The 2016 Crabbie's Grand National takes place at the later time of 17:15 BST on Saturday April 9 at Aintree. This year’s race is a high quality affair, with last year’s winner, Many Clouds topping the market and the weights. Find here a horse by horse guide, best odds, free bets, our predictions and betting tips on the 2016 Grand National.
2016 GRAND NATIONAL PREDICTIONS AND TIPS
2016 GRAND NATIONAL HORSE BY HORSE GUIDE
|1||Many Clouds |
Many Clouds is the bookmakers' favourite for the race after storming to victory in 2015 and looking even more dominant during a recent outing as he won the Hennessy Gold Cup and the BetBright Cup Chase earlier in the season. He looked better than ever when winning recently at Kelso and could become the first back-to-back National winner since Red Rum.
Silviniaco Conti, the winner of two King Georges and Betfred Bowl Chases at Aintree, last run at Ascot and showed he might be back to his best. He pulled up in King George over Christmas, but ran right up to best in first time blinkers when winning seventh Grade 1 in Ascot Chase in February, beating Dynaste by 20 lengths. The problem in a race such as the Grand National is not so much stamina as field size. His eleven UK/Irish wins have all come in races with ten or fewer runners.
First Lieutenant was 16th in last year's race and has not won since landing Bowl at this meeting in 2013. Anyway, he showed he was no busted flush when third in the Hennessy and being beaten narrowly in the Lexus Chase. The Gigginstown horse has just three wins from 29 chase starts but has been placed 15 times.
Wonderful Charm has been kept fresh for this race by the champion trainer Paul Nicholls. Not disgraced when trying to give Aachen nearly two stone in Cheltenham Grade 3 handicap when last seen in December. His stamina might be the main problem, having never won over anything further than two miles, five furlongs.
Ballynagour has run five times since October starting well with a third and then a fifth place finish before pulled up in King George in December and Denman Chase in February. Anyway, he has show a bit of form finishing seventh in the Stable Plate at Cheltenham.
O'Faolains Boy was off 20 months prior to return, and built on that when winning minor chase at Newbury in December. He is much improved this term and ran very well for a long way in the Gold Cup following a wind operation. He should take to these fences, but stamina could be an issue.
Gilgamboa recorded four wins last season and has acquitted himself well all four starts this term, including in three Grade 1s. He went close off a big weight at Leopardstown at Christmas but was disappointing in the Irish Gold Cup. Enda Bolger's horse has not won, placed second or third beyond 2m 4f and we have serious doubts about his stamina.
|8||On His Own|
On His Own, who fell during both previous attempts in this race, has no Grade 1 win on his CV but has gone close, including when beaten a short head in the 2014 Gold Cup. A second place in the BobbyJo Chase proves he still has it, even if his Gold Cup outing was a disappointment – he finished 8th, 54 leghts behind the winner Don Cossack.
|9||The Druids Nephew|
The Druids Nephew was in the process of running a very big race in the Grand National before suffering an unlucky fall. A staying on, never in it, effort behind The Last Samuri in the Grimthorpe was his only run in 2016. Anyway, Neil Mulholland has targeted a follow-up run in this race all season and he is looking good for another terrific run in the Grand National 2016.
Triolo D'Alene ran in the 2014 National and had to be pulled up by jockey Barry Geraghty but was only 7 years old at the time. He won a Hennessy Gold Cup as a six-year-old. Nicky Henderson's 9 year old made a successful seasonal return in listed event at Kempton in January, but was well held in Ascot Chase last time. Good ground will be a positive for him.
Rocky Creek was fancied to run well in this last year but trailed in 17th (mistake twentieth, lost place soon after) after he finished in 5th place in the 2014 event. Hard to see why this year should be much different as he has shown poor displays on all three starts since a promising reappearance second behind Don Cossack at Down Royal in October.
|12||Sir Des Champs|
Sir Des Champs recently returned from nearly two years off. He has raced three times this season, winning once at Thurles and then beaten by Carlingford Lough in the Irish Gold Cup and Don Poli in the Lexus Chase. Probably worth a try at this price as at his best, he could teach a lesson to all other contenders.
