110 entries for the Randox Health Grand National 2017 were announced yesterday so the list is officially in and there are quite a few surprises on the roster, as well as a few very conspicuous absences! While only 40 of these horses will make it into the race, the entries themselves are very telling.
Most people have noticed that Colin Tizzard’s Native River has not been submitted for the 2017 Grand National. He was one of the bookie’s ante-post favourites and as short as 14/1 with some, but his trainer has gone with Alary to represent him instead. Of course, Thistlecrack will also be representing the group on the Aintree roster.
Last year’s second place finisher, The Last Samurai, has been entered again and is already a firm favourite with the bookmakers to go one place bette this year and bring home the Grand National for connections. However, before you put your house on him, the record for horses who place in one Grand National, only to go on and win it in the next are not good but maybe The Last Samuri can turn those stats around?
Don Poli has been given the green light by trainer Gordon Elliott, one of 14 entries from the Irish trainer who has previously won the Grand National with Silverbirch back in 2007. Despite the large number of entries this year, Don Poli is undoubtedly one of the highest rated and will come closeto getting top weight when the BHA Handicapper announces them on February 14th.
Expect odds for Don Poli to be short as he looks set to be one of the race favourites and with the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on the horizon, on February 12th,he looks set to run alongside stablemate Empire of Dirt, also another Grand National entry.
For the third year, the number of entries into the Grand National have exceeded 100, which is an indicator of just how competitive the race now is. As we move towards the upcoming Declaration Stages these horses will be pared down to just 40 for the final race which will take place at Aintree on Saturday 8th April at 5.15pm.
We won’t know the final line-up for the race until two days before, even then there will be a further four horses kept on reserve. This will be the 170th running of the National which, for the first time, will be televised on ITV.
With a total fund of £1 million in prize money it is all to play for and with the unveiling of the 110 entrants, the run up to the Grand National is really underway.