Grand National 2024: horse-by-horse guide to all the runners

<span>The runners line up for the start of the Grand National last year.</span><span>Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian</span>
The runners line up for the start of the Grand National last year.Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

1) NOBLE YEATS (age 9, weight 11st 12lb)

Will need no introduction to anyone who ignored all the stats about seven-year-olds and novices in the National two years ago, and backed him at 50-1. He was 19lb higher in the weights last year as a result, but still ran with credit to finish fourth, albeit having looked more likely to be pulled up for much of the race. It was a typical performance for a horse that often races well off the pace, and while Harry Cobden has had a couple of chances to get to know him, heavy ground will make it all the harder for the top weight to reel in the leaders.

2) NASSALAM (7yo, 11st 8lb)

Looked every inch an Aintree contender when powering 34 lengths clear of the runner-up in the Welsh Grand National in December, and Gary Moore’s runner is one of only a handful in the lineup who truly relishes hock-deep ground. Hiked 16lb on the back of that win, however, a rise so steep that he is now asked to give 2lb to Corach Rambler, who was a long way in front of him at levels in the Gold Cup last time. Every mm of rain will aid his cause, but that Cheltenham form mainly serves to highlight Corach Rambler’s chance rather than his own.

Related: Grand National quiz: can you identify the real 2024 runner from the fakes?

3) COKO BEACH (9yo, 11st 8lb)

Has run a very similar race in the last two Nationals, swiftly away and up with the pace for a circuit-and-a-half before fading about a mile from home. He looked better than ever when successful over the cross-country course at Punchestown last time out, but if he didn’t stay the National trip in 2022 and 2023, he is unlikely to do so on more demanding ground now, so punters should probably bear in mind that those who do not learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

4) CAPODANNO (8yo, 11st 8lb)

Arrives here having put up one of the best performances of his career to finish fourth in a Grade One at the Cheltenham Festival last month. That was over two-and-a-half miles, however, and while he has shown in the past that he gets three miles well enough, he looked the very definition of a non-stayer at this marathon trip when pulled up before the last on his Grand National debut 12 months ago. The softer ground this time around only increases the likelihood that he will start to fade a fair way from home.

5) I AM MAXIMUS (8yo, 11st 6lb)

Here’s a wacky fact. There are at least 150,000 words of 10 letters or more in the English dictionary, but fewer than a dozen can be written using only the top row of keys on a typewriter - and one of those is typewriter. Here’s another. Willie Mullins has saddled 65 runners in handicap chases in Britain since the start of 2018, and just three have come home in front. That stat aside, however, there are precious few negatives attached to last year’s Irish National winner, who posted a fine trial in the Bobbyjo Chase in February – on heavy ground, too. His jumping was a little guessy in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown, but much more assured last time and it could be very tough to keep this lightly-raced, improving chaser out of the frame.

6) MINELLA INDO (11yo, 11st 6lb)

A chance to make history beckons for Henry de Bromhead’s 11-year-old, as a win would see him become only the third horse – after Golden Miller in the 1930s and L’Escargot four decades later – to win both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National. In Rachael Blackmore, the first and, so far, only female rider to win, he has a history-maker in the saddle too, while a big run to finish fourth in a handicap over the cross-country course at Cheltenham in November gives him a realistic chance at the weights. Having travelled noticeably well until the home straight, though, he flattened out a little, and the 11-year-old may not quite have the finishing kick these days to see off younger rivals.

7) CORACH RAMBLER (10yo, 11st 6lb)

There was a 38-year gap between Reynoldstown and Red Rum, and another 45 between Red Rum and Tiger Roll, but it is no worse than a 5-1 shot that last year’s hero will become the second dual National winner in the space of just five years, and the eighth in all. Lucinda Russell’s remarkable chaser, trained near Edinburgh, is 13lb higher in the ratings this time around, but somehow still arrives at Aintree as one of the best-handicapped horses in the race, following a staying-on third in the Gold Cup last month. That was a hard race on testing ground but subsequent reports suggest he took it in his stride and another huge run seems all but guaranteed.

8) JANIDIL (10yo, 11st 6lb)

Arrives at Aintree on the same handicap mark as Corach Rambler, but earned his place in the field racing at around two-and-a-half miles and quite clearly did not get home when tackling three miles over timber in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last month. Barely gets that trip on good ground, so his chance of staying an extra mile-and-a-quarter on soft or heavy on Saturday is slim to none.

