Who will win the 2018 Grand National? H&H’s guest tipsters have their say…

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  • With the Grand National taking place this weekend (Saturday 14 April at 5.15pm), familiar faces and experts from the racing world give you their tips on who they believe is going to win this year's famous race

    Marcus Armytage, Grand National-winning former jockey (Mr Frisk in 1990) and H&H’s racing correspondent

    Anibale Fly: won a 28-runner Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas so won’t mind the burly burly of a National. Flying at the finish in the Gold Cup. Heavy fall in Irish Gold Cup only negative.

    Blaklion: you have to ignore last start at Haydock but has skipped round Aintree several times already and looks a natural. I think he did stay last year — he just went too soon.

    Raz De Maree (pictured, below): 13-year-old Welsh National winner. Would be more than capable of winning an old fashioned National but the speed they go now might mean he has a lot to do on the second circuit. If he is still in touch at the water expect a big run.

    Milansbar: another out-and-out stayer who, like Raz De Maree, finds conditions in his favour. Should be up with the pace throughout and they may find him hard to shake off.

    Credit: Hugh Routledge/REX/Shutterstock

    Leighton Aspell, dual Grand National-winning jockey (Pineau De Re in 2014 & Many Clouds in 2015). Currently sidelined with a neck injury.

    Anibale Fly: if I could choose a horse to ride in this year’s National, I would go for Anibale Fly. He had the best trial in the Gold Cup in March finishing third. He had a bad fall in the Irish Gold Cup but went on to show at Cheltenham that he stays.

    Blaklion: he has brilliant course form over the National fences, so we know he likes Aintree. However, his trial run was disappointing when he finished second and he has had a wind operation since.

    If I was to pick an outside chance in the field, it would be the David Pipe-trained Vieux Lion Rouge.

    Carl Llewellyn, assistant trainer to Nigel Twiston-Davies (Blaklion & Double Ross) and dual Grand National-winning former jockey (Party Politics in 1992 & Earth Summit in 1998).

    Blaklion: we have been very happy with his prep for the race and he’s been working well at home. He does have a lot of weight to carry however (11st 9Ib), which would be a concern. We could do with the ground drying out a bit, although we don’t want it to get sticky — he runs best on good to soft ground.

    Double Ross: he was unlucky in the race last year when his saddle slipped. He’s got a good weight in this year’s race (10st 5Ib) and he ticks all the boxes.

    Anibale Fly: the Tony Martin-trained runner has got Barry Geraghty in the saddle and would be our main danger in the race. He ran a great race in the Gold Cup at the Festival in March and I would fancy him.


    Sue Russell, H&H’s bloodstock correspondent

    Blaklion (pictured, below): a must for any shortlist. He stays, acts on soft ground and is thoroughly at home over the unique Aintree fences, having followed his fourth place in last year’s National (as favourite) with an easy victory in the Becher Chase in December.

    Ucello Conti: this will be his third crack at the National. He finished sixth two years ago and was going nicely last year when unseating his rider after being hampered at Becher’s second time. Has run only twice since and looks primed for a bold challenge.

    Vieux Lion Rouge: another with proven ability for the test. He finished seventh in the National as a novice two years ago and sixth last year, having previously won the Becher Chase. One of the market leaders 12 months ago, more under the radar this time.

    Carlingford Lough: a five-time Grade One winner who finds the best company too hot these days, but as a result has dropped to his lowest handicap rating in four years. Yet to try the National fences, but is an experienced campaigner and handles testing conditions.

    Credit: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

    Carl Evans, racing journalist

    Tiger Roll (pictured, below): from a top stable, ridden by a brilliant horseman in Davy Russell, and coming here off the back of a victory in the Cross-Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, so clearly agile and has yet to fall in 30 races. Won over four miles at Cheltenham last year, so stamina also looks assured.

    Seeyouatmidnight: at 10 years old, he has a nice blend of youth and experience, and he was third in last year’s Scottish National, so stamina for this test should be okay. Fresh, having had just one run this season, while his rivals have been hammering around in a bog.

    Bless The Wings: a stablemate of Tiger Roll, another Cross-Country Chase winner and with a light weight. It is interesting that teenager Jack Kennedy has been booked to ride him; Kennedy is a future champion, who is well regarded by Bless The Wings’ owners.

    Shantou Flyer: ridden by high-flying teenager James Bowen, who bids to become the race’s youngest winning jockey, but there is far more to this horse’s chance than a place in history. Had a sight of the fences when pulling up last year, but only seven then, and too young to do himself justice. Touch of class, second at Cheltenham and heads to Aintree in good form.

    Credit: EMPICS Sport

    Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s Grand National preview — including our ultimate form guide and more — on sale Thursday 12 April. And you can read the full report from the Grand National meeting in H&H on Thursday 19 April

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