Complete guide to the 2017 Grand National Runners & Riders

We bring you the low-down on the runners and riders at this year’s Grand National…

picks

The 2017 running of the world’s greatest steeplechase is almost upon us and countless thousands of punters will have been studying the form guide to hopefully secure a winner at this year’s race. A similar number will have no idea whatsoever, therefore we’ve drawn up an easy-to-use guide for all you ‘pinstickers’ out there…

 

1: The Last Samuri

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Trainer: Kim Bailey

Jockey: David Bass

Age: 9

Weight: 11-10

Runner-up in last year’s race with a weight of a stone less. No top-weight horse has won the Grand National since Red Rum in 1974. We believe that The Last Samuri has had his chance despite finishing a close third at Aintree in the Becher Chase in December. Kim Bailey has won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and Grand National (Mr Frisk, 1990).

Form: 12-532

2: More Of That

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Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill

Jockey: Barry Geraghty

Age: 9

Weight: 11-06

Placed sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month and very talented when at his best. Won the 2014 Champion Hurdle ahead of Annie Power but most recent win was in 2015. O’Neill joked recently that nothing could beat him and backers will be happy with that kind of talk.

Form: -P36U6

3: Shantou Flyer

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Trainer: Rebecca Curtis

Jockey: Jonathan Moore

Age: 7

Weight: 11-05

Won at Cheltenham on New Years’ Day and might do well in a step-up in distance. The statistics defy this runner however with the last seven-year-old winning in 1940 and it is over 100 years since a Welsh-trained horse won the Grand National.

Form: 529142

4: Perfect Candidate

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Trainer: Fergal O’Brien

Jockey: Paddy Brennan

Age: 10

Weight: 11-05

Success last came at Exeter although whether this runner will rise to what is a huge occasion remains to be seen. Perfect Candidate failed to make the cut in the 2016 Grand National and the heavier weight this time around may mean that he is far from the perfect candidate after all.

Form: 1-02P1

5: Saphir Du Rheu

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Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies

Age: 8

Weight: 11-05

Fifth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month and a smart performer. One of several chances for Paul Nicholls including heavily backed Vicente. Nicholls-trained Neptune Collonges was another grey to win the National in 2012 for trainer.

Form: -3F215

6: Roi Des Francs

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Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Jockey: Jack Kennedy

Age: 8

Weight: 11-03

Name translates roughly as ‘King Of Franks’ and won at Down Royal in lesser company on St Patrick’s Day. Trainer won the Grand National with Silver Birch ten years ago and topped the trainer rankings at the Cheltenham Festival last month. Part of a team owned by Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary.

Form: 320541

7: Wounded Warrior

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Trainer: Noel Meade

Jockey: Sean Flanagan

Age: 8

Weight: 11-02

Beat Rule The World (Grand National winner 2016) at Naas in January 2015 and has run well since then in defeat. Impressed when third in Cheltenham’s RSA Chase in 2015 and whilst he was pulled up in February, the stamina test of the National could suit.

Form: 6-406P

8: Wonderful Charm

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Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Jockey: Katie Walsh

Age: 9

Weight: 11-02

Failed to get going in the 2016 Grand National when pulled up relatively early on in second circuit. Jockey Katie Walsh was best female rider when finishing third in 2012 on Seabass but is very much an outsider this time around to be first woman to win the race.

Form: P7-112

9: Tenor Nivernais

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Trainer: Venetia Williams

Jockey: Liam Treadwell

Age: 10

Weight: 11-01

This trainer proved a hit among a few lucky punters when her 100/1 shot Mon Mome romped home to victory in 2009. Williams does well with runners which favour softer grounds and this horse will be no exception. Won easily by some 30 lengths in such conditions a couple of months ago at Ascot.

Form: -34312

10: Blaklion

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Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies

Jockey: Noel Fehily

Age: 8

Weight: 11-01

A consistent and classy frontrunner which won the Cheltenham RSA Chase last year and finished second to Vieux Lion Rouge at the National trial in February at Haydock Park. Trainer has triumphed twice in race with Earth Summit in 1998 and Bindaree in 2002. A respected jockey who hasn’t finished in the first four in his previous fourteen outings.

