Grand National Runners Guide 2014 - Final Field Now Known

This entries for the Grand National have now been finalised with the 48 hour declarations made. All the leading contenders stood their ground as expected, with Swing Bill the last one in at number 40 for David Pipe following the withdrawal of Lost Glory.

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NameNotes

1
tidal bay

Bidding to become the first top weight to win the Grand National since Red Rum in the 70's. Finished third in the Welsh National over Christmas off of top weight and has been prepared for this ever since. Class act but a big ask for a 13-year-old.

2
long run

2011 Gold Cup winner who has suffered a slight dip in form over the past 18 months. Did win an average handicap chase at Kelso last time out though and connections are very bullish. The class horse of the race if he is anywhere near his best but jumping is a slight worry on first National attempt.

3
hunt ball

Classy animal who has regained some of his sparkle since returning to the UK after a terrible spell in America. Last seen when 4th in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham which was decent but has plenty of weight to carry here and stamina remains a question mark. Others preferred.

4
triolo d'alene

Progressive Chaser who won the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury last November. Aimed at the National ever since and was last seen finishing 10th in the Gold Cup after travelling well for most of the race. Never fallen which is a plus but have to go back to 1940 to find the last seven-year-old National winner.

5
rocky creek

Progressive second season chaser who finished 2nd in the Hennessy Gold Cup behind Triolo D'Alene last November. Last seen 2nd in the Argento Chase at Cheltenham in January and aimed at Aintree ever since. Classy animal who has never fallen with inexperience the only worry. One to watch.

6
quito de la roque

A strong stayer who won at Grade 1 level back in 2011 but has not reached those heights since. Last seen being pulled up in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse and handicapper hasn't done him any favours here. Clearly a good horse on his best day but others preferred given recent form and mark.

7
colbert station

Unseated his rider 12 months ago when well fancied for Grand National winning trainer. Former winner of a Paddy Power Chase so a classy horse on his best day but show very little form this season. Fell last time out at Leopardstown, needs to find old sparkle from somewhere.

8
walkon

Grade 1 winning hurdler for Alan King who finished 2nd in the Topham Chase 12 months ago over the National fences. Clearly enjoyed the fences but he hasn't won a race since December 2011 which is a worry, while he has never won over 3m which raises stamina doubts. One to draw a line through.

9
balthazar king

Last seen winning the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham off of top weight over 3m7f for a career best. Ran very enthusiastically in the National 12 months ago before fading away to finish 15th. Won all four of his races this season before Festival win. Leading claims if the ground comes up good.

10
wayward prince

A regular in Grade 1 company over 3m during his career but struggled of late to maintain form. Last seen finishing 7th in the Grimthorpe at Doncaster which was disappointing despite the ground being in his favour that day. Clearly no mug but hard to fancy on recent form and stamina would have to be taken on faith.

11
mr moonshine

Finished 2nd in the Premier Chase at Kelso last time and represents Sue Smith, who trained the National winner last year. Was pulled up in the race 12 months ago though and has plenty more weight to carry this time. Finished 3rd in the Becher Chase in December which was decent. Inconsistent but no mug.

12
teaforthree

Finished 3rd in the National last year after travelling like the best horse for much of the race. Less weight to carry this time and looked in good form when 2nd in a good handicap at Ascot back in February. Ran OK in the Gold Cup last time out, brilliant jumper. One for the short-list.

13
across the bay

8th in the Becher Chase back in December when staying on and 14th in the National 12 months ago. Clearly doesn't mind the famous fences but he did un-seat last time in the National Trial at Haydock. A decent chaser, who may get round, but needs more to feature.

14
double seven

Progressive chaser for Grand National winning trainer who might still be on the rise through the handicap. Won five races in-a-row, including Munster National, before finishing 6th last time out over inadequate trip. Good ground will suit the horse although no eight-year-old winner of the race since 2002. Very interesting.

15
battle group

A classy horse who won twice in three days during the National meeting last season. Yet to complete in any of his three races this season though. Refused to run at Newbury in November and was pulled up on his other two starts, including last time at Ascot. Each-way chance if he behaves but impossible to back with any confidence.

16
buckers bridge

Finished 3rd last time out in the Bobbyjo Chase which was decent and qualified him for the National. Only win over 3m came on first start in point-to-point company so stamina doubts remain. Did win a decent race over 2m4f at Gowran Park in November which was visually impressive but might find a few too good.

17
lion na bearnai

Former winner of the Irish Grand National who was last seen running an average race when 4th in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse. He did win at that track at the start of February to raise his National chances but the feeling is that his best days are behind him. Might get round but hard to see him in the frame.

18
prince de beauchene

Willie Mullins trained 11-year-old who has flattered to deceive during his career. Finished in mid-field in the Hennessy Gold Cup last November and was last seen 4th in the Kinloch Brae Chase over 2m4f at Thurles. Good jumper who would have a chance on his best form but needs to improve on this season's efforts.

19
monbeg dude

Former Welsh Grand National winner who jumped towards the head of the Aintre market after winning a good handicap race at Cheltenham back in December over 3m1f. Finished 5th in the Grimthorpe last time out which was below par but the extra trip at Aintree is expected to suit and has a fair mark. Leading claims.

20
big shu

A top class Cross Country Chaser who is a strong stayer and a good jumper for Peter Maher. Won the X Country race at Cheltenham in 2013 and was last seen running a big race when 3rd in defence of that title. Might want some cut in the ground but he is proven stayer over 4m and is one the each-way short-list.

