Grand National 2014 Preview

The Aintree Grand National is the World’s most famous steeplechase with forty horses competing over thirty fences and nearly four and a half miles. An estimated worldwide audience of 600 million will tune in to watch the race unfold at 4.15 on Saturday.

The Favourites

The ante-post favourite for the race is Teaforthree who was third in the race last year for trainer Rebecca Curtis and jockey Nick Scholfield. He is weighted to run a big race again this year and shaped encouragingly when second at Ascot. With proven Aintree form, he is regarded by many as the one to beat. He will be a popular selection for punters at 8-1 with Bet365.

Top weight Tidal Bay is bidding to break records as the oldest winner since Sergeant Murphy in 1923 and the first successful top weight since Red Rum in 1974. The handicapper has given him a chance by dropping him to a mark 7lbs lower than in other races and he ran a fine trial when third in the Welsh National in December.mistered

Long Run won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2011 and has also won the King George VI Chase on two occasions. He missed the Gold Cup to wait for this race this season and amateur rider Sam Waley-Cohen has an impressive Aintree record.

Monbeg Dude will attract plenty of support as he is part-owned by former England Rugby International Mike Tindall, husband of the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips.

He is a past winner of the Welsh National and is ridden by Paul Carberry who won this race on Bobbyjo fifteen years ago.

The Challengers

Last year’s race was won by 66-1 outsider Aurora’s Encore and the same combination of Sue Smith and Ryan Mania team up with Mr Moonshine. He faded out of contention last year but has been very consistent this season and should give supporters a good run for their money.

Triolo D’Alene beat Rocky Creek in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in November but the pair have only managed three racecourse appearances between them since. Quicker ground will help Triolo D’Alene as he bids to provide trainer Nicky Henderson with his first winner in the race.

Rocky Creek is well regarded by his trainer and may just have needed the run when second at Cheltenham last time. If he takes to these fences he has the class to make a bold show at a good price.

Balthazar King would just about be favourite if this race were staged at Cheltenham. He won the Cross Country Chase for a second time there at the Festival meeting and ran well for a long way in this race last year. Champion jockey Tony McCoy partners Double Seven who needs good ground to show his best while Big Shu is another interesting Irish contender. He was third at the festival and arrives here fresher than most of his rivals.

Pineau De Re, The Package, Vintage Star and Burton Port are others with chances in a typically wide open race.

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