2016 GRAND NATIONAL RUNNERS & ODDS
The potential runners and their ante-post odds…
Winner of the 2015 Grand National for trainer Oliver Sherwood, giving jockey Leighton Aspell back-to-back wins in the event and a third National win for owner Trevor Hemmings. A terrific horse who had also won the Hennessy Gold Cup and the BetBright Cup Chase earlier in the season, he defied the statisticians and trends in the 2015 race when he won carrying the heaviest weight since Red Rum in 1974.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 61-622 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: O SHERWOOD
Bypassed the Grand National in 2015 in favour of going to the Scottish event a week later where he finished in second place which followed on from his Midlands Grand National win in March 2015. Clearly a long distance chaser who has run in the Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Midlands Grand Nationals.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 12-394 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: J DREAPER
THE DRUIDS NEPHEW
Gained momentum in the betting as the 2015 Grand National drew closer and went as short as 10/1 heading into the race. Despite jockey Aidan Coleman’s best efforts, The Druids Nephew fell at fence 26. Another crack at Aintree in 2016 could be on the cards but the Cheltenham Festival could lure him away.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 51F-66 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: N MULHOLLAND
A young horse and will only be seven years old when the Grand National 2016 rolls around, it’s unlikely that Willie Mullins will send Don Poli to the Aintree particularly as he has had only four career chase starts, albeit with three wins including the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in 2015.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 11-511 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: W MULLINS
With 13 chases under his belt, Foxrock has won four times and placed another six times which makes a decent consideration for the each-way bet. His last win was a year ago at Leopardstown and while he hasn’t been fruitful this season, he is a solid entry though the distance may test him.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 20-863 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: T WALSH
Went off as the race favourite for the Grand National in 2015 with AP McCoy on board but the fairytale ending did not materialise and instead he had to settle for fifth place. Nevertheless, that still returned a profit for each-way backers who supported AP on his last ride in the National.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1/15-3 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: J. O’NEILL
Despite three attempts at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Silviniaco Conti has never won it but has plenty of notable wins under his career belt, including two Betfred Bowl Chases at Aintree in 2015 and 2014, two King George VI Chases and the Betfair Chase, in total earning close to a million pounds for connections.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 71-22P | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Pulled up during the 2014 Grand National, Triolo D’Alene has only had one run since Jan 2015 and that was at Kempton on January 9th 2016. He was back to winning ways, though there were only three runners, and could also make a bid a bid for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: P/P3-1 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: N HENDERSON
Another terrific run from jockey Paul Moloney, who has an enviable completion record around the Grand National course, he finished fourth on Alvarado in 2015, repeating his efforts of 2014 when he also finished in fourth place.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: P4/54- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: F O’BRIEN
A winner last time out at Sandown, Bishops Road is going to find it difficult to make the cut on his current OR of 130 though the win may give him the boost he needs when the Handicapper looks at him. Also entered into the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 6F3031 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: K LEE
A well rated runner with four wins and three places from 13 chase starts. Third place in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last year, he already placed twice at Cheltenham this season but has only ever placed at 3m6y and never won beyond 2m7f.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 5-3243 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: E WILLIAMS
CAUSE OF CAUSES
He may have been only seven years old running in the Grand National 2015 but Cause Of Causes successfully got around the course in 8th place with jockey Paul Carberry on board. Another year of experience and maturity and he could be a serious contender for 2016.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 518-00 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
A terrific runner but one who seems to lack the last bit of stamina to really challenge in the big races, and one who has had to settle for second place a lot including twice in the Lexus Chase as well as the Ryanair Chase and the RSA Chase at Cheltenham. Big earnings but only three wins from 28 chase starts.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 0-8432 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: M MORRIS
