Little Josh one of five to avoid for time being in Grand National

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Little Josh may well be one of the outsiders drawing the most interest to win the Grand National at 40/1, but as things stand he is one of five runners that does not fit the criteria to line up at Aintree.

Lambro (33/1), Bob Lingo (50/1), Ninetieth Minute (66/1) and Matuhi (100/1) are the other entrants that punters may want to avoid backing for the time being, otherwise it could be ante-post money down the drain.

One of the strict rules that a Grand National runner has to adhere to is that they must have finished in the first four in a steeplechase over 3m or further.

The condition is in place with the leading aim of ensuring that all entrants have the sufficient stamina required to see out the gruelling 4m3f of the Grand National and that horses are not being pushed out of their depth.

This stipulation is slightly flawed as a horse could finish last in a four-runner race over 3m and virtually stumble across the line in the process, but that is a discussion for a different time.

The rule is especially harsh on Little Josh, as he won over the demanding Aintree fences as recently as December, when taking the Grand Sefton Chase.

This race was only over 2m5f, but given the demanding nature of the heavy ground, a slog is the only way to describe it.

Little Josh is also a former winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, which shows the extent of his ability and after a difficult few years, he has now slipped back down to a winnable rating if reproducing his best.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has twice trained the winner of the Grand National and has until March 18th to find a race that will qualify Little Josh, although a fall in the Argento Chase last time is likely to mean that the 11-year-old is given some time to recover.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.