Holywell 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 recorded a second place in the Cheltenham Handicap Chase. He is well handicapped and showed signs of imminent form revival last time.
Shutthefrontdoor was fifth last year on just his seventh chase start, and won that Irish National in only his fifth race over the bigger obstacles. He finished third at Aintree in a handicap hurdle last November and, in his only race since, pulled up in a 2m4f handicap chase.
Soll gamely wore down Aachen in veterans' race at Sandown in January but laboured last of three finishers in minor event won by Unioniste at Kelso since. Seventh three years ago and ninth last year's Grand National suggests he may struggle as he will be carrying more weight this year than his two previous attempts.
Buywise skipped the meeting this year following creditable third in Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster in January. He recorded four wins and three places from 13 chase starts so far. He already placed twice at Cheltenham this season but has only ever placed at 3m6y and never won beyond 2m7f. His jumping has to be a massive question mark.
Boston Bob missed Cheltenham this year with the Grand National in mind. He bounced back to near his very smart best for first time in almost two years when narrowly winning Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February from On His Own. If Ruby Walsh rides him, we expect his price to shorten on Saturday. He is now 11 and probably his best days are behind him.
Aachen is a solid performer and good jumper, but age is against him as he is 12 year-old. He has been a revelation this winter, making all in handicaps at Wincanton and Cheltenham eight days apart before close second to Soll in veterans' event at Sandown. Well beaten both starts since. Good ground would be a negative for him.
Morning Assembly was one of the best staying novice chasers of his generation but forced to miss last season through injury. He was fourth behind Un Temps Pour Tout and Holywell in the Festival Handicap Chase last time and finished third in the RSA Chase in which Many Clouds was brought down. Last success was in 2013 and this makes him a probable outsider.
Double Ross had a promising start to season when in frame in competitive handicaps at Ascot and Cheltenham, but was well below form all three starts since. He has run at Aintree three times in his career and never even placed, has never won a race that comes close to the distance of the Grand National and has not won a race in over two years.
Goonyella has an extremely robust profile for this race. Winner of the Midlands National last year, he then ran second in the Scottish National five weeks later. Stamina will certainly not be a concern as he is clearly a long distance chaser who does his best work when the going is heavy.
Ucello Conti, half brother to Silviniaco Conti, showed modest form in France but has fared a little better since switching stables. in fact, 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.
Unioniste won the Paddy Power Gold Cup as a four year old in 2012 but has rarely replicated that form since. He won at Kelso in February and creditable second behind Many Clouds at the same course four weeks later. The favourite is a stone better than Unioniste but concedes two pounds more this time.
Le Reve has had a busy season with six races bringing home a win at Sandown in February. He was given a break since solid fifth in Bet Bright Chase at Kempton in February. His form on left-handed tracks like this leaves a lot to be desired.
Gallant Oscar was a winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 2015, is a capable performer at best but has been well below par this season. He bounced back to form when fifth in Leinster National last month, a race he won in 2013. Better ground would be a big plus.
Onenightinvienna, trained by Philip Hobbs, has always looked a strong stayer and form of December defeat of RSA Chase winner Blaklion makes him look fairly handicapped. He has only run four times over fences and experience must surely be an issue. He is a novice, so this race is likely a year too soon.
|27||The Last Samuri|
The Last Samuri must have a great chance as his weight for this race was published before he pulverised a good field at Doncaster by 10 lengths. He recently moved from Donald McCain’s yard to Kim Bailey and is likely to improve even further over this demanding distance. Stamina is not a concern and he is still lightly raced enough to have more to offer.
Kruzhlinin has been intentionally trained for the race and a pleasing fifth at Cheltenham on his prep race. He finished 10th in this race two years ago and seventh in the Becher Chase eight months later. 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
|29||Rule The World|
Rule the World has no victories since January 2014 but he recorded a series of good results in small fields this season. He has however been second in the Irish Grand National in 2015. He has yet to win over fences and there are serious stamina doubts.
|30||Just A Par|
Just A Par has been trained all season with this race in mind and usually shows his best form at this time of year. Winner of the Bet365 Gold Cup last spring, he pulled up in Becher Chase two years ago on only previous try over the fences. His best effort this term was a second to Three Faces West at Exeter last month.
