The 2018 running of the Grand National takes place on Saturday 14th April with many people looking ahead to the race and the best bets for the Grand National. Considering the race is ran over 4 miles 514 yards and the testing Aintree fences it provides a gruelling test for both horse and rider which is why it is widely regarded as the ultimate test. This is the reason why the race is steeped in prestige and is now the most valuable jump race in Europe with prize money of £1 million. With this being the case it has now been targeted by classier horses in recent times also backed up by the weight changes in recent years therefore providing a more level playing field. This has been shown in the success of horses of a bigger weight in recent years.
One horse that fits this mould is Many Clouds who back in 2015 became the first horse to win off a weight of 11 stone 9lb or bigger since the mighty Red Rums’s second success back in 1974 of a weight of 12 stone. The Paul Nicholls trained Neptune Collonges is another horse to win off a huge weight of 11 stone 6lb back in 2012 after an incredible finish in just beating the gallant Sunnyhillboy in a photo finish. The changes to the weights meant a compressed handicap for horses resulting in a far classier field from top to bottom which can only be a positive for the future of the race.
Looking ahead to the 2018 edition of the race it looks to be as competitive as ever with both Blaklion and Total Recall heading the betting at joint 12/1 favourites. Both horses have improved no end in recent times but are coming of the back of disappointing displays. Blaklion ran a huge race in the 2017 edition of the race having looked the likely winner turning in only to tire. He has gone on the win the Becher Chase over the course so if his stamina can hold out he is likely to be a key contender for the race.
Total Recall on the other hand is coming off the back of a fall in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. However prior to this he had looked one of the most progressive horses around having landed his first three starts for the Mullins team. If he can show further improved form he would have to have a good chance of running a big race. Check out the infographic below which covers the leading trainers heading in to the race and their top horses looking to enhance their National records.