Grand National Jockeys – Who to watch

We take a look at the leading 2023 Grand National jockeys that are set to ride some of the well-fancied runners. We’ll also highlight the main jockey performances for the 2021/22 season as we draw ever nearer to the race.

Davy Russell Grand National 2018

Grand National Festival – Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, Britain – April 14, 2018 Davy Russell celebrates with a trophy after winning the 17:15 Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs @SCANPIX

Grand National – Who to bet on?

The next Grand National will be held on 15th April 2023. If you’re not certain who to bet on for the 2023 Grand National, this will help you decide. We’ll mention some of the most successful jockeys around and you might discover the best horse to bet on for the Aintree Grand National 2023.

Having proven experience over the Grand National fences is not only a big plus for horses that have run in the race before, but also the jockeys that have performed well in the Grand National. Therefore, having a jockey on your Grand National fancy that has won the race, or often rides the track well, is another big advantage.

Who to bet on for Grand National – The Jockeys

The first one on our “Who to bet on in Grand National 2023” list is former winner Davy Russell. He won the Grand National two years in a row (2018 and 2019), before a serious vertebrae injury ended his hopes of making it three on the bounce in 2021.

Other names that might make your decision on who to bet on in the Grand National easier include:

  • Daryl Jacob – won the Grand National once, he is one of the front-runners and has found his place in our selection of jockeys who to bet for Grand National.
  • Rachael Blackmore – famously became the first female jockey to win the Grand National in 2021.
  • Jack Kennedy – One of the younger jockeys riding over jumps, but already has plenty of Grand National experience, securing top five finishes in 2018, 2021 and 2022.

In our opinion, these are the favourites and we think some of them should be on your “who to bet on for the Grand National” list.

Davy Russell

  • Grand National Wins: 2, 2018 & 2019

Davy Russell is another of the older statesman in the jumps jockeys weighing room. Based in Ireland, Russell has ridden many big winners over the years – mainly for the powerful Gigginstown Stud House owners.

He was also one of the older jockeys that this race was eluding – until 2018. Russell finally got a Grand National win on his CV after steering home the Gordon Elliott-trained Tiger Roll to victory in the 2018 running. At 38 that year, Russell was the oldest jockey in the race – it was his 14th ride in the Grand National.

After spending ages trying to win the race, Russell added to his Grand National tally straight away as he steered home Tiger Roll in the 2019 Grand National too. Those two quick wins have catapulted Russell as a household name with racing fans over the world. Russell suffered a bad injury which forced him to miss the 2021 Grand National, but he’s back racing now, and there’s every chance he can win the race for a third time.

Daryl Jacob

  • Grand National Wins: 1, 2012

Rides mainly freelance these days but is retained to ride for top owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

Jacob has his moment in the sun, when it comes to the Grand National, after winning the race in 2012 with the popular grey horse Neptune Collonges. Trained-by Paul Nicholls, this 11-year-old, that had previously been placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, provides the Nicholls yard with their first (and only to date) win in the Grand National.

The jockey became only the fourth to ride a grey horse to victory – with The Lamb (1868 & 1871) and Nicolaus Silver (1961) the other winning grey horses.

Jacob rode a horse called Ucello Conti in the 2017 Grand National, but unseated him with four fences to go, when still in with a shout. Jacob then finished 18th in the 2018 Grand National on Valtor. He found himself on top weight Bristol De Mai in 2021, but it was pulled up half-way round, and a similar scenario played out aboard Good Boy Bobby in 2022. He’ll therefore be hoping for better luck at the 2023 Grand National..

Rachael Blackmore

  • Grand National Wins: 1, 2021

Rachael Blackmore is best known for riding Minella Times to victory in the 2021 Aintree Grand National, so becoming the first female jockey to win the race in it’s storied history. The Irish-born Blackmore is far from a one-hit wonder though, impressing at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival with six winners, and following that up with victory in the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Rachael Blackmore has ridden in the Aintree Grand National four times heading into the 2023 race. Her debut over the famous fences ended when Alpha des Obeaux fell at the Chair, but she did make it round successfully on Valseur Lido in 2019 before her famous win in 2021. Blackmore failed to secure back-to-back Grand National victories in 2022, but she’s still expected to be in the reckoning next time round.

Jack Kennedy

  • Grand National Wins: 0, 3rd in 2018 and 2022

It may feel like Jack Kennedy has been around for a while already, but in fact he’ll still be only 23 year old by the time Grand National 2023 comes around. Heading into the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, Kennedy already had 10 Cheltenham Festival under his belt, most notably winning the 2021 Gold Cup on Minella Indo.

Jack Kennedy is one of Gordon Elliott’s stable jockeys, so much of his Grand National experience to date has been in the Gigginstown colours. Kennedy’s National debut came in 2017, when he made it round on Roi Des Francs, but his joint-best result over the Aintree fences came a year later, as he rode Bless the Wings to 3rd place at odds of 40/1. Kennedy secured a second top five finish on Farclas in 2021 and then another 3rd on Delta Work in 2022, so he’s sure to be right in the mix next time round, with an elusive Grand National win feeling like a matter of when rather than if.

Take a punt on the world’s most famous race and bet on the 2023 Grand National! For a few extra tips and best odds, have a look at our Grand National Ante post betting tips.

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