With winners at odds of 33/1, 25/1, 25/1, 66/1 and 33/1 in the past five renewals, the Grand National is a race where you cannot count out any runners. It’s the race that all trainers, jockeys and owners want to win and as such it’s a hugely competitive affair, with the Aintree spectacle a race not to miss. With so many ‘outsiders’ taking the race in recent years, we are going to take an in depth look at five horses who are considered outsiders by the market who have a good chance of snatching a place at bigger odds! Don’t forget, we have our 2017 Grand National tips on site ready to view now!
Raz De Maree – 40/1
Although at the age of twelve, Raz De Maree has been performing well this season for Gavin Cromwell and looks to have a great chance of making the frame. Returning with a respectable effort at Gowran Park in October, he showed his stamina and guts when winning a Grade B Handicap in November in good style. Perhaps the effort that brought him into prominence was his second in the Welsh Grand National back in December, only two lengths behind Native River and making up heaps of ground towards the end of the race. He handles better ground well and a weight of 10st 9lb should be manageable for this plucky old timer, who can relish this extra distance to put up an admirable display for connections.
Houblon Des Obeaux – 50/1
A smart horse on his day for Venetia Williams, Houblon Des Obeaux has been running well in marathon trip handicaps this season and could well be a forgotten horse in this year’s renewal. He finished a good third in the Welsh Grand National back in December off a heavy weight and he was far from disgraced when fourth in the Classic Chase at Warwick in January, staying on well and never nearer than at the finish. On his latest start he was a good fourth in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter off top weight, keeping on well under pressure to be only beaten around eight lengths by the eventual winner. For the National he’ll be off a weight of 10st 12lb which is much less than what he has been carrying in recent good trial races. He has some good form on better ground and although perhaps he’d prefer softer, it’s not too much of a concern, nor is his stamina as that latest run would suggest he’ll see this out well. 50/1 looks a mammoth each way price and a big run looks likely from the ten year old.
Lord Windermere – 50/1
Although it wasn’t one the strongest Gold Cups of all time, Lord Windermere’s victory in the 2014 renewal of the race if anything proved his stamina and guts were of quite remarkable proportions. In that race, he was a detached last for a long way and was driven from four out after being niggled along for much further, looking a completely forlorn hope. He stayed on well for pressure though and snatched victory for Jim Culloty, though he didn’t go on from that effort as possibly expected. On his first tilt of the Grand National in 2015 he was pulled up before second Valentines, but he did have an almost impossible task off a mark of 11st 10lb (top weight) so that effort shouldn’t be taken at face value. He hasn’t perhaps been at his best on his latest two starts after a promising reappearance at Thurles in November, but clearly wasn’t hard pressed when fifth in the Bobbjo Chase in February on his latest start. This year he’ll be racing off a weight of 10st 10lb, which is a stone lower than his last attempt in the contest which does make him interesting. He’s clearly not the force of old but looks likely to stay and at near his best, he’d have a good chance of placing.
Bishops Road – 66/1
Winner of the 2016 Haydock Grand National trial when showing stamina in abundance, Bishops Road at his best looks likely to throw down a good challenge. He returned this season with a highly promising effort in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle in November, finishing fourth behind some promising horses, though he has failed to back it up in two runs since. His latest distant third in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock was a step in the right direction though and he has been given a rest since then with the National looking to be in his sights. Considering he was highly fancied for last year’s race when just missing the cut for Kerry Lee, his weight of 10st 10lb will be one he can appreciate and the better ground is unlikely to be a problem with good form on those types of surface in the book. He looks the right type and will be scrapping away for a place as long as his jumping holds up.
Wounded Warrior – 66/1
Judging by his spring form of 2015, surely Noel Meade’s Wounded Warrior can have a say for the placings. Winner of a Grade 2 ahead of last year’s winner Rule The World in January 2015, he also has some other good form including a third in the 2015 RSA Chase behind Don Poli. This season has been a mixed campaign for the eight year old, who posted his only real effort of note when finishing sixth in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January. Running off a weight of 11st 2lb, he has to be in with a shout on his best form and will handle the better ground fine based on previous efforts. He looks to have a good each way chance for last year’s winning owners and needs to be considered.
We now have a very good idea of the line up for the 2017 Grand National, so some of the attention now moves to who will be riding which horse in the Aintree Showpiece. We took a look back at five of the best quotes from Grand National jockeys in a previous article, showing just what it means to them to ride/win a Grand National!