Form: 3-4532

11: Drop Out Joe

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Trainer: Charlie Longsdon

Jockey: Tom O’Brien

Age: 9

Weight: 11-01

First outing since winning in June 2016 at Uttoxeter against Ballynagour and Gas Line Boy. Horse appears to benefit from lengthy rest with four wins after breaks of over four months, however this is a real test of a comeback. Last National winners containing a name were Monty’s Pass in 2003 and Bobby in 1999.

Form: 1570-1

12: Le Mercurey

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Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Jockey: Sean Bowen

Age: 7

Weight: 11-00

Finished second to 2015 National winner Many Clouds in December on Aintree’s Mildmay course and recently purchased by Patricia Thompson in the build up to the big race. Another backed runner from Paul Nicholls and expected to start strongly.

Form: -32523

13: The Young Master

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Trainer: Neil Mulholland

Jockey: Sam Waley-Cohen

Age: 8

Weight: 10-13

Won the Bet365 Gold Cup in April at Sundown and a respected runner despite falling in the Becher Chase. Enjoyed a decent prep run for the Irish trainer at Cheltenham and jockey enjoyed a good record over the Grand National fences with six wins on the course.

Form: 31-F06

14: Cause Of Causes

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Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Jockey: Jamie Codd

Age: 9

Weight: 10-13

Came eighth in the 2015 Grand National, a decent finish for the youngster. Won a third consecutive victory at the Cheltenham Festival in the Cross Country Chase, this being one place better than Elliot-trained Silver Birch who subsequently went on to win at Aintree ten years ago, thus making the trainer youngest to win the National.

Form: -5P051

15: Regal Encore

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Trainer: Anthony Honeyball

Jockey: Robbie Power

Age: 9

Weight: 10-13

Has been pulled-up in all-but-two of his last eight outings but won the Silver Cup at Ascot and will be suited to drying ground. Owned by JP McManus and one of three entered by the ‘Sundance Kid’, a nickname gained from his gambling exploits. Jockey won on Silver Birch ten years ago and triumphed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on-board Sizing John.

Form: -2PP1P

16: Vieux Lion Rouge

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Trainer: David Pipe

Jockey: Tom Scudamore

Age: 8

Weight: 10-12

Won over the National fences in the Becher Chase as well as the trial at Haydock and looks tailor made for this year’s big race. Trainer won in 2008 with Comply Or Die and this will be heavily backed by pub regulars up and down the country – Vieux Lion Rouge being French for Old Red Lion.

Form: 267-11

17: Definitly Red

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Trainer: Brian Ellison

Jockey: Danny Cook

Age: 8

Weight: 10-12

This could prove extremely popular with fans of Liverpool. The lack of ‘E’ in the name reflects a mistake in the spelling when the horse’s registration forms were filled in. Won at Doncaster in Grimthorpe Chase by 14-lengths and official handicapper says 10lb ‘well in’ after weights were announced for National.

Form: -131U1

18: Ucello Conti

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Trainer: Gordon Elliott

Jockey: Daryl Jacob

Age: 9

Weight: 10-12

Looked very much a contender in 2016 Grand National before fading out of contention to come in sixth. Ran over National fences to finish fourth in December’s Becher Chase. Following the announcement of the National weights, leading female jockey Katie Walsh claimed that this horse had a ‘massive chance’.

Form: -74724

19: Double Shuffle

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Trainer: Tom George

Jockey: Adrian Heskin

Age: 7

Weight: 10-12

Very competent jumper who performed admirably at Kempton in December. Nevertheless has unproven stamina and no seven-year-old runner has won this race for 77 years. Trainer Tom George came close with Saint Are which finished second in the 2015 Grand National.

Form: -2P512

20: Houblon Des Obeaux

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Trainer: Venetia Williams

Jockey: Charlie Deutsch

Age: 10

Weight: 10-12

As far as this runner is concerned, wetter is better. Has been placed in two ‘National’ races this season with a third-place finish in the Welsh running and fourth in the Midlands at Uttoxeter. Runner-up to Many Clouds at the Hennessy Gold Cup in 2014.

