Grand National: Pinstickers' guide to Aintree runners & riders

Grand National
Grand National 2015, Aintree
Date: Saturday, 11 April. Race time: 16:15 BST
Coverage: Live commentaries of all the big races on BBC Radio 5 live and live text commentary online

BBC Sport's Frank Keogh's verdict: "My hunch is the winner will come from the lowest-weighted horses as per the last two runnings. I'm a Soll man, but feel there are plenty with chances down the bottom including Royale Knight. Rocky Creek and Balthazar King are class horses, while I wouldn't want to jinx the fairytale farewell by plumping for Shutthefrontdoor."

1 Soll, 2 Royale Knight, 3 Balthazar King, 4 Rocky Creek, 5 Spring Heeled


Trainer: Jim Culloty Jockey: Brian O'Connell (replaced injured Robbie McNamara)

Lord Windermere

Weight: 9 11-10 Form: 1-373P

Landed the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but pulled up in this year's race. No top weight has won the National since Red Rum in the 1970s, and the bottom weight will carry nearly two stone less. Trainer won the Gold Cup three times as a jockey with Best Mate. Controversially ditched jockey Davy Russell, who was subsequently injured in a fall, after reportedly being unhappy with his Cheltenham ride. But his replacement Robbie McNamara was then hospitalised in a fall at Wexford on Friday and Brian O'Connell will now ride Lord Windermere.

Odds: 50-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Oliver Sherwood Jockey: Leighton Aspell

Weight: 8-11-09 Form: 4-1116

Brilliant Hennessy winner was a well beaten sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Is this an afterthought? Jockey won the race last year on Pineau De Re. Trainer, the older brother of Desert Orchid's jockey Simon, enjoying a revival. Owned by Trevor Hemmings, the man behind Pontins holidays, who has enjoyed days in the sun before with Ballabriggs (2011) and Hedgehunter (2005).

Odds: 40-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Noel Fehily

Weight: 7 11-06 Form: 38-613

Same owner and trainer as 2012 winner Neptune Collonges, a fellow grey. Followed January win at Sandown with decent third to subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree at Newbury in February. Solid jumper. Last seven-year-old to triumph was Bogskar in 1940, although Unioniste started early and has claimed six steeplechase victories.

Odds: 33-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies

Weight: 9 11-03 Form: 25-2P1

Rocky Creek

Ran well last year for eight-time champion trainer and was impressive winner at Kempton last time. Rocky Creek finished fifth at Aintree after an interrupted season which included a bout of piles. Jockey, fifth on Hello Bud in 2010 and tipped as future champion, is 21 and wasn't born when current top rider AP McCoy won his first race in 1992.

Odds: 10-1 Rating: 8/10


Trainer: Mouse Morris IRE Jockey: Nina Carberry

Weight: 10 11-03 Form: 24863

First Lieutenant

Talented and a little quirky, like his canny trainer Mouse, who was christened Michael. Classy on his day, but uncharacteristically poor this season and must prove stamina under a big weight. Owned by Gigginstown House Stud, headed by Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary. Jockey bids to become first female rider to triumph. Her brother Paul won on Bobbyjo for their trainer father Tommy in 1999.

Odds: 20-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Philip Hobbs Jockey: Richard Johnson

Weight: 11 11-02 Form: 12-F11


Thrives on expected good ground and skipped Cheltenham to be kept fresh for this. Big chance if overcomes a touch of seconditis in the camp. Horse was second in 2014 National. Somerset trainer also had the 2002 second What's Up Boys, both ridden by jockey who has been second 15 times to AP McCoy in title race.

Odds: 12-1 Rating: 8/10


Trainer: Jonjo O'Neill Jockey: AP McCoy

Weight: 8 11-02 Form: 2461-1


Horse nicknamed Rupert (after the bear) by stable staff as he's "a little bit cheeky". The 2014 Irish National victor is set to go off hot favourite in 19-time champion jockey's final National. Back For Good by Take That was number one single when McCoy first rode in the race 20 years ago, but he'll be gone for good if he wins this.

Odds: 8-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Dr Richard Newland Jockey: Daryl Jacob

Weight: 12 11-00 Form: 1-0P80


In the Worcestershire village where the horse lives there is a proud sign - Claines: Home of the 2014 Grand National winner Pineau De Re. Named after a wine, he seeks to become the first back-to-back winner since Red Rum 40 years ago. Trained by a former GP, the jockey knows the prescription for National glory - he scored on Neptune Collonges three years ago.

