Grand National 2019: Pinstickers' guide to Aintree runners & riders

Grand National runners and riders
Randox Health Grand National
Date: Saturday, 6 April Venue: Aintree Racecourse Time: 17:15 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website - more details

Runners, riders, trainers and form - all the key details you need to know for Saturday's big race at Aintree.

(Racecard number, horse, trainer, jockey, recent form, age, weight carried [ie 11st 10lb is top weight]. Form: F - Fell, P - Pulled up, U - Unseated rider.)

Verdict:

1 Vintage Clouds 2 Jury Duty 3 Rock The Kasbah 4 Rathvinden

1 ANIBALE FLY

Trainer: Tony Martin (Ire) Jockey: Mark Walsh

Form: 34-622 Age: 9 Weight: 11-10

Mr Consistent. Fourth in the 2018 Grand National despite meeting trouble early on and runner-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month, having finished third in the race a year earlier. Trainer Martin is nicknamed Harvey for his riding ability, after the show jumping legend Harvey Smith. More on him later.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 10-1

2 VALTOR

Trainer: Nicky Henderson Jockey: Daryl Jacob

Form: 2-671P Age: 10 Weight: 11-06

Champion trainer has saddled some of the great racehorses such as See You Then, Sprinter Sacre and Altior. But even by his own admission, for some reason has a woeful record in Nationals. He hasn't won the Grand National, or the Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or Midlands versions. Did have a horse - Zongalero - that finished second in the big Aintree race, but that was 40 years ago, and he's had eight that have fallen at the first fence since. Valtor has risen in the weights after a nice victory at Ascot.

Rating: 5/10 Approximate odds: 33-1

3 TIGER ROLL

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Davy Russell

Form: 11-411 Age: 9 Weight: 11-05

Smallest horse and oldest jockey triumphed in last year's National. Shown he is talented, versatile and has the heart of a lion. Clocked up fourth victory at Cheltenham Festival when winning Cross Country Chase by 22 lengths, following another runaway victory over hurdles. Bids to become first multiple winner since Red Rum more than 40 years ago. Is on a roll. Will extra weight this time stop the Tiger from roaring?

Rating: 8/10 Approximate odds: 7-2

4 OUTLANDER

Trainer: Richard Spencer Jockey: James Bowen

Form: -23544 Age: 11 Weight: 11-04

Would be one of the more outlandish selections. Decent form earlier in career, but the fact Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud was prepared to sell him after racing at Aintree on Thursday tells you Outlander's high-flying days may have gone. So the colours have changed after the £165,000 purchase. Jockey Keith Donoghue is a regular partner of stablemate Tiger Roll, for whom last year's winning rider Davy Russell takes the mount again.

Rating: 4/10 Approximate odds: 80-1

5 DON POLI

Trainer: Phil Kirby Jockey: Patrick Mullins

Form: 23/PP3 Age: 10 Weight: 11-03

Something of a cult figure, who has twice been a winner at the Cheltenham Festival and finished third in the Gold Cup for previous trainer Willie Mullins. Was one of many transferred to Gordon Elliott in 2016 by owners Gigginstown House Stud in a row over training fees. Once looked an ideal type for this race, but there is a strong suspicion that time has gone and the horse was bought by Darren Yates for £170,000 at the same auction as Outlander. Curious jockey booking of an amateur rider who is the son of Mullins - Elliott's biggest Irish rival, who has three runners in the race himself.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 80-1

6 GO CONQUER

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies

Form: 58-321 Age: 10 Weight: 11-03

Father and son team up here with Sam, 26, on board for his 61-year-old trainer father, who has won the National twice before - with Earth Summit in 1998 and Bindaree four years later. Horse is owned by Paul and Clare Rooney, who are no relations to you-know-who. Go Conquer won well at Doncaster in January and has jumped the National fences - when down the field in the Topham Chase two years ago - but whether he can conquer this exacting trip is another matter.

