It’s here the biggest race in the world, the 2016 Crabbie’s Grand National. The race that has created so many legends including the greatest National horse of them all Red Rum. Here is our preview of the big race at Aintree.
— PA Racing (@PAracing) 7 April 2016
Many Clouds out to retain Grand National crown but faces stiff competition from market rivals
Many Clouds (8-1) will be looking to emulate the great Red Rum and win back-to-back Grand Nationals. Oliver Sherwood’s stable star was a brilliant winner of the race last season getting the better of Saint Are.
He returns to defend his crown this year off the back of another solid campaign and his mark has only been raised 1lb. His prep race at Kelso couldn’t have gone any better and while no horse has retained the title since Red Rum, not many have had the class of this nine-year-old.
Paul Nicholls knows that victory in this race could secure him the Trainers Championship and he sends a couple of decent chances with Silviniaco Conti (12-1) holding the best chance. The dual King George winner probably has the best form in the field, he hasn’t been firing on all cylinders this season but on his day he is one of the best jumpers around. He loves Aintree and won’t be fazed by the ground, but these fences are an unknown.
The Last Samuri (10-1) has enjoyed a fine season since joining Kim Bailey’s yard and has been aimed at this race all season. He won the BetBright Grimpthorpe Chase by 10-lengths last time, after a fine win at Kempton. He looks one of the obvious contenders, especially taking his light-weight into consideration.
Holywell (16-1) is a former Grade One winner at the Grand National meeting and comes here as a seemingly well handicapped horse. He is a dual Cheltenham Festival winner over three-miles and was runner-up again this season. If the rain stays away he is a really fascinating contender for Jonjo O’Neill.
Irish sending strong party to claim Grand National glory
The Irish trainers have once again sent a strong party to Aintree in a bid to take the world’s most famous steeplechase back to the Emerald Isle.
Willie Mullins is hot on the heels of Paul Nicholls in the race for the British Trainers Championship and has a couple of decent outside chances for the race. Boston Bob (33-1) has a decent record at Aintree and won here in 2014, his stamina is unknown but he is a high-quality horse.
Sir Des Champs (40-1) is a dual Cheltenham Festival winner and returned from two-years off the track this season, he has shown flashes of his old self and with Ruby Walsh in the saddle he is impossible to rule out.
Pat Fahy sends the talented Morning Assembly (25-1) who warmed up for this race with a good run at Cheltenham. He is another who has only recently returned from a lengthy-absence and is another who falls into the classy but unproven category.
Shrewd trainer Mouse Morris won the Irish Grand National at Easter and sends two good chances with First Lieutenant (40-1) and Rule The World (50-1) both have some really good form to their names and could run big races for the Irish trainer.
Verdict: This could well be the best ever renewal of the race with some many former Grade One winners in the field. Many Clouds would bring the house down if he were to win it again, Silviniaco Conti and Holywell could be huge threats at tracks they have done well at. But Morning Assembly could be a good each-way bet, he has been aimed at this race all season, is very lightly raced and could improve massively for the trip.