The official time to get excited about the Grand National is when the weights are revealed, something we saw earlier this week. The weights were revealed in London, which is always a baffling decision when the event takes place at Aintree, Liverpool.
Onto the weights and this is when we usually find out which horses are seriously aimed at the race, and which are looking to swerve it. Of all the fancied runners, Both Definitly Red and Total Recall will head to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Bristol De Mai will go for the Betfair Bowl at Aintree and Outlander will remain in Ireland for the Punchestown Gold Cup. These are all big names, but at this stage, it looks as though these runners aren't guaranteed to line-up at Aintree on Grand National day.
Favourite for the race Blaklion has been handed 11st 6lb, a weight that trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies is happy with. All systems go for the Grand National with him.
Cause of Clauses, who came second last season, has been the horse to attract support since the weights were announced. He was 33/1 generally before the weights came out, but is now as low as 20/1 with most bookmakers, remember that Grand National free bets are still available where you can check the best Grand National betting offers here like £20 risk free bet by Paddy Power or bet £5 Get £20 by Coral. He will head to Cheltenham and run in the Cross Country race, along with stablemate Tiger Roll and they will hope to perform well there before aiming at the big one. Noble Endeavor looks set to be the third representative from the Gorden Elliott stable. He has not run for quite a while but will have an Irish prep run sometime before the National.
Jonjo O’Neill is hoping to have two horses in the race, with Minella Rocco and Go Conquer lined up. Minella Rocco is certainly capable of a big race but hasn’t been running too well this winter. He likes the spring, and hopefully, that will bring enough improvement from him to make him competitive.
Lastly, The Last Samuri has been handed 11st 4lb which has pleased his trainer Kim Bailey. He ran a nice race to stay on at Cheltenham in January and will have a prep run before heading to the National. Last year he ran in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster, and that is a possibility again for him this season.