Grand National 2018 Runner by Runner Guide

We have a runner by runner guide to the 2018 Grand National on Saturday in association with BetVictor. We are also giving €15 free to anyone who signs up with BetVictor via this preview.

Guide to the Grand National

The Randox Health Grand National, unquestionably the most famous horserace in the world, remains the ultimate test of horse and jockey over 30 fences and a trip over an extended four-and-a-quarter miles.

We all have our own way of trying to find the winner of the great race whether it be name, number, jockey, colours or conventional form study.  But for the uninitiated these observations on the 2018 Grand National field should be of some help.

Minella Rocco 8-y-o 11st 10lbs

Finished runner up in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup and beat none other than Gold Cup winner Native River when landing the 4m NH Chase at the Festival back in 2016.

No top weight has won the race since Red Rum in 1974, however, although the ill-fated Many Clouds carried just 1lb less when scoring in 2015. Trainer Jonjo O’Neill saddled the winner of the race back in 2010 with Don’t Push It and could do with a big winner having had a disappointing season to date.

BetVictor Odds: 14/1

Blaklion 9-y-o 11st 9lbs

Finished fourth in the 2017 Grand National when he made his bid for glory perhaps a shade too early having shot clear crossing the Melling Road for the second time.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has saddled the winner twice previously with Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002) and Blaklion has been one of the favourites for the race since winning the Becher Chase on heavy ground at Aintree back in December.

BetVictor Odds: 10/1

Anibale Fly 8-y-o 11st 7lbs

Finished a running on third in the Gold Cup last month beaten less than ten lengths and would be carrying more weight if the handicapper could reassess that form.

He is not guaranteed to stay this additional distance on breeding, but he was not stopping up the Cheltenham hill last time and this Irish raider is well suited by soft or heavy ground.

BetVictor Odds: 12/1

The Last Samuri 10-y-o 11st 7lbs

Finished second in this race two years ago to Rule The World and was runner up to Blaklion in the Becher Chase here back in December. He is closely weighted with that rival on the revised terms although he would appreciate the ground to dry out between now and post time.

Trainer Kim Bailey won the corresponding race back in 1990 with Mr Frisk on firm ground and his inmate ran a terrific trial when third in the Cheltenham X-Country last month.

BetVictor Odds: 16/1

Valseur Lido 9-y-o 11st 6lbs

Has not been at his best in a light campaign so far this season, but is a Grade 1 winner who is not badly treated on his best form.

Has never raced beyond three miles and has no Aintree experience but represents the powerful Gigginstown operation whose Rule The World was successful here in 2016.

BetVictor Odds: 33/1

Total Recall 9-y-o 11st 4lbs

Trainer Willie Mullins won the race with Hedgehunter in 2005 and this inmate gave him his first win in the prestigious race formerly known as the Hennessy at Newbury at the beginning of December.

The horse held every chance of finishing third when coming down three out in the Gold Cup last time and Mullins has long considered his charge an ideal National candidate. Leading contender.

BetVictor Odds: 10/1

Alpha Des Obeaux 8-y-o 11st 3lbs

Represents the same connections as 2016 winner Rule The World and is closely matched with Total Recall on Limerick running from earlier in the season.

His stamina must be taken on trust and not at his best in recent starts, but represents a very shrewd operation and not one to be dismissed lightly. Will be ridden by Rachel Blackmore – one of three females jockeys set to face the starter this weekend.

BetVictor Odds: 40/1

Gold Present 8-y-o 11st 3lbs

Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson has won almost all there is to win in jump racing but not the National although both Zongalero and The Tsarevich finished runner up at Aintree.

Gold Present failed to cope with heavy ground at Cheltenham at the Festival last month but had won his two previous starts so far this season. His chances will improve if the rain stays away this week although he is another who is not certain to appreciate this extreme test of stamina.

BetVictor Odds: 20/1

Perfect Candidate 11-y-old 11st 2lbs

Three 11-year-old have won the race in the last half-dozen renewals, but Fergal O’Brien’s charge looks thoroughly exposed and it would be a surprise if he didn’t find at least one or two too good.

Likely to race prominently as he did last year before he was pulled up on the second circuit. Hard to make a case for.

