Grand National 2014: The Runners and Riders

Who can emulate Ryan Mania, who won on Auroras Encore last year?
Who can emulate Ryan Mania, who won on Auroras Encore last year? Photo: PA Wire

TIDAL BAY - 14/1

Trainer: Paul Nicholls, Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies

Aiming to become the first top weight to win the National since Red Rum. At 13 years old, that would be some feat but Paul Nicholls has been here before - Neptune Collonges won for him in 2012.

Rating: 3/5

LONG RUN - 14/1

Trainer: Nicky Henderson, Jockey: Sam Waley-Cohen

Won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2011 but hasn’t matched that form since. Guaranteed to be fast but not the best jumper in the field. If amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen can get him round, he’s bound to be in the mix.

Rating: 4/5

HUNT BALL - 50/1

Trainer: Nicky Henderson, Jockey: Andrew Tinkler

Has won over shorter distances but there are question marks over his stamina. Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson has never won the Grand National. He has other horses more likely to break that duck.

Rating: 2/5

TRIOLO D’ALENE - 25/1

Trainer: Nicky Henderson, Jockey: Barry Geraghty

Available at a good price after a disappointing run at Cheltenham. Form is otherwise impressive, with wins at the Hennessey Gold Cup and over the National fences in the Topham. No 7-year-old has won the National since the war.

Rating: 3/5

Will Paul Nicholls be celebrating a 2nd National success with Rocky Creek?
Will Paul Nicholls be celebrating a 2nd National success with Rocky Creek? Credit: PA Wire

ROCKY CREEK - 20/1

Trainer: Paul Nicholls, Jockey: Noel Fehily

Finished 2nd to Triolo D’Alene in the Hennessey. A fine jumper, who has never fallen. Inexperience and a bout of ringworm that meant he missed Cheltenham are the only things likely to hold him back.

Rating: 4/5

QUITO DE LA ROQUE - 40/1

Trainer: Colm Murphy, Jockey: Brian O'Connell

Showed form earlier in his career but progress has tailed off. Softer ground would suit him but even if the heavens open, he’s unlikely to feature carrying this weight.

Rating: 2/5

COLBERT STATION - 33/1

Trainer: Ted Walsh, Jockey: Mark Walsh

Highly fancied here last year with AP McCoy on board but didn’t finish. Form has been patchy since.

Rating: 2/5

WALKON - 50/1

Trainer: Alan King, Jockey: Wayne Hutchinson

Has had success over shorter distances but stamina is a real doubt. Unlikely to become the fourth grey to win the National.

Rating: 2/5

Richard Johnson will be hoping he can replicate his Cheltenham win on Balthazar King
Richard Johnson will be hoping he can replicate his Cheltenham win on Balthazar King Credit: PA Wire

BALTHAZAR KING - 20/1

Trainer: Philip Hobbs, Jockey: Richard Johnson

A better bet than last year when the same jockey brought him home in 15th. All could depend on the weather - if the going is good his odds will shorten, if it rains he might not even run.

Rating: 3/5

WAYWARD PRINCE - 66/1

Trainer: Hillary Parrott, Jockey: Jack Doyle

Another who prefers firm ground. Has had winning days before but those are becoming fewer and farther between. A wayward bet if it rains, an optimistic one if it doesn’t.

Rating: 1/5

MR MOONSHINE - 40/1

Trainer: Sue Smith, Jockey: Ryan Mania

Last year’s winning combination of Ryan Mania and Sue Smith come together. A place for Mr Moonshine wouldn’t be as much of a shock as their win on Auroras Encore, given good form.

Rating: 3/5

TEAFORTHREE - 10/1

Trainer: Rebecca Curtis, Jockey: Nick Schofield

Third here last year and well fancied to turn that place into a win. Is carrying less weight this time round, jumps brilliantly and can go the distance. Hard to rule out.