9) STATTLER (9yo, 11st 5lb)

Seen as a potential Gold Cup winner when he won the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in 2022 but has failed to add another victory to his record in six subsequent starts. That includes an eight-length second in the Grade One Irish Gold Cup in February 2023, however, so the talent is clearly there, but it has not made its presence known for some time now and his jumping was distinctly iffy over the cross-country course at Punchestown last time out.

10) MAHLER MISSION (8yo, 11st 5lb)

John McConnell’s yard in County Meath has an impressive record with starters in Britain and his first Grand National runner will go to post with as live a chance as anything in the race. As a lightly-raced, progressive eight-year-old chaser with stamina in abundance who likes to race up with the pace, he scores nine or 10 for almost every attribute you would want to see in a modern-day Grand National winner. He has also been kept fresh for Saturday’s race since finishing a close second in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury in December, despite losing both front shoes mid-race. Ignore him at your peril.

11) DELTA WORK (11yo, 11st 4lb)

Back for a third crack at the National having finished third on his first attempt in 2022, before unseating when hampered at the 20th last year. Eleven feels like quite an advanced age for a potential winner these days – the last eight have been aged between seven and nine – but he is an undeniably classy performer at his best, as he showed when beating Tiger Roll, no less, in the Cross-Country at Cheltenham before his big run over these fences two years ago. The wet weather scotched his attempt to win that race for the third year running last month, but Gordon Elliott has clearly built his entire year around Saturday’s race and he lines up off a 3lb lower mark than in 2022. Much respected.

12) FOXY JACKS (10yo, 11st 4lb)

Mouse Morris pulled off one of the more unusual Aintree achievements in 2016 when Rule The World came home at 33-1 and broke his duck over fences in the process. A win for his contender this year would be an even bigger surprise, though, given his long and fairly inglorious record of jumping errors in a 28-race chasing career that has yielded just four wins. One of those, admittedly, was over the cross-country course at Cheltenham, a regular source of runners that go well over these unusual fences, but he hit the eighth and then fell at the ninth in the Topham two years ago. Easily swerved.

13) GALVIN (10yo, 11st 2lb)

Got no further than the first 12 months ago, when he set off as a live each-way shot at 22-1. Lightly-raced since, seemingly with a second attempt at this race in mind, and has slipped a potentially generous 11lb in the weights. He is also closely matched with his stable companion, Delta Work, on their form in the Cross-Country at Cheltenham last year, but Gordon Elliott has made no secret of his concerns about testing ground for a horse whose best form is on a sounder surface.

14) FAROUK D’ALENE (9yo, 11st 1lb)

One of eight in the race from the Gordon Elliott yard, but a faller in two of his last three starts over fences, which doesn’t instil much confidence in his chance of getting around. One of those falls, admittedly, came two out in a Grade One novice chase at the Cheltenham Festival when he was still travelling well, but he was off the track for 18 months afterwards and ran no kind of race over hurdles at this year’s Festival last month.

15) ELDORADO ALLEN (10yo, 11st)

The third-highest rated British-trained runner in the race and a stalwart of Colin and now Joe Tizzard’s yard since 2018. Much more exposed than many of his opponents as a result, however, and reportedly suffered breathing issues before being pulled up in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last month. It will be very much true to form if he bounces straight back from that, but at heart he is the epitome of a solid, no-nonsense staying handicapper who will plod around dutifully without seriously threatening to be there at the business end.

16) AIN’T THAT A SHAME (10yo, 10st 13lb)

The Corinthian amateur rider has a long and occasionally glorious history in the National, from the irresistibly enthusiastic 18th Duke of Alburquerque, who had his last ride at the age of 56, to more accomplished riders like Sam Waley-Cohen, the winner two years ago. David Maxwell, a familiar sight aboard his own horses in recent years, seems much more likely to emulate the 18th Duke, as Rachael Blackmore failed to get much of a tune out of the 10-year-old last year and he is higher in the weights now.

