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After the 2021 Grand National happening behind closed doors, it's brilliant to see spectators back at the Merseyside track to watch the Grand National 2022 live in person.

We have some familiar faces running in this renewal, none other than last year's winner Minella Times who attempts to repeat the recent winner Tiger Roll in completing the double, with Rachael Blackmore in the saddle.

This is my horse-by-horse preview to give you a breakdown of each horse and the chances I give them.

1. Minella Times

Runner Jacket

Jockey – Rachael Blackmore

Trainer – Henry De Bromhead

As mentioned at the top, he is the current champion of this race, where he capped off a brilliant year for Blackmore and Henry De Bromhead. Unfortunately for that pair, they had to do it in front of an empty crowd. He comes into this is not the same form as last year, which you can expect as his handicap mark went from 146 to 159. The British Handicapper has taken no prisoners with his handicap mark and has put him up to 161, so despite their best efforts of potentially getting his handicap markdown to have another crack at this, it hasn't worked. He has taken a similar route this year to last year, using the Leopardstown Chase over 2m 5f as a stepping stone to Aintree, he was 2nd in that race last year but was pulled up this time around. You know for a fact he'll stay this trip, and this has been his target since winning it 12 months ago, but off top weight, I think he is worth opposing. I could see him running into a place and although it wouldn't be a shock to see him win, I think there are better-handicapped horses elsewhere.

2. Delta Work

Runner Jacket Jockey – Jack Kennedy

 Trainer – Gordon Elliott

This lad is the class horse in the race. He is a five-time Grade 1 winner and broke the hearts of many when beating Tiger Roll in his swansong at Cheltenham in the X-Country. That was his first attempt over those type of fences, so it's no surprise to see him run in the National. He is following the same path as Tiger Roll did on the way to winning his two Grand Nationals, using Cheltenham as a run before. He is carrying a very big weight but is good enough to do so. The fact he has been held up in his races is a concern, as you can be behind a lot of trouble from falling horses and if you get yourself too far back, you've got a mountain to climb. I wouldn't put anyone off from backing him, and it would be a great way for Gordon Elliott to shush the haters with his extremely poor form in recent weeks.

3. School Boy Hours

Runner Jacket Jockey – Sean Flanagan

 Trainer – Noel Meade

This lad is a very interesting runner in this year's National. His owner JP McManus has been known of landing the occasional gamble, so the fact he had one of his horses pulled out (Easysland) so this horse could get a run is very interesting. He was a reserve runner, meaning he was too lowly rated to get a starting spot in the race, but due to horses being pulled out, he has got a run. He is one of the many horses who will have to prove his stamina over this trip, and show he can handle the National fences. The good ground is a positive for him and the extra distance could unlock a serious amount of improvement. He won a big pot at Leopardstown just after Christmas, winning in the last stride, being the horse who was staying on strongly. With what has happened, it seems like connections are hopeful of a big run. Definite EW player.

4. Any Second Now

Runner Jacket Jockey – Mark Walsh

 Trainer – T M Walsh

When I was on my hiatus from tipping, this lad was my main fancy in last year's race where he ran a blinder to finish 3rd. That race he was hampered by a faller, jumped a few quite patchy and then managed to stay on well to get 3rd. He has had a nice prep for this race, with him winning over 3m 1f at the end of February, which would have set him up nicely at another tilt at this great race. He will have a tougher time this year as he is 7lbs higher in the weights. You know for a fact he handles the fences, course and stays the trip well, though he will be towards the top of the market, he is a player for sure.

5. Run Wild Fred

Runner Jacket Jockey – Davy Russell

 Trainer – Gordon Elliott

The second Gigginstown runner of the race, and definitely won't be the last. This horse has given the impression he is and out-and-out stayer, a horse who plods around the track. He ran well at Cheltenham in the NH Chase, where he finished 2nd to Stattler, who looks a quality animal over the staying trips. He is a winner on good ground, so will enjoy the conditions. The fences are a concern, but he jumped very well at Cheltenham, which are stiff fences, so there is a strong chance he'll take to the National fences. I don't think he was getting tired at Cheltenham last time out, it was more the fact Stattler had more gears and was a better horse, despite that he was still hitting the line strongly to my eye and I think he could run a big race in this. Definitely an EW player if taking to the fences, and has the master jockey Davy Russell on board.

6. Lostintranslation

Runner Jacket

Jockey – Harry Cobden

 Trainer – Colin Tizzard

The first of runners where I think he'll have no chance whatsoever. Sure enough it will probably come back to bite me, but based on what I've seen from him, he's not a stayer at this trip. He is a horse who should be running over 2m 4f, like we saw earlier this season when he won at Ascot over 2m 5f. He has pace, and isn't a true stayer. I personally couldn't back him with stolen money.

