Grand National 2017: The Final Countdown!

Another Cheltenham Festival has sadly come and gone but this does mean that 100% focus can now be given to the 2017 Grand National.

Gold Cup runner-up Minella Rocco has been bounced up to favourite for the big race and as a former winner of the four mile National Hunt Chase it’s easy to see why. Personally I would be more than slightly concerned about his rather hit and miss jumping but as he is trained by Jonjo O’Neill he is sure to prove a popular pick.

Currently challenging for favouritism is Haydock Grand National trial and Becher Chase winner Vieux Lion Rouge who finished an excellent seventh in the Grand National last year when just seven years old.

2016 Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri is also well fancied again but may find things more difficult this year with plenty more weight to carry.

Gordon Elliott was leading trainer at the recent Cheltenham Festival and has previously won the Grand National in 2007 with Silver Birch. Elliott still has seven horses entered in the 2017 Grand National including last year’s sixth placed runner Ucello Conti and three time Cheltenham Festival winner Cause Of Causes.

Last year’s winner Rule The World has, of course, been retired but his trainer Mouse Morris still has a couple of entries for this year in the shape of Rogue Angel and former Irish National winner Thunder And Roses.

Whatever Willie Mullins runs will be popular with the betting public and the master trainer will be keen to register another Grand National success as we have to go back to the great Hedgehunter in 2005 for the last time he won the race. Mullins currently has five horses still entered in the 2017 Grand National, including the Malcolm Denmark owned Pleasant Company.

The next forfeit stage for the 2017 Grand National is on the 21st March.

Please add your thoughts and tips for the big race to this thread.

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1,074 Responses to Grand National 2017: The Final Countdown!

  1. Wayward Lad says:

    Any thoughts on Stellar Notion

  2. moreen says:

    Daniel….it’s because I’ve just had a cup of coffee…..however, I’ve just had a black cat in the garden. We never see cats up here. It had a bright red collar on. This must be a sign, surely……oh heck; Definitely Red (red sky as well). Haven’t backed it but surely the result is cut and dried…..

  3. moari says:

    Any one looking for a stat buster,could be windy?

  4. TC says:

    Have to admit i would never have considered Saphir du Rheu as a national horse at the start of the year, but he has really got his act together. I expected him to run well in the gold cup, he covered more ground than every other horse in the race and stayed in the same position throughout, didnt quicken on the run nor did he weaken, which gives hope that he should get further. Couple that with his world hurdle run behind Cole Harden which was a very fastly run affair. I dont think there is another horse in the race that can compete to his level – bar possibly More of That, who is far too fragile for my liking.
    9 times out of 10 in handicaps it pays to go with the progressive horses, the grand national is no exception, albeit working out which horses may thrive on the extra distance. In terms of staying chases this year, the hennessy, grand national trial and the gold cup were run in exceptional times, i’d be looking to take horses from those races for staying prizes in the future. Certainly the 3rd in haydock’s GN trial caught my eye, with possibly a tilt at the scottish national.
    I am very much one for times and form ‘in the ‘book’, i would fully expect SDR, VLR and Blaklion to be able to lie up there most of the way bar an accident. Personally don’t think Blaklion will get home this year, possibly may do in future seasons. Those three look the best handicapped to me and will be competitive off their new marks in the future.
    causes of causes was my only ap bet at the start of the year and has been plotted out for this, for sometime, it was a very gallant effort to finish where he did two years ago, given the amount of ground he made up. He is a far more straight forward horse nowadays and doesnt need to be ridden out the back as advertised when winning the x country
    The only other horse that interests me and goes against a typical progressive profile that i would look for is Lord Windermere, he showed he still holds a decent level of ability when just touched off on his comeback run. He very rarely gets to run on some decent ground and has often been victim to the steadily run races over in Ireland. His mark looks a little lenient to me, considering the horses on a similar weight. He needed every yard of the gold cup trip three years ago and i’d certainly expect him to want further now
    My Aintree team
    Saphir du Rheu
    Vieux Lion Rouge
    Cause of Causes
    Lord Windermere

    g/l with your Aintree bets folks :)

  5. PenguinKeeper says:

    Wayward lad,

    I think it’s in the wrong race as I would love it in the topham.

    Fancy it to take to it well and be Bang there for three miles before fading crossing the melting road. Big price if it does stay though.

  6. moari says:

    The only thing i can say about stella is he doesn’t seem to be phased by a large field.

  7. Seven Towers says:

    GoingStick Mildmay: 7.0, Hurdle: 6.9, National: 6.2 on Wednesday at 14:00. Watering by the looks of it.

