2015 Grand National Review and Result
2015 Grand National Result
|1. Many Clouds||25-1||Leighton Aspell||Oliver Sherwood|
|2. Saint Are||25-1||Paddy Brennan||Tom George|
|3. Monbeg Dude||40-1||Liam Treadwell||Michael Scudamore|
|4. Alvarado||20-1||Paul Maloney||Fergal O'Brien|
|5. Shutthefrontdoor||6-1F||AP McCoy||Jonjo O'Neill|
|6. Royale Knight||25-1||Brendan Powell||Dr Richard Newland|
|7. Tranquil Sea||33-1||Gavin Sheehan||Warren Greatrex|
|8. Cause Of Causes||14-1||Paul Carberry||Gordon Elliott|
|9. Soll||9-1||Tom Scudamore||David Pipe|
|10. Chance Du Roy||40-1||Tom O'Brien||Philip Hobs|
|11. Mon Parrain||33-1||Sean Bowen||Paul Nicholls|
|12. Pineau De Re||25-1||Daryl Jacob||De Richard Newland|
|13. Owega Star||50-1||Robbie Power||Peter Fahey|
|14. Spring Heeled||25-1||JH Culloty||Nick Schofield|
|15. Oscar Time||20-1||Robert Waley-Cohen||Ms S Waley-Cohen|
|16. First Lieutenant||14-1||Ms N Carberry||MF Morris|
|17. Rocky Creek||8-1||Sam Twiston-Davies||Paul Nicholls|
|18. Night In Milan||20-1||James Reveley||Keith Reveley|
|19. Dolatulo||66-1||Dougie Costello||Warren Greatrex|
Watch the 2015 Grand National through the eyes of the winning jockey Leighton Aspell, as captured on his helmet camera:
For many years and in many ways, the Grand National had become an easier race to predict than most punters would believe, such was the strength of its trends. However, if Comply Or Die (who wore blinkers) or Neptune Collognes (who was bred in France), started to chip away at those trends in recent times, MANY CLOUDS blew them apart with a stunning win under almost cloud-free skies at Aintree.
Not only was he, at eight years of age, the youngest winner since Binderee in 2002, he also carried the welter burden of 11st 9lbs to victory, a feat which had seemed almost unthinkable since the days of Red Rum. In triumphing here, he also become only the second National winner to complete the mighty course in a time of under nine minutes.
Sixth in the Gold Cup only a few weeks earlier, Oliver Sherwood’s gelding went into the race as the class act and having been left in the lead five out by the departure of The Druids Nephew he was never headed again, although his sizeable margin at the last was whittled down to just over a length by Saint Are in the punishing run to the line.
Given the way the weights for this great race are framed nowadays, he is likely to be able to run off of a similar mark next year and so must have a real chance of becoming the first back to back winner since 1974. His relatively tender years also mean there may be some more improvement to come and he is sure to be trained with only one day in mind.
The chances are he’ll have to renew rivalry with many of his conquered opponents in 2016 and his biggest danger may again be Saint Are, who seems to love spring on Merseyside. He won a valuable handicap chase here on this day in 2012 and then finished a respectable ninth to Auroras Encore over these fences in 2013.
He joined Tom George in the off season, and his form has taken another leap forward since then, culminating in this career best effort. He stays and jumps well, and relishes decent ground.
He was also nicely clear of the third, former Welsh National winner Monberg Dude, who arguably finished best of all having been in rear from the outset. He was hampered at Bechers on the first circuit too, having to jump a fallen horse, and would probably have preferred softer ground. However, he overcame concerns about his jumping and he continues to be a real superstar for his high profile connections.
Fourth last year, Alvarado could manage no better this time around, albeit that this was another fine effort for jockey Paul Moloney who is racking up a remarkable string of places in the race, all for the same owners. He, too, was outpaced on the initial lap, but made relentless headway from three out to collar hot favourite Shutthefrontdoor on the line and deny Tony McCoy a place in his final National.
McCoy’s mount certainly had every chance, but just failed to see out the trip as well as some of his rivals. He is another who should be back next year and has time on his side (this was only his seventh start over fences).
Royale Night ran a blinder in sixth for connections who won the race last year. This was a step up in class and he just couldn’t quite live with the leaders when push came to shove.
Tranquil Sea was another fast finisher, which was remarkable given that his best form has tended to come over much shorter trips. The former Paddy Power Gold Cup winner certainly surprised a few with his effort here and is clearly enjoying a new lease of life under Warren Greatrex.
