06, Willie Mullins/TBC
30 Singlefarmpayment, 10-06, Tom George/Paddy Brennan
31 Vieux Lion Rouge, 10-06, David Pipe/Tom Scudamore
32 Valseur Lido, 10-06, Henry de Bromhead/Rachael Blackmore
33 Vintage Clouds, 10-04, Sue Smith/Danny Cook
34 General Principle,10-04, Gordon Elliott/J J Slevin
35 Livelovelaugh, 10-04, Willie Mullins/TBC
36 Walk in the Mill, 10-04, Robert Walford/James Best
37 Folsom Blue, 10-04, Gordon Elliott/Luke Dempsey
38 Captain Redbeard, 10-03, Stuart Coltherd/Sam Coltherd
39 Bless the Wings, 10-03, Gordon Elliott/Robert Dunne
40 Joe Farrell, 10-02, Rebecca Curtis/Adam Wedge
To the casual observer, the fences on the Grand National course at Aintree may appear as formidable as ever but, in terms of construction, they are considerably less robust, and more forgiving, than was once the case. The National still range in height from 4’6” to 5’2” but, in most cases, are no longer supported by a rigid, timber frame, but rather by an inner core of pliable, plastic birch, 18” in height. The inner core of the fences known as Westhead, Booth and The Chair, all of which are open ditches, is still composed of traditional, real birch but, even so, they are more flexible and less hazardous to horses who fail to jump them cleanly.
While betting firms have got you covered for horse racing tips for every race going, what the Grand National fences are covered in, is a story in its own right! The National fences are still covered with distinctive Norway, or Sitka, Spruce, to a minimum depth of 14”. Nevertheless, the height of the orange-painted toe board, situated at the base of each fence on the take-off side to provide a clear ground line for horse and jockey, has also been increased to 14”. Likewise, solid timber guard rails – one of which ended the career of Arkle, probably the greatest steeplechaser in history – have long been replaced with padded PVC foam alternatives. The principal function of the guard rail is to keep the spruce apron of the fence in place but, at Aintree, guard rails were typically set very low on the ‘belly’ of the fences such that, at certain obstacles, horses could see into the ditch beyond, with unpredictable results. Raising the guard rails, to approximately one-third of the way up the fence, has improved visibility and safety in that respect.
It can, and has been, argued that removing the solid timber core of the National fences allows horses to jump lower – say 3’ as opposed to 3’6” – and faster, than before, thereby increasing the risk of injury if they do fall. Opinions differ as to whether horses that run in the Grand National consciously realise that they can ‘get away with’ hitting the top of the more forgiving fences, but jockeys certainly do. However, any danger of jockeys, as one veteran trainer put it, ‘winging round’ the National course has been alleviated, in part, by routinely watering to produce going no faster than ‘good to soft’ and that fact has been reflected in recent winning times. Indeed, with no fatalities in the Grand National since 2012, it is difficult to argue that the modifications to the fences have not improved the world famous steeplechase.