7. Brahma Bull

Runner Jacket Jockey – Brian Hayes

 Trainer – Willie Mullins

The first Willie Mullins runner in the race, and I wouldn't be holding my hat on him in this. He competed in the X-Country race won by Delta Work when he unseated his rider. He is prone to mistakes, and doesn't appear to be a stayer at this trip. He made mistakes in the Irish National last year and was tailed off in the style of a horse who doesn't stay this far. Personally, you could cross him off your list despite being trained by the main man Willie Mullins.

8. Burrows Saint

Runner Jacket Jockey – Paul Townend

Trainer – Willie Mullins

Arguably the main chance for Willie, with his stable jockey Paul Townend electing to ride Burrows Saint. He finished a creditable fourth in last year's race, where he travelled strongly throughout, but looked weary after jumping the last. He has won an Irish National in the past, so is a horse with a bit of class about him, but the fact he races off the same mark as last year gives the impression he could be slightly too high in the handicap. Not without a chance.

9. Mount Ida

Runner Jacket Jockey – Denis O'Regan

Trainer – Gordon Elliott

This horse is an interesting runner for the Elliott stable. She looked like a thorough stayer last year when winning the Kim Muir at Cheltenham over 3m 2f, but since then, they've raced her over shorter, which is a little baffling, but she has won races along the way including a Class 1 Listed Mares' race and a Grade 3 Mares'. Her jumping fell apart at Cheltenham this year, as she finished a remote 7th/8 over 2m 4f. Back up in trip, and over a trip she's never seen before it could bring out improvement, but that niggling doubt about her jumping isn't what you need when they have larger fences to jump. She could outrun her odds if taking to the fences and not jumping out to the right, which she has done on a few occasions.

10. Longhouse Poet

Runner Jacket Jockey – Darragh O'Keefe

Trainer – Martin Brassil

A horse who has been popular during the build up to the National is this lad. He is a very unexposed horse at the age of 8, with just 13 runs over rules, six of which over fences. He won a decent prized handicap in January at Gowran Park over 3m 1f, where he stayed on strongly and looked like a horse who would get much further than that distance. He has had a run over hurdles as a prep race, where he went off favourite and ran quite poor, but it wasn't about winning that day, and more about today. He seems much better on soft ground, which is a concern as the ground appears to be drying out all the while. With the confidence floating around of a big run, he has to be respected and I wouldn't put anyone off from backing him as an EW bet. It would not surprise me to see him go off near favourite.

11. Fiddlerontheroof

Runner Jacket Jockey – Brendan Powell

 Trainer – Colin Tizzard

He has run some belters this year, including a runner-up in the Ladbrokes Trophy over 3m 2f. He ran on strongly that day, but then was outstayed over 3m on soft ground at Ascot the time after by Fortescue, so I'm unsure whether he'll stay this trip. You can say that the weight he has carried in both of those races has been a big factor in him not winning, but he's not exactly carrying a small weight in this. I wouldn't be siding with him for this, and I think he is far too short in the market.

12. Two For Gold

Runner Jacket

Jockey – David Bass

 Trainer – Kim Bailey

I get the impression this lad needs a staying trip, whether this far is the key, I'm not totally sure. I've always got the impression that he is a strong stayer, but we've only seem him over 3m and slightly shorter, which is a little concerning. The one thing about him is that he is a warrior, he will battle and give his all every time he races. He is a bit of a mud lark, which is a concern with the ground not being testing. He unseated over the National fences in the Topham last year, which doesn't give me confidence. Not for me.

13. Santini

Runner Jacket Jockey – Nick Scholfield

Trainer – Polly Gundry

This would be some story if Santini pulls this off. He has been named as a boat for most of his career, so it's not a great surprise to see him running over this marathon trip. He has ran a couple of okay races since moving to Polly Gundry's yard, but doesn't look the force of old where he finished runner-up in the 2020 Gold Cup. He can jump like a snooker table, which is a very big worry, and can race lazily. This trip could be right up his street, but I don't think the fences are what he wants. Would it surprise me to see him running well? not at all, and if you're backing him EW then you've got an interesting watch, and I think at a push he might squeak a place, but that's a big MIGHT.

14. Samcro

Runner Jacket Jockey – Sean Bowen

Trainer – Gordon Elliott

What a fall from grace this horse has had. Going from being the second coming of Jesus Christ, to a Grade 2/3 performer. In his novice hurdle and chasing days he looked different gravy, but he has fallen off big time. He has ran some okay races, but his form number read his career over the last few years of inconsistent runs. I can't see him staying this trip, but what a story it would be if he bounced back to win the National. Should have no chance.

