— Gordon Elliott (@gelliott_racing) April 11, 2018
We are less than a month away until the Grand National hits Aintree and while it’s difficult to pick a winner, punters will be looking into the form of not only the horses, but the trainers and jockeys too. But who are the leading trainers to look out for? Here we will round-up some of the best in the business.
The Gordon Elliott yard is somewhat of a powerhouse when it comes to horseracing and the man himself has two Grand National wins to his name. The first came in 2007, which saw him the youngest ever trainer to win the National. Silver Birch, ridden by Robbie Power was very much a surprise winner with odds of 33/1; while he also had success last year with Tiger Roll who won by a head over Pleasant Company. Last year’s race also saw jockey Davy Russell win his first National title. Tiger Roll is the favourite this year, currently with odds of 10/1. As things stand, Elliott has the potential for 21 entries into the Grand National and as well as Tiger Roll, other names to look out for include General Principle and Dounikos, who are both currently priced at 25/1 and reasonable outsiders. Away from Aintree, Elliott has had plenty of success at Cheltenham Festival, with a Gold cup win in 2016 and finishing as top trainer in both 2017 (six wins) and 2018 (eight wins).
British trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies also has two Grand National wins to his name; Earth Summit in 1998 and Bindadree in 2002. He represents well in the competition, however Blaklion came fourth in 2017 when he was made favourite and the following year, with expectation still on him, he fell at the first hurdle. He has since moved to Philip Kirby’s yard. Go Conquer and Bristol De Mai look like the trainer’s best shouts for success, although both horses will be making their Grand National debuts.
Despite only one Grand National win, which came in 2005 courtesy of Hedgehunter, Willie Mullins is a notable name in the field – and no doubt, will be represented well at the National this year. Rathvinden is Mullins’ best chance of a win; however, Pairofbrowneyes, Pleasant Company and Total Recall are all in with a chance – as the favourite rarely wins the National. Total Recall was last year’s favourite at 7/1 but pulled-up after a few mistakes. Mullins has had plenty of success at Cheltenham Festival too, holding three records: six consecutive wins in the same race (Quevega in the Mares’ Hurdle), recording a 1-2-3 finish at the 2015 Champion Hurdle, and winning eight races in 2016 (a record he now shares with Gordon Elliott).
He may not have won the Grand National as a trainer, but Nicky Henderson will be looking to taste success at Aintree with Valtor, whose odds are currently 33/1. The horse won on his debut at Ascot, but most recently pulled up at Cheltenham in January and isn’t racing again until Aintree. Henderson has plenty of experience with his first horse racing in the National in 1979 and he’s also been Champion Trainer at Cheltenham Festival. Most recently, his horse Altior has gone 18 unbeaten over hurdles – after winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham Festival this week.
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— Nicky Henderson (@sevenbarrows) January 7, 2019
Other trainers to watch out for
- Colin Tizzard – trainer of Elegant Escape, Royal Vacation and Ultragold
- Paul Nicholls – trainer of Black Corton, Give Me A Copper and Warriors Tale
- Sue Smith – trainer of Vintage Clouds
- Philip Hobbs – trainer of Rock The Kasbah