Grand National 2018 Favourites – 4 Horses to Watch
As we build-up to the 2018 Aintree Grand National, the betting is starting to hot-up. At this stage, which are the main horses, to look out for? We take a look at four of the 2018 Grand National favourites that figure high up the betting market.
- Age: 8
- Trainer: Gordon Elliott (1 Grand National win, 2007)
- Previous Grand National Form: Never Run
We last saw this 8 year-old landing the Cross Country race at the Cheltenham Festival so he’ll be looking to follow in the hoof-prints of his stablemate – Cause of Causes – who landed that Cheltenham race before running second in the Grand National in 2017.
Tiger Roll also won the 4m race at the Festival in 2017 so staying the Grand National trip won’t be an issue, while despite having never raced over the Aintree fences the fact he’s negotiated the Cross Country obstacles at Cheltenham is a big plus.
He’s another that seems to act on most ground so no matter what conditions have in store for the Grand National he should be fine.
At 8 years-old then some might feel he’s a tad too young but he’ll get into the race with a decent-looking weight, but it’s worth pointing out 2 of the last 3 winners have been 8 year-olds! His trainer Gordon Elliott also knows what’s required after landing the world’s greatest steeplechase back in 2007.
He’ll also be looking to give the powerful Gigginstown House Stud owners their second win in the race after Rule The World did the business in 2016.
- Age: 9
- Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies (2 Grand National wins, 1998 & 2002)
- Previous Grand National Form: 4th (2017)
This 9 year-old ticks a lot of trends and heads into the 2018 Grand National the leading horse. With plenty of the trends, like age and proven form over the National fences, this Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained runner has a lot going for him. Especially as the yard have won the Grand National twice before too! The ‘once-a-year’ Grand National punters might also remember his name from last year (sent off the 8/1 favourite). So there is a strong chance they will latch onto him in the betting again. He ran a gallant fourth 12 months ago behind One For Arthur. Now with another year on his back, plus that experience, he’s sure to go well again.
Blaklion was only beaten 8 ¼ lengths in 2017 and has also returned this season better than ever. He ran a close second in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby behind stablemate Bristol De Mai. He then followed that up with a 9 length victory in the Becher Chase at Aintree back in December. Don’t forget, that race is also run over the National fences. He’s a big player and providing he gets to the race without injury, he looks likely to go off at the top of the 2018 Grand National favourites in the betting.
The Last Samuri
- Age: 10
- Trainer: Kim Bailey (1 Grand National Win, 1990)
- Previous Grand National Form: 2nd (2016), 16th (2017)
Having run in the last two Grand Nationals, The Last Samuri is another horse the recreational punters will remember. So far, his best run in the race was a close second in 2016 behind Rule The World. While despite disappointing (16th) 12 months ago, will be one of the most experienced over these fences. As well as running twice in the Grand National, he’s also finished third (2016) and second (2017) in the Becher Chase. That valuable track knowledge gives him a huge edge.
At 10 years-old, he’s still young enough to win the race and would have had another tilt at the Grand National as his sole target all season. He returned to the track in November with a solid second at Kempton over a much shorter trip. He then followed that up with an excellent second to Blaklion in the Becher Chase at Aintree in December. He’s a horse that goes on any ground and is sure to be popular in the Grand National favourites betting market leading into the race.
- Age: 9
- Trainer: Willie Mullins (1 Grand National win, 2005)
- Previous Grand National Form: Never Run
The winner of this season’s Ladbrokes Gold Trophy (Hennessy Gold Cup) and was last seen falling in the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. Having said that, this Willie Mullins-trained 9 year-old was in the process of running well in the Gold Cup and was making headway into 6th when taking a tumble four out.
Based on that he might need to brush-up his jumping now tackling the tricky Aintree fences. He’s fallen (or unseated) now in 3 of this 9 chase starts so that would also be a concern. However, when he stays on his feet there is not questioning he’s a talented chaser.
He’s a horse that seems to act on any ground too, while at 9 years-old he is the perfect age for the Grand National, based on the fact 23 of the last 27 winners were aged 9 or older.
The powerful Willie Mullins camp are also no strangers to winning his prize, after winning the Grand National in 2005 with Hedgehunter.
We can expect Total Recall to have been well-schooled since Cheltenham and being he brings a bit of class to the race then he’d be foolish to ignore.