Three Grand National Runners To Note

Tiger Roll wins the 2019 Grand National

The weights for the 2020 Randox Health Grand National have now been revealed, with Tiger Roll – winner of the race for the past two years – allotted top weight of 11st 10lb along with his stablemate Delta Work.

Our Steven Kilborough has made the bold statement that Tiger Roll will not make history by landing a third Grand National, and here, Joe Eccles has identified three horses that caught his eye at yesterday’s weights reveal – read his thoughts below.

Definitly Red – 25/1

It is often remarked that it is tough to win a Grand National having already been beaten in a previous renewal of the race, with Mon Mome (2009) the last horse to complete the feat.

One of many potential runners bidding to break that trend this year is Definitly Red, and the eleven-year-old is the first of the three runners that make my list.

Brian Ellison’s stable star finished pulled up when sent off at odds of just 10/1 for the 2017 Grand National, but that fails to tell the whole story, with Definitly Red failing to recover having been badly hampered by a faller at just the sixth fence.

Unlike previous seasons, Definitly Red appears to have been trained with the Grand National his main target this campaign – finishing fourth under a big weight in the Becher (invariably a strong trial for the National), before chasing home runaway winner Vintage Clouds in the Peter Marsh at Haydock.

Should Tiger Roll stand his ground, Definitly Red will have what looks a handy weight of 10st 10lb on his back in April – the first time he will have carried less than 11st in almost two years.

Any Second Now – 25/1

Ted Walsh trained Papillon to win the Grand National back in 2000, and his Seabass finished a close third in the 2012 renewal.

Walsh appears to have another live contender in this year’s race with the JP McManus-owned Any Second Now.

This son of Oscar gained an overdue first win over fences when powering up the Cheltenham Hill to land last season’s Kim Muir Handicap Chase.

That performance marked him down as a future Grand National contender, and his performances this season have done little to dispel that theory.

Having chased home the smart Battleoverdoyen at Punchestown in November, Any Second Now was sent off at just 9/1 for the ultra-competitive Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown, where he was in the process of running a big race prior to being affectively brought down by a faller.

He left that behind when a staying-on third in a Grade A Handicap Chase back at Leopardstown earlier this month, and the mark of 152 that he has been given for the National is likely to put him on a weight that he should be competitive from.

Poker Party – 50/1

Henry De Bromhead has enjoyed a stellar season thus far, and he will be hoping that he can cap off the campaign with a first Grand National win.

Of his four entries, it is the eight-year-old Poker Party who catches my eye.

This Gentlewave gelding was a progressive handicapper over fences last season, finishing a creditable third in a Grade A Handicap Chase at the Punchestown Festival.

Winner of the Kerry National in September, he built on that performance when staying on strongly for fourth in the ultra-competitive Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown – suggesting that he was well worth a try over a marathon trip.

Off a mark of 147, he does need horses to come out to get into the National, but if sneaking in at the bottom of the weights it would be no shock to see him put up a bold showing – with runners in his age bracket taking three of the last five renewals of the Grand National.

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