The weights are out for the 2016 Grand National, and this year’s renewal looks a classy affair with last year’s winner Many Clouds, dual King George winner Siviniaco Conti, and the last two RSA Chase winners Don Poli and O’Faolins Boy possible runners. However, there are also looks to be plenty of classy runners lurking further down the weights – so here’s an analysis of some of the more fancied runners, and our idea of who’ll finish in the first 4.
Many Clouds 12/1
Last year’s winner will have to carry just 1lb more than last year, though the fact he’s rated 5lb higher means he will have to concede more weight to some rivals. Every chance of doubling-up, but this year’s field does look classier than last year’s.
Don Poli 25/1
Last year’s RSA winner beat Many Clouds over 3-miles at Aintree earlier in the season, but he’s 4lb worse off here. More worrying will be the fact he’s likely to have a hard race in the Gold Cup first, and he’s performed poorly after Cheltenham for the last two years.
Siviniaco Conti 40/1
Bypassing the Gold Cup this year but, whilst that looks a good idea, he’s not sure to stay 4½ miles, and connections may choose to try for a hat-trick of Betfred Bowls instead.
O’Faolins Boy 50/1
Classy enough to beat Smad Place when winning the RSA, and he’s a better horse than Teaforthree who placed for trainer Rebecca Curtis. Looks over-priced, but inconsistent.
Triolo D’Alene 33/1
The 2013 Topham winner was pulled-up in the 2014 grand National, but is 2lb lower here and won well on his seasonal comeback.
Last year’s Gold Cup fourth has been out of form so far this season, but good spring ground is what he loves. Beat none other than Don Cossack, Many Clouds and O’Faolins Boy here off level-weights in the 2014 Mildmay Novices Chase – and looks well-handicapped with 10-12 for trainer who has had a winner and a close second in the last few years.
Fifth last year when the final Grand National mount of AP McCoy, and 5lb better off with Many Clouds, but that may not be enough.
Morning Assembley 50/1
This will be the first time he’s carried anything like 10-9, and a definite dark horse after finishing third in the 2014 RSA to O’Faolins Boy.
Fell last year when only 16/1, but looks to have been plotted-up in some style this time around. Carried 11-6 last year, but gets in with just 10-8 this time. He’s also a full-brother to previous winner Neptune Collonges.
Rule The World 50/1
Looks an obvious type after his second in last year’s Irish Grand National, and 10-7 is likely to be near the bottom of the weights this year. 36-furlongs on good ground could be right up his street, though the Irish National is also under consideration.
Just A Par 40/1
Struggled under big-weights against good horses before winning the Bet365 chase off a low-weight, and he could be in his element with just 10-6 in this.
Quite a few catch the eye but, with some classy horses set to carry below 11 stone, I think the winner will come from the bottom half of the weights this year. My idea of the first four home is:
1) Holywell 33/1
2) Unioniste 50/1
3) Just A Par 40/1
4) Morning Assembly 50/1