Rating: 5/10 Approximate odds: 40-1

7 MALA BEACH

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Jamie Codd

Form: P12-82 Age: 11 Weight: 11-02

Getting into the veteran stage for racehorses, now aged 11, although big-field handicap chases such as this do seem to suit. Look out for the going description, as would want some 'soft' ground to really thrive. So it's rain, rather than summer holiday weather, that's required for Mala Beach, winner of last year's Troytown Chase, a solid National trial. One of the Gordon Elliott army of runners, and could be seen as a positive that highly rated amateur jockey Jamie Codd has been booked.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 66-1

8 MINELLA ROCCO

Trainer: Jonjo O'Neill Jockey: Richie McLernon

Form: 4F-59P Age: 9 Weight: 11-01

Recent rocky form needs to be forgiven and the hope will be that drying ground can be the key to unlocking the talent of a classy horse, who was second to Sizing John in the Cheltenham Gold Cup two years ago. Won the four-mile National Hunt Chase a year earlier, beating subsequent Gold Cup winner Native River. I met a 'fake jockey' on the train back from Aintree one year, who said he was Richie McLernon. I knew he wasn't, as the actual rider was in hospital after a fall. Maybe it was some kind of magic sign?

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 25-1

9 LAKE VIEW LAD

Trainer: Nick Alexander Jockey: Henry Brooke

Form: 23-113 Age: 9 Weight: 11-01

Caught the eye when third in the Ultima Chase at last month's Cheltenham Festival, and has also won the Rehearsal Chase and Rowland Meyrick Chase this season. One of the leading British-trained contenders as the home team aim for a reversal of fortunes after an Irish 1-2-3-4 in 2018. Owner Trevor Hemmings seeks a record fourth National win after triumphs with Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015).

Rating: 8/10 Approximate odds: 14-1

10 PLEASANT COMPANY

Trainer: Willie Mullins IRE Jockey: Paul Townend

Form: 0P2-00 Age: 11 Weight: 11-01

Nearly reeled in winner Tiger Roll last year before named the runner-up after a photo finish. "I saw an awful lot of Pleasant Company going by me," joked a relieved winning jockey Davy Russell afterwards. Represents the champion Irish trainer who triumphed with Hedgehunter in 2005. Pleasant Company had finished ninth in the 2017 National and this season's ordinary form can probably be put to one side.

Rating: 8/10 Approximate odds: 20-1

11 BALLYOPTIC

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Tom Bellamy

Form: 42-F6P Age: 9 Weight: 11-01

Hard to know what to make of this hokey-cokey contender who is a bit in and out, and needs to turn around some of his recent form. Stamina should not be an issue after going down by the shortest possible distance - a nose - to Joe Farrell in the Scottish National at Ayr last year. Fell on his first try over the National fences in the Becher Chase, then was a creditable sixth in the Welsh National, but pulled up on his last run at Haydock.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 33-1

12 DOUNIKOS

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Jack Kennedy

Form: P-07F1 Age: 8 Weight: 11-00

Trying to figure out the best of the trainer's big squad is an art form in itself, but jockey bookings give us some clue, and this young Irish rider is highly rated. He racked up four winners at last year's Cheltenham Festival despite only being 18. Dounikos was pulled up in the Irish Grand National last season and fell earlier in the season, but got back on track when seeing out the trip well to win at Punchestown.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 33-1

13 RATHVINDEN

Trainer: Willie Mullins IRE Jockey: Ruby Walsh

Form: BU14-1 Age: 11 Weight: 11-00

Brilliant display last time out - and a 2018 National Hunt Chase win seemingly puts him in the picture as the leading candidate from the trio of runners for champion trainer Willie Mullins. His number one jockey takes the ride. Ruby Walsh has won the National twice before - on Papillon, trained by his father Ted in 2000, and Hedgehunter - for Mullins - five years later. The all-time leading Cheltenham Festival jockey is 40 so unlikely to have stacks of further chances to gain a third big triumph at Aintree.

Rating: 8/10 Approximate odds: 10-1

14 ONE FOR ARTHUR

Trainer: Lucinda Russell Jockey: Derek Fox

Form: 511/UU Age: 10 Weight: 11-00

UU are ugly form figures and not your normal build-up for a typical Grand National winner. He's unseated his rider in both runs this season. However, did win the race two years ago for Scottish trainer Lucinda Russell and owners Belinda McClung and Deborah Thomson, the duo known as the Golf Widows. Horse is said to have been named after the stout supremo Arthur Guinness. Has undergone physiotherapy after showing a tendency to jump to the left. Difficult preparation but enjoyed a clear round in a schooling session at Carlisle racecourse, 13 days before the big race.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 25-1

15 ROCK THE KASBAH

Trainer: Philip Hobbs Jockey: Richard Johnson

Form: P2-616 Age: 9 Weight: 10-13

Rock The Casbah, with slightly different spelling, was a top-30 chart hit for The Clash in 1982. Lead singer Joe Strummer reportedly broke down and cried when US Armed Forces picked the song to kick off Operation Desert Storm nine years later, as he didn't want a soundtrack to war. On a brighter note, this Rock The Kasbah has a good chance of finally giving champion jockey Richard Johnson an elusive first National win as he takes a record 21st ride in the race.

