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Grand National 2017 full list of horses and Jockeys for Aintree race


Which horse will you bet on today? It's estimated that a quarter of the UK adult population will bet on the Randox Health sponsored Grand National in 2017. Most people will have a small each-way bet on a horse they fancy for no other reason than they like the name. Of course there’s nothing wrong with picking a horse for that reason, as pre-race favourites have a dire record in the race.


The Grand National is famed for its unpredictable nature and rightly so, in the past century five 100/1 shots have triumphed over the famous fences. However, the Grand National is far less of a lottery than many people believe. Trends and statistics have emerged over the last 20 years which can help you identify those runners who have the potential to run a big race. Whether you decide to follow the trends and stats or choose your horse based on its name, silk colour or jockey riding we can tell you everything you need to know about this year's hopefuls.


A TV audience in excess of 10 million will tune in to watch the drama of the 2017 Grand National unfold on the 8th of April at 5:15pm. Along with those watching at home a 70,000 strong crowd will be at Aintree racecourse to cheer on the horses from the first fence to the final furlong.


Who Decides The Runners & Riders?

Every year a maximum of 40 horses line up at the start of the Aintree Grand National and 600 million people worldwide tune in to watch them tackle the 30 notoriously difficult fences in a bid to put themselves into the history books. But how do those particular runners and riders make it to Grand National day?

The Horses

A horse will be entered into the Grand National if it meets the minimum criteria for qualification and the owner and trainer feel that their horse is capable of handling the race. Not all horses are suited to the long Aintree course or have the necessary jumping ability. Even if a horse gets entered that doesn't guarantee a place at the starting line.


The race is open to horses aged seven and upwards that have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more and who are allotted a rating of at least 120 by the BHA Handicapper.


The entry date for the race is always at the end of January, with the names and numbers announced by the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) the following day. In 2017 there were 110 entries, 2016 had 126 entries, an increase of 28 on the 98 entered in 2015.


The BHA Head Of Handicapping then takes the list of entries and frames the weights. In other words, he decides which horses will carry the heaviest weights and which will carry the least. The handicap system is designed to give every horse a fair chance of winning the race, good horses will carry more weight than those perceived to have less ability.


The maximum weight any horse can carry in the 2017 Grand National will be 11st 10lbs and the minimum is 10st. Each runner's weight will be largely determined by their OR (Official Rating) and the higher the rating, the higher the weight. Although the Grand National is the only race in Britain in which the Handicapper can ignoring the official ratings if he wishes, often to the consternation of owners and trainers.


Horses are then put in descending order from the highest to the lowest weighted and that also determines their race number. The top-weighted horse is number one, second heaviest weighted horse is number two and so on.


The weights are then announced, in 2017 it was on February 14th, and from then on a series of ‘Declaration Stages’ take place. At each of these stages, horses can be withdrawn from the proceedings by their trainers and as they are removed and the entries get whittled down so even horses that have not initially made the Top 40 may now do so as entries above them are taken out.


The very last declaration stage takes place at 10am on the Thursday immediately before Grand National day. This is the point where the top 40 horses will be near completion along with four additional reserves.


The following morning, Friday, at 10am any non-runners must be declared and be replaced by one of the four reserves. This is also the point where any horses who were previously allocated weights of less than 10st will have their weight increased to meet requirements.

Finally this results in the 40 declared horses who will line up for the 2017 Randox Health Grand National.


The Jockeys

The criteria for professional or amateur jockeys wanting to take part in the race are very specific. They must have ridden not less than 15 winners in chases or hurdle races under the Rules of Racing and/or the Rules of the Irish National Hunt Committee and ridden not less than 10 of these winners in chases.


A champion jockey like A.P. McCoy who primarily rode horses for super owner J.P. McManus had his pick of horses in the race before he retired. Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty are other top jockeys who can often choose their rides and odds will tumble on any horses chosen by the pair.

Amateur jockeys are now a rarity in the Grand National compared with races early days. Sam Whaley-Cohen is probably the most famous amateur rider in recent years and he enjoys a record over the Aintree fences which is the envy of many a professional.


Other jockeys will usually ride for the yards that retain them or a trainer will engage their services just for this race. In recent years a number of high profile jockeys have missed the race due to injuries picked up at the Cheltenham festival which is the last major National Hunt meeting before Aintree.


Don't be put off backing a less well known jockey or even one who has never ridden the course before. In 2013 jockey Ryan Mania won the race at his first attempt!