Rating: 4/5

Can Tony McCoy replicate his 2010 win on Double Seven?
Can Tony McCoy replicate his 2010 win on Double Seven? Credit: PA Wire

ACROSS THE BAY - 40/1

Trainer: Donald McCain, Jockey: Henry Brooke

A hearty stayer who got round last time. Trained at the glittering stables of McCain 40 miles down the road in Cheshire. Unlikely to feature unless the ground is heavy, in which case he becomes interesting.

Rating: 2/5

DOUBLE SEVEN - 25/1

Trainer: Martin Brassil, Jockey: Tony McCoy

An interesting contender, particularly with Tony McCoy on board. In great form and if the ground is good then expect money to pile on this Irish horse.

Rating: 4/5

BATTLE GROUP - 33/1

Trainer: Johnny Farrelly, Jockey: Brendan Powell

A year ago seemed certain to be a competitor in this race for years to come but is having an awful season and hasn’t finished any of his last three. A tantalising bet if you believe form is temporary and class permanent.

Rating: 3/5

BUCKERS BRIDGE - 50/1

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead, Jockey: Andrew Lynch

A step up in class for this 8-year-old who is more point-to-point than National calibre. One to skip over.

Rating: 1/5

Mike Tindall's horse Monbeg Dude is among the favourites
Mike Tindall's horse Monbeg Dude is among the favourites

LION NA BERNAI - 33/1

Trainer: Thomas Gibney, Jockey: Davy Russell

Won the Irish Grand National in 2012 but that was a shock and he hasn’t done much since. Has the Gold Cup-winning Davy Russell on board but hard to see him among the contenders.

Rating: 2/5

PRINCE DE BEAUCHENNE - 16/1

Trainer: Willie Mullins, Jockey: Paul Townend

Has withdrawn late in the last two years when well-fancied. In better health, but worse form, this time. On his day can beat anyone but flatters to deceive.

Rating: 3/5

MONBEG DUDE - 14-1

Trainer: Michael Scudamore, Jockey: Paul Carberry

Owned by former rugby players Mike Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel and Nicky Robinson. The Queen’s granddaughter - and Tindall’s wife - Zara Phillips has been helping with training. Great form, royal connections, winning jockey and star owners make for a very interesting prospect.

Rating: 5/5

Burton Port has won before at Aintree, in 2012
Burton Port has won before at Aintree, in 2012

BIG SHU - 25-1

Trainer: Peter Maher, Jockey: Peter Buchanan

One to consider, certainly if the ground is soft. Stamina not in doubt and has won over longer distances than here. A good each-way bet.

Rating: 4/5

BURTON PORT - 20-1

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill, Jockey: Brian Harding

Would be in the mix if his form since returning from injury had matched that before it. Is capable and has a terrific trainer, so might be capable of a shock.

Rating: 3/5

OUR FATHER - 40-1

Trainer: David Pipe, Jockey: Denis O’Regan

Showed promise early in his career and solid, if unspectacular, this year. Likely to get round, very unlikely to get round quick enough.

Rating: 2/5

MOUNTAINOUS - 40-1

Trainer: Richard Lee, Jockey: Jamie Moore

Won the Welsh Grand National in 2013 and in good form but can look like he’s running up mountains when up against the very quickest. Could place but will struggle if the ground is fast.

Rating: 2/5

RAINBOW HUNTER - 33-1

Trainer: Kim Bailey, Jockey: Aidan Coleman

Unseated Aidan Coleman in his first National runout last year but in good form, with a good win at the Skybet Chase at Doncaster in January. This would be a big step up but one he might be capable of.

Rating: 3/5

Crowds will pack into Aintree for the Grand National
Crowds will pack into Aintree for the Grand National

VINTAGE STAR - 40-1

Trainer: Sue Smith, Jockey: Brian Hughes

This young horse is not short on stamina and is trained by last year’s winner Sue Smith. It’s probably a year too soon to be talking places but could surprise a few.

Rating: 3/5

CHANCE DU ROY - 33-1

Trainer: Phillip Hobbs, Jockey: Tom O’Brien

Won over the National fences on soft ground in December, albeit in a much weaker field. Has never won a race of this length and there’s probably too much class elsewhere.