Katenko was out of action for just over a year before returning December. He was pulled up in that race. He deemed good enough to contest the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2014 but has disappointed in three handicaps since then. He is very difficult to fancy, despite now being 7 lb lower.
Vics Canvas has very few miles on the clock, with just 31 career starts, and only ten chase starts. In those ten runs over fences he has won a handicap chase over three and a half miles in November 2014. He stayed on for fifth in the Becher Chase in December. At 13 years of age, and not particularly good form, he is unlikely to make a huge impact in this year’s Grand National.
Black Thunder won a minor event at Sandown in December 2014 but let down by jumping all three starts this season. 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. Paul Nicholls' outsider will need a return to his best form to stand any chance here.
Ballycasey has not added to tally since Gowran win in November 2014, but recorded a promising fifth at Cheltenham last month. This Willie Mullins' horse was brought down at the Canal Turn in last year’s race so it would be unfair to draw any conclusions from that run and his stamina is still an unknown.
Hadrian's Approach has been sidelined for over a year and has raced just once since January 2015. He shaped encouragingly when midfield in Bet Bright Chase at Kempton last time. The Grand National looks a mammoth ask from a horse plagued by injuries in recent years.
|36||Vieux Lion Rouge|
Vieux Lion Rouge won at Haydock in November and finished 6th in the 4 mile NH Chase at the Cheltenham Festival proving he stays well. He caught the eye with way he travelled there and could be a surprise here. Anyway, he is very young at just 7 years old and horses of this age don’t tend to fair very well in the Grand National.
Pendra is a decent chaser, with nine starts, who won at Ascot back in October 2015. He is lightly-raced since finishing modest 10th in 2014 Irish National. He has never won beyond 2m7f so the step up in trip at Aintree may be a very big task.
Saint Are ran a screamer last year to be second just two lengths behind Many Clouds, and has an extra three pounds this time around. Furthermore, he was 9th in 2014 renewal when trained by Tim Vaughan. A recent win at Doncaster over three miles suggests he’s not without a prayer.
Home Farm pulled up in the 2014 Irish National and in last year's Gold Cup. He doesn't really have the profile of a Grand National runner altough he may have had his sights set on this race all season.
|40||The Romford Pele|
The Romford Pele completed hat-trick as a second-season novice chaser in 2014 but not won since. He made late progress in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham and was not beaten far. Looking at his career, he has had 12 chases and won three and placed in another five. He usually runs at Cheltenham so difficult to say how he will fare on Aintree's flat track.
2016 GRAND NATIONAL BEST ODDS
- Many Clouds 8/1
- The Last Samuri 10/1
- Silviniaco Conti 12/1
- The Druids Nephew 16/1
- Holywell 16/1
- Saint Are 16/1
- Goonyella 20/1
- Gallant Oscar 20/1
- Shutthefrontdoor 20/1
- Ucello Conti 25/1
- Morning Assembly 25/1
- Kruzhlinin 28/1
- Sir Des Champs 28/1
- Unioniste 34/1
- O'Faolains Boy 33/1
- Triolo D'Alene 33/1
- First Lieutenant 40/1
- Boston Bob 40/1
- The Romford Pele 50/1
- Wonderful Charm 50/1
- Just A Par 50/1
- Rule The World 50/1
- Onenightinvienna 50/1
- Le Reve 50/1
- Soll 50/1
- On His Own 66/1
- Hadrians Approach 66/1
- Buywise 66/1
- Gilgamboa 66/1
- Ballynagour 66/1
- Rocky Creek 66/1
- Black Thunder 66/1
- Vics Canvas 66/1
- Ballycasey 80/1
- Katenko 80/1
- Home Farm 100/1
- Pendra 100/1
- Vieux Lion Rouge 100/1
- Aachen 100/1
- Double Ross 100/1