The Grand National takes place at Aintree at 5.15pm on Saturday afternoon - Chief Sports Writer Scott Wilson profiles all 40 runners and comes up with his predicted first four

1 ANY SECOND NOW (Mark Walsh) ****

Third in 2021 and runner-up last year, this classy performer must buck history as it is 1899 since an 11-year-old managed to win race carrying as much weight.

2 NOBLE YEATS (Sean Bowen) ****

A shock 50-1 winner last year, his Gold Cup fourth was a good effort and while he carries over a stone more than 12 months ago, he could be better than ever.

3. GALVIN (Davy Russell) ***

Talented but inconsistent, stamina shouldn’t be a problem for this former National Hunt Chase winner who finished second in the Cross-Country at Cheltenham last time out.

4. FURY ROAD (Jonjo O’Neill Jnr) ***

A solid jumper who was a Grade One-winning novice chaser, although he did seem to run out of steam when third in the Irish Gold Cup and stamina is not assured.

5. THE BIG DOG (Aidan Coleman) ***

Bounced back this season to take the Munster National and the Troytown at Navan, and was placed in the Welsh National. Fell when going well in the Irish Gold Cup.

6. CAPODANNO (Danny Mullins) ***

Bidding to become only the second seven-year-old to win the National since Bogskar in 1940 – a Grade One winner but lacks experience and stamina is unproven.

7. DELTA WORK (Keith Donoghue) *****

Was third in last year’s race, but is better off at the weights this time. Has won the last two editions of Cheltenham’s Cross-Country Chase and looks primed for a big run.

8. SAM BROWN (Jonathan Burke) *

Ran Bravemansgame close at Wetherby, but has not looked his best in two subsequent chase starts on unsuitable ground.

9. LIFETIME AMBITION (Sean O’Keefe) ****

Only once out of the first four in 22 starts and was fourth in the Grand Sefton over the National fences - likes to be up with the pace and has shown best form on soft ground.

10. CAREFULLY SELECTED (Michael O’Sullivan) ***

Lightly-raced 11-year-old who justified favouritism in the Thyestes at Gowran after 30 months off. Has a touch of class and could go well if his jumping holds up.

11. COKO BEACH (Harry Cobden) ***

Up with the pace before tiring from two out to finish eighth last year. Stronger this year, he jumped well when taking the Punchestown Grand National Trial. Each-way candidate.

12. LONGHOUSE POET (JJ Slevin) ****

A fair sixth last year despite racing with the choke out for much of the contest. Prefers ease in the ground and holds strong claims provided he settles better than 12 months ago.

13. GAILLARD DU MESNIL (Paul Townend) ***

Stayed on from well off the pace to get up in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last month, highlighting his stamina. Can hit the occasional fence though, which would be a worry.

14. DARASSO (LP Dempsey) *

Chased home Hewick in the Galway Plate but has never won beyond two and three-quarter miles. Would be a huge surprise if he was a factor.

15. LE MILOS (Harry Skelton) ****

Has come into his own this season, winning a decent renewal of what used to be the Hennessy Gold Cup. Jumps, stays and has a decent weight, and looks the best of the English contenders.

16. ESCARIA TEN (Adrian Heskin) **

Beaten a nose by Any Second Now in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last season but stamina limitations were seemingly exposed when weakening to finish ninth in last year’s National.

17. THE BIG BREAKAWAY (Brendan Powell) ***

Was narrowly beaten in this year’s Welsh Grand National, but disappointed at Cheltenham last time out. Jumps, stays and has a decent weight. Makes some each-way appeal.

18. CAPE GENTLEMAN (Jody McGarvey) *

A fair novice chaser who has shown little in recent runs to inspire much confidence, but represents a very capable trainer.

19. ROI MAGE (Felix De Giles) **

Has some decent back form in France, and caught the eye when producing a decent weight-carrying effort at Down Royal on his last run. This is quite a step up though.