  8. Lucky Vane says:

    Anyone going to Aintree for any of the three days, this is from the official site



    Thursday 6 & Friday 7 April

    Train services will not be affected by strike action on Thursday 6 or Friday 7 April. An enhanced 7 ½ minute train service will run on the Merseyrail network between Liverpool city centre and Aintree station. To find out more and to plan your journey visit

    Saturday 8 April

    Due to strike action by the guard members of the RMT union, a reduced train service will run on Merseyrail and Northern, services on Saturday 8 April.

    Key advice if you’re heading to the Grand National:

    Check before you travel: You can get in and out of Liverpool on mainline rail services and to Aintree and back by Merseyrail, but these services may not fully cover all routes or follow the normal timetable.
    Leave longer for your journey
    Stick to public transport wherever possible to reduce congestion on key routes such as the Mersey Tunnels and roads in and out of the City Centre and around Aintree.
    Travelling within the Liverpool City Region

    ‘Despite the industrial action, an enhanced train service will run between Liverpool city centre and Aintree station on Saturday 8 April, with a 7 ½ minute service running at key times. However train services across the Merseyrail network will be reduced throughout the day. Visit for more information.

    Mainline rail services operated by Northern will also be impacted by industrial action. Visit Other rail operators will be running their services as normal. For more information visit

    For other transport options within or around the Liverpool City Region area, visit for alternative transport advice.

    Travelling from outside the Liverpool City Region

    Mainline rail services operated by Northern will also be impacted by industrial action. Other rail operators will be running their services as normal. For more information visit

    Travel Advice

    Please allow extra time for your journey as the public transport network and all major roads will be busy. We also advise you check the website or Twitter feed of your chosen transport provider before you travel to the Grand National Festival.

  9. Lucky Vane says:

    Anyone going to Aintree, check out the official site

  10. Walsh81 says:

    These are my three main picks

    Houblon des Obeaux
    Thunder and Roses

    Couple more I can’t shake

    Just a par
    Highland lodge

    If Bless the wings does get a run I’ll be all over it as I think it wins.

  11. red flash says:

    Pleasant company anyone?
    he is in my final vote and backed!
    will be a small stat buster but…….
    more will become clear … and could and only could be the big irish gamble

  12. moari says:

    Wayward lad-Didn’t realise or rather missed the fact that stellar notion has good form against nearly all the irish horses fancied on here including Causeof causes Thunder and roses and rogue angel.

  13. rough and tumble says:

    With the drying and expected goodish ground and Spring form and either back class or long distance Class 1 in the form book, I’m still very happy with:

    Just A Par

    And if it runs (praying it does) I am growing more and more keen on REGAL ENCORE at some fancy prices (300/1 through to 150/1 on betfair). Enjoys good ground, in the Spring, and either runs very well or pulls up. If it’s in the mood for it, could be a huge surprise. Anyone fancy it?

  14. Corbiere says:

    Ballynagour is one of the two I am still considering backing, waiting to see if price goes up. Would like more than 66/1.
    Regal Encore is another that if a going day has enough class to win.

  15. simons6 says:

    Ms Katie Walsh is rehearsing her speech now in front of the mirror….Thank you to Everyone especiallly Wonderful Charm who gave me a Wonderful ride round twice to the Elbow when he Burst into Life and galloped on….

  16. Supersub says:

    Great news team, the Bet365 offer has just gone live. It is the same as previous years so you will need to already be a registered customer.

    You get half your e/w stake back as a refund up to a maximum of £125.

    Remember to optimise the offer for the minimum outlay make sure your first bet is £62.50 e/w and then keep betting the refund and then you get £125 of free bets for an initial outlay of £125.

    The offer closes at midday on Saturday.

  17. Mike N says:

    Don’t understand. When you get your 32.25 back then what.

  18. Kevski111 says:

    Hi rough and tumble, glad to see someone else has backed Ballynagour and Regal Encore!
    So far I have backed:

    Cause Of Causes 33/1 x 2 and 20/1
    Highland Lodge 25/1
    Regal Encore 33/1
    Ballynagour 66/1
    Rogue Angel 33/1
    Vicente 33/1
    Houblon 50/1 x 2
    Raz 40/1.

  19. Supersub says:

    Mike N says:
    April 6, 2017 at 6:15 am
    Don’t understand. When you get your 32.25 back then what.
    You can bet it again Mike. Only this time you are using the refunded money. When that bet has been placed you then get half of that stake refunded and so on until you get to 10p which is your minimum stake. By which time the bets that you have made with the refunded money should equal your initial stake.

