There can be no other horse race which seeps into the national consciousness like the Grand National with moments of triumph and tragedy in abundance, from Foinavon’s unlikely 100/1 success when avoiding the chaos and confusion at the 23rd in 1967 to Devon Loch’s dramatic collapse eleven years earlier. This is a race which often provides the spectator with drama and excitement and there’s no reason to believe that 2019 will be any different.
With the race under serious threat of extinction in the 1970’s, Red Rum’s three wins did much to bring it back to nationwide attention and it’s future was secured for future generations to enjoy. Tiger Roll will be looking to emulate Red Rum by winning the race for the second time in succession and the bookmakers have the Gordon Elliott runner chalked-in as huge favourite to win in 2019.
We take a look at some of the leading contenders who will be fighting it out in the world’s greatest steeplechase…
Tiger Roll – 4/1
The 2018 Grand National winner is arguably in better condition this year as he attempts to successfully defend his crown and win the race at the shortest price for many years. Trainer Gordon Elliott may have as many as twelve runners in the race although he has made it clear that he would love to win the race again with this horse. The nine-year-old won the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2014 when four years old and he returned to seasonal action in February when triumphing in the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle.
Rathvinden – 11/1
This runner is the shortest-priced of Willie Mullins’ entries for the 2019 Grand National. The Irish trainer saddled 2005 winner Hedgehunter and he saw his Pleasant Company beaten by a head by Tiger Roll in last year’s renewal of the race. Rathvinden has some top-class form behind him with victory in the Cheltenham Festival National Hunt Chase as well as a fourth-place finish in Punchestown’s Grade One Novice Chase.
Anibale Fly – 14/1
This nine-year-old was once again placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month after finishing third in the 2018 running of the race and few would begrudge him victory in the 2019 Grand National. The nine-year-old has excellent staying ability and he will almost certainly take his chance on April 6th, especially if the going is on the good side.
Vintage Clouds – 12/1
Owned by Trevor Hemming’s, winner of the 2015 Grand National with Many Clouds, this Sue Smith-trained runner disappointed when failing to complete the Welsh National in his last outing but he had looked progressive previously, his most notable result being a third-placed finish in the Scottish Grand National and Cheltenham Ultima handicap Chase in 2018. He finished second in this year’s Ultima and looks set to go well assuming he bounces back to his best form.
Pleasant Company – 20/1
Champion trainer Willie Mullins will be aiming for his second Grand National success and he will be desperate to see Pleasant Company to improve on his showing in last year’s race when he finished a very close second to tiger Roll. His performances have been lacking somewhat of late but this was also the case prior to last year’s Grand National and as such, connections will be expecting him to come good on the day
Rock The Kasbah – 16/1
Richard Johnson looks likely to take the reins on Rock The Kasbah, this runner triumphing in a valuable staying handicap chase in November at Cheltenham. He has been out of competitive action since December and as such he will be fresh for this gruelling assignment. Will he relish the brutal test of stamina? We suggest that he will!