Grand National Jockeys 2024 – Who to watch

Picking the Grand National winner isn’t just about finding the right horse, as picking the right jockey is just as important. Below, we’ve taken a look at some of the leading Grand National jockeys who will ride some of the most well-fancied runners at Aintree.

Grand National – Who to bet on?

Similarly to horses, having proven experience over the Grand National fences is a massive positive for jockeys. The iconic Aintree contest is unlike any other race, so backing a jockey who has performed well in the Grand National before is a sharp move. Having a jockey on your Grand National selection who has won the race before, performs well in other races at Aintree, or is in solid form this season can be the difference between your bet landing or not.

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Who to bet on for Grand National – The Jockeys

Here’s a list of notable Grand National jockeys we identified before the 2024 running. Most of them performed well at Aintree and should be kept in mind when making your Grand National selections in the future:

  • Paul Townend – Won the 2024 Grand National on I Am Maximus for trainer Willie Mullins. It was his first win in the iconic race.
  • Jack Kennedy – Won the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Minella Indo. He continued his fruitful partnership with trainer Gordon Elliott at Aintree, riding Delta Work to second in the 2024 Grand National.
  • Rachael Blackmore – famously became the first female jockey to win the Grand National in 2021. Rode Minella Indo to third in the 2024 Grand National for trainer Henry De Bromhead.
  • Sean Bowen – had a superb start to the 2023/24 season, but his momentum was stalled after a big fall. Rode The Goffer in the 2024 Grand National for trainer Gordon Elliott.
  • Derek Fox – A double winner of the Grand National, was unfortunately unseated by Corach Rambler at the first fence in the 2024 Grand National.
  • Daryl Jacob – won the iconic Aintree contest once, but didn’t take part on the 2024 Grand National due to injury.

In our opinion, these are the jockeys you should watch closely. The horses they choose to ride have a real chance of running well, and they should be on your “who to bet on for the Grand National” list. A more detailed look at them is below.

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Paul Townend

  • 2024 Grand National ride: I Am Maximus
  • 2024 Grand National result: 1st
  • Grand National rides: 13
  • Best previous Grand National result: 3rd in 2023

Paul Townend is the five-time Irish jumps racing Champion Jockey, with his first win back in 2009-10 demonstrating his longevity and his four more recent wins between 2018 and 2022 showing how he has become Willie Mullins’ number one jockey.

Townend won his first Grand National this year, guiding I Am Maximus to victory. Given his skill, his previous record was surprisingly poor, making it around just three times in twelve attempts. However, that won’t matter now as he’ll always be known as Grand National winning jockey!

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Jack Kennedy

  • 2024 Grand National ride: Delta Work
  • 2024 Grand National result: 2nd
  • Grand National rides: 6
  • Best previous Grand National result: 3rd in 2018 and 2022

Jack Kennedy is one of Gordon Elliott’s stable jockeys, so much of his Grand National experience has been in the Gigginstown colours. He landed his best in the finish in 2024, guiding Delta Work to an impressive second-place finish. He’s now finished in the top five three times, making him a jockey to watch when the Grand National Festival comes around.

Despite being just 24 years old, Kennedy already has 10 Cheltenham Festival victories under his belt, most notably winning the 2021 Gold Cup on Minella Indo. With youth on his side, a Grand National win seems like a case of when and not if for him.

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Rachael Blackmore

  • 2024 Grand National ride: Minella Indo
  • 2024 Grand National result: 3rd
  • Grand National rides: 6
  • Best previous Grand National result: 1st in 2021

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

2024 was Rachael Blackmore’s sixth appearance in the Aintree Grand National, and she rode Minella Indo to a third-place finish.

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Sean Bowen

  • 2024 Grand National ride: The Goffer
  • 2024 Grand National result 13th
  • Grand National rides: 9
  • Best Grand National result: 4th in 2023

Sean Bowen is a well-respected Welsh jockey who rode the Gordon Elliott runner, The Goffer, to a 13th place finish in the 2024 Grand National.

He guided Noble Yeats to a fourth-place finish in the 2023 Grand National, the best result of his nine rides in the year’s biggest jumps race. He started the 2023/24 season exceptionally well, building a big lead in the Jockey Championships standings. An unfortunate fall at Aintree in December curtailed his momentum somewhat.

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Derek Fox

  • 2024 Grand National ride: Corach Rambler
  • 2024 Grand National result: Unseated rider
  • Grand National rides: 5
  • Best Grand National result: 1st in 2017 and 2023

Derek Fox rode the 2023 winner, Corach Rambler, in the 2024 edition of the race. Many fans backed the Lucinda Russell horse to win back-to-back Grand Nationals, but their hopes were dashed before the race even really got going as he unseated Fox at the very first fence.

Fox’s first Grand National experience was a successful one, as he partnered with trainer Lucinda Russell to ride One For Arthur to victory in 2017. The Fox-Russell partnership was successful again in 2023 with Corach Rambler securing victory as the 8/1 favourite.

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Daryl Jacob

  • Grand National rides: 13
  • Best Grand National result: 1st in 2012

Jacob has had his moment in the sun regarding the Grand National after winning the race in 2012 with the famous grey horse Neptune Collonges. Trained by Paul Nicholls, the 11-year-old, who had previously placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, provided the trainer with his only Grand National win to date. He became only the fourth to ride a grey horse to victory, making him very popular with the more casual racing bettor.

Jacob rode Ucello Conti in the 2017 Grand National but was unseated 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 halfway round, and a similar scenario played out aboard Good Boy Bobby in 2022. Jacob’s run of Grand National lousy luck continued this year, missing out on Aintree due to injury.

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Take a punt on the world’s most famous race and bet on the 2024 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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