A really good horse from Enda Bolger who could be the one to watch this year. With three wins and three places from just seven chase starts, he added a fourth place last time out and given that it was a 28 runner race that puts him squarely in the money 100% of the time – but in much shorter races.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 321-34 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: E BOLGER
Winner of the 2015 Becher Chase at Aintree, Highland Lodge is starting to tick all the right boxes for the Grand National 2016. If he can maintain his good form and get a few more runs under his belt before the big day he could do quite well.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 84-721 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: J MOFFATT
Had a terrific 2014 with four wins on the bounce including at Cheltenham and Aintree but his form has dipped and none of his three races this season have produced much to get overly excited about – 5th from seven runners at Wetherby followed by 4th from five runners at Haydock in November and pulled up last time out.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 43-54P | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: J O’NEILL
JUST A PAR
Winner of the Gold Cup Chase at Sandown last year, Just A Par falls in and out of good form and this season hasn’t proved much better with indifferent performances at both Cheltenham in November and Sandown in December. Has only won two of his 14 chase starts.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 031-09 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
No stranger to Aintree, Kruzhlinin ran in the 2014 National when trained by Donald McCain. He ran only once in 2015 before being transferred to Philip Hobbs’ yard and had a winning debut for his new trainer at Kempton on January 9th 2016.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 0/72-1 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P HOBBS
Lightly chased given his age and as such has a decent OR but it may not be high enough to secure him a spot this year. Winner at Cheltenham in 2014, he hasn’t bagged another since then though he did finish in second place last time out at Warwick.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1/9-42 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: A KING
He may not have the greatest number of runs but he has won or placed in all six of his chase starts. He was out of action from May 2014 and only returned on Jan 30th 2016 where he finished second so a long time on the sidelines and will need more prep races if he is to face the Aintree fences.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 23/3-2 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P FAHY
Lightly chased with only seven runs under his belt but produced good results with three wins and a place, including the RSA Chase in 2014. Was sidelined for nearly 18 months before his return to Ascot in November where he was pulled up but was back on form with a win at Newbury in December 2015.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 15/P1P | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: R CURTIS
ON HIS OWN
Now 12-years-old, despite being entered into the Grand National so frequently, On His Own has only ever run it once and that was in 2012. Can he come back four years later and give it another go? Possibly, but recent form doesn’t bode well for his chances.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: P797U4 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: F O’BRIEN
May very well make the cut on his OR of 151 but with only three chase starts, it would be miraculous if he was actually run in the Grand National, in fact all five of his last races were Novice races. He’s a bit on the young side and historically 7 year olds don’t fare well in the National.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 11-122 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: P HOBBS
A solid runner and connections are no doubt hoping that the recent win at Cheltenham, on January 1st, will give his OR the boost that is needed to qualify for the Grand National 2016. Has never run at Aintree and is more at home at Cheltenham where he has just had five back-to-back runs.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 50-251 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: F O’BRIEN
PINEAU DE RE
He may be 13 years old, and statistically unlikely to win the Grand National 2016 but Pineau De Re, winner of the 2014 Grand National, proved with his recent win at Carlisle that he still has plenty to give.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 0-82F1 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 13 | TRAINER: DR R NEWLAND
Having won with Pineau De Re in 2014, trainer Richard Newland had high hopes for Royale Knight in 2015 and while he didn’t win the race, he did give a good account of himself, finishing in 6th place with jockey Brendan Powell on board. Royale Knight then headed to Sandown two weeks later but was pulled-up.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 6P-712 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: R NEWLAND
Trainer Tom George had predicted a big run from Saint Are in 2015 and he wasn’t wrong, missing out on the Grand National win by just 1 3/4L to Many Clouds and having to settle for second place though the £211K he earned may have eased the pain of losing by such a small margin. No doubt he will be back in 2016 to hopefully go one place better!
