Henrietta Knight, author and Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning former trainer
“I would obviously like Tiger Roll to win the Grand National as I adore the horse and am looking forward to writing his story when he retires from racing. However, I am leaving him out of my selections due to his favouritism.
“Rathvindon: He won last year’s National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and is a true stayer.
“Pleasant Company: The 11-year-old gelding ran so well to finish second behind 2018 winner Tiger Roll last year.
“Anibale Fly (pictured, below): He comes into my reckoning; however, he had a hard race when second in the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
“Isleofhopendreams: I like this horse as an outside chance — another Willie Mullins inmate, who spent time in my yard during my final years of training. He was second in last year’s Irish Grand National and he jumps and stays.”
Marcus Armytage, H&H racing correspondent
“Lake View Lad: A Scottish-trained, nine-year-old grey gelding with the right profile and a lucky owner in three-time Grand National winning-owner Trevor Hemmings.
“Step Back: He has won beyond three miles and will like the Aintree fences. At nine years old, he is also the right age and is a spring horse. He comes from a yard — Old Manor Stables where Mark Bradstock now trains — where four National winners have come from in the past.”
Brough Scott, ITV Racing presenter and author
“Rock The Kasbah (pictured, below): I have always liked this Philip Hobbs-trained nine-year-old, who has been kept back especially to run fresh in the Grand National. Hopefully, he can give champion jump jockey Richard Johnson the National winner his great career deserves.”
Hayley Moore, Sky Sports Racing presenter
“Lake View Lad: I think he’ll enjoy the conditions, he’s a real sound jumper and he’s a consistent horse. Good performance last time out in the Ultima at the Festival under top weight. He keeps progressing and could add a fourth Grand National win for owner Trevor Hemmings.
“Rathvinden: Thorough stayer and conditions should be in his favour. Comes in to this in good form with a decent run in the Bobbyjo.
“Ramses De Teillee: I think this horse is coming with age. He’ll enjoy the test of stamina, it was a promising run in the Grand National trial at Haydock.
“Folsom Blue: Hopefully conditions have come right for this generally sound jumper. He stays well and the Aintree fences may just spark some real enthusiasm from the right stable of Gordon Elliott.”
Tom Peacock, H&H racing correspondent
“Minella Rocco: Not been in the best of form this season but has a habit of coming to his best in the spring. The former Gold Cup runner-up will stay the Grand National trip and has that touch of class, which is required for a race like this.”
Nick Alexander, trainer of 2019 Grand National runner Lake View Lad
“Lake View Lad: His preparation has gone really well so far this season. He’s run really well and improved each time; hopefully he continues on that upward curve. A huge amount of luck is required though for the Grand National, and I’d be much happier if it was a bit softer — he’s more competitive on softer ground. We’ve just been training him as normal — I thought about working him over further but I don’t want him over-tired.
“The Grand National distance [4m2½f], is new territory but he stayed on well at Cheltenham on soft ground under top weight. He’s an active horse, but doesn’t misbehave and is an intelligent jumper. He has scope when he needs it and he has a good chance of jumping round the National really well.”
Carl Evans, H&H racing correspondent
“Tiger Roll: Back-to-back Grand National winners have been rare, but this horse won the race last year and has thrived since. Although small in stature, he does not look overburdened with weight and will carry 11st 5Ib.
“Dounikos: A sporting each-way chance, he is a good stayer, handles easy ground and scored in good style on his latest start — in a Grand National trial at Punchestown in February. His top Irish trainer, Gordon Elliott, has won the National twice.”
Debbie Burt, H&H bloodstock correspondent
“Tiger Roll: Similar preparation to last year, though he has less time between races and more weight to carry. The way he skipped round Cheltenham’s Cross-Country Chase for a second Festival win in March suggests he’s still on an upward curve. He is a worthy favourite to repeat at Aintree in the Grand National.
“Walk In The Mill: Convincing winner of the Becher Chase over the National fences in December and has preserved his [handicap] mark by running over hurdles since to just get in at the bottom of the weights.”
Don’t miss our ultimate Grand National preview in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (4 April), and our eight-page full report from Aintree next week (11 April).