With the five-day confirmations just a week away on April 9th and the final declarations being made at 10am on April 12th, we take a look at the probable final line-up with a brief runner-by-runner guide.

There is a maximum field of 40 runners plus four reserves - the second part of our Grand National preview is available here...


Total Recall

A fast-improving chaser from the yard that won the Grand National in 2005.

An easy winner over hurdles at Leopardstown, plus the Ladbrokes Gold Trophy Handicap back in December.  He fell three from home in the Gold Cup.



Fourth in the last year’s renewal. Rated 9lbs higher this year, but enjoys these fences and has been a popular choice since winning the Becher Chase here in December. Will be of interest if Haydock has not left its mark on him.


Tiger Roll

Recorded his second Cheltenham Festival win when romping home in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase. Will stay the trip and has finished in the top three in 10 of his 15 chase starts to date.


Minella Rocco

Was runner-up in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but hasn’t really built on that since. Former winner of the 4m National Hunt Chase for novices at the Cheltenham Festival which proves he can stay.


The Last Samuri

Came second in the 2016 Grand National, but finished well back in 16th place 12 months ago. Loves the track and fences and should give another bold showing.


Anibale Fly

Never raced at Aintree and done most of his racing in Ireland. Recently came third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

From a shrewd stable and his Paddy Power Chase victory last Christmas gives him leading claims.



Has won or placed six times from eight chase starts but has only had one run since March last year due to a ligament problem.

Was third in the 2016 Scottish National and has beaten some notable scalps. He is a strong contender at a good price.


Gold Present

Notched up back-to-back wins at Newbury and Ascot in December. He fell in last year's Topham Chase and hails from a stable that has never won the race.


Regal Encore

Ran into 8th place in the Grand National in 2017. Gets in off the same mark so every chance he could be in the mix again, however significant improvement will be required to go seven places better this year.


Ucello Conti

Went off the favourite the race 12 months ago, but unseated at the 22nd fence when in mid division. Rated 2lbs lower this season.

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Was also fourth in the 2016 Becher Chase over these fences and knows them well.


Gas Line Boy

Won the Grand Sefton over the Grand National fences in December and stays all day. Came 5th in last year’s race and his trainer Ian Williams has just hit a purple patch at present. A respected each-way player.



Winner of the Cheltenham National Hunt Challenge Chase saw his odds sliced from 50/1 to 20/1 in a blink of the eye.  Has been running with credit in decent Grade One races in Ireland and has won four of his ten chase starts.


Vieux Lion Rouge

Was well-fancied for the race in 2017 and finished a fair 6th that day, beaten 27 lengths. Only rated a pound higher and has won over these fences before (2016 Becher Chase). Campaigned quietly this season and could easily spring an upset.


I Just Know

Sue Smith’s runner has an excellent record with eight wins or places from ten chase starts and recently won over 3m6f at Catterick so clearly has stamina and solid jumping ability. Stable won the race in 2013 with Aurora’s Encore.



Winner of the Scottish National twice before and owned by Trevor Hemmings, who has won this race three times in the past.

Unseated at the first fence 12 months ago and may be routed back up to Ayr again.


Pleasant Company

Came 9th in 2017 and off a pound lower mark would have a chance of improving on that run. Comes from a top stable but it is debatable whether his stamina held out 12 months ago.


The Dutchman

Winner of the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in January, but pulled-up in the Grand National Trial there last time in desperate going. Only had 8 chase runs and been placed in the top 3 in 6 of those. Acts on most ground and could be an interesting outsider for the Tizzard team.



Will be ridden by the new star of the 2017/18 season, Bryony Frost. Won the Classic Chase at Warwick in January, but failed to follow-up next time in the Eider Chase. Finished second over 4m1f in the Midlands National last time out so clearly has no stamina issues.


Vintage Clouds

Fourth in the Welsh National and has won at Aintree in the past. A very consistent sort and his trainer has won the National before. Ran well at the Festival and is the type to still be galloping hard at the end when others have cried enough.


Raz De Maree

He came 8th in the 2014 running and unseated last year and this will be his last chance to take the spoils.

Clearly in great heart this season at the age of thirteen – a point proven with his marvellous win in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.


*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

About the Author
Steve Mullington

Steven is a sports and horseracing enthusiast and is a member of the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) in the United Kingdom.

He is a regular visitor to Paris Longchamp for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a lifelong fan of the Aintree Grand National, a subject he writes about 52 weeks of the year. Last year he reached the impressive milestone of attending the last 25 renewals of the Grand National.