    Believe me it works as I’ve done it every year that they’ve been running this offer.

  20. Seven Towers says:

    I do see the merits in Pleasant Company because of the Comply Or Die connection plus a little bit of digging also highlighted that when looking at his relations, if you veer off when you get to the maternal grand dam, Quick Miss, you will end up with Irish National runner up Golden Wonder. So relations-wise one of the better horses in the field. That said another of his relatives Bally Beaufort fared equally badly in the same NH Chase.

  21. Seven Towers says:

    Bet365 also go 6 places from 14:00 tomorrow so you may want to wait.

  22. Seven Towers says:

    The other thing about Pleasant Company, which may or may not be significant is his trainer. Someone will no doubt correct me but unless I am mistaken I believe the last time Willie Mullins saddled only one runner and for a British based owner was in 2005 and we know what happened there. I haven’t checked so someone will no doubt correct me on this!

  23. Mike N says:

    Supersub I believe Bet365 say you would get the refunded stake within 12 hours. So if they take their time with the refund you won’t be able to place all the bets in time because of the potential waiting would you?

  24. Seven Towers says:

    But I give with one hand and taketh away with the other. Presenting’s current Grand National record reads as one placed horse from 23 runners. It was a winner (2 fifth places too with one of those in the same race as Ballabriggs) but with two fences omitted.

  25. Seven Towers says:


    When I do it, it has been a matter of minutes. I have never had to wait that long.

  26. Seven Towers says:

    That said I think it appeals more to the ‘undecided’ punter because most of our money is down already. You could top up on a horse you have already and then the refunded money usually goes on a horse you are worried about that you haven’t previously backed and hey presto without realising it you have 50% of the field running for you!

  27. Seven Towers says:

    I did that in 2015 with this offer. Kept putting the refunded stake on horses I was worried about. During the race it was like, got that one, got that one, got that one, got that one, got that one, got that one, got that one, got that one, got that one, got that one, got that one and when they passed the line it was I haven’t got that one.

  28. Corbiere says:

    Weather Watch
    No rain overnight
    Sun up and cracking the flags already
    Ground now Good (Good to Soft in places)
    Almost certainly going to water either last night or after racing tonday.

  29. Supersub says:

    Mike, they credit your account almost immediately. It is within seconds not even minutes.

    That’s why this is such a great offer.

  30. pablo says:

    “All you have to do is place your bets on the Grand National between Thursday 6th April and midday on Saturday 8th April. We will then give you half the stake back for every Each-Way single bet you place on the race, up to a maximum total refund of £125 per customer.”

    Seems to me that there is no optimal strategy here.

    You place e/w bets on the GN and you get half your stake back each time to a maximum of £125 (i.e. £125 e/w in total bets)

  31. Seven Towers says:

    I didn’t want to appear obtuse but I thought the same thing pablo.

  32. pablo says:

    No offence intended – merely let’s not over complicate something that unless I’ve completely misunderstood it appears very simple.

  33. GreenGoddess says:


    With the weather so settled it doesn’t make sense to carry this on any longer. Hope you’ve all found it useful over the past 2 weeks.

    According to the latest turftrax report they’ve already begun selective watering (fence 13 and 14).

    Even the canal turn has now dried out to good to soft.


  34. red flash says:

    thats the main (prob only reason really) i like pleasant company is the direct female line to comply or die, where as comply has old vic, pleasant has presenting and by extension vimy/wild risk/rialto, plus a few other big guns in the pedigree.
    Family 8 when crossed with family 19 do have a better than expected record.
    I do also fully agree there is also a fair bit not to like stat/form wise, off top of my head cant remember but is Ruby not riding pleasant company?

  35. Seven Towers says:

    Yes he definitely is riding him unless he consents to get himself injured before the race again.

  36. PenguinKeeper says:

    Red Flash,

    I’ve been a fan of Pleasant Company for this all season. Misses total chase stats and season stats, and faded when ran in hot NHunt chase last year over 4 miles.

    Since hood been applied though, has settled in his races and you could argue is massively unexposed compared to most of these. Has essentially won his last 2 races when fit( was season debut when a highly respectable staying on 4 in Thyestes) and there aerent many in this race with that profile while still on a decent weight. Also has the best jockey for staying chases aboard.

  37. Out Cider says:

    “Cracking the flags” it’s going to be a cracker this Saturday, This is the 1st time for over 20 years I haven’t placed any bets already, although I will be steaming into that Bet 365 offer big style, it’s a no brainier place up to £250 of E/W single bets and it only costs you £125.
    Just one thing though, and it’s a big thing, who am I gonna back, the Grand National conundrum is cracking my brain. We want something that likes the ground, travels up with the pace, is economical over the jumps but jumps well, has form this season, trained with this race in mind, will get the trip & will win.