Odds: 33-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Willie Mullins Jockey: Ruby Walsh

Weight: 8 10-13 Form: 2173P


Only runner for in-form trainer, who had a record eight winners at last month's Cheltenham Festival. Jockey is all-time leading rider at that meeting and has won this race twice - with Papillon (2000) and Hedgehunter (Mullins, 2005). While their challenger may not be the most obvious candidate, the team commands maximum respect.

Odds: 40-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Jim Culloty Jockey: Nick Scholfield

Weight: 8 10-12 Form: 015-44


Represents the same stable as top weight Lord Windermere, who won Gold Cup last year when yard was similarly out of form. Winner at last year's Cheltenham Festival. Jockey nicknamed 'Smiley' in the weighing room. Should appreciate the ground and capable of showing most rivals a clean pair of heels. Trainer won the race as a rider himself on Bindaree in 2002.

Odds: 28-1 Rating: 8/10


Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Ryan Mahon

Weight: 10 10-12 Form: 454121


Another in a strong hand for the eight-time champion trainer. Looked set for a different race at the meeting before excellent win at Newbury on his last run. Won the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase over the National fences in December 2013. That was over 18 fences, and this is 30. The question is whether he will see out this exacting trip.

Odds: 50-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Warren Greatrex Jockey: Dougie Costello

Weight: 8 10-11 Form: 028180


Made mistakes when ran over the National fences in December, but bounced back three weeks later to win the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby. Bidding to become the first eight-year-old to triumph since Bindaree 13 years ago. Trainer, who upset better-known rivals to claim the World Hurdle at Cheltenham with Cole Harden, has been quietly bullish about chances.

Odds: 100-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Sean Bowen

Weight: 9 10-11 Form: 1-P015


Youngest jockey in the race, at 17, has only three years on the oldest horse. Rider in fine form goes up against father, who trains Al Co. Mon Parrain jumped well when second in the Topham Chase over these fences four years ago. Back in 11th behind Oscar Time at Aintree in December, but won at Cheltenham on New Year's Day. Trainer has four runners, and this one not considered main hope.

Odds: 66-1 Rating: 6/10

14 CARLITO BRIGANTE (IRE) - Non-runner (lame)

Trainer: Karen McLintock Jockey: Brian Harding


Trainer: Keith Reveley Jockey: James Reveley

Weight: 9 10-09 Form: 40233


Drying ground should help, and interesting if sees out the trip. Finished third in two good Doncaster steeplechases. Tipped to go close by some decent judges. Jockey rides for trainer father. Owned by former jockey Richard Collins, who is boss of a frozen seafood empire. One wag said he was "living the bream".

Odds: 25-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Robert Hennessy Jockey: Andrew Lynch

Weight: 10 10-09 Form: 545211


Carries the claret and blue silks of owner Bill Hennessy, an admirer of the West Ham team of the 1960s-70s that included Bobby Moore. Hennessy had 2007 Champion Hurdle winner Sublimity and his son trains. Good cruising speed, though suspicion fortunes are hiding elsewhere with stamina questions to answer.

Odds: 100-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Neil Mulholland Jockey: Aidan Coleman

Weight: 8 10-09 Form: 12751


Fine winner at last month's Cheltenham Festival, and potentially well in at the weights following that success. Should not be inconvenienced by the ground and other riders have talked of the horse as a potential danger to their chances of winning. Aidan Coleman deputises for the injured Barry Geraghty. Owners call themselves The Stonhenge Druids.

Odds: 14-1 Rating: 8/10


Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: Paul Carberry

Weight: 7 10-09 Form: 20-751

Cause of Causes

Good Cheltenham win last month. Shrewd trainer, whose nan used to play bingo with my aunt, scored with Silver Birch in 2007 and seeks to hit the jackpot again. The fancy of leading female jockey Katie Walsh when the weights came out in February, and well supported in weeks leading up to the race. Owned by JP McManus, whose retained rider AP McCoy sides with Shutthefrontdoor.

Odds: 20-1 Rating: 8/10


Trainer: Alan King Jockey: Wayne Hutchinson

Weight: 9 10-08 Form: 23-P50


Significant claims based on performances in last two runnings of the Scottish National. Won the Ayr contest two years ago and was runner-up in 2014. Punters will have to forgive some ordinary runs this season, but trainer likely to be concentrating on this big day after only two of his 10 previous runners completed the course.