17) VANILLIER (9yo, 10st 12lb)

Came from a different parish to finish second to Corach Rambler 12 months ago, and is 9lb better off with last year’s winner now. Also ticks another “Aintree” box, as Gavin Cromwell sends him to a local beach – a la Red Rum – to add a little variety to his training regime. He was beaten 14 lengths by I Am Maximus in his prep race at Fairyhouse, but lines up 4lb better off at the weights here. Has a decent chance on the face of it but Corach Rambler was idling, as is his way, on the run-in 12 months ago and while he might run on into the frame once again, his winning chance has probably been and gone.

18) MR INCREDIBLE (8yo, 10st 11lb)

Just as it does for his animated namesake, stuff just seems to happen to Willie Mullins’s eight-year-old, who managed to lose Brian Hayes, his rider, somewhere between the Canal Turn and the next 12 months ago. Undoubtedly talented, but clearly has quirks in equal measure, having twice refused to race earlier in his career. It is hard to fault his more recent form, including a close second under top weight in the Midlands National last time, but an overall record of one win in nine chase starts despite his obvious ability tends to speak for itself.

19) RUN WILD FRED (10yo, 10st 10lb)

One among several in this year’s National who was pulled up in the Ultima Handicap Chase on testing ground at Cheltenham last month. Letters are never an encouraging sign immediately before the name of a Grand National runner and Gordon Elliott’s 10-year-old has the makings of a decent Scrabble hand, having failed to complete for one reason or another on his last three starts. Available at 100-1, but would still not make much appeal with another zero at the end.

20) LATENIGHTPASS (11yo, 10st 10lb)

A definite contender for a heartwarming Netflix mini-drama if he comes home in front, as Tom Ellis, a leading point-to-point trainer, took out a full licence just to train this horse for Aintree. He is owned by Ellis’s mother, Pippa, and will be ridden by his wife, Gina Andrews, who steered him to victory in the Foxhunters’ over these fences last year. He had a couple of today’s rivals behind when he won a cross-country handicap at Cheltenham in November, and while he is now 9lb higher in the weights, he remains quite lightly-raced for an 11-year-old. One of the livelier each-way shots.

21) MINELLA CROONER (8yo, 10st 10lb)

Gets in thanks to a rating earned in minor Graded races, but has shown little sign of living up to it in his two handicap starts over fences, including the Ultima at Cheltenham last month, both of which simply added a “P” to his form line. Finished 25 lengths behind I Am Maximus in the Bobbyjo Chase in February and will do well to keep it below 50 on Saturday.

22) ADAMANTLY CHOSEN (7yo, 10st 9lb)

If you were looking to accentuate the positives about Willie Mullins’s seven-year-old, you could point out that he is one of just five runners among the 34-strong field who managed to record a win last time out. Dig a little deeper, though, and it looks like more of a negative, as the race in question was as weak as American lager, it was the seven-year-old’s first win of any kind since October 2022 and he has struggled whenever he has been pitched into handicap company without seeing a significant decline in his mark.

23) MAC TOTTIE (11yo, 10st 9lb)

Has plenty of form over these fences, including a win in the Topham in 2022 and another in the Grand Sefton in November 2021, both of which are staged over two miles and five furlongs. Peter Bowen, his trainer, also has an exceptional record with runners over the National fences, with seven wins in all, but unless his talents also extend to genetic manipulation, this one will surely be back-pedalling at the business end of the race.

24) CHEMICAL ENERGY (7yo, 10st 9lb)

Several of Gordon Elliott’s eight runners fall squarely into the no-hoper category, but this one deserves a little more consideration. Saturday’s race will be just his eighth start over fences, and though he was pulled up in the Irish Grand National last year, that race was less than a month after a career-best run to finish second in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham. He ran as well as could be expected in the Kerry National at Listowel in September, albeit with a few sloppy jumps along the way. He is still just seven, though, and has seemingly been aimed at this race from a long way out.

25) LIMERICK LACE (7yo, 10st 8lb)

Mark Walsh, who is retained by leading owner JP McManus, picked Gavin Cromwell’s mare from four available options this week, but it is quite possible – and perhaps even likely – that he would have plumped for I Am Maximus if Paul Townend had not got that one locked up already. Instead, he is aboard a runner with winning form at the Cheltenham Festival last month, but no form at all beyond three miles, never mind four. Her full brother gets three-and-a-quarter well, but it still requires a major leap of faith to see her staying an extra mile on top.