BetVictor Odds: 66/1

Shantou Flyer 8-y-old 11st 1lb

Has finished runner up in his last three starts including in the 3m Handicap on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival last month. Ideally served by soft ground, but was pulled up in the race 12 months ago when his stamina seemed to give way inside the last mile.

Was only a seven-year-old when taking his chance last season and you have to go back to Bogskar in 1940 for the last horse of that age to win the race. Twelve months on it would be no surprise if he lasted a bit longer this year and his Cheltenham run last time was, arguably, a career best.

BetVictor Odds: 40/1

Tenor Nivernais 11-y-o 11st 0lbs

Trained by Venetia Williams who saddled the 100/1 winner of the race back in 2009 courtesy of Mon Mome and it would be another shock if her 11-year-old French-bred won nine years on.

The gelding has only had two starts so far this season and was beaten over 70 lengths in the corresponding race 12 months ago behind One For Arthur.

BetVictor Odds: 100/1

Carlingford Lough 12-y-o 11st 0lbs

Amberleigh House was the last 12-year-old to win the race back in 2004, but the handicapper has given this multiple Grade 1 winner a chance although he has been a shadow of his former self so far this season.

One of a number of likely runners owned by legendary Irish punter and owner JP McManus whose famous silks were carried to victory by AP McCoy aboard Don’t Rush It back in 2010.

BetVictor Odds: 50/1

Vicente 9-y-o 10st 13lbs

Dual Scottish National winner who only got as far as the first in last year’s renewal and whose chances would improve dramatically if the ground dried up.

Owner Trevor Hemmings’ has won the race on three previous occasions with Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015) and trainer Paul Nicholls is looking for a second winner having saddled Neptune Collonges in 2012. A leading contender but connections may consider bypassing Aintree for a crack at a third Scottish National success if the ground is not suitable.

BetVictor Odds: 25/1

Tiger Roll 8-y-o 10st 12lbs

Gordon Elliot’s gelding has won at the last three Cheltenham Festivals including the X-Country Chase last month and is a must for any shortlist. The yard saddled Silver Birch to win the race back in 2007 and have been taking all before them in Britain and Ireland in recent seasons.

Yet to tackle the Aintree fences but has won over 4miles, goes on any ground and is a leading player.

BetVictor Odds: 8/1 fav

Regal Encore 10-y-o 10st 12lbs

Has been called a few rude names in the past but ran a career best when scoring at Ascot last time and was a never nearer eighth behind One For Arthur in the race 12 months ago.

Finished third to Total Recall in the Ladbroke Chase (formerly Hennessy) at Newbury back in December and is 9lbs better off with the winner for the nine lengths he was behind at the Berkshire track – not without a chance.

BetVictor Odds: 33/1

Vieux Lion Rouge 9-y-o 10st 12lbs

Finished sixth in the race last year behind One For Arthur and has been given a different preparation this season. Beat Blaklion in the Grand National Trial at Haydock (3m 4f) before the National last year but bypassed the heavy ground there this year to run at Ascot – behind Regal Encore.

The Pipe family have won the race twice previously – dad Martin saddled Miinnehoma in 1994 and son David trained Comply Or Die to success in 2008.

The yard have not had the best of seasons but I feel this inmate has been laid out for the race and is a major contender.

BetVictor Odds: 25/1

Chase The Spud 10-y-o 10st 11lb

Has been pulled up in his last couple of starts on his favoured heavy ground although he did win on his seasonal reappearance at Haydock back in November.

Won the Midlands National over a trip in excess of four miles last March but surely lacks the necessary class unless the race becomes a real war of attrition.

BetVictor Odds: 50/1

Warriors Tale 9-y-o 10st 11lb

Improved for the return to 3m when runner up in a valuable contest at Doncaster last time, but has stamina to prove.

A bold jumper at his best but I always imagined if he was to win over the National fences it would be in the Topham rather than the National.

Seeyouatmidnight 10-y-o 10st 11lbs

Looking to give Scotland back-to-back winners in the race and made a satisfactory comeback for Sandy Thompson when third over an inadequate trip at Newbury last month.

Finished third to Vicente in the 4m Scottish National of 2016 and entitled to come on for his belated seasonal reappearance. Has been one of the best-backed horses since the weights were published in February.