15. Escaria Ten

Runner Jacket

Jockey – A P Heskin

Trainer – Gordon Elliott

This lad has form tied in with Any Second Now where he was narrowly beaten by him at Fairyhouse for their prep runs for this. So if you fancy Any Second Now, you'll more than likely like this lad too. He stays 3m 6f, shown by finishing 3rd to Galvin last March in the NH Chase which has turned out to be fairly useful form, finishing ahead of Snow Leopardess. He is a very interesting runner in this and one I can see running well if taking to the fences. Live chance.

16. Good Boy Bobby

Runner Jacket Jockey – Daryl Jacob

 Trainer – Nigel Twiston-Davies

The mount of the retained owner Daryl Jacob. Has looked like a strong stayer over 3m, but this is a totally different test to what he has faced. He handles any ground, and has some decent pieces of form, but I can't say that he is particularly well handicapped. This looks a tough ask.

17. Romain De Senam

Runner Jacket Jockey – Philip Armson

Trainer – David Pipe

The yard of this horse arrive in top form, winning 9 out their last 19 races (42% SR), but that doesn't mean he'll run well. He was pulled up in the Midlands National a few weeks back, which isn't a good sign, even though there is a strong chance that could've been a prep run for this with him having a 339 day absence before that. A few years ago he was a decent performer, but at the age of 10, with him clearly having problems, I can't recommend backing him. Biggest outsider.

18. Coko Beach

Runner Jacket

Jockey – Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Trainer – Gordon Elliott

Now a 7yo, who was a useful hurdler as a Juvenile, which saw him finish 2nd at the Cheltenham Festival over 2m. It's hard to know what his best trip is these days, but he is a horse who stays 3m well, and finished 4th at Punchestown in the Grand National Trial over 3m 4f on heavy ground behind Death Duty. He appreciate cut in the ground, which he won't get, but this trip could bring out some improvement. None stable jockey Jonjo O'Neill Jr takes the ride, which suggests he doesn't hold a great chance.

19. De Rasher Counter

Runner Jacket Jockey  – Adam Wedge

Trainer – Emma Lavelle

I think this lad could have a chance of maybe getting in the places, as he looks like a horse who will relish the step up to the marathon distances. He won the Ladbrokes Trophy in 2019, and did it in strong staying fashion. Since then he has been handicapped to the hilt, and has struggled in tough races off high weights. He has now been dropped back down to his last winning mark in the Newbury race of 149. He made a relatively poor return to racing in February at Newbury on the back of a 489 day break, so if that run was bad due to needing the run and nothing else, he could run well at decent odds. Will have to prove he jumps this kind of fence, but he's not without a chance.

20. Kildisart

Runner Jacket Jockey – James Bowen

Trainer – Ben Pauling

Stable is really out of form, with 0 winners from 21 runners in the last fortnight. They had a 2nd placed runner at Aintree yesterday, which is encouraging, but it's not something you want coming into the National. I've heard bits and bobs of people thinking he could run well in this, and it wouldn't be a total surprise if he did. He stays 3m well, but I'm not convinced he'll stay this far. Personally he's not a bet for me, but couldn't put you off fully.

21. Discorama

Runner Jacket Jockey – B J Cooper

Trainer – Paul Nolan

Paul Nolan is a trainer I rate highly and his runners are always worth a second look. I've had the feeling he needed a trip like this last year, where he ran a creditable race to finish 7th. His route last year wasn't ideal with him having a wind-op in between, so that run can probably be marked up. This race would've been the goal for this year, so a big run is expected off a 1lb lower mark. Each way player for sure.

22. Top Ville Ben

Runner Jacket

Jockey – Thomas Dowson

Trainer – Phillip Kirby

Another horse who gets the comment “strong stayer over 3m”, but that is what he is. I thought they would've tried him over further before trying to the National, but they haven't. I think he will run well up until a point, and then he will get tired. It's clearly been the aim for a long time, as they have ventured over hurdles, where he has ran extremely well in those races. A mark of 148 looks reasonably as he won off 154 in the past, I'm just not sure about his stamina. He'll give a good go nevertheless.

23. Enjoy D'allen

Runner Jacket Jockey – Conor Orr

Trainer – Ciaran Murphy

Third in last years Irish National and has ran well in some good 3m handicaps this year, behind School Boy Hours but was carrying 12lbs more. JP McManus bought him after his recent race over hurdles in attempt to win this race, which is a confidence booster for connections. He is a definite player in this and has the chances of running very nice, if staying the trip.