Cause of Causes was a never nearer eighth and may have been feeling the effects of a hard race in the National Hunt Chase at the Festival recently, whilst Soll was in the mix for a long way before fading after reportedly breaking a blood vessel. He seems to enjoy the challenge of these unique obstacles.
The same is true of 2013 Becher Chase winner Chance Du Roy, who got around safely again in tenth, a couple of places ahead of last year’s winner, Pineau De Re, who had every chance three out but faded disappointingly. He wasn’t in the same form coming into the race as he was in 2014 and that was probably reflected in this effort.
The veteran, Oscar Time, who loves it here having been second in 2011 and fourth in 2013, before winning the Becher earlier this season, was also in contention running back towards home, but had nothing left to give at the business end of proceedings. Fifteenth place was no disgrace and a very honourable retirement surely beckons.
First Lieutenant (16th) could never get into the race after bad mistakes early on, whilst the well backed Rocky Creek (17th) ran no sort of race.
If there was an unlucky loser it was definitely The Druids Nephew, who was still tanking along in front when pitching on landing five out and coming down. It was particularly hard luck given that he didn’t actually make a mistake and connections will surely be eying compensation next year already. He’s another who relishes better ground.
Portrait King might also have played a part in the finish but for coming to grief three out, whilst it was good to see Balthazar King leave the course in one piece (albeit in a horse ambulance) after a nasty fall at the Canal Turn on the first circuit.
Below is our 2015 Grand National race preview and selections, which included 4th placed Alvarado.
2015 Preview and Tips
Lord Windermere: L’Escargot was the last horse to have a Gold Cup success and a Grand National victory on his CV, and the enormity of the task of winning national hunt racing’s two biggest prizes is illustrated by the number of champions who have tried in the intervening 40 years, including Long Run and Synchronised in the last two years, and Garrison Savannah, who came closest to doing the double in 1991. Last year’s Gold Cup winner looked on track for a decent defence of his crown at Cheltenham last month, but flopped badly in the race, dropping out the back early on and never landing a blow. It is impossible to fancy him emulating L’Escargot here off the back of that poor effort and his preference for coming from behind in his races isn’t an easy tactic to pull off in modern day Nationals. He will, at least, like the drying ground, but a further negative is the form of his yard which had been winner-less all season.
Many Clouds: Hennessy Gold Cup winner, Many Clouds was another fancied contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup to be taken out of his comfort zone in the big race by Coneygree, although he ran respectively to finish a distant sixth. The ground should have suited him that day and may be quicker than he likes here, although the extra mile of this contest should compensate slightly for that. He also tends to put plenty into his races and so it is surprising to see him turned out again here rather than roughed off for the summer. Another negative is the fact that, following his Hennessy win, he is unlikely to have much, if anything, in hand on the handicapper.
Unioniste: Another horse who tends to prefer plenty of give in the ground is Unioniste and so conditions may be quickly turning against him. He should be suited by the marathon trip, but he has to cope with a 9lb rise in the weights following his win in a valuable handicap at Sandown in January. His third behind Coneygree, in the Denman Chase at Newbury on his last start, looks even better now that the winner that day has gone on to triumph in the Gold Cup and the key is whether his top class pilot, Noel Fehily, can keep him in touch early.
Rocky Creek: The second of the Paul Nicholls runners, Rocky Creek, should be better suited by the ground than stablemate, Unioniste. The two have very similar profiles, with both being in their second seasons outside of novice company. Both looked like developing into Gold Cup horses early in their chasing careers and Rocky Creek looked set to run in that race last year before suffering a setback. As a result he was re-routed to the National, where he ran a blinder to finish fifth. Interestingly, he is a couple of pounds lower in the weights this time around despite there being a number of factors that would point to him having stronger claims this year. For example, this has been his target all season, rather than being an afterthought as it was last. In addition, he is a less free-going sort this season, whereas last year he was keen in the early stages of the race and just failed to get home as a result. His win in the Betbright Chase at Kempton last time out was a top class handicap effort and he looks to have a number of pounds in hand if able to re-create that form. All in all, he looks to have stronger claims than the favourite, Shutthefrontdoor.