BetVictor Odds: 20/1


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Gas Line Boy 12-y-o 10st 10lbs

Fell at the first back in 2015 but finished fifth 12 months ago and was a facile winner of the Grand Sefton Chase (2m 6f) over these fences back in December despite being badly hampered three out.

Has looked better than ever this season even at the age of 12 - not guaranteed to face the starter given he also holds an entry in Friday’s Topham Chase, although trainer Ian Williams looks to be favouring another tilt at the big one.

BetVictor Odds: 20/1

The Dutchman 8-y-o 10st 10lbs

Pulled up on his latest start at Haydock but you can put a line through the form given the extreme nature of the conditions.

Has joined the yard of Colin Tizzard this season who broke their Gold Cup duck with Native River last month. This inmate is not guaranteed to appreciate this step up in distance but he is certainly not without an each way chance.

BetVictor Odds: 33/1

Pleasant Company 10-y-o 10st 10lbs

Was tanking along in the race 12 months ago until he made a shuddering mistake at Valentines second time around. Was beaten nearly 30 lengths in finishing ninth but it really was a question of what might have been.

Has been out of sorts in just two starts so far this term, but he has been laid out for another crack at the race although the handicapper has taken into account just how well he was travelling last season when he lost his chance. May need to settle better than last season.

BetVictor Odds: 33/1

Ucello Conti 10-y-o 9lbs

Finished sixth in 2016 and had not been asked a serious question when unseating his rider at Becher’s on the second circuit twelve months ago.

Not at his best last time but represents powerful connections and will have his supporters in his quest to make it third time lucky.

BetVictor Odds: 25/1

Saint Are 12-y-o 10st 9lbs

Finished third in the race twelve months ago and runner up in 2015 but has failed to complete in two starts so far this season.

If the ground dries out and is no worse than good to soft come post time he is one of the more interesting outsiders – on soft ground, however, I think he is easily overlooked.

BetVictor Odds: 40/1

Beeves 11-y-o 10st 9lbs

Looks outclassed and beaten almost 50 lengths behind Tiger Roll in the Cheltenham X-Country last time – others preferred.

BetVictor Odds: 80/1

Raz De Maree 13-y-o 10st 8lbs

No ‘teenager’ has won the race since Sergeant Murphy back in 1923 but this Irish raider showed he was no back number when winning the Welsh National at Chepstow in January.

Has been laid out for the National since and every drop of rain that arrives at Aintree is music to the ears of this mud-lover.

Finished eighth in the race in 2014 and only got as far as Becher’s first time last season, but a leading player if conditions remain testing.

BetVictor Odds: 33/1

I Just Know 8-y-o 10st 7lbs

Winner of the North Yorkshire National (3m 6f) at Catterick back in January and is likely to be one of the front-runners.

Represents the yard of Sue Smith, who saddled Aurora’s Encore to win the race back in 2013, and looks sure to make a bold bid from the front if adapting to these unique fences.

BetVictor Odds: 25/1


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Virgilio 9-y-o 10st 7lbs

Has had a wind operation since disappointing at Doncaster when last seen back in December. Stamina must be a concern and readily overlooked.

BetVictor Odds: 66/1

Baie Des Iles 7-y-o 10st 7lbs

The last 7-y-o to win the race was Bogskar back in 1940 but this Irish raider was taken out of his home National at Fairyhouse over Easter to wait for Aintree.

Soft or heavy ground clearly suits and jockey Katie Walsh will be bidding to become the first female winning jockey. Walsh finished third in the race in 2012 aboard her father’s horse Seabass.

BetVictor Odds: 40/1

Maggio 13-y-o 10st 7lbs

Irish teenager who looks outclassed in this company.

BetVictor Odds: 100/1

Pendra 10-y-o 10st 7lbs

Tailed off in the 2016 renewal and has only race twice subsequently. Did finish a good second in the 2017 Kim Muir but tailed off on soft ground last month and needs better ground to be seen at his best.

BetVictor Odds: 50/1

Buywise 11-y-o 10st 6lbs

Didn’t appear to get home after a bad mistake in the corresponding race two years ago – beaten more than 80 lengths – but his win at Sandown back in January showed he was no back-number. Others preferred.