26) MEETINGOFTHEWATERS (7yo, 10st 8lb)

The subject of a significant gamble earlier in the week, when there was talk that he might even start favourite. That now seems unlikely, but there is still plenty in his form to recommend him, including a win – on heavy ground – in a valuable and ultra-competitive handicap at Leopardstown in December, when he was making just his fourth start over fences and for the Willie Mullins yard. He ran better in the Ultima Handicap Chase than Noble Yeats, the 2022 National winner, did two years ago, and brings a very similar profile to the table.

27) THE GOFFER (7yo, 10st 8lb)

Well-backed for the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in March – the race that Corach Rambler won before his victory here last year – and ran with credit before fading in the closing stages. Has plenty of form in big-field handicap chases but that has, in turn, given the handicapper plenty of opportunities to size him up, and there’s no obvious reason to think that the biggest test of his career will see him take the big step forward he requires.

28) ROI MAGE (12yo, 10st 8lb)

Ran a fair race as a 33-1 chance 12 months ago, when he faded into seventh after racing up with the pace for much of the way. He still finished nearly 14 lengths behind Corach Rambler, though, and even a slight easing of his mark is unlikely to make that much difference this time around. Amberleigh House, in 2004, was the last 12-year-old to win, and Patrick Griffin’s gelding is most unlikely to be the next.

29) GLENGOULY (8yo, 10st 7lb)

Looks like one of the lesser members of Willie Mullins’s team, having raced with far too much zest in a valuable two-and-a-half mile handicap at Cheltenham last month before fading to finish 16th of 21. Has no form over more than three miles and while he likes to race up with the pace, it is very hard to see him staying there.

30) GALIA DES LITEAUX (8yo, 10st 7lb)

Dan Skelton would almost certainly be crowned champion trainer over jumps for the first time if his only National runner this year lands the spoils, and this eight-year-old mare will not want for stamina, having finished a close second over three miles and five furlongs on soft ground at Warwick in January. She kept finding all the way up the straight there, but the effort seemed to have left a mark when she was beaten at odds-on next time and she needs a significant bounce back.

31) PANDA BOY (8yo, 10st 7lb)

Like several fancied runners towards the bottom of the weights, Martin Brassil’s runner was not sure of a start until a few days ago, but now that he’s in, he is definitely shortlist material. Brassil does not get the attention of compatriots like Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott but he won the National as long ago as 2006, and his contender this year is lightly-raced, stamina-laden and has a great racing weight of 10st 7lb. He was four-and-a-half lengths behind Meetingofthewaters at Leopardstown in December and is 11lb better off with that rival on Saturday, and Brassil has been applying the finishing touches ever since.

32) EKLAT DE RIRE (10yo, 10st 7lb)

One among several runners in this year’s race who was pulled up on heavy ground in the Ultima Chase at Cheltenham last time out. It is a point in his favour that he did not have a hard race there, but his overall profile is one of steady and fairly regular disappointment. He actually started favourite for the high-profile Coral Gold Cup at Newbury in November 2021, when Rachael Blackmore, no less, travelled over to take the ride, but he was pulled up there and has shown little in five starts since.

33) CHAMBARD (12yo, 10st 7lb)

Has a Cheltenham Festival win to his name and another over the National fences, in the Becher Chase at the December meeting. So far, so promising for his amateur rider Lucy Turner, who has an impressive record when riding for Venetia Williams, who saddled the most recent of five 100-1 National winners when Mon Mome came home in front in 2009. He is now a 12-year-old, however, which was borderline “too old” 30 years ago and almost certainly beyond the age range now that quality of the race has improved. Will probably give his rider a great spin without ever threatening the top six.

34) KITTY’S LIGHT (8yo, 10st 7lb)

Wales picked up the Wooden Spoon in the Six Nations’ rugby and fell at the final flight in qualifying for the Euros, but all is not yet lost for the principality in the sporting field this spring. Christian Williams’s gelding was not sure to get a run until this week, but he has plenty going for him now that his place is guaranteed, having won the Scottish Grand National and the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in the space of eight days last spring. Victory would give Wales a first winner since 1905, and would also be a hugely popular success for a family that has been through the mill over the last 18 months after the trainer’s daughter, Betsy, was diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2023.

2. Panda Boy
3. Corach Rambler
4. Delta Work

Best outsider: Chemical Energy