24. Anibale Fly

Runner Jacket

Jockey – L P Dempsey

Trainer – A J Martin

The old boy tries this race yet again where he has previously finished 4th and 5th, but was never involved in last years renewal. He ran well in a 3m 7f handicap chase at Punchestown last May, finishing 3rd off a mark of 145. His form this year isn't up to a great standard and at the age of 12, he surely isn't capable of winning this. Could sneak into a place if turning up in good form. You know he handles the ground and fences.

25. Dingo Dollar

Runner Jacket

 Jockey – Ryan Mania

Trainer – Sandy Thomson

A previous Grand National winning jockey takes the ride, but he shouldn't be getting a second win this race on this lad, as he shouldn't be good enough. He'll stay this far, that's for certain, as he finished 2nd in the Scottish National last year. Whether he's good enough to compete at this level, I'm not convinced. If you're a punter who backs horses who you know will stay, this is one of them. Could run well from the front, and perhaps grab a place.

26. Freewheelin Dylan

Runner Jacket Jockey – Ricky Doyle

Trainer – Dermot A McLoughlin

A horse who should stay this far, and should take to the National fences. He was the winner of the Irish National in 2021 springing a huge surprise at odds of 150/1, but then nearly backed it up the time after where he finished 4th off a 8lbs higher mark. He has been underwhelming since which is a concern, but this has obviously been the target, so a much better run is expected, and you can't rule him out at a decent price.

27. Class Conti

Runner Jacket Jockey  – Sam Twiston-Davies

 Trainer – Willie Mullins

Tailed off in this race last year, and has shown little to suggest a big run is on the way. Hard to get excited about and could recommend, even at bigger prices.

28. Noble Yeats

Runner Jacket Jockey – Sam Waley-Cohen

 Trainer – Emmet Mullins

Recently bought by Robert Waley-Cohen after a series of good efforts in decent Chase races. This is Sam Waley-Cohen's last ever ride before he retires as an Amateur jockey. This horse has always looked like a horse who could win a decent race, whether it's this or not, I'm not sure. His run behind Ahoy Senor was eye-catching to say the least, but he didn't back that up in the Ultima at Cheltenham. He could be a lively outsider, back on a flat track, but the distance is a big concern.

29. Mighty Thunder

Runner Jacket Jockey – Derek Fox

Trainer – Lucinda Russell

Lucinda Russell won this race back in 2017 with One For Arthur, so she knows what kind of horse it takes to win it with. This horse won the Scottish National last year, so is clearly a strong stayer. He hasn't done much since winning that race, which is a concern, as even though you'd expect them to run for fitness before hand, it looks like he has really struggled. Wouldn't say he's a no hoper, but you're hoping for a big turnaround.

30.  Cloth Cap

Runner Jacket Jockey – Tom Scudamore

Trainer – Jonjo O'Neill

A previous runner of this race in 2021, where he was sent off as favourite. He was very underwhelming last year, being pulled up. They were adamant that he made a respiratory noise in this race, and have since had his wind done. He arrives in this off a 1lb lower mark, but in much worse form. He'll have his supporters, but it's hard to get excited about.

31. Snow Leopardess

Runner Jacket Jockey – Aidan Coleman

 Trainer – Charlie Longsdon

This horse has been brilliant to watch this year. She is towards the top of the market and for obvious reasons. She looks built for the Aintree fences. A free going front runner who doesn't touch a twig when she jumps. You'll struggle to find a better jumper of the Aintree fences than this mare. I tipped her up earlier in this season when winning at this track, but over a shorter distance. I have reservations about her stamina at this trip. She is very much an EW play, but she not the one I'll be siding with, but I do get the impression she will be very well back, and could go off favourite.

32. Augusta Gold

Runner Jacket Jockey – Danny Mullins

Trainer – Willie Mullins

A Willie Mullins runner, which will generally attract punters, but he's got a lot to prove. His jumping can be a little sketchy, and his form isn't anywhere near as good as the others in this race. Hard to totally write off due to the trainer, but I think it's better looking elsewhere.

33. Commodore

Runner Jacket Jockey – Charlie Deutsch

Trainer – Venetia Williams

It's hard to get excited with this horse, as the form of the trainer is rather terrible at the moment. Venetia's horses are running extremely bad at Aintree this week, so it's probably best to stay away from this horse. He is a horse who will run from the front and jump with enthusiasm, but a mark of 142 at the age of 10 on a career high mark is a very tough ask.

