The Official Ladbrokes Grand National Top 10 – part 1

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This is the first of a three-part series, with the second set to arrive after the Cheltenham Festival and the final instalment when we know the confirmed 40 runners that will line up in the Grand National.

We have used a number of factors to rank a horse’s Grand National chances, with this first list identifying which runners, at present, look to be the leading 10 candidates.

These positions could change in the second analysis as other criteria is also taken into account.

We focused chiefly on five elements here; age, winning form over distances of 3m+, official rating, breeding and form in previous Nationals.

  • In the past decade, 39 of the 40 horses that finished in the first four have been aged 8-11
  • All of the last 10 winners had won a chase over a distance of 3m or further
  • 20 of the 24 horses to have filled the places in the last six years have been officially rated 143+
  • French-bred horses have won half of the last six, having previously last triumphed in 1909
  • Six of the last 10 winners had finished in the first three in either the Aintree, Welsh, Scottish or Irish Nationals previously
  • All of our top 10 fit at least the least the first three trends.

    This ruled out the likes of returning champion Pineau De Re, who is now a 12-year-old and the heavily fancied Merry King, who is only rated 142.

    So who are the Official Ladbrokes Top 10?

    Grand-National-top-10-chart

    Godsmejudge

    Godsmejudge

    Strong end to last season when second in the Scottish National and third in the Bet365 Gold Cup Chase in the space of a fortnight off just 1lb lower than his current mark.

    Pulled up in a run out over hurdles in January. Eight of the last 11 Grand National winners had competed in a hurdles contest in the opening three months of the same calendar year.

    Appears to have been laid out for Aintree.

    Teaforthree

    Teaforthree

    Sent off at 10/1 in last two Aintree Nationals, finishing third off a mark of 151 and unseating rider for first time in his career off 149 in 2014.

    Set to retain same mark this time and has been kept fit with a few runs in hunter chases of late.

    Rocky Creek

    Rocky-Creek

    If repeating any of his runs in last year’s Argento Chase (second) or Grand National (fifth), Rocky Creek will go mighty close in this off 154. Second in the Irish Champion Chase to Cheltenham Gold Cup fancy Road To Riches is also looking great form.

    Forgive his last run when pulling up in the Hennessy at Newbury as he didn’t seem to go on the soft ground.

    Monbeg Dude

    Monbeg-Dude

    Is 2lb lower than when seventh in the Grand National last year and fourth in the Welsh equivalent in December.

    A safe jumper, stays the trip and consistent around this sort of rating. Sure to run his race.

    Balthazar King

    Balthazar-King

    His only run this season suggests finishing second in last year’s Grand National has left no ill effect and he is now only rated 3lb higher.

    Will do incredibly to improve on that performance though, but leading place claims again.

    Sam Winner

    Sam-Winner

    Hugely consistent and is one of those to profit from the handicapper’s decision to condense the weights slightly for for horses at the head of the ratings.

    But he’ll still have to shoulder a monster weight and he’ll be top weight if Carlingford Lough, Lord Windermere and Many Clouds withdraw closer to the time. Seven of the last 11, including each of the last three, top weights have failed to finish.

    Al Co

    Al-Co

    The only horse among the 96 Grand National entries to fit all of our five chosen trends.

    So why is he not top of our Grand National Chart you ask?

    Because it will take a big career best to triumph. He is now 5lb higher than when winning the Scottish Grand National last April and has flopped on both starts since.

    Mon Parrain

    Mon-Parrain

    Always seen as a Grand National type, but is terribly inconsistent.

    If reproducing the form when winning the Topham Chase At Aintree in 2011, he has strong claims.

    Shutthefrontdoor

    Shutthefrontdoor

    Shot to the head of the Grand National betting after winning the Irish equivalent in May.

    Inexperience is a big concern though, as he has only had eight career chase starts up to now. Every winner in the last decade had a minimum of 10.

    Back In Focus

    Back-In-Focus

    Is well treated on the form that saw him take the 4m National Hunt Chase at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival, when winning off 1lb higher than his current mark.

    However, Willie Mullins’ entrant was off the course for virtually two years with injury before returning over hurdles in the last week, when running as if needing the run.

    It’s a lot to be taken on trust that his old form remains.

    All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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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.