20. DIOL KER (Keiren Buckley) **

One win in 13 over fences came in the Leinster National, but has been largely disappointing since. The jury is out on whether he will stay the trip.

21. A WAVE OF THE SEA (Shane Fitzgerald) *

Young enough to think there could be improvement to come, but has tended to run in much shorter races and was bitterly disappointing when pulled up in the Grand Annual last time out.

22. MINELLA TRUMP (Theo Gillard) **

Rattled up a six-timer as a novice in 2021 and won the Perth Gold Cup in June, but has shown nothing to suggest he can prosper at this level.

23. VANILLIER (Sean Flanagan) ***

Was a hugely talented novice and boasts plenty of class, although his win record hasn’t lived up to his potential. Looks nicely weighted, but the marathon trip is a concern.

24. VELVET ELVIS (Darragh O’Keeffe) **

Was a close-up sixth in the Irish Grand National last April, although his two wins have both come over two miles. As a seven-year-old, this might be coming too soon.

25. AIN’T THAT A SHAME (Rachael Blackmore) ****

Was close up in the Munster National, and while inexperience is a drawback, a low weight should help along with the presence of Rachael Blackmore in the saddle.

26. CORACH RAMBLER (Derek Fox) ****

A dual winner at Cheltenham, who stays all day. Had a hard race when winning last month’s Ultima, but looks tailor-made for this race provided that hasn’t left a mark.

27. ENJOY D’ALLEN (Simon Torrens) *

Third in the Irish National two years ago, but unseated at the first in last year’s National and has been in extremely poor form since.

28. MR INCREDIBLE (Brian Hayes) ***

Showed his liking for an extreme trip when he was third in the Kim Muir, but can be quirky and has refused to race in the past. Talented but temperamental.

29. MISTER COFFEY (Nico de Boinville) **

Ran a cracker to be third in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham, but didn’t appear to take to these fence in the Topham.

30. CLOUDY GLEN (Charlie Deutsch) **

Former Coral Gold Cup winner, but pulled up in the Ultima last month. Stays well and likes soft ground, so will want as much rain as possible.

31. HILL SIXTEEN (Ryan Mania) ***

Has run well over these fences in a couple of editions of the Becher Chase. Form can be patchy, but is an assured jumper. One of the better big-priced options.

32. GABBYS CROSS (Peter Carberry) **

A fine third in the Leinster National prove he stays, although he perhaps lacks the class to be a real factor. Will handle soft ground.

33. RECITE A PRAYER (Jack Foley) *

Cork National third needs to improve on his last two runs. Will likely stay, but will be doing it in his own time.

34. EVA’S OSKAR (Alan Johns) **

Was in good form earlier this season, and a distant Eider fourth was a fine effort under top-weight at Newcastle, but the grey needs to improve a fair bit.

35. OUR POWER (Sam Twiston-Davies) ***

A tidy, accurate jumper who is well handicapped on the back of wins at Ascot and Kempton. Boasts each-way claims at a price.

36. DUNBOYNE (Jack Tudor) ***

Came close to landing the Thyestes Chase before a decent effort when fourth in the Kim Muir, but will need to bely his relative inexperience to be a factor.

37. FRANCKY DU BERLAIS (Ben Jones) *

Easily held in the Becher and eventually refused after tiring in last month’s Cross-Country Chase. Plenty to find.

38. FORTESCUE (Hugh Nugent) *

Becher fourth is the only worthwhile form shown this term and was going backwards when unseating four out last year.

39. BACK ON THE LASH (Adam Wedge) ***

Is a proven performer over Cheltenham’s cross-country course and could be factor if transferring that form to these iconic fences. Perhaps lacks a touch of class.

40. BORN BY THE SEA (Phillip Enright) *

Massive stamina doubts having spent the vast majority of his career racing over shorter, and even that form leaves him with plenty to find.


1 Delta Work

2 Lifetime Ambition

3 Ain’t That A Shame

4 Longhouse Poet