First Lieutenant: The last time First Lieutenant ran in a handicap was the 2012 Hennessy, where he finished third off of a mark of 159. Since then he has been placed in numerous top class races such as the 2013 Ryanair Chase and the 2014 Punchestown Gold Cup. He also won the Betfred Bowl on the Mildmay course here in 2012, but that was his last win and despite being four pounds lower in the weights than he was in the Hennessy three seasons ago he has been badly out of form this campaign. However, this unique challenge could easily rekindle his enthusiasm and the ground, at least, should suit. As he gets older he also looks like he needs a thorough test of stamina and so there is a chance that he will make Nina Carberry the first female jockey to win the race. His yard seems to be turning the corner too, which is encouraging for his supporters.
Balthazar King: As far as the jockeys are concerned, all of the build up to this great race has, understandably, focused on Tony McCoy, but no jockey has had more losing rides in the race than Richard Johnson and it would be ironic if a pilot who has spent so many years in the shadow of the greatest jockey of them all was to break his National duck in the year that AP has his final ride in the contest. There is a real chance it could happen too, as conditions should be perfect for a horse that has been a real star for his connections over a number of years. He won back to back Cross Country Chases at the Cheltenham Festivals in 2012 and 2014, and was a brave runner up here last season. He missed Cheltenham this season to focus his efforts on going one better here and he must be on any shortlist. His jumping is one of his key attributes, as the nimbleness he has shown over the cross country courses of Europe has helped him to safely navigate these fences in two Nationals (he was 15th in 2013). He is only 3lbs higher in the weights than when chasing home Pineau De Re last season.
Shutthefrontdoor: Our website documents some of the greatest fairy-tale endings every thrown up by this great race in its illustrious history and a victory for the retiring Tony McCoy on his final mount in the race - Shutthefrontdoor - would give any of those stories a run for its money in terms of the shear emotion it would evoke. The conundrum for punters, though, is whether his likely very short odds truly represent his chances of winning the race. The answer to that question is almost certainly “no”, but that’s not to say he doesn’t deserve to be one of the favourites. His trainer, Jonjo O’Neill, is a genius when it comes to training staying chasers and this horse proved he has the attributes for a contest such as this when winning the Irish National last season. He was sixth in the National Hunt Chase over four miles at the Cheltenham Festival prior to that and looked better than ever when winning at Carlisle on his re-appearance. However, that race was in November and he hasn’t been seen since, which is a worry. Other concerns are his jumping – which stopped him finishing closer than he did in the National Hunt Chase – and his inexperience as this will be only his seventh chase. Time could show him to be a very well handicapped horse off of a mark of 153 but, at the prices, the negatives may just outweigh the positives.
Pineau De Re: Last year’s winner, Pineau De Re, will be looking to make history of a different sort as he tries to be the first horse since the great Red Rum to win more than one National. He is twelve now, and his form in the build up to the race has been nothing like as good as it was prior to him triumphing here 12 months ago, but he did beat Balthazar King and the rest with a fair bit in hand in 2014 and so could be nicely treated with only an extra 8lbs on his back. The better ground and a return to Aintree may see him run his best race of the season so far, but whether it will be enough is doubtful.
Ballycasey: Given the way in which they carried all before them at the Cheltenham Festival recently it is hard to ignore the claims of any horse representing the deadly combination of Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins, but Ballycasey’s National claims aren’t the most obvious. He was pulled up last time out in the Ryanair Chase and although the drying ground should suit this son of Presenting, he doesn’t look particularly well handicapped and has to prove his stamina for a trip like this too.
Spring Heeled: Spring Heeled’s success in last season’s Kim Muir was the start of a magical 24 hours for his owner and trainer as Lord Windermere won the Gold Cup in the same colours just a day later. Whilst his more illustrious stablemate’s season was geared around an ultimately fruitless defence of his crown, Spring Heeled has been kept in wraps with this contest very much in mind. The patience has been rewarded at least as far as the ground is concerned as this horse has to have decent going to be at his best. His bold jumping, front running style will be really suited to tacking these fences and he has often run as though a thorough test of stamina would suit. However, as with Lord Windermere, the big question mark is the terrible form of his yard.
Rebel Rebellion: Although the yard’s apparent third string, Rebel Rebellion does have winning form over these fences having won the Grand Sefton in December 2013. He has safely negotiated the course twice since as well, so a clear round looks a decent bet, but whilst his jumping is proven, his stamina isn’t and it is hard to see him lasting home. He has been in fine form all season, and picked up some nice prizes as a result, but looks weighted up to the hilt as a result.