    I turn into Fagan this time every year, I’m constantly reviewing the situation & keep thinking that I think I’d better think it out again.

  38. Just So says:

    Good morning everyone. I would feel a little fraudulent if I claimed to be a newcomer as I have posted in previous years under another pseudonym, for which I have lost my login details, haha! However, like many of us, I pop up around this time of year to put my tuppence worth in. I have read your expert posts with increasing interest as the day approaches and I find myself finally zoning in on a cluster of runners. Time to narrow it down to 6 or fewer now!

    For what it’s worth, here are my internal mutterings put down on paper.

    Some fancied runners I have eliminated from my reckoning are CoC based on his former away from Cheltenham (could regret that), MoT based on his bleeding and that he will likely always be a better hurdler than a chaser. I fancied Blaklion but now I am more and more worried about whether he will stay based on his Haydock run, so for win purposes I think others are more likely. TLS looks nailed on to finish in a decent position but again I’m not happy he can do enough to win with the weight. MC did it but I think he was simply a better horse.

    Of the bigger priced horses I’m leaning towards JAP although I think his 33/1 odds are probably a fair reflection. I’m sure there will be at least one big price in the 1st 3 but I can’t for the life of me nail down the one or two.

    Can someone help me out with Ucello Conti please? I need to be either convinced he can win or convinced he cannot. I’m on the fence (!) completely with him.

    Vicente looks solid to me, particularly given his connections so I’ll be backing him (unless someone can convince me otherwise).

    I don’t much like (and don’t often) back favourites, and even less so in this great race, but I just can’t get away from VLR. He looks like the perfect horse for this year’s renewal so I am reluctantly making him my NAP. (Is it too late to vote?)

    Finally, thanks to all of the more regular contributors to this page. There are maybe a dozen or two of you but you make the whole build up period so much more enjoyable for a huge number of followers. You deserve huge credit for what you do on here, and I for one am glad you keep coming back and posting, unlike us who keep coming back to soak up your valuable insights.

    I’ll be there on the day in the Earl of Derby stand and may well bump past some of you without knowing it so I hope you all enjoy the day and leave with more great GN memories.

  39. Mike N says:

    Supersub says:
    April 6, 2017 at 7:38 am
    Mike, they credit your account almost immediately. It is within seconds not even minutes.
    That’s why this is such a great offer.


  40. Mike N says:

    Selective watering already. Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!

  41. Mike N says:

    My concern with PC is same as JAP and COC. Will he get too far back and fall behind.

  42. Mike N says:

    Pablo don’t be obtuse lol.

  43. Seven Towers says:


    Is that PC1 or PC2?!

  44. daniel edwards says:

    Re win percentage

    I have Bindaree at 3 from 16

    If that is right that is 5 winners under 20 percent, so about 19 percent of them

  45. litefoot says:

    Hi everyone, I’m creeping out of the ether once again, 12 months on.

    Seven Towers/Mike N/Supersub: About the ‘six places from Saturday 2pm’ offer, I would be very careful here. During Saturday, bet365′s systems slow to a dead crawl because they are so busy, and it takes 6-12 hours approx for your 50% stake to be refunded. I speak from experience. Last year I made sure I placed my bets on the Thursday and Friday. The money is refunded instantly and I didn’t have a problem. If you wait until 2pm Saturday to place some bets, you might not get your 50% back until after the race!

    It’s possible that bet365 have improved their systems, but I’m not hanging around until Saturday afternoon to find out!

    I warn everyone about this who has a bet365 account. Personally I’ll ignore the temptation of 6th and place all my bets tomorrow.

  46. daniel edwards says:

    Last year 11 ran with under 20 percent win rate

    Thos included the winner, 3rd, 5th and 6th

  47. daniel edwards says:

    My data is corrupted for 14 and 15 (job for the summer?!) but in 2013 16 runners were under 20 percent, including 4th 5th and 6th

  48. kj says:

    Sorry Daniel 20 percent of what?? I missed the conversation and its been pretty ‘posty’ on here while I’ve been away.
    Mike you beat me to it ;) watering worries,.. would we say theres a type of horse copes best with dead ground?
    off to check on Ventusky cloud cover update fr saturday…

  49. daniel edwards says:

    2012 there were 9 runners

    10th was the best finish

  50. Seven Towers says:

    The six places is from 2pm on Friday litefoot and the 50% offer stops at midday on Saturday, so it should be ok.