Rating: 8/10 Approximate odds: 20-1

16 WARRIORS TALE

Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Harry Cobden

Form: P-41P0 Age: 10 Weight: 10-13

Slightly surprised this is the target as the Topham Chase, Friday's shorter race over the Grand National fences, would have looked an easier challenge. However, the 10-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls knows what he is doing, and is enjoying a resurgence. Warriors Tale won over the fences earlier this season, in the Grand Sefton Chase, though lasting out over four-and-a-quarter miles seems unlikely.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 40-1

17 REGAL ENCORE

Trainer: Anthony Honeyball Jockey: Jonathan Burke

Form: P1P-63 Age: 11 Weight: 10-12

A third representative for wealthy owner JP McManus, who also has top weight Anibale Fly and Minella Rocco. They look to be his main hopes. Regal Encore finished eighth in the Grand National two years ago but was ruled out in 2018 with a late injury.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 66-1

18 MAGIC OF LIGHT

Trainer: Jessica Harrington IRE Jockey: Paddy Kennedy

Form: 3112U7 Age: 8 Weight: 10-11

First runner in the Grand National for respected trainer Jessica Harrington, whose top racehorses have included champion chaser Moscow Flyer and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John. She had hoped to also run Sandymount Duke, before a setback ruled out the horse bred and owned by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood. That shows you can't always get what you want and it's hard to see this stablemate providing the satisfaction of an Aintree triumph.

Rating: 5/10 Approximate odds: 66-1

19 A TOI PHIL

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Denis O'Regan

Form: 37P545 Age: 9 Weight: 10-11

Decent over shorter distances at his best, but nothing to get too enthused about this season until running well in a good race over hurdles at Cheltenham. Solid jumping will come in handy over the 30 fences of the Grand National, although the marathon trip could prove a concern. Trainer Gordon Elliott has won the race twice and saddles more than a quarter of the field this time. He appears to have better chances elsewhere in the line-up.

Rating:/10 Approximate odds: 50-1

20 JURY DUTY

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Robbie Power

Form: -37211 Age: 8 Weight: 10-11

If one of the trainer's so-called outsiders, other than hot favourite Tiger Roll, is to cause a surprise then it is worth jotting down the name of Jury Duty, who has been courting favour with some shrewd judges this week. Comes into the race on the back of two wins and looks to be improving. Benefits from the experience of jockey Robbie 'Puppy' Power, who was on board when the trainer claimed his first Grand National win with Silver Birch in 2007.

Rating: 8/10 Approximate odds: 20-1

21 NOBLE ENDEAVOR

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Mark Enright

Form: 136/90 Age: 10 Weight: 10-10

Noble Endeavor was ninth in the shorter Becher Chase, won by Walk In The Mill, over these fences in December on his first start for 600 days and ran well enough at Cheltenham despite finishing down the field. Trainer says he is a "very talented" horse but my gut feeling is that he has more talented hopefuls this year. Stayed on to come sixth in the Irish National in 2017.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 33-1

22 MONBEG NOTORIOUS

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Sean Bowen

Form: 82-006 Age: 8 Weight: 10-10

Seeing the name Notorious reminds me of Conor McGregor's unexpected trip to the Grand National a couple of years ago. Monbeg Notorious, who was a big fancy for last year's Irish Grand National before finishing eighth, has a fight on his hands but was picked by top tipster Paul Jacobs, a Scouser, at an Aintree preview meeting I attended this week, and any rain might help him on slower ground.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 66-1

23 RAMSES DE TEILLEE

Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: David Noonan

Form: 9-5122 Age: 7 Weight: 10-09

Another who could be helped by rain, this French-bred horse's chances for David Pipe, who won with Comply Or Die in 2008 and whose father triumphed thanks to Miinnehoma - owned by comedian Freddie Starr - 14 years earlier. Runner-up to Elegant Escape in the Welsh Grand National in December, Ramses De Teillee had been thought of more as a horse for the big Aintree race next year, but his progress encouraged a gamble. Suspicion remains that this could come too soon.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 25-1