Form: P-3484

21: Pleasant Company

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Trainer: Willie Mullins

Jockey: Ruby Walsh

Age: 9

Weight: 10-12

Triumphed at Fairyhouse in the Bobbyjo Chase a couple of months ago but this one of only one of just six runs over fences. Jockey has won the National on two occasions and is certainly one of the best of his generation, however will he prove to be pleasant company for this runner?

Form: 3P-141

22: One For Arthur

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Trainer: Lucinda Russell

Jockey: Derek Fox

Age: 8

Weight: 10-11

Owned by the self-titled ‘Two Golf Widows’, Debs Thompson and Belinda McClung. Won at Warwick in the Classic Chase in January. Only one Scottish-trained horse has won the National before – this being Rustic in 1979. Jockey is making a comeback in this race following a broken collarbone and wrist from a fall a month ago.

Form: 43-151

23: Ballynagour

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Trainer: David Pipe

Jockey: David Noonan

Age: 11

Weight: 10-11

Has some decent form but from some three years ago and has been pulled up in his last three outings, therefore seems an unlikely winner. Made headway in the 2016 National but unseated rider at 19th. Comply Or Die won for this trainer in 2008 race, this runner finishing second the following year.

Form: 722PPP

24: O’Faolains Boy

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Trainer: Rebecca Curtis

Jockey: Paul Townend

Age: 10

Weight: 10-11

Withdrawn on the morning of the 2016 Grand National when found to be lame and recent outings leave a lot to be desired. He won the Cheltenham Festival RSA Chase in 2014 and such a return to form would make him an interesting contender.

Form: P87-PP

25: Highland Lodge

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Trainer: Jimmy Moffatt

Jockey: Henry Brooke

Age: 11

Weight: 10-11

Won over the National fences in the Becher Chase and runner-up in the same race. Came second in the Scottish National at Ayr but didn’t make the cut for this race in 2016. Patricia Thompson bought the horse just last week and jockey returned to racing in November following a fall which left him in a coma.

Form: 721P-2

26: Bishops Road

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Trainer: Kerry Lee

Jockey: Jamie Moore

Age: 9

Weight: 10-10

Won the 2016 Grand National trial but unfortunately didn’t make the grade for the big race itself. Unseated jockey over the National fences in the Topham. Trainer Kerry Lee formerly worked for Channel 4 Racing before taking over from her successful father.

Form: UF-403

27: Lord Windermere

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Trainer: Jim Culloty

Jockey: Leighton Aspell

Age: 11

Weight: 10-10

Won the 2014 Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival but it would appear that his best days are long gone with no wins since that 20/1 victory. Pulled up in last year’s National under top weight. Trainer Jim Culloty won the Gold Cup as a jockey on Best Mate in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Form: PP/295

28: Saint Are

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Trainer: Tom George

Jockey: Davy Russell

Age: 11

Weight: 10-10

Runner-up in the 2015 Grand National to Many Clouds and fancied to do well the following year but was pulled up before the last on that occasion. Fast approaching veteran stage but came in a decent second in his last outing and could join a trio of 11-year-old National winners from 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Form: 0-53F2

29: Vicente

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Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Jockey: Brian Hughes

Age: 8

Weight: 10-10

Won the 2016 Scottish Grand National with trainer aiming the horse at the Aintree version since that victory in Ayr. Bought by Trevor Hemmings (three-time National winner) last month following the death of his Many Clouds (2015 winner). Well-respected jockey aiming to complete race for the first time after five attempts

Form: 1-F669

30: Just A Par

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Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Jockey: Harry Cobden

Age: 10

Weight: 10-09

This would be an appropriate winner on the very weekend of the Golf Masters. Has never unseated or fallen in 23 races and won at Sundown in the Bet365 Gold Cup two years ago before finishing second in 2016. Finished 15th at the 2016 Grand National and few expect him to do much better this time around.

