- Vieux Lion Rouge has won 11 of 21 races, including five from nine chases. This runner is trained by David Pipe and will come to the Grand National on the back of two consecutive wins – one in the 22 runner Betfred Becher Handicap Chase here at Aintree in December 2016, and the other in the Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap Chase in February.
- Definitly Red has won 11 of 22 races, including four from nine chases. This Irish gelding has won two of its last three races – one in the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase last December and one in the BetBright Grimthorpe Handicap Chase in March. The rider was unseated in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase in January.
- One For Arthur has won six of 19 races, including three from ten chases, and is another last-time-out winner, having landed the Betfred Classic Handicap Chase in January. Prior to that, One For Arthur placed fifth in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase in December, which was won by Vieux Lion Rouge.
- Blaklion is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and has notched up nine wins from 24 races, including three from 11 chases. This runner has been placed in its last two races, finishing second in the Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap Chase in February, which was won by Vieux Lion Rouge, and placing third in the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase last December, which was won by Definitly Red.
- Cause of Causes has won eight of 39 races, including three of 22 chases, but has won just once from its last six outings. That success was last-time-out, in the Glenfarclas Chase (Cross Country Chase) at Cheltenham in March.
- The Last Samuri has won nine from 20 races, including five from 12 chases, and has placed in two out of three starts at Aintree, one of which was a second place in the 2016 Grand National. The Last Samuri has won once from the last four races, and that win came back in March 2016. More recently, this runner placed third in the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase last December, and second in the BetBright Grimthorpe Handicap Chase in March.
The Grand National is one of the most difficult races of the year as far as picking the eventual winner is concerned but, on form, Vieux Lion Rouge looks like a very solid favourite. The French gelding has already beaten several of the other runners highlighted here, including One For Arthur, The Last Samuri and Blaklion. We will therefore have a sensibly cautious each-way bet on Vieux Lion Rouge and hope for more of the same this Saturday.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip – Vieux Lion Rouge (Each Way) – 10/1
*Please note, odds may fluctuate as the race approaches.