2016 GRAND NATIONAL RUNNERS & ODDS
The potential runners and their ante-post odds…
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: 12751F | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: N MULHOLLAND
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: 11161- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: O SHERWOOD
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: 461/15 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | 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 in earnings for connections.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 1/51171 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
A terrific runner from Paul Nicholls who’s potential perhaps was never fully realised despite his obvious ability. His last win was back in November 2014 and before that in 2013, two of his five chase wins from 14 starts but he also added six place finishes to his tally, taking his earnings to just over £385K.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 5/1352- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
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: 1P4/54- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: F O’BRIEN
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: 0/7518- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
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: 1/2111-5 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 6 | TRAINER: W MULLINS
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: 2U7312- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: J DREAPER
A terrific run from Monbeg Dude and jockey Liam Treadwell in the 2015 Grand National saw him finish in 3rd spot, four places better than in 2014 when he finished in seventh spot. This earned him and connections a hefty £105K for their trouble. He clearly likes the course and if he stays consistent this season we could see him back again in 2016.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 244303- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: M SCUDAMORE
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: 33312- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: T GEORGE
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 has won or placed in five of his seven chase starts and if that kind of form continues this season, he could be one to watch for the 2016 Grand National.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 3F12U1- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: S HUGHES
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: 3/P50P- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: A KING
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: 2P10P- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
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: 41326P- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: R NEWLAND
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: 613F8- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Winner of the Scottish Grand National in 2014, Al Co is a solid chaser but Aintree didn’t bring him any glory last season. He pulled up in the Becher Chase in December before heading to the Grand National in April 2015 where he unseated his rider. Connections took their chances at Ayr for the second year running where he at least got around the course to finish in 7th place.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 0P33U7- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: P BOWEN
Very lightly chased for his age with only six starts resulting in two wins and a place. He ran and won the Midlands Grand National in 2014 but unfortunately hasn’t run since. He was given an entry in 2014 but withdrawn with the intention of running in 2015 but he never even got an entry.
NO. | JOCKEY: | FORM: 62/0P1/ | WEIGHT: | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: D PIPE
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: 43230-1 | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: P GRIFFIN
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: 50/P119- | WEIGHT: | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: D PIPE
Ante-Post Odds Updated October 2015
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 the potential entrants in the 2016 Grand National. They are the ante-post selections from Betfair and no horse is guaranteed a run until the official entry deadline in January 2016. 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 2015 there were 98 entries, a decrease of 16 on the 114 entered in 2014.
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 2015 it was on February 18th, 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!