Grand National Trainers – Who to follow

Last Updated 19 Apr 2018 | Commercial content | 18+

The 2018 Aintree Grand National is just around the corner. At this stage, how are you selecting your best bet? Which Grand National trainers should you look out for? We take a look at four leading Grand National trainers heading up the betting before Saturday April 14th 2018.

WILLIE MULLINS

  • Grand National Wins: 1, 2005

Hedgehunter, in 2005, has provided Willie Mullins with his sole Grand National winner to date, but he’s another of the big yards that is sure to be well represented in 2018. His Pleasant Company finished 9th in 2017 under Ruby Walsh and could easily be targeted at the race again. However, his most interesting potential Grand National runner in 2018 could be Total Recall. This improving 9 year-old ticks a lot of the main trends. He was a top winner of the Ladbrokes Gold Cup Trophy (Hennessy Gold Cup) at Newbury this season. That win came over 3m2f so there is every chance the longer trip will be in his favour. Despite his, age he’s still relatively lightly-raced over fences.

NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES

  • Grand National Wins: 2, 1998 & 2002

With wins in 1998 and 2002, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has the best Grand National trainers record in recent times. With his Blaklion heading the betting with most bookmakers, he’s every chance of adding a third win in 2018. His 9 year-old was fourth in the race 12 months ago. With that experience under his belt will be popular with punters again in 2018. The horse has since returned this season with a fine second in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. Plus, he ran away with the Becher Chase, which is run over the National fences, back in December. He’ll be higher rated than 12 months ago, but to offset that looks a horse that’s improved since too. He’s a safe jumper, so providing he can stay out of trouble, he’ll could give Twiston-Davies a famous third win.

DONALD McCAIN

  • Grand National Wins: 1, 2011

The McCain name has been long associated with Grand National trainers after Ginger McCain (Donald’s father) trained the mighty Red Rum to three victories in the 1970’s, plus added another win in 2004 with Amberleigh House. Since the reins got handed over to Donald he’s managed to follow in his father’s footsteps too when landing the race in 2011 with Ballabriggs. At this stage, it’s hard to know if he’ll have any runners in 2018. But if he does, be sure to give them a second glance.

NICKY HENDERSON

  • Grand National Wins: None

The four-time champion trainer is yet to add the Grand National to his haul of big race winners, but – if making the final 40 runners – in Gold Present and Beware The Bear he’s got two live chances of putting that right in 2018. The Irish-bred Gold Present has entered the Grand National mix this season after improved wins at Newbury and Ascot. His Ascot win in December caught the eye as he stayed on really well over that 3m trip and despite having to prove he stays another 1m+ the signs are good.

At 8 years-old he should still have more to come and could be an interesting contender as long as the ground wasn’t too testing on the day. Beware The Bear is probably the more likely runner, but he also probably has a bit to prove over the trip. Pulled-up in the Welsh National back in January, but his Rehearsal Chase win at Newcastle in early December was a decent effort. He did have excuses in the Welsh National too, after being hampered and being another 8 year-old should also have more to come.

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