34. Deise Aba

Runner Jacket Jockey – Tom O'Brien

Trainer – Philip Hobbs

Seen to be a Sandown specialist, with his best form coming at that track. He ran well at Aintree earlier in the season, but that was over hurdles, which is a massive difference to the test he'll face today. He was pulled up in the Welsh National at the back end of last year, which is a concern going into this. Looks better suited on soft or heavy ground. Shouldn't have a chance.

35. Blaklion

Runner Jacket Jockey – Harry Skelton

Trainer – Dan Skelton

It would be quite fitting if this horse won this race, as it would pay a large chunk of the money which Darren Yates bought him for a few years ago. At the age of 13, it would be a shock to see him win this. He has proven himself over these fences, and proven himself to retain his ability with a romp at Haydock earlier in the season. He'll want the ground softer than what it currently is.

36. Poker Party

Runner Jacket Jockey – Robbie Power

Trainer – Henry De Bromhead

Looks a no hoper in this, which is tough to say as this race is a lottery and can spring surprises, but based on his form he has to show a massive turnaround. If he turned up in the same form of 2019 I'd say he'd have a decent chance if he stayed this far, but that's not the case and I can't see him getting close for the trainer who won this race last year.

37. Death Duty

Runner Jacket Jockey – Jordan Gainford

Trainer – Gordon Elliott

A very talented horse in his prime, and a horse who can still mix it at a decent level at the age of 11. Ran a decent race at Cheltenham, but was probably over a trip too short for him these days. He won over 3m 4f on heavy the time before, and is a horse who appreciates cut in the ground. I think there is a strong chance he'll stay this trip, but the ground looks against him.

38. Domaine De L'Isle

Runner Jacket Jockey – Harry Bannister

Trainer – Sean Curran

Ran well to finish 4th over these fences behind Snow Leopardess in December. He was easily beaten that day by the winner, so it's hard to see him reversing the form, even over this trip. He was soundly beaten over 4m 1f at Newcastle in the Eider in February. Best to look elsewhere.

39. Eclair Surf

Runner Jacket Jockey – Tom Bellamy

Trainer – Emma Lavelle

Another horse who has gained a lot of traction in the build up to this race. It looked like at time that he wasn't going to get a run as he was a reserve, but due to non runners he gets his chance. I think he could run a huge race off a very low weight. This horse runs from the front, which means he'll avoid the trouble of fallers and being inconvenienced. He ran a belter to finish 2nd to Win My Wings in the Eider, with that horse going on to win the Scottish National, and he was giving him 11lbs that day. He'll stay the trip, and the only question is the fences. I think he is one of the better bets in the race, and could run a blinder.

40. Fortescue

Runner Jacket

Jockey – Hugh Nugent

Trainer – Henry Daly

I think he could run well at a price. He has never been tried over this far, but has been consistent in staying chases over 3m. I can see why connections are rolling the dice, and he's not without a chance. Place chances.

Rizzel's Grand National Tips

  • Run Wild Fred 18/1 each-way Bet365
  • Eclair Surf 12/1 each-way Bet365
Distance: 4m 2f 74y
Type: Chase
Class: 1
Track: Turf
No
Silks
Runner
43
Romain De Senam
4B143-P

1
Minella Times
1221-FP

24
Anibale Fly
P3-9098

5
Run Wild Fred
22-2122

4
Any Second Now
P13-961

33
Phoenix Way
P4-721F

32
Agusta Gold
408-PP2

31
Snow Leopardess
246-111

2
Delta Work
U3-4661

39
Eclair Surf
18-F312

11
Fiddlerontheroof
223-122

10
Longhouse Poet
231-717

9
Mount Ida
213-117

23
Enjoy D'allen
223-735

14
Samcro
602803

38
Domaine De L'Isle
11-P420

15
Escaria Ten
123P-82

8
Burrows Saint
624-323

27
Class Conti
340-P90

30
Cloth Cap
1P-46R3

41
Commodore
P/2U9P-1

37
Death Duty
76-5716

21
Discorama
3/257-52

13
Santini
53P-428

42
School Boy Hours
2436-1P

3
Easysland
1/42-PPP

40
Fortescue
1-37231

16
Good Boy Bobby
2-31217

28
Noble Yeats
469P29

12
Two For Gold
13U-112

20
Kildisart
652/37-4

6
Lostintranslation
5P-15P8

18
Coko Beach
46P644

25
Dingo Dollar
P12-435

26
Freewheelin Dylan
814-6UP

29
Mighty Thunder
121-4PP

35
Blaklion
46-511P

19
De Rasher Counter
614P/2-4

7
Brahma Bull
2333PU

34
Deise Aba
1P-22P2

36
Poker Party
143/00P

22
Top Ville Ben
P5F312

17
Lord Du Mesnil
P-FP26P

44
Roi Mage
134751

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