Dolatulo: Another horse to have safely got around this course recently is Dolatulo, who was eighth in this season’s Grand Sefton. Rebel Rebellion was fifth in that contest and with Dolatulo being worse off at the weights he looks hard to fancy. He is trying to follow the path taken by Pineau De Re last season as he had his warm-up for this contest in the Pertemps Final, but he beat only four home and it seems unlikely that he will be able to put the cherry on the cake for Warren Greatrex who is enjoying a breakthrough season courtesy of nearly 50 winners and half a million pounds in prize money so far.
Mon Parrain: The final Nicholls runner will be ridden by the race’s youngest pilot, Sean Bowen, who only qualified to ride in the race on Saturday when Virak won at Haydock. Mon Parrain is a bit of an enigma as he runs plenty of bad races but pops up to win at least one decent prize a season. This course can often bring out the best in the enigmatic types and he did safely negotiate these fences in the Becher Chase in December. However, he was well beaten that day and if he drops himself out early no amount of encouragement from the saddle is likely to help him make up the ground.
Carlito Brigante: The former Gordon Elliott inmate, Carlito Brigante, had gradually been regaining his form after losing his way totally following a bright start to his chasing career in 2012. His connections will be amongst those watching the weather forecasts with a smile on their faces, but the horse looks to have plenty of weight even granted the upturn in his fortunes
Night In Milan: A stronger challenger from the northern yards is Night In Milan. Again, he is a top of the ground performer and his trainer will be praying the course executive do not put too much water on the course before the off. This horse’s biggest attribute is his jumping and it is easy to see him getting into a great rhythm over these big fences. He likes being up with the pace, which is another plus as he should have the tactical speed to stay out of trouble. The slight question marks are whether he has anything in hand of the handicapper and whether he can see out this trip. The latter may be less of a concern on this ground.
Rubi Light: The former top class performer, Rubi Light, is another with major stamina doubts. He has never won over further than 2½ miles and most of his form is also on soft ground. He can be a spectacular jumper and so may give his jockey a real thrill for a circuit or so, but it is very hard to see him still being in the mix at the business end of the contest.
The Druids Nephew: It is a real rarity for there to be four weeks between Cheltenham and the Grand National, and that extra 7 days should be a major help to The Druids Nephew, who was an impressive winner of the big staying handicap at the Festival. He looked a horse at the peak of his powers that day and is able to run off of the same mark here. He won’t have the same pilot though, as Barry Geraghty misses the meeting after a horror fall in Ireland recently, but connections have secured a fine substitute in Aiden Coleman, who missed the winning ride on Mon Mome in 2009 after choosing to ride a stablemate instead. This horse was seventh behind Many Clouds in the Hennessy earlier in the season, but the soft ground may not have suited him that day and he certainly relished the better surface at Prestbury Park. He is really fulfilling his potential now, having unsurprisingly taken some time to recover from a fractured pelvis. Also encouraging is the fact that Neil Mulholland’s yard remains in great form, so he looks a major player.
Cause Of Causes: Another Festival winner to take his chances here is Cause Of Causes, who was arguably an even more impressive winner, this time in the National Hunt Chase. That was probably a slightly weaker contest than The Druids Nephew won, but as the weights for this race were framed weeks before Cheltenham the success does make this horse look well handicapped and it proved his stamina. Up until then, he had failed to win over fences despite having had plenty of chances. He was second to Spring Heeled in last season’s Kim Muir, but has a 3lbs swing in the weights here for a 1¾l defeat. Prior to his Festival win, he probably wouldn’t have merited supported here, but there is a chance that something may have clicked with him now he has got his head in front and he has the tactical speed from his days as a very decent handicap hurdler to be able to go where he wants in the contest. Good ground may also be key to him nowadays and it probably wasn’t an easy decision for Tony McCoy to choose Shutthefrontdoor ahead of him (he might be of interest in a match bet with that horse). Paul Carberry is the right man to try to execute the necessary hold up tactics on the horse although, as already mentioned, those aren’t easy tactics to pull off around here.
Godsmejudge: Former Scottish National winner, Godsmejudge, is one of the few horses in the race for whom stamina most definitely isn’t an unknown. As well as triumphing at Ayr in 2013, he was runner up there last year and he also finished third in the 2013 National Hunt Chase. His jumping is his other main weapon and all his best form is on good ground. The handicapper knows plenty about him, though, and he has struggled off of his higher mark so far this season. He likes to be ridden prominently and so could be a threat if able to go the early pace, but if he gets behind early he may struggle to peg back the leaders. He has been trained all season with this race in mind and his handler has put a nightmare 2013/4 campaign firmly behind him this year.