BetVictor odds: 50/1

Childrens List 8-y-o 10st 7lbs

Lightly-raced in recent years and did not look a true stayer when pulled up in his most recent start over three-and-a-half miles. Hardly screams National winner but anything saddled by Willie Mullins must be respected.

BetVictor odds: 66/1

Lord Windermere 12-y-o 10st 6lbs

Former Gold Cup winner (2014) who pulled -up on his first start over the National fences but did complete the course last season when seventh behind One For Arthur.

This veteran needs the ground to dry out to be seen at his best and was a faller in the Becher Chase behind Blaklion back in December.

BetVictor odds: 66/1

Captain Redbeard 9-y-o 10st 6lbs

Owned and trained by Stuart Coltherd in the Scottish Borders and has been in good form of late over hurdles and fences.

Well beaten on his sole start over the National obstacles back in December, but was hampered at a vital part of the race and had jumped well to that point.

BetVictor odds: 33/1

Houblon Des Obeaux 11-y-o 10st 8lbs

Near top-class at his best but not as good as he was although this is reflected in his handicap mark.

Beaten over 40 lengths in the race last year but represents Venetia Williams who trained the 100/1 winner Mon Mome back in 2009.  A lively outsider.

BetVictor odds: 50/1

Bless The Wings 13-y-o 0st 5lbs

This teenager has more letters than numbers to his name in recent starts but represents Gordon Elliot and his win in a Cheltenham X-Country event back in December shows there is still fire in his belly. Has experience of the Aintree fences but that was three years ago.

BetVictor odds; 40/1

Milansbar 11-y-o 10st 5lbs

Will be ridden by, arguably, the find of the season Bryony Frost and the pair teamed up to win the same National Trial at Warwick that One For Arthur did 12 months ago en-route to Aintree glory.

Finished runner up in the Midlands National last time (4m 2f) jumps, stays, and has a leading chance although a slight concern there will be others who strip fresher after a hard campaign.

BetVictor odds: 33/1

Final Nudge 9-y-o 10st 5lbs

Beaten 15L by Raz De Maree when third on heavy ground in the Welsh National and disappointed in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham last month.

Yet to race over the National fences but creeps into the race off a featherweight and will have his supporters – not for me though.

BetVictor odds: 50/1

Double Ross 12-y-o 10st 5lbs

Has only won once in the last four years but did finish a good fourth at Cheltenham last time when he was staying on dourly over three-and-a-quarter miles.

Yard know what to takes to win the National but this old boy is unlikely to trouble the judge.

BetVictor odds: 66/1

Road To Riches 11-y-o 10st 4lbs

Won the Grade 1 Lexus Chase over three miles back in 2014 but has not won since November 2015 and well beaten both starts so far this term.

The handicapper has given this talented Irish raider a chance, but just how much ability does he retain? Hard to make a case for on what we have seen in a light campaign this season and no experience of the Aintree fences.

BetVictor odds: 66/1

Thunder And Roses 10-y-o 10st 4lbs

An early casualty in the Irish National over Easter, but represents the same powerful connections as 2016 winner Rule The World.

Only got as far as the ninth in last year’s National but finished fourth in the Irish National of 2017 and would have a chance if his confidence has not been dented by his recent falls.

BetVictor odds: 66/1

Delusionofgrandeur 8-y-o 10st 4lbs

Another trained in Yorkshire by Sue Smith who saddled the National winner courtesy of Aurora’s Encore five years ago.

A bold front-runner at his best who is likely to race prominently but did not appear to stay four miles at Musselburgh earlier in the season and stamina a concern.

BetVictor odds: 66/1

Walk In The Mill 8-y-o 10st 3lbs

Has never won on a left-handed track in Britain and stamina must be taken on trust despite a success over three miles at Ascot earlier in the season. Hardly meets the profile of a National winner.

BetVictor odds: 66/1

Vintage Clouds 8-y-o 10st 3lbs

It is touch and go if he gets a run but powerful connections know what it takes to win the great race and he would be a leading candidate from a featherweight if he managed to sneak into the maximum 40-runner field.

Jumps well, stays well and there was much to like about his staying on third at Cheltenham last time. A must for the shortlist.

BetVictor odds: 33/1

Note BetVictor are already betting 1/5th odds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 places on the race and Non Runner No Bet


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