2016 GRAND NATIONAL RUNNERS & ODDS
The runners and their current 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.1 | JOCKEY: L ASPELL | FORM: 1-6221 | WEIGHT: 11-10 | AGE: 9 | 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. A type who’s always there or thereabouts, expect to see him knocking on the door again.
NO.14 | JOCKEY: B GERAGHTY | FORM: 15-3P | WEIGHT: 10-11 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: J. O’NEILL
THE LAST SAMURI
Scored an impressive victory in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster on his last outing. Recently moved from Donald McCain’s yard to Kim Bailey. Both trainers have previously tasted success in the Grand National which suggests the Aintree showcase is the prime target for this horse. The handicapper has given The Last Samuri every chance of putting the rest of the field to the sword.
NO.27 | JOCKEY: D BASS | FORM: 12-311 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: K BAILEY
Had a terrific 2014 with four wins on the bounce including at Cheltenham and Aintree. He didn’t have the best seasonal start this year but a second place in the Cheltenham Handicap Chase boosted his Grand National claims especially as he will only carry a weight of just 10-12.
NO.13 | JOCKEY: R McLERNON | FORM: 3-54P2 | WEIGHT: 10-12 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: J O’NEILL
Failed to impress in recent outings when he unseated the jockey, finished seventh and then fifth. Nevertheless, he did show promise in previous seasons. Gallant Oscar will be one of multiple race entries for Irish super owner JP McManus, on paper he has other runners with stronger claims on the race, it’ll be a Gallant effort if he manages to finish in the places.
NO.25 | JOCKEY: M WALSH | FORM: 3-1U75 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: A J MARTIN
Tom George predicted a big run from Saint Are in the 2015 Grand National and his smart chaser didn’t disappoint, finishing just two lengths behind the winner Many Clouds. Can he go one better in 2016? A recent win at Doncaster over three miles suggests he’s not without a prayer.
NO.38 | JOCKEY: P BRENNAN | FORM: 12-671 | WEIGHT: 10-05 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: T GEORGE
Paul Nicholls was cagey about the chances of Silviniaco Conti contesting the 2016 Grand National before the release of the official weights in February. However, after a fine win in the Betfair Ascot Chase Nicholls indicated a tilt at the National was on the cards. At 10 years old Silviniaco Conti is the ideal age for a crack at the big one and attractively handicapped for a multiple grade one winner – Nicholls rates Silviniaco Conti a classier prospect than Neptune Collonges, who won the National for the Ditcheat based trainer in 2012.
NO.2 | JOCKEY: N FEHILY | FORM: 1-22P1 | WEIGHT: 11-08 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
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. Was 2nd in the Grimthorpe Chase in March and he’s looking good for another terrific run in the Grand National 2016.
NO.9 | JOCKEY: D O’REGAN | FORM: 1F-662 | WEIGHT: 11-00 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: N MULHOLLAND
A winner last time out in the BobbyJo Chase back in February, Boston Bob is no stranger to big race days, with previous runs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, RSA Chase and the Lexus under his belt. Top jockey Ruby Walsh is likely to partner him for a spin over the famous fences and for that reason alone you’d fancy his chances. Did I mention he’s trained by Willie Mullins too? The man makes the bookies quake in their boots.
NO.17 | JOCKEY: P TOWNEND | FORM: 0-50P1 | WEIGHT: 10-10 | AGE: 11 | 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 but does his best work when the going is heavy.
NO.21 | JOCKEY: JJ BURKE | FORM: 2-3942 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: J DREAPER
He may not have the greatest number of runs but he has won or placed in seven of his eight chase starts. He was out of action from May 2014 and only returned on Jan 30th 2016 where he finished second at Fairyhouse. He’s had two runs since then including a fourth place finish at Cheltenham. No doubt he’ll be a popular punt with school teachers on the day and the staff room could be celebrating if this smart chaser can apply himself.
NO.19 | JOCKEY: D RUSSELL | FORM: 3-224 | WEIGHT: 10-09 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P FAHY
SIR DES CHAMPS
Undoubtedly one of the premium entries this year. I imagine trainer Willie Mullins couldn’t believe his luck when the weights were announced as his classy horse will carry just 10-13 for the big race, the lowest he will have run off since 2010! He has raced three times since returning from a long term injury, winning once at Thurles and then beaten by Carlingford Lough in the Irish Gold Cup and Don Poli in the Lexus Chase.
NO.12 | JOCKEY: R WALSH | FORM: F4/157 | WEIGHT: 10-13 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: W MULLINS
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. Has grand national winning jockey Daryl Jacob on board.
NO.22 | JOCKEY: D JACOB | FORM: 1P-623 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: G ELLIOTT
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.28 | JOCKEY: R JOHNSON | FORM: 72-15 | WEIGHT: 10-07 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P HOBBS
Made the cut but with only four chase starts under his belt this 7 year old’s inexperience will put off many punters. To give you an idea of how badly seven years olds have faired in the race, the last one to win was Bogskar in 1940. He was partnered with jockey Mervyn Jones, a Royal Air Force navigator who was given special leave to ride in the Grand National.