21
burton port

Good enough to finish 4th in a Gold Cup back in 2012 and on that form he looks well handicapped here. Lost his way since then though and changed yards at the start of the season. Showed some spark when finishing 2nd in an average race at Newbury last time which was encouraging but needs old form to feature.

22
our father

Last seen finishing 9th in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham after making one or two jumping mistakes. Ran OK when 5th in the National Trial at Haydock the time before for Grand National winning trainer but lack of experience would be a worry in this company, needs big improvement to feature.

23
mountainous

Slightly surprise Welsh Grand National winner over Christmas in a thrilling finish with Hawkes Point. Disappointed last time though off adjusted mark at Ffos Las and this will be another massive step up again. A strong stayer but won't want the ground too quick at Aintree.

24
the rainbow hunter

Unseated his rider 12 months ago in the National but better than ever this term and only has 1lb more to carry this time. Last seen winning the Skybet Chase at Doncaster over 3m on soft ground after breathing op in the Autumn. Needs to step up again here but one for each-way short-list.

25
vintage star

Ran a respectable 6th in the Welsh National over Christmas before running a stormer to finish 2nd in the Peter Marsh Chase over 3m1f at Haydock for National winning connections. Fell at Cheltenham last time out but is clearly a progressive sort on his way up the handicap. Interesting but might be a year too early.

26
chance du roy

Becher Chase winner over the National fences back in December on soft ground and that alone ensures he is to be respected here. Last seen running a solid race when 4th in a 3m handicap Chase at Ascot which looked like a good prep run. Experience of fences is a big plus but ultimately might find a few too good.

27
hawkes point

A staying chaser who came 2nd in the Welsh National at Chepstow in December. Beaten a nose that day and was last seen finishing a staying on 6th in the Grand National Trial at Haydock. A dour stayer who wants testing ground, could be plugging on at the end which might attract each-way punters.

28
kruzhlinin

The last seven-year-old to win the Grand National was in 1940 and it would be a surprise if this horse bucks that trend. Finished 7th in the Skybet Chase back in January and was last seen finishing 3rd at Kelso after a poor round of jumping. McCain horses are to be respected but it looks too early for this horse.

29
pineau de re

Last seen finishing a close up 3rd in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham which was an impressive run for an 11-year-old. Prior to that won a veterans handicap over 3m at Exeter and appears to be still improving. Fell in the Becher Chase in December which is a worry but off of a fair mark, does make each-way appeal.

30
golan way

A decent novice chaser who has lost his way somewhat over the past couple of years. Did win last time out in a 3m2f Hunter Chase at Warwick but will need loads more than that to feature here. Might improve for further but not much hope on all known recent form. One to ignore.

31
twirling magnet

Last seen unseating his rider in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham on his first start for over three months. Best form has been on decent ground during the summer which could help him here and looks to have a fair mark to run off. Does make some each-way appeal at a big price but needs a big career best to feature.

32
vesper bell

Fell in the Becher Chase at Aintree back in December but always considered to be a strong stayer by National winning trainer Willie Mullins. Last seen 9th in the Thyestes Chase and fell in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick before that. Might have a squeak in testing ground but jumping is a big concern.

33
the package

Ran really well to finish 3rd in a competitive handicap at Cheltenham last month on his first start for a year. Unseated his rider on only other National attempt back in 2009 but always considered to be a strong stayer. Doesn't win that often but right down the bottom of the weights and could get round.

34
raz de maree

Won both the Munster National and the Cork National in the Autumn but hasn't really kicked on from there. Clearly a strong stayer but pulled up on two of his last four starts and last seen finishing an OK 3rd over 3m2f at Down Royal recently. No mug if the ground is soft but likely to find a few too good.

35
rose of the moon

Relatively lightly raced nine-year-old who might well sneak into the race at the bottom of the handicap. Last seen winning a decent handicap chase over 3m1f at Wetherby on soft ground and could still be on an upward curve. Finished 10th in the Becher Chase in December over the National fences. No mug but needs more.

36
shakalakaboomboom

Finished 9th in the 2012 Grand National and with 9lb less to carry this time, he is fancied by some. Last seen down the field in a handicap at the Cheltenham festival on the third of his runs so far this season. More to find to feature here on recent form but looks to have a workable mark and a nice price. Each-way short-list.

37
alvarado

Made a big impression when winning a Grade 3 Handicap Chase at Cheltenham over 3m3f last November ahead of Monbeg Dude and Godsmejudge. Pulled-up last time on New Year's Day after making a bad jumping mistake which is a worry and he has refused to run in the past. Quirky, but talented.

38
last time d'albain

Irish raider who finished 3rd in the Topham chase over the National fences last year. That was impressive but hasn't done much since finishing out of the frame on all three starts this season. Finished 9th in a handicap hurdle over 2m4f last time but should be better on decent ground. Others preferred.
one in a milan

Last seen running OK in a handicap hurdle at Chepstow and just sneaks into this one at the bottom of the handicap. Was 4th in the Welsh National over Christmas looks decent but only ever won once over the fences. Has plenty to find on recent form, looks a step too far.

40
swing bill

Ran a stormer to finish 6th in the National last year and enjoyed the fences again when 5th in the Becher Chase back in December. Last seen in mid-field in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham which was a solid prep run. Every chance he will get round again but at 13 it is hard to see him troubling the places.

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