Al Co: Another former Scottish National winner, Al Co, who won that race last year, has a similar profile to Godsmejudge and carries the same weight here. He too has proven stamina and a liking for better ground, and it would be no surprise to see one or other make the frame. He has run two nice races over hurdles recently, a preparation method that has had plenty of success in recent campaigns. His trainer, Peter Bowen, also has a fine record with horses over these fences. Although this horse was pulled up over them in December, he seems to come alive in the spring and the ground will be much more to his liking now. He is only 5lbs higher than when winning at Ayr and although he isn’t the most consistent that effort showed he can be dangerous in big staying handicaps.
Mombeg Dude: Mombeg Dude proved again last year how hard it is to execute exaggerated hold up tactics over these fences as the well fancied 10 year old could only finish a never threatening seventh. He hasn’t shown much sparkle so far this campaign and was a well beaten 14th behind The Druids Nephew at the Festival recently. The handicapper hasn’t given him much leeway and his tendency to make mistakes also doesn’t bode well for his chances of finishing closer this time around.
Corrin Wood: It has been a tough season for Donald McCain and it is unlikely that a venue that has been so kind to him and his family in the past will see an upturn in his fortunes at Corrin Wood is hard to fancy. He stays well, but has shown most of his best form on heavy ground and was pulled up last time out. He has also done all his winning in very small fields.
The Rainbow Hunter: 2014/5 has been kinder to Kim Bailey, but his representative here, The Rainbow Hunter, almost certainly needs softer ground to be at his best. He has unseated his rider in the last two Nationals and has only run once since his appearance here last year. Another issue is that he is 8lb higher than his last winning mark.
Saint Are: Ever since his novices hurdle days, Saint Are has enjoyed his visits to Aintree. He won the big staying novices hurdle here in 2011, the big staying handicap chase here a year later and was a fine third behind Oscar Time in the Becher Chase in December. He was also ninth in the 2013 National, so another bold run can be expected for a horse that has kicked on again following his switch to Tom George’s yard. He does, though, have to cope with a steep rise in the weights following an easy win at Catterick last time out.
Across The Bay: Donald McCain’s other runner in the race, Across The Bay, does not appear to have much stronger claims than stablemate Corrin Wood. He hadn’t shown any form this season prior to a slightly more encouraging run at the Festival last time, but he has been well beaten in two Nationals. Another safe conveyance is probably the best his supporters can hope for.
Tranquil Sea: It was as far back as 2009 when Tranquil Sea enjoyed his finest hour on a racecourse, winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup on heavy ground. He has always had a preference for softer ground, and given that he is also in the veteran stage and has done all his winning over trips around 2m 4f it is hard to make out much of a case for him here.
Oscar Time: By contrast, another veteran, Oscar Time, seems as good as ever at the ripe old age of 14. He won the Becher Chase before Christmas and loves it over these fences having finished fourth here in 2013 and second in 2011. He will have plenty of assistance from the saddle too as amateur Sam Waley-Cohen has a record over these fences that any professional would be proud off. The better ground really suits him and he could easily outrun his odds having been nicely freshened up for this, although there are slight doubts as to whether or not this strong travelling sort truly sees out this marathon trip.
Bob Ford: Remarkably, Bob Ford has won five times in eighteen starts, but also been pulled up as many times. All of his wins under rules have been on soft or heavy ground and he seems to save his best for unique, undulating tracks like Chepstow and Ffos Las. He is, therefore, hard to fancy under these conditions.
Super Duty: One of the potential dark horses in the race is Super Duty, who was backed like defeat was out of the question ahead of the 2013 Kim Muir, where he was caught in the shadow of the post by Same Difference (he was well clear of the likes of Court By Surprise and Saint Are despite giving them plenty of weight). That was still a fine performance as he lumped 11st 12lbs that day and although he has lost his way since, there have been signs of a revival following his switch to Ian Williams’ yard and at 9 years of age there is still time for him to land a big one. You will see plenty of worse 66-1 shots.
Wyck Hill: The last of JP McManus’ runners, Wyck Hill, has being threatening for a while to fulfil his undoubted potential and could easily be fancied for this race were the ground a lot softer. His trainer and jockey have both enjoyed fine seasons, and a decent run from this horse would really be the icing on the cake for them. He isn’t the most consistent, but on the plus side he did run well over these fences in the Becher Chase in 2013, when he was staying on well at the finish. His comeback race over hurdles at Chepstow in January was also encouraging enough, but we was being niggled along when falling at the sixth in the Eider Chase last time out. On this ground, he may find everything happening too quickly for him.