24 TEA FOR TWO

Trainer: Jane Williams Jockey: Lizzie Kelly

Form: -P36PU Age: 10 Weight: 10-09

Get ready for a series of firsts. Fresh from a victory at last month's Cheltenham Festival, Lizzie Kelly has her first Grand National ride. She became the first female jockey to win a Grade One jumps race in Britain when guiding Tea for Two to victory at Kempton in December 2015. Alongside Rachael Blackmore, Kelly will seek to become the first female jockey to triumph in the famous race. Tea For Two is not to be confused with Teaforthree, who was third in 2013.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 80-1

26 STEP BACK

Trainer: Mark Bradstock Jockey: Nico de Boinville

Form: 311-76 Age: 9 Weight: 10-07

Interesting contender for the team who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup four years ago with Coneygree. Victory in the season-ending Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last year marked him out as a Grand National possibility. Reported to have schooled well over the mock National fences in the Berkshire racing heartland of Lambourn.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 20-1

27 ULTRAGOLD

Trainer: Colin Tizzard Jockey: Tom O'Brien

Form: 1-435P Age: 11 Weight: 10-07

Should have no problem with the obstacles having won the last two runnings of the Topham Chase at Aintree. Was also third in the Becher Chase over the National fences for trainer Colin Tizzard, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup last year with Native River. Stamina questions to answer and was pulled up in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham last month.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 66-1

28 BLOW BY BLOW

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Andrew Ring

Form: 273P6P Age: 8 Weight: 10-06

Might be considered a low blow, but I expect this one to blow out. Did win over hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival last year but has not shone in steeplechases this season. Pulled up twice in three races, including in the Leinster National on his last appearance. I guess if you have got engaged recently or are having a 2019 wedding, it might cheer you that the jockey is called A Ring.

Rating: 4/10 Approximate odds: 100-1

29 UP FOR REVIEW

Trainer: Willie Mullins IRE Jockey: Danny Mullins

Form: 48-138 Age: 10 Weight: 10-06

Any representative of the Irish champion trainer deserves an amount of respect, although stablemates Rathvinden and Pleasant Company have much better prospects on paper. Spent nearly two years off the track until February 2018. Did win twice last season and was third in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January. Travelled well at Cheltenham on last run before a big blunder scuppered his chance.

Rating: 5/10 Approximate odds: 25-1

30 SINGLEFARMPAYMENT

Trainer: Tom George Jockey: Paddy Brennan

Form: 52-420 Age: 9 Weight: 10-06

Seems to suffer from seconditis, having finished runner-up nine times in his career. Has flattered to deceive, looking a likely winner on several occasions but always finding one rival too good. Making Aintree debut for Gloucestershire trainer Tom George, who saddled Saint Are to finish second in the 2015 Grand National and third two years later.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 50-1

31 VIEUX LION ROUGE

Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: Tom Scudamore

Form: 49-2PP Age: 10 Weight: 10-06

Vieux Lion Rouge is French for the Old Red Lion. I wouldn't be lying if I said this lion could jump these fences. In fact, he has completed the race six times when going over these obstacles, including when winning the Becher Chase in 2016. Has finished seventh, sixth and ninth in the National itself. Whether he will improve on that is debatable.

Rating: 5/10 Approximate odds: 40-1

32 VALSEUR LIDO

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead IRE Jockey: Rachael Blackmore

Form: 260930 Age: 10 Weight: 10-06

Eighth last year and carrying 13lb less this time will be a significant help in trying to improve that. Was fourth before fading near the finish. Last win was 29 months ago, and while that was in a Grade One chase at Down Royal, needs to show more for leading jockey Rachael Blackmore. She has been fighting for the Irish title but looks likely to be just beaten by Paul Townend, and joins Lizzie Kelly as women seeking to make history by winning the National for the first time.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 66-1

33 VINTAGE CLOUDS

Trainer: Sue Smith Jockey: Danny Cook

Form: 33-1P2 Age: 9 Weight: 10-04

Trainer Sue Smith won the National six years ago with 66-1 shot Auroras Encore, and is assisted by her husband Harvey, who famously flicked a V-sign to judges as a showjumper in the 1970s. The 80-year-old recently said: "They said if they cut my heart open, a horse would jump out." Third in last season's Scottish National and second in the Ultima Chase at Cheltenham in March, looks a leading player. Shares the same sire (father), Cloudings, as owner Trevor Hemmings' most recent Grand National winner Many Clouds (2015).