Odds: 22-1 Rating: 7/10

20 AL CO (FR)

Trainer: Peter Bowen Jockey: Denis O'Regan

Weight: 10 10-08 Form: 1-0P33


Landed the Scottish National for Welsh trainer last year at odds of 40-1. Jamie Moore was on board that day but is out with a broken leg. Trainer's son is required to ride Mon Parrain so in steps Denis O'Regan, who finished second on Black Apalachi five years ago when AP McCoy won the race on Don't Push It.

Odds: 28-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Michael Scudamore Jockey: Liam Treadwell

Weight: 10 10-07 Form: 24430


Seventh - beaten 22 lengths by Pineau De Re - in the 2014 Grand National. Won the Welsh National in January 2013 for owners including rugby union players Mike Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel and Nicky Robinson. Jockey benefited from dental work after Clare Balding cracked a gag about his teeth in the aftermath of his 2009 National win on 100-1 shot Mon Mome.

Odds: 50-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Donald McCain Jockey: David Casey

Weight: 8 10-07 Form: 10-33P


Was pulled up in the Grand National trial at Haydock on most recent run, so needs to bounce back from that. Trainer, who won in 2011 with Ballabriggs, is son of the late Ginger who triumphed four times, including three with Red Rum. He has been quietly confident this year. Jockey has ridden in the race 14 times, with a best finish of third on Snow Morning in 2008.

Odds: 100-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Kim Bailey Jockey: David Bass

Weight: 11 10-07 Form: 261U-P

The Rainbow Hunter

One of only two horses in the race bred in the UK, along with Royale Knight - others hail from Ireland, France and even America. Should run well on paper, but has failed to make it round twice. Trainer won the National 25 years ago with Mister Frisk, whose record time on fast ground still stands. Owners include fresh-faced racing TV presenter Oli Bell.

Odds: 80-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Tom George Jockey: Paddy Brennan

Weight: 9 10-06 Form: F-331


Ninth in the 2013 race and third in the Becher Chase this season, so knows how to jump the fences. And jockey knows how to upset the big guns - saw off the much-feted Kauto Star and Denman to win 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Imperial Commander. Trained in the beautiful Cotswold countryside, stable has a habit of popping up with big festival winners.

Odds: 33-1 Rating: 8/10


Trainer: Donald McCain Jockey: Henry Brooke

Weight: 11 10-06 Form: 0-800B


Very unlucky last year, when leading but carried out by a loose horse. Went on to finish 14th for the second consecutive year. Due a change of luck. Going may not be ideal - has won six times on heavy ground. Trainer's family, and their link with Red Rum, make them a part of Aintree folklore and you can be sure horse will be primed to peak on the day.

Odds: 50-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Warren Greatrex Jockey: Gavin Sheehan

Weight: 13 10-05 Form: 31P0-5


Boasts excellent form from earlier in career, albeit over much shorter distances, and while might not win is probably overpriced for a contender of his ability. Stablemate appears to be better fancied. History not on his side either - you have to go back to 1923 when the last equine teenager, Sergeant Murphy, won the Grand National.

Odds: 150-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Robert Waley-Cohen Jockey: Sam Waley-Cohen

Weight: 14 10-05 Form: 11U14


Amateur jockey with terrific record over National fences partners veteran, who has finished second and fourth in the race previously, for trainer father. Horse proved his well-being with splendid win in Becher Chase over these obstacles in December. Age might prevent victory, but should give a really good account.

Odds: 40-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Rebecca Curtis Jockey: Paul Townend

Weight: 8 10-04 Form: 120P1P


Welsh trainer, third with Teaforthree two years ago, seeking to become the fourth woman to saddle the winner. Took the Welsh National at Ffos Las in January although overall record is a mixture of hits and misses. Interesting jockey booking - highly-rated rider who is second to stable jockey Ruby Walsh at the powerful Willie Mullins yard.

Odds: 125-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Ian Williams Jockey: Will Kennedy

Weight: 9 10-04 Form: P2-67


Hopefully doesn't overdo the birthday cake - was born on 10 April. One win from nine runs over fences, but has been second five times. Last victory came back in December 2012 and it would be a big surprise if his next came in this contest. Debuts in the Grand National for both the trainer and jockey.

Odds: 125-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: David Bridgwater Jockey: Tom Cannon

Weight: 11 10-04 Form: P16-2F


Ground out victory in the Eider Chase at Newcastle in February 2014, but feeling is that rain is needed to soften the ground and very little is forecast. Trainer guided The Giant Bolster to second, fourth, and third place in consecutive Cheltenham Gold Cups. Wyck Hill is owned by JP McManus, who has leading contenders elsewhere in Shutthefrontdoor and Cause Of Causes.

