It very nearly happened way back in 1882 and it might happen in the 2016 running of the famous race. What are we talking about? A third successive Grand National win for a jockey.
Tommy Beasley came agonisingly close some 134 years ago when he came second in the race on Cyrus, the jockey aiming for a hat-trick of consecutive victories.
Could it be that Leighton Aspell goes one better when he once again takes the reins of Many Clouds on Saturday afternoon? Indeed, the big question is, should you back him?
If not, who are the other horses to watch out for in this famous steeplechase?
Leighton Aspell will be eager to repeat his success of 2015 when this horse carried him to victory and should Many Clouds win this year’s Grand National, it would be the first time a horse has managed this since the famous victories of Red Rum in 1973 and 1974.
We don’t usually recommend backing the favourite ahead of each Grand National, however on this occasion we’ll be doing the opposite.
Many Clouds is favourite and at a relatively low price, however he is still a horse on the way up and has an excellent chance of repeating his success of last year.
It is clear that the £1million prize money has done wonders for the quality of Grand National runners in recent years and whilst there are many who question the staying ability of Silviniaco Conti over the four and a half mile course, we feel that this very classy horse has an excellent chance of making trainer Paul Nicholls a very happy man indeed.
This horse is owned by ‘The Lizard’ a name which Championship football club Brighton owner Tony Bloom has adopted for poker tournaments. Clearly he likes a gamble and the biggest question is whether Buywise jump the Grand National fences well enough?
Looking at the jockey’s excellent record, the horse looks good to secure a place at the very least. Paul Moloney has an excellent record in this race and has finished in the first four in all of the previous seven Grand Nationals. If anyone can steer Buywise to victory on Saturday afternoon, then he can.
The Last Samuri
Any Old Trafford regular will be familiar with the chanting of ‘Rooney’ around the ground, however many may be wondering why the same chant will be heard at Aintree this weekend. Paul and Clare Rooney are owners of The Last Samuri (yes, that IS the correct spelling) and the horse certainly possesses the power and stamina to give trainer Kim Bailey a repeat of the success of 1990.
Should The Last Samuri not do it for the Rooneys, then they have another chance with Kruzhlinin, This horse was tenth in the 2014 Grand National and he looks even better now with jockey Richard Johnson looking for his first National victory.
Coming fifth at last month’s Cheltenham Festival and aimed at the Grand National, this horse is very much respected by weight-setter Phil Smith.
Another runner which is difficult to ignore. We fancied this alongside Many Clouds in last year’s Grand National and it paid-off very handsomely in an each-way bet in its own right, finishing the race second at odds of 25/1.
Paddy Brennan will once again take the reins and we feel that he can once again manage a place on Saturday afternoon, carrying 1lb less in weight.
The Druids Nephew
This was a huge contender in 2015, however fell just four fences out and will be ridden by excellent jockey Denis O’Regan.
Can he make the owning syndicate of chartered surveyors, waste management and insurance bosses happy on Saturday? We think that he will run an excellent race this weekend and while we may stop short of backing him to triumph outright, he looks good to secure a place at least.
Could Rebecca Curtis going the growing ranks of female winning Grand National trainers with this horse? This runner has a much better chance than her other entry ‘The Romford Pele’ we feel and while it finished a disappointing seventh in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, it ran excellently and given that Many Clouds only managed 6th in the Gold Cup this year, we feel that you’d be unwise to disregard this Curtiss runner on Saturday.
Sir Des Champs
This is certainly a horse of high class and returned from an injury of two years just five months ago.
Is he past his best? Well jockey Ruby Walsh clearly doesn’t think so with the two-time National-winning rider selecting the horse from a possible four from the Mullins stable. This must be seen as a huge tip in itself.
Given that he is a top jockey, Davy Russell hasn’t got a good Grand National record to say the least with his best finish being seventh in 2006.
This may put you off and it may not, however you may decide to go with the array of experts who predict that this horse will be amongst the frontrunners heading towards this year’s Grand National finish line.
With a nice weight and looking good at the Cheltenham Festival in March, you might be convinced that he is worthy of serious consideration. We’re not so sure, however a little more rain would certainly help and the forecasters confidently predict that we’ll be getting that.