The final list of runners and riders isn’t set in stone until Thursday, but here’s Sports.net’s guide to the early contenders in the Grand National 2018 betting preview.
- 11/1 (F)
Total Recall goes into Saturday’s Grand National as the favourite and it’s not difficult to see why. Since Willie Mullins took over training duties he’s grown into a real contender, sneaking the prestigious Ladbrokes Trophy (better known under its former name of the Hennessy Gold Cup) late last year.
His stamina has impressed tipsters and he will need that to head the field on the brutal four mile and 514-yard course.
Following a decent third-placed finish at the Cheltenham Gold Cup earlier this year, the Tony Martin-trained Anibale Fly arrives in Liverpool on good form. If he does take the crown this year, he will be only the second of JP McManus’ stable to win the Grand National, the last being Don’t Push It in 2010. That win, with Tony McCoy in the saddle, was also the last time a favourite or joint-favourite won the race.
Tiger Roll is another horse with a powerful engine, which was tested to its fullest in the Cross-Country chase at Cheltenham. He came through that very tough course to win, thanks to his sheer stamina and impressive jumping ability, and should be able to transfer those skills to Aintree easily enough. Owner, controversial Ryanair supremo Michael O’Leary, could well have reason to celebrate come Saturday evening.
Blaklion went too early in last year’s Grand National and could only finish fourth. However, those tactics were revised during the Becher Chase at Aintree in December, and the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained nine-year-old romped home to take the win by nine lengths.
Having produced the goods on the Grand National course is a great omen, but questions have been raised about his fitness after a very weary finish at Haydock recently.
Any of the four most favoured horses could take this, but the Grand National so rarely goes to the runners with the shortest prices. Away from the favourites, Captain Redbeard is improving at an alarming rate and could challenge, whilst Minella Rocco is liked by numerous tipsters.
However, having come so close last time and showing that he can win at Aintree, it’s difficult to look past Blaklion as a very good each-way bet, if not for backing on the nose.
Sports.net’s Top Tip