Rating: 9/10 Approximate odds: 12-1

34 GENERAL PRINCIPLE

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: J J Slevin

Form: -0953P Age: 10 Weight: 10-04

Seems to have slipped under the radar a little with the focus on stablemate Tiger Roll and some of the trainer's other runners, but he is keen on this one. Gave a positive mention when the weights for the big race were announced in February. Won last season's Irish National, but pulled up after a bad mistake at Cheltenham in March and will need to cut out the jumping errors around here.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 25-1

35 LIVELOVELAUGH

Trainer: Willie Mullins IRE Jockey: David Mullins

Form: 3F-P20 Age: 9 Weight: 10-04

Owned by a former banker who goes by the name Rich Ricci and has enjoyed success with equine stars such as Faugheen, Vautour and Douvan. He obviously likes a horse with a U in their name, and will he hoping this one isn't being rightly under-estimated. Jockey won the race in 2016 on Rule The World and was only just edged out last year when partnering Pleasant Company. Looks the outsider of trainer's trio.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 50-1

36 WALK IN THE MILL

Trainer: Robert Walford Jockey: James Best

Form: P-3133 Age: 9 Weight: 10-04

Made the final 40 for last year's race only to be ruled out after being found to be lame on the day. Bidding to become the first horse to do the double of winning this race after landing the Becher Chase over the fences in the same season. Had a couple of runs over hurdles to keep ticking over. Owned by Baroness Harding, who tasted success in the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Cool Dawn 21 years ago.

Rating: 8/10 Approximate odds: 25-1

37 FOLSOM BLUE

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Luke Dempsey

Form: 0-4846 Age: 12 Weight: 10-04

A seasoned stayer who should find no trouble with the exacting trip, but it's whether he can keep up with the leaders. Danger is that he could get outpaced early on. Ran well to finish fourth in last year's Irish National but left backers feeling blue with lacklustre runs in this season's Welsh and Midlands versions.

Rating: 4/10 Approximate odds: 40-1

38 CAPTAIN REDBEARD

Trainer: Stuart Coltherd Jockey: Sam Coltherd

Form: 339613 Age: 10 Weight: 10-03

Nicknamed 'Spot' after a mark on his ribs, Captain Redbeard needs to do a better job of sticking with his pilot, having unseated his rider early on last year. The jockey rides for his trainer father, a Scottish farmer who sprang a 100-1 shock at the meeting six years ago when saddling Tartan Snow to win the Foxhunters' Chase. Horses with 'Red' in their name have a habit of popping up, with Red Alligator, Red Rum and Red Marauder all winning. But if only it was as simple as betting on red.

Rating: 5/10 Approximate odds: 50-1

39 BLESS THE WINGS

Trainer: Gordon Elliott IRE Jockey: Robbie Dunne

Form: 4-566P Age: 14 Weight: 10-03

Now into his teens, is the oldest horse in the race by some distance. Bless. Winged the fences last year to finish third, but it is hard to see improvement on that performance. Low weight will help his cause but would be a big turn-up if he proved to be the pick of trainer Gordon Elliott's powerful squad.

Rating: 6/10 Approximate odds: 100-1

40 JOE FARRELL

Trainer: Rebecca Curtis Jockey: Adam Wedge

Form: 311-62 Age: 10 Weight: 10-02

Sneaked in when the declarations were announced on Thursday following the withdrawal of Pairofbrowneyes. A blow for fans of the Pogues and Kano that, but not supporters of this interesting contender. As a son of the sire Presenting, who is known to favour good ground, dry conditions will help. Second on his latest start at Newbury in March for Welsh trainer Rebecca Curtis, who saddled Teaforthree to finish third in 2013. The winner hasn't been trained in Wales since Kirkland's victory 113 years ago.

Rating: 7/10 Approximate odds: 16/1

R25 JUST A PAR

Trainer: James Moffatt Jockey: Aidan Coleman

Form: P100/7 Age: 12 Weight: 10-02

First reserve when the 40 declarations were announced on Thursday and gained a place when Mall Dini was ruled out with a leg injury, so effectively takes his number on racecards. Won the Bet365 Gold Cup in Sandown for his former trainer Paul Nicholls four years ago and had twice completed the Grand National, but hard to see him winning at this stage of his career.

Rating: 5/10 Approximate odds: 100/1

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