Many Clouds spearheads field for Grand National

Many Clouds won last year's Grand National. Credit: PA

Last year's winner Many Clouds heads a maximum field for the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.

The top 40 in the handicap from the five-day confirmation stage all stood their ground at the 48-hour final declaration stage.

As a result, the last horse in the field is the Rebecca Curtis-trained The Romford Pele.

It means there is no place for 2014 winner Pineau De Re, nor Alvarado, who has finished fourth for the last two years.

Double Seven, who was third in 2014, and Cheltenham Festival winner Cause Of Causes also miss the cut.

However, all eyes will be on the Oliver Sherwood-trained Many Clouds, who will have to carry top weight of 11st 10lb round the unique course if he is to become the first horse since the great Red Rum in 1974 to record back-to-back victories in the world's greatest steeplechase.

Last year's runner-up Saint Are will try to go one better, while other fancied runners include Silviniaco Conti, The Last Samuri, Holywell, The Druids Nephew and Shutthefrontdoor.

55%

Of winning horses in the past 20 races have had 2 words in their name.

Bishops Road is the first of four reserves on standby should any of the top 40 drop out of the race by 1pm on Friday.

To ensure he gets an appearance at Aintree, Kerry Lee has declared her Betfred Grand National Trial winner for the Crabbie's Topham Chase on Friday.

The second reserve is the Mick Channon-trained Knock House, while Fergal O'Brien's Perfect Candidate is number three and Maggio, trained in County Dublin by Patrick Griffin, is four.