Full list of runners and riders

A maximum of 40 horses will race. All horses are British unless stated

All the entries have a star rating, which reflects their chance based on previous form and suitability to the race. The horse with the best chance has five stars and those with the worst have one star.

Horse, age, weight, trainer & rating

1.

THE LAST SAMURI (IRE), 9, 11-10, Kim Bailey (161) **** 14/1 Excellent second a year ago and looks even better this year; looks sure to make another bold bid.

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2.

MORE OF THAT (IRE), 9, 11-6, Jonjo O'Neill (157) ** 12/1 Fair sixth in Cheltenham Gold Cup last time and has touch of class; better since fitted with cheekpieces.

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3.

SHANTOU FLYER (IRE), 7, 11-5, Rebecca Curtis (156) *** 50/1 Stays 3m but yet to tackle extreme distances; likes good ground or softer.

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4.

PERFECT CANDIDATE (IRE), 10, 11-5, Fergal O'Brien (156) ** 50/1 Often front runs; stays and jumps well and acts on any going.

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5.

SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR), 8, 11-5, Paul Nicholls (156) **** 16/1 In good form this season and ran his best race for years when fifth in Gold Cup; has not fallen since 2014.

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6.

ROI DES FRANCS (FR), 8, 11-3, Gordon Elliott (154) * 50/1 Stays well and showed benefit of blinkers first time when winning comfortably on latest outing.

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7.

WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE), 8, 11-2, Noel Meade (153) * 50/1 Consistent and capable stayer but not a prolific winner; good jumper and should get around.

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8.

WONDERFUL CHARM (FR), 9, 11-2, Paul Nicholls (153) ** 40/1 Has had his enthusiasm rekindled in hunter chases; ran right up to best when second at Cheltenham last time; best on good ground.

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9.

TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR), 10, 11-1, Venetia Williams (152) * 40/1 Useful on his day and likes to race up with pace, which could well add to his stamina issues.

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10.

BLAKLION, 11-1, Nigel Twiston-Davies (152) **** 12/1 Classy and holds his form well. Ran a fine race when second in Haydock’s Grand National Trial. Likes fast ground.

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11.

DROP OUT JOE, 9, 11-1, Charlie Longsdon (152) *** 50/1 Has only run 12 times in past 3 years so has had injury issues but definitely has ability; good ground is best.

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12.

LE MERCUREY (FR), 7, 11-0, Paul Nicholls (151) * 40/1 Fair performer but does not win often and stamina has to be taken on trust.

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13.

THE YOUNG MASTER, 8, 10-13, Neil Mulholland (150) ** 16/1 Won Bet365 Gold Cup last spring so stamina not an issue. Out of form since, including when falling 2 out here in December; showed a bit more last time.

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14.

CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA), 9, 10-13, Gordon Elliott (150) *** 14/1 Looks a likely type and won nicely over Cheltenham’s Cross Country track last time; stamina not an issue and ground should suit.

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15.

REGAL ENCORE (IRE), 9, 10-13, Anthony Honeyball (150) ** 50/1 Inconsistent but capable on a going day; best form on fast ground.

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16.

VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR), 8, 10-12, David Pipe (149) **** 10/1 Proven over the fences and this tough stayer, who appears to act on most types on gound, must be respected.

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17.

DEFINITLY RED (IRE), 8, 10-12, Brian Ellison (149) *** 10/1 Generally progressive and we have probably yet to see the best of him; impressive when beating The Last Samuri at Doncaster; strong player.

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18.

UCELLO CONTI (FR), (27), 9, 10-12, Gordon Elliott (149) ** 16/1 Fair performer but has not won since moving to Ireland and not since 2014 in France; 6th a year ago and aimed at this since.

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19.

DOUBLE SHUFFLE (IRE), 7, 10-12, Tom George (149) ** 40/1 On the upgrade and a likeable sort; acts on any ground; looks capable of playing his part.

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20.

HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR), 10, 10-12, Venetia Williams (149) * 40/1 Smart chaser once but age is catching up with him; fourth in last year’s Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter.

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21.

PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE), 9, 10-12, W. P. Mullins (149) *** 16/1 Improving and looks to have been targeted at this race; a solid jumper who seems to go on any ground.

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22.

ONE FOR ARTHUR (IRE), 8, 10-11, Lucinda Russell (148) *** 14/1 Third to Vieux Lion Rouge here in December and then won over 3m 5f at Warwick when wearing a tongue tie for the first time.