Odds: 80-1 Rating: 5/10


Trainer: Philip Hobbs Jockey: James Best

Weight: 9 10-04 Form: P11P4


Won at Exeter and Haydock in November, but pulled up in the Welsh National before finishing fourth in the Grand National Trial at Haydock. Trainer is one of the best in the business from his Somerset stables where you can see the Minehead coastline in the distance, but Balthazar King very much their main hope for this year.

Odds: 125-1 Rating: 5/10


Trainer: Philip Hobbs Jockey: Tom O'Brien

Weight: 11 10-04 Form: P46-55


Jockeys love horses who give them "a great spin" over these fences and this one has completed in five of his six efforts over the fences, including a sixth-placed spot in last year's race. Has finished a fair distance behind winners Oscar Time and Soll in his most recent outings. Jockey was second in the 2007 National on McKelvey.

Odds: 50-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Maurice Phelan IRE Jockey: Davy Condon

Weight: 10 10-03 Form: 8P1292


No question about staying power and would not be the worst choice among some of the bigger-priced runners. The grey won the testing Eider Chase back in 2012 and is normally a sound jumper. Fifth ride in the race for Irish jockey, who was eighth in last year's edition on Raz De Maree.

Odds: 80-1 Rating: 7/10


Trainer: Peter Fahey IRE Jockey: Robbie Power

Weight: 8 10-03 Form: 3-8256


Rarely mentioned by pundits, and under the radar. Good second in Troytown Chase at Navan in November, which often features decent Grand National contenders. Jockey comes from a showjumping family and won the big race in 2007 with Silver Birch. Whether he will be following up here is another matter.

Odds: 66-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Richard Chotard FR Jockey: David Cottin

Weight: 12 10-03 Form: U58P14


Only French-trained runner in the 2015 National. Has clocked up plenty of prize money in his homeland but seeking to win over nearly four-and-a-half miles having never scored beyond two and three-quarter miles. If you pick this one in the sweepstake, feel free to have another go, although you never know.

Odds: 250-1 Rating: 4/10


Trainer: Emma Lavelle Jockey: Richie McLernon

Weight: 10 10-03 Form: 265-11


Won at Exeter and was then awarded Wincanton race when 'winner' found to be ineligible to take part. Could feature off low weight if keeps jumping in order. Jockey is the rider who has come closest to winning, without actually managing it - beaten the shortest distance possible, a nose, on Sunnyhillboy three years ago.

Odds: 40-1 Rating: 6/10


Trainer: Fergal O'Brien Jockey: Paul Moloney

Weight: 10 10-03 Form: 51P4-5


Finished fourth in the 2014 race to continue a remarkable run for jockey, who has been placed in last six renewals on horses owned by William and Angela Rucker. Alvarado's only run since Aintree saw him finish fifth in a veterans' handicap chase at Doncaster in February. Known as Alvin to his pals. Place possibilities.

Odds: 25-1 Rating: 7/10

38 SOLL (GB)

Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: Tom Scudamore

Weight: 10 10-02 Form: 50-P11


Sneaking in on a low weight for the shrewd trainer who triumphed in 2008 with Comply Or Die. His father Martin trained Miinnehoma, owned by comic Freddie Starr, to land the race 21 years ago. Soll was seventh in the 2013 race, and horses have gone on to win after being beaten but completing the course. Minor ground concern, but big box ticker otherwise.

Odds: 20-1 Rating: 9/10


Trainer: Charlie Longsdon Jockey: Jonathan Burke

Weight: 10 10-02 Form: 0115-P


It has paid to respect horses with the lowest weights in the last two runnings of the race since changes to the fences have made them easier to negotiate. But experience of steeplechasing remains important and this one has just four outings over fences. Came back from injury over hurdles at Wetherby in January, but was pulled up.

Odds: 125-1 Rating: 5/10


Trainer: Dr Richard Newland Jockey: Brendan Powell

Weight: 9 10-02 Form: 113635


Second runner in this year's race for trainer, who also saddles the 2014 winner Pineau De Re and has just 12 horses in his yard at any one time. Carries nearly a stone less than his stablemate and assistant trainer believes may have the better chance. Jockey is son of trainer by same name, who triumphed as a rider on Rhyme 'N' Reason in 1988.

Odds: 25-1 Rating: 8/10

Odds shown are the best available with the major bookmakers as of 1030 BST on Saturday.

Listen to BBC Radio 5 live horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght and lead commentator John Hunt's pinstickers' guide to the Grand National.

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