Rating: 2/5

HAWKES POINT - 33-1

Trainer: Paul Nicholls, Jockey: Ryan Mahon

Not the classiest but is dogged, determined and likely to get round. Finished 2nd in the Welsh Grand National. Ground will probably be firmer than he would like - heavy downpours would make him a good each-way bet.

Rating: 3/5

KRUZHLININ - 50-1

Trainer: Donald McCain, Jockey: Wilson Renwick

Trained by Donald McCain so must be respected but looks too young and inexperienced to bother the places here. Sketchy jumping likely to give backers the heebie-jeebies.

Rating: 2/5

Pineau De Re was an early favourite with punters
Pineau De Re was an early favourite with punters

PINEAU DE RE - 20-1

Trainer: Richard Newland, Jockey: Leighton Aspell

Money has been piling on this 11-year-old since a creditable 3rd at Cheltenham. Trainer Richard Newland seems to have found the key to him but this is a step up in distance and difficulty from anything he’s run before.

Rating: 3/5

GOLAN WAY - 66-1

Trainer: Tim Vaughan, Jockey: Michael Byrne

Returned from injury after more than a year out in February. Had some form before that but not much since. Probably one to avoid.

Rating: 1/5

TWIRLING MAGNET - 50-1

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill, Jockey: Richie McLernon

Favours good ground so Aintree should suit him but he’s never run here before. Has won a few races at lower levels but there are plenty of horses here better than anything he’s ever run against.

Rating: 2/5

VESPER BELL - 50-1

Trainer: Willie Mullins, Jockey: Katie Walsh

(Katie Walsh will be the only female jockey this year after being called up as a late replacement for Mikey Fogarty after he injured his back on Friday.)

Not the calibre of jumper likely to get punters desperate to lump on. Willie Mullins is a National-winning trainer but Vesper Bell is unlikely to be his second winner.

Rating: 2/5

The famous Chair fence always claims a few victims
The famous Chair fence always claims a few victims

THE PACKAGE - 28-1

Trainer: David Pipe, Jockey: Tom Scudamore

Could be the surprise package of this year’s National. Unseated his rider here at 2009, has had a year out but is a low weight and looked in fine form when finishing 3rd on his return last month.

Rating: 4/5

RAZ DE MAREE - 50-1

Trainer: Dessie Hughes, Jockey: Davy Condon

Had good form in 2012 and late last year but has pulled up in two of his last four starts. One to avoid.

Rating: 1/5

ROSE OF THE MOON - 50-1

Trainer: David O’Meara, Jockey: Jake Greenall

Lightly raced, finished 10th over these fences at the Becher in December. Jake Greenall rode him then and 10th would be a very creditable finish for them here too.

Rating: 2/5

ALVARADO - 40-1

Trainer: Fergal O’Brien, Jockey: Paul Moloney

One for the risk-takers. An eccentric, enigmatic horse who has won five out of 14 chases but is more likely to unseat his rider or refuse.

Rating: 3/5

Trainer Evan Williams described One in a Milan as 'the biggest, laziest horse you’ve ever seen’
Trainer Evan Williams described One in a Milan as 'the biggest, laziest horse you’ve ever seen’

LAST TIME DALBAIN - 50-1

Trainer: Liam Cusack, Jockey: Robbie Colgan

Impressive in finishing third over the National fences in the Topham Chase last year. Less impressive since.

Rating: 2/5

ONE IN A MILAN - 66-1

Trainer: Evan Williams, Jockey: Adam Wedge

Trainer Williams says he’s ‘the biggest, laziest horse you’ve ever seen’ but this late entry has decent form in Nationals - coming fourth at the Welsh.

Rating: 2/5

SWING BILL - 66-1

Trainer: David Pipe, Jockey: Conor O’Farrell

This old warhorse surprised us all finishing 6th last year. At 13, he’s getting on a bit but a lower weight might entice the dreamers.

Rating: 2/5