Gas Line Boy: There is no doubt about Gas Line Boy’s ability to stay this four mile plus trip, the question is whether he has enough speed to be in contention when the need for that stamina really kicks in. The majority of his form suggests that he doesn’t and he doesn’t look particularly well handicapped either.
Chance De Roy: Former winner over these fences, Chance De Roy, has a fine record here generally. As well as his win in the 2013 Becher Chase he was ninth in the 2013 Topham and a very respectable sixth behind Pineau De Re in the big one last season. His last start here was a fifth place behind Oscar Time in the Becher in December and he looks sure to give jockey Tom O’Brien another decent spin. He is a couple of pounds lower in the weights than he was last year, but that may not be enough to see him find sufficient improvement to get his head in front this time around and he has yet to prove he really sees out this trip.
Portrait King: Irish challenger, Portrait King, is another with proven stamina having won the 2012 Eider Chase. Connections have been eying a crack at the National for some time, but it is hard to see him having the touch of class necessary to be competitive at the business end of the contest.
Owega Star: Another raider from the Emerald Isle, Owega Star, is higher in the weights than this Irish form seems to merit, albeit that a lower rating may have seen him miss the cut. It is hard to find too many positives when assessing his chances and he looks one of the least likely winners of the race.
River Choice: The same is true of the sole French raider, River Choice, who looks out of his depth based on recent form. He has already won an incredible £512,476 in prize money for his connections, though, and so owes them nothing. However, he has been in gradual decline since his form peaked in 2012 and a safe conveyance should be his number one objective.
Court By Surprise: Emma Lavelle probably hasn’t had the season she hoped for given the exciting group of young horses she seemed to have at the start of the campaign, but any season can be rescued by a win in this great race and Court By Surprise comes here fresh after two successes on his only starts pre-Christmas. The latter victory came via the controversial disqualification of The Young Master in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton. This is the highest mark he has ever run off, but he should like the ground and has threatened to be suited by an extreme test of stamina.
Alvarado: Last year’s fourth, Alvarado, has only run once since and has clearly been laid out for the race. His owners deserve a winner having had umpteen places in recent seasons courtesy of this horse, Cappa Bleu and State Of Play, and as well as staying so well Alvarado does have some tactical speed. He also goes well fresh and it may just be that a horse that has been described as a “nutcase” in the past will be inspired again by this unique test. He is also a consistent nutcase, having been outside the first five in only two of his completed starts. There is just a slight concern about the ground as he may have preferred it softer.
Soll: Soll has won two veteran’s chases on his last two starts (his only outings since joining David Pipe), but he is only ten and certainly looks to still have a lot to offer. He ran a mighty race here in 2013 when he was in the leading group for a long way before fading two out. He was a never dangerous 11th in last season’s Topham and this big horse is able to cope well with these huge obstacles. Despite his veteran’s tag he is also very lightly raced and so open to some further improvement, and has each way claims.
Ely Brown: One of the least experienced horses over fences in this year’s line-up is Ely Brown, who has only had four runs over the bigger obstacles. He won two of them, showing a decent level of form in the process and he was a talented stayer over hurdles. He showed nothing on his re-appearance over timber in January, but goes well fresh and loves this track having twice landed decent hurdle prizes here. In time, he could prove to be well handicapped and have another nice pot in him, but his inexperience has to put us off him and he would probably prefer more give in the ground.
Royale Knight: Last year’s winning trainer, Dr Richard Newland, has two strings to his bow this year and he will be delighted that Royale Knight crept in as the last of the forty runners. The horse is an out and out stayer, but his highest winning mark was 124 and he has to race off of 139 here. He did, though, win that race, the Durham National, by 17 lengths and 12 months prior to that he won the Borders National by 8 lengths. He bounces off decent ground and is usually a sound jumper, so should give his more illustrious stablemate a run for his money, but he may not quite have the class to win this.
Here are our Grand National 2015 tips:
|1st – Rocky Creek||10-1||Ladbrokes|
|2nd – Alvarado||22-1||Ladbrokes|
|3rd – The Druids Nephew||14-1||Ladbrokes|
|4th – Super Duty||80-1||Ladbrokes|
|5th – First Lieutenant||25-1||Ladbrokes|
|6th – Al Co||28-1||Ladbrokes|