Grand National Runner By Runner A-Z Preview

SATURDAY, 06 APRIL 2013 at 4.15pm


Distance: 4m 3f 110y

Across The Bay

Effective over hurdles and fences and much improved this season. Profile suggests he may be happiest in a smaller field.

Always Waining

This fellow has won the last three renewals of Topham Chase. 5lb higher handicap mark than his last win but loves the unique challenge that is Aintree. Serious shout if seeing out the trip.

Any Currency

Unseated on only visit to Aintree but stays well and enjoys the likely good or good to soft ground. Another who has only won on right-handed tracks.

Auroras Encore

Claims on 2012 Scottish Grand National second. Handles good and good to soft. Below his best this season.


Gallant winner in 2011 and sixth in 2012. Has shown he retains his ability and 8lb lower handicap mark this time round. Should run well, but may find younger legs getting the better of him in the latter stages.

Balthazar King

Won the Cross-Country at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival. This has been his long-term target since winning at Prestbury Park in October. Goes exceptionally well fresh but needs good ground to show his best. Given a clear ground, on his favoured ground, he should run well.


Fell at the Canal Turn last year but ran quite will in his prep race a Cheltenham.

Big Fella Thanks

Sixth in 2009, fourth in 2010, and seventh in 2011. Stamina has to be a concern as he has weakened in the closing stages on each occasion. He has done well this season and arrives at the top of his game.

Cappa Bleu

Third in Welsh National and fourth in this race last season. Ran a highly promising trial at Ascot last time out. Stays well and will hopefully ridden close to the pace this time round. 2lb lower and ran a better trial last according to RPR’s last season.

Chicago Grey

Brought down early last season. Following a wind operation he has bounded back to form. Stays well, 9lb lower handicap mark this time round and effective on all types of going underhoof.

Colbert Station

Landed a well-planned coup in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last December. Followed up in a handicap hurdle but now finds himself on a 17lb higher mark. One for the A P McCoy short list.


Grand old chaser but looks a strange choice of race as he approaches the veteran stage. Needs to prove his stamina.

Harry The Viking

Runner-up to Teaforthree in 2012 NH Chase at Cheltenham. Will love the trip but hard to fancy on the evidence of his form this far this season. On a good handicap mark if sparking a revival.

Imperial Commander

2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero. Returned to action when just touched off on Cheltenham Trials day. Would face an enormous task off top-weight though plenty of stamina on both sides of his pedigree. Ballabriggs carried 11-9 into sixth place last year. Don’t Push It finished third under 11-10 in 2011. One would imagine Imperial Commander is a classier individual than those two brave horses. He has shown his best form on good or good to soft.

Join Together

Looks an ideal type given he stays so well. Badly hampered in his prep run cannot have helped in his preparation. Finished a gallant second in the Becher Chase last December and effective on good through to heavy ground.


Retains plenty of ability but may be best at shorter trips.

Lost Glory

Improving chaser but may be too inexperienced at this stage of his career.

Major Malarkey

Stays well but inconsistent.

Mortimers Cross

Stays forever but this looks above his usual class of race.

Mr Moonshine

Fairly handicapped for what looks a stiff assignment.

Mumbles Head

Looks outclassed.

Ninetieth Minute

Finished second to Treacle last time out. Decent performer on his day and