Form: 02-4P1

31: Measureofmydreams

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Trainer: Noel Meade

Jockey: Donagh Meyler

Age: 9

Weight: 10-09

Finished third in the National Hunt Chase in 2016 at Cheltenham  but fell early on in the Scottish Grand National when joint favourite. Supporters of this runner will be hoping for a few heavy downpours with this horse favouring ‘heavy’ going – four wins coming on such ground.

Form: 3F0-P0

32: Raz De Maree

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Trainer: Gavin Cromwell

Jockey: Ger Fox

Age: 12

Weight: 10-09

This runner is a ‘National’ specialist with a second win in the Cork National this season and second in the Welsh to Native River. Only managed an eighth-place finish at Aintree in 2014 and last twelve-year-old to win the Grand National was Amberleigh House back in 2004.

Form: U21722

33: Stellar Notion

Stellar

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead

Jockey: David Mullins

Age: 9

Weight: 10-09

Likely to be amongst the early front-runners on Saturday and has enjoyed a few decent runs including a fourth-placed finish at Leopardstown in the Paddy Power Chase over Christmas. Unknown stamina with it’s longest win being 2 1/2 miles. Jockey David Mullins triumphed on Rule The World in 2016 on his debut.

Form: 103242

34: Rogue Angel

rogue

Trainer: Mouse Morris

Jockey: Bryan Cooper

Age: 9

Weight: 10-08

This horse won the 2016 Irish Grand National and this is often seen as a good pointer towards the big race at Aintree. Mouse Morris enjoyed success in the 2016 National with Rule The World, an emotional win following the death of his son Tiff just a few months previously.

Form: 080095

35: Cocktails At Dawn

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Trainer: Nicky Henderson

Jockey: Nico de Boinville

Age: 9

Weight: 10-08

Recent outings don’t make pleasant reading with a fall over the National fences last season in the Topham Chase. Trainer has enjoyed huge success at the Cheltenham Festival but a winner in the National has as yet eluded him despite some 39 runners since 1979.

Form: F-P4FP

36: Thunder And Roses

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Trainer: Mouse Morris

Jockey: Mark Enright

Age: 9

Weight: 10-07

Won the 2015 Irish Grand National with Katie Walsh in the saddle but failed to triumph in any of its subsequent fourteen outings. Finished second to Pleasant Company at Firehouse a couple of months ago. Trainer finally won 2016 National with Rule The World following 18 unsuccessful attempts.

Form: 207226

37: Gas Line Boy

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Trainer: Ian Williams

Jockey: Robbie Dunne

Age: 11

Weight: 10-07

Fell at the first fence in 2015 and looks a very unlikely winner in his following attempt. Won at Kelso in a veterans’ chase and this offers a slither of encouragement but finished well behind Blaklion and Vieux Lion Rouge in February at Haydock. We feel that he will run out of gas long before the finish. Jockey finished third in 2016 on 100/1 shot Vics Canvas.

Form: 243144

38: Good To Know

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Trainer: Kerry Lee

Jockey: Jake Greenall

Age: 9

Weight: 10-07

Finished a close second to One For Arthur three months ago at Warwick before winning at Hereford. Failed to finish the Haydock trial after being pulled up. Trainer has two contenders in National, her other being Bishops Road and she triumphed in the Welsh National in 2016 with Mountainous.

Form: -8521P

39: La Vaticane

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Trainer: David Pipe

Jockey: Richie McLernon

Age: 8

Weight: 10-06

Could this be the first mare to win the Grand National since Nickel Coin in 1951? Was well beaten over the National fences on two occasions. Odds of around 100/1 clearly reflect it’s likelihood of winning on Saturday afternoon.

Form: -2515P

40: Doctor Harper

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Trainer: David Pipe

Jockey: Conor O’Farrell

Age: 9

Weight: 10-06

We believe that this horse will win a big race at a pretty hefty price sometime in the near future, however will this prove to be on Saturday? Runs in the colours of David Johnson, owner of 2008 National winner Comply Or Die. Johnson died of cancer four years ago and this horse was one of his last purchases, being named after the doctor who was treating him.

Form: -P92P7