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23.

BALLYNAGOUR (IRE), (70), 11, 10-11, David Pipe (148) * 66/1 Was once smart but is hard to predict these days. Unseated rider at 19th fence last year.

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24.

O'FAOLAINS BOY (IRE), 10, 10-11, Rebecca Curtis (148) * 66/1 Appears to have lost his way this season and has in fact not won since December 2015; hard to fancy.

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25.

HIGHLAND LODGE (IRE), 11, 10-11, James Moffatt (148) *** 25/1 Has a good record over the fences in three attempts with form figures of 812 and this has been his target all season; bold show expected.

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26.

BISHOPS ROAD (IRE), 9, 10-10, Kerry Lee (147) * 50/1 Fair performer but has become prone to jumping mistakes and came down at the first over these fences at last year’s meeting.

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27.

LORD WINDERMERE (IRE), 11, 10-10, Jim Culloty (147) * 50/1 Won 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup but is on the downgrade these days. Got as far as the 24th fence two years ago before pulling up.

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28.

SAINT ARE (FR), 11, 10-10, Tom George (147) ** 33/1 Finished second two years ago but has failed to finish on past two attempts over the fences. Looked close to best when second last time.

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29.

VICENTE (FR), (49), 8, 10-10, Paul Nicholls (147) *** 20/1 Won 2016 Scottish Grand National but disappointing since. However, his record suggests he is a spring horse and he could easily bounce back.

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30.

JUST A PAR (IRE), 10, 10-9, Paul Nicholls (146) ** 33/1 Finished 15th when a 40/1 chance in last year’s race. Returned to form at Newbury recently; good jumper.

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31.

MEASUREOFMYDREAMS (IRE), 9, 10-9, Noel Meade (146) ** 40/1 Favourite when an early faller in 2016 Scottish Grand National; lightly-raced this season and ran with some promise at Cheltenham last time.

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32.

RAZ DE MAREE (FR), 12, 10-9, Gavin Patrick Cromwell (146) *** 33/1 Finished 8th in 2014 National but improved since; has twice won Cork Grand National and finished second in Welsh National last December; solid stayer.

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33.

STELLAR NOTION (IRE), 9, 10-9, Henry de Bromhead (146) * 50/1 Normally races at short of 3m and has yet to prove he has the stamina for a contest such as this.Best on decent ground.

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34.

PENDRA (IRE), 9, 10-8, Charlie Longsdon (145) * 50/1 Was a 50-1 chance when a distant 13th a year ago but ran really well on only start since, when wearing blinkers for first time.

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35.

ROGUE ANGEL (IRE), 9, 10-8, M. F. Morris (145) ** 33/1 A brave winner of 2016 Irish Grand National; well behind Vieux Lion Rouge here in December and might need softer ground.

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36.

COCKTAILS AT DAWN, 9, 10-8, Nicky Henderson (145) * 100/1 Has a very patchy profile and fell in last year’s Topham (2m 5f) over the fences; unproven in stamina department.

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37.

THUNDER AND ROSES (IRE), 9, 10-7, M. F. Morris (144) ** 33/1 Has not won since landing the 2015 Irish Grand National although has run some fair races. Best with some give in the ground.

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38.

GAS LINE BOY (IRE), 11, 10-7, Ian Williams (144) * 66/1 Fell at the first when a 66/1 chance in 2015. Relatively consistent and stays well enough. Enjoys decent going.

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39.

GOODTOKNOW, 9, 10-7, Kerry Lee (144) ** 66/1 Stays well but is an in-an-out-performer who tends to throw in a really poor run from time to time. Seems to act on any going.

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40.

LA VATICANE (FR), 8, 10-6, David Pipe (143) * 100/1 Has twice got around over these fences but in much shorter races and stamina has to be an issue.

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RESERVES:

DOCTOR HARPER (IRE), 9, 10-6, David Pipe (143) 66/1

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BLESS THE WINGS (IRE), 12, 10-5, Gordon Elliott (142) 50/1

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KNOCK HOUSE (IRE), 8, 10-3, Donald McCain (141) 66/1

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SAMBREMONT, 7, 10-2, W. P. Mullins (139) 66/1

Find out everything you need to know about the Grand National here: http://www.grandnational2017.com/

NB: All horses are subject to change and all odds are subject to change but were all correct at time of publishing

Formby Bubble favourites are:

Number 21 - Pleasant Company

Number 7 - Wounded Warrior

Good Luck everyone!