The Grand National at Aintree is one of the biggest races of the season in the UK and a contest off which punters love to try to find the winner. Due to the make-up of the race - 40 runners who are handicapped to have an equal chance of coming out on top - it poses a great challenge for those placing a bet.
Here are three horses which tick all the right boxes ahead of the 2018 steeplechase and could add their name into history in Merseyside.
Definitly Red went into the Grand National 2017 as one of the fancied runners in the field, however, unfortunately for his connections, he was pulled up before the ninth fence. A mistake at the sixth obstacle looked to hamper the horse and he never really recovered.
The nine-year-old goes into his second attempt at the 4m2f contest in even better form this time around. Brian Ellison’s runner won the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree back in December, while just last month, he landed the Grade Two Cotswold Chase by eight lengths in a field which included Bristol De Mai and American.
The options over the next couple of months are endless for Definitly Red as his form has been good enough for the horse to take his chance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup at Cheltenham and for him to travel across to the Punchestown Festival in Ireland. The Grand National looks the most likely route though and as long as he learns from his mistake in 2017, he should be battling it out at the finish this time around at Aintree.
One of the leading Irish horses set to compete in the Grand National this year is Total Recall who has been faultless this season with three victories in three stars for Irish Champion Trainer Willie Mullins. The nine-year-old moved stables back in September and it has worked for the horse as he has found a huge improvement from the change in scenery.
Mullins has only once won the Grand National as he was successful in 2005 with Hedgehunter. The Irishman has dominated the Cheltenham Festival meeting over the last few years but he will be hoping to improve his record at Aintree when Total Recall lines up in the 40 runner field.
Arguably Total Recall’s best win so far this season came in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Aintree where he scored by a neck ahead of Whisper. He then returned at Leopardstown in a handicap over hurdles to ensure he kept his mark down over fences.
Total Recall is a top price of 20/1 on the Oddchecker comparison page of all the bookmakers betting on the race. His odds are likely to shorten the closer we get to the race as punters like to get behind Mullins’ runners, especially when they have the form behind them like this chaser does.
Vicente lined up in the 2017 Grand National as former Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls’ leading hope, however, his time in the race did not last very long as he came down at the opening fence. Despite that disappointment, connections of their horse got some decent compensation as just weeks later, he won the Scottish Grand National, a victory which would have been unlikely if he wasn’t as fresh as he was due to the failure at Aintree.
His success in the 2017 Scottish Grand National was his second win in the feature race at Ayr. That proves the nine-year-old is very comfortable at long distance races over four miles. The only concern with the horse is that he is prone to the odd mistake over his fences as we saw on his last start at Chepstow where he unseated his jockey, Sam-Twiston Davies.
All Grand National winners get a bit of luck in running at Aintree, whether that is with a clear passage around the track or by recovering from a mistake, therefore, Vicente is worth sticking with as if things do go his way, he is more than good enough to take advantage to give Nicholls his second-ever winner in the race.
Good luck with your bets and remember to take the odds on your selection as most runners in the Grand National are shorter when the runners set off.