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 312-67 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: T GEORGE
SIR DES CHAMPS
With earnings just shy of £500K, Sir Des Champs is undoubtedly one of the premium entries this year. One an OR of 160 he will likely be a contender for top weight which won’t be a huge concern as only once since 2012 has he not run off 11-10.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1F4/15 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: W MULLINS
Despite his clear ability to get around the Grand National course, Soll always seems to be waiting until the last minute to get his spot. He finished the event in 7th place in 2013, didn’t qualify in 2014 but made the cut in 2015 to finish in 9th place.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 19-041 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: D PIPE
THE LAST SAMURI
The Last Samuri, from trainer Kim Bailey, is a horse on form and has just notched up his fourth win from seven chase starts. He probably needs a few more chase starts for added experience and a bit of rain on the course will certainly boost his chances.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: U12-31 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: K BAILEY
THUNDER AND ROSES
Winner of the Irish Grand National 2015 for jockey Katie Walsh, owner Michael O’Leary and trainer Sandra Hughes, daughter of the late Dessie Hughes, Thunder And Roses was on great form last season but hasn’t been able to continue it this season finishing 10th last time out after being pulled up in the Becher Chase.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: U1-5P0 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: S HUGHES
Half brother to Silviniaco Conti, Ucello Conti has spent the majority of his career running in France with some success. He moved to Gordon Elliott’s yard last April and has had three runs this season finishing second in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown in December.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1P-623 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
Potentially a terrific runner for the Grand National 2016 from Willie Mullins’ yard but still a bit of a novice. Lacking in experience because of his age but the six chases he has run in have produced three wins and two places. This coming season will be very telling.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 36-12F | WEIGHT: | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: W MULLINS
Just achieved back-to-back wins at Doncaster which will have boosted his OR, possibly even enough to make the cut for the Grand National but with only four wins and two places from 16 chase starts, it’s difficult to see how he could genuinely mount a threat.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 6-P311 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: A KING
Definitely not having his greatest season and with two runs since November he could only finish 12th at Cheltenham before unseating his rider at the Welsh National. While he has never won beyond approx. 3 miles, he can carry the heavier weights.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 157-0U | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Has had one race since being sidelined in April 2014, after finishing in 3rd place in the National, and that was at Punchestown in December where he ran off an OR of 127. The first issue is that 127 will not get him into the Grand National. The second is that one race in 19 months does not a Grand National winner make!
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 163/59 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: M BRASSIL
Despite not having the best of seasons, many felt that Godsmejudge had a big race in him, especially as he had previously finished second in the Scottish National in 2014 but it was not to be and he ultimately pulled up at fence 29, the second pull up of his four seasonal runs.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 0P-002 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: A KING
Le Reve translates as ‘The Dream’ which is no doubt what connections are hoping for when it comes to winning the Grand National 2016. If he is entered then he will likely be in a good position to guarantee a run but will need to keep improving on this seasons form to seriously challenge.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 3-P026 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: L WADHAM
Winner of the Welsh National, for a second time, on January 9th 2016, Mountainous is a real favourite for many though typically he prefers to slog it out in very muddy conditions so Aintree in April may not suit him. He has previously tried his hand over the Grand National fences but fell when running in 2014.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 5-5361 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: L WADHAM
Had all the credentials to run a big race in 2015, particularly as he had finished in 5th place in the 2014 event but he never contended and although he got around the course in 17th place, he finished 100L behind the winner. He subsequently headed to Sandown a couple of weeks later but was pulled-up.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 10P-2P | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Was entered in 2015 but failed to make the cut so opted for the Topham Chase instead where he finished in 10th place. Has plenty of chase experience having run in 15 of them returning three wins and a further seven places. He is usually weighted quite heavily, and frequently runs carrying over 11-07 but with his current OR, it would likely be a lot less for the Grand National should he get both an entry and a place in the starting line-up.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 30-135 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: P GRIFFIN
Unioniste was always going to struggle with the Grand National in 2015. Not only was he just seven years old but he’d also been lumbered with 11-06 for the event. He fell early in the race (fence five) but two weeks later was back racing and finish 8th at Sandown.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 3F8-80 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Ante-Post Odds Updated February 4th 2016
Check the odds with your bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur.
We give each horse a rating based on how closely it matches the past trends and statistics of previous winners.
Unlikely to mount a serious challenge.
The horses listed above are confirmed entrants in the 2016 Grand National. They are the ante-post selections from Betfair and no horse is guaranteed a run until the final 40 have been delared. Ante-post terms and conditions apply until Betfair go ‘Non Runner No Bet’. A maximum field of 40 runners is permitted
Don’t forget Betfair are currently offering a Bet £10 Get 3 x £10 Free Bets.
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?
A horse will be entered into the Grand National if it meets the minimum criteria for qualification and the owner and trainer feel the 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 2016 there were 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 2016 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 2016 it is on February 16th, 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 2016 Crabbies Grand National.
The criteria for professional or amateur jockeys wanting to taking 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!