NO.26 | JOCKEY: T O’BRIEN | FORM: 1-1225 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: P HOBBS
THE ROMFORD PELE
If he’s as good a horse, as Pele is a footballer then this nine year old from Rebecca Curtis could be bagging himself the World Cup of racing. Ticking quite a few of the boxes, he has had 12 chases and won three and placed in another five. He was sidelined for about a year but was back in October for the first of five seasonal runs though he didn’t manage to win any of them.
NO.40 | JOCKEY: T WHELAN | FORM: 77F38 | WEIGHT: 10-04 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: R CURTIS
The Paul Nicholls trained chaser was saddled with a hefty weight for the 2015 Grand National and fell early on (fence five). That was hardly surprising as historically few younger horses have excelled in the race. Returning to Aintree a year old and wiser can only improve his chances and a second place behind Many Clouds at Kelso in March would suggest he’s back in form. Difficult to see him winning but a place isn’t outside his ability.
NO.23 | JOCKEY: N SCHOLFIELD | FORM: 80312 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
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. I still wouldn’t bet against an Evan Williams trained horse in the Grand National!
NO.16 | JOCKEY: P MOLONEY | FORM: 5-3243 | WEIGHT: 10-10 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: E WILLIAMS
A good horse from Enda Bolger but one that will struggle with the distance as he has never won, placed second or third in any race beyond 2m4f. With three wins and three places from nine chase starts, he’s had some good wins but on soft or heavy ground.
NO.7 | JOCKEY: R POWER | FORM: 1-3455 | WEIGHT: 11-01 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: E BOLGER
First Lieutenant has a history of finishing in second place, notably he was a runner-up in the Lexus Chase, Ryanair Chase and the RSA Chase. The Gigginstown horse has just three wins from 29 chase starts but has been placed 15 times. Ran in the 2015 Grand National but failed to make an impression and finished in 16th place.
NO.3 | JOCKEY: B COOPER | FORM: 8432P | WEIGHT: 11-04 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: M MORRIS
A second crack at the Grand National is on the cards for Ballycasey. He was brought down at the Canal Turn in last year’s race so it would be unfair to draw any conclusions from that run. Since then he has raced four times with his best performance coming in the Stable Plate at the Festival where he finished 5th. This Willie Mullins trained horse will have plenty of supporters due to his grey coat, and those backers could be in the pink with a slice of luck.
NO.34 | JOCKEY: K WALSH | FORM: B-4935 | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: W MULLINS
A Gold Cup runner but one who hasn’t had a huge amount of success. He has run in 13 chases but only won twice and hasn’t had a win of any kind since November 2014. Realistically, the only thing going for him is that he will carry very little weight compared to his usual runs but it’s unlikely he will make a huge impact.
NO.39 | JOCKEY: A E LYNCH | FORM: 7P8-46 | WEIGHT: 10-04 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: H DE BROMHEAD
JUST A PAR
Nothing in his form suggests Just A Par could shoot a hole-in-one at Aintree. Indifferent at both Cheltenham in November and Sandown in December though he redeemed himself recently with a second place at Exeter. Two wins from 15 chase starts will limit his appeal, although he might prove a popular bet with average golf players.
NO.30 | JOCKEY: S BOWEN | FORM: 31-092 | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
ON HIS OWN
Despite being entered into the Grand National frequently in recent years, On His Own has only ever tackled the race once and that was in 2012. Can he come back four years later and give it another go? Possibly, and a second place in the BobbyJo Chase proves he still has it, even if his Gold Cup outing was a disappointment – he finished 8th, 54L behind the winner Don Cossack.
NO.8 | JOCKEY: | FORM: 7U4828 | WEIGHT: 11-01 | AGE: 12 | TRAINER: W MULLINS
RULE THE WORLD
Unlikely to rule Aintree on Grand National day when you consider he hasn’t won any of his 13 races over fences. He has however been second seven times, including the Irish Grand National in 2015, and third on another occasion which has still racked up substantial earnings of more than £200K. On the nose backers will probably avoid this runner but each way punters could lap up his big odds.
NO.29 | JOCKEY: D MULLINS | FORM: S32254 | WEIGHT: 10-07 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: M MORRIS
Likely to give backers plenty to cheer about with his proven ability over the National fences. Finished 7th in 2013 and 9th in 2015. On the downside he will be carrying more weight this year than his two previous attempts. However, this David Pipe trained horse has stamina in abundance and should go well again.
NO.15 | JOCKEY: C O’FARRELL | FORM: 9-0413 | WEIGHT: 10-11 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: D PIPE
Has run twice at Aintree and finished third both times. Is always there or thereabouts in the money with four wins and six places from 14 chase starts. Even though he’ll carry a heavy weight of 11-03, it is less than he usually runs with. He may be a Wonderful Charm, but is he a lucky one?
NO.4 | JOCKEY: S TWISTON-DAVIES | FORM: 783P-2 | WEIGHT: 11-03 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
It’s been a mixed bag of results for Ballynagour this season. He has run five times since October starting well with a third and then a fifth place finish before being pulled up twice on the bounce. His last run out was at Cheltenham where he finished seventh in the Stable Plate.
NO.5 | JOCKEY: T SCUDAMORE | FORM: 535PP7 | WEIGHT: 11-02 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: D PIPE
Definitely not having his greatest season and with three runs since November he could only finish 12th at Cheltenham before unseating his rider at the Welsh National. He was 6th from eight runners last time out at Sandown. He beat Many Clouds (2015 Grand National winner) in a novice race at Haydock back in 2013 but since then Black Thunder has failed to live up to his early promise.
NO.33 | JOCKEY: S WALEY-COHEN | FORM: 57-0U6 | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Ordinarily I would be quite positive about this horse but he has been sidelined for over a year and has raced just once since January 2015 and that was a few weeks ago at Kempton. The Grand National is a mammoth ask from a horse who hasn’t been consistently running but the weight of 10-06 should ease the burden slightly.
NO.35 | JOCKEY: N DE BOINVILLE | FORM: 1/6P-7 | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: N HENDERSON
Le Reve translates as ‘The Dream’ which is no doubt what connections are hoping for when it comes to winning the Grand National 2016. He has had a busy season with six races bringing home a win at Sandown in February. From 19 chase starts he has won four and placed another six times.
NO.24 | JOCKEY: H SKELTON | FORM: P02615 | WEIGHT: 10-08 | 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.11 | JOCKEY: A THORNTON | FORM: P-2P40 | WEIGHT: 10-13 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: P NICHOLLS
Pulled up during the 2014 Grand National, Triolo D’Alene has had just two runs since Jan 2015. The first was at Kempton on January 9th 2016 which he won before going on to Ascot in February where he finished 5th from eight runners.
NO.10 | JOCKEY: J McGRATH | FORM: P3-15 | WEIGHT: 11-00 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: N HENDERSON
An interesting runner but at 13 years of age, and not particularly good form, is unlikely to make a huge impact in this year’s Grand National. Connections seem quite pleased with his form and optimistic about his chances but it’s a big ask from this horse.
NO.32 | JOCKEY: R DUNNE | FORM: 2-85P6 | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 13 | TRAINER: D McLOUGHLIN
VIEUX LION ROUGE
Ran a good race at Cheltenham to finish in seventh place but is very young at just 7 years old and horses of this age don’t tend to fair very well in the Grand National. He is a good chaser and from six starts over fences has won three and placed in another. Probably needs a bit more experience.
NO.36 | JOCKEY: J REVELEY | FORM: 111U26 | WEIGHT: 10-05 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: D PIPE
A decent chaser, with nine starts, who won at Ascot back in October 2015. However, that was his first win since November 2013 and while he has notched up earnings of close to £100K, he has never won beyond 2m7f so the step up in trip at Aintree may be a very big task.
NO.37 | JOCKEY: A COLEMAN | FORM: 45-15 | WEIGHT: 10-05 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: C LONGSDON
A year ago, this horse wouldn’t have had a prayer of getting into the National but six races this season, including a couple of wins and his rating has sky rocketed. The weight of 10-10 is decent but he is 12 years old which will make it difficult but not impossible.
NO.18 | JOCKEY: H BROOKE | FORM: 411209 | WEIGHT: 10-10 | AGE: 12 | TRAINER: V WILLIAMS
In his favour he is the right age, will carry a winnable weight and has plenty of experience. However, he has run at Aintree three times before and never even placed, has never won a race that comes close to the distance of the Grand National and hasn’t won a race in over two years. That said, he could sneak into the places if the stars align for him.
NO.20 | JOCKEY: R HATCH | FORM: 24599 | WEIGHT: 10-09 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: N TWISTON-DAVIES
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve written about Katenko’s Grand National entries over the years and yet he has never run in it. Will he actually make it this year? He might but on this season’s form he’s unlikely to make an impact. He was out of action for just over a year before returning December. He was pulled up in that race then went to Cheltenham and didn’t do much better unfortunately.
NO.31 | JOCKEY: W KENNEDY | FORM: 0/P-P0 | WEIGHT: 10-06 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: V WILLIAMS
Odds Updated April 9th 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. The odds displayed come from Betfair sportsbook, who are now ‘Non Runner No Bet’ this means is that if your horse does not run you will get your stake back whereas normally it would be considered a loser under ante-post rules. A maximum field of 40 runners is permitted.
Don’t forget Betfair are currently offering a Bet £20 Get A £20 Matched Free Bet.
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!