The weights for the 172nd running of the Grand National have now been announced and with the countdown on the famous steeplechase stepping up a gear, we take a look at three runners which catch our eye for 6th April.
Black Corton – Weight: 10st 11lb Ladbrokes Odds: 40/1
Trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by a consortium which includes TV host Jeremy Kyle, Black Corton is a likeable horse although deprived of success this season. The eight-year-old put regular mount Bryony Frost on the map by giving her a Grade One win however and has run a couple of solid races recently – one of these being at Wetherby when Frost came close to being dislodged following an awkward jump, both rider and runner recovering well on that occasion. With this in mind, we don’t envisage the tough Aintree jumps holding too much in the way of fear for either horse or rider and the possibility of Frost becoming the first ever female winner of the Grand National remains a very real one.
Joe Farrell – Weight: 9st 12lb Ladbrokes Odds: 50/1
You have to go back to 1905 to find a Welsh winner of the Grand National, Kirkland triumphing some 114 years ago. The principality has a solid chance to end that lengthy drought in the form of Joe Farrell, this runner travelling to Scotland last year and coming home with their version of the famous race in the bag. Rebecca Curtis saddled Teaforthree who finished third in 2013, however the Pembrokeshire trainer does need a few of the higher weighted horses to pull out in order to grant Joe Farrell a run in the Grand National. He isn’t the best jumper to be fair but he has a good cruising speed and impressive stamina, therefore we expect him to be still piling ahead when others are on their knees.
Tiger Roll – Weight: 11st 1lb Ladbrokes Odds: 16/1
Trainer Gordon Elliott admits that it’s a very tall order to expect Tiger Roll to win the Grand National for a second successive time and emulate the success of the famous Red Rum in 1973 and 1974. Indeed Elliott’s main priority for the runner is to improve on his excellent record at the Cheltenham Festival and clinch a fourth trophy at that meeting. Tiger Roll sits alongside One For Arthur as one of two former winners entered into this year’s renewal of the race and given that he is such a versatile performer across various distances, we believe that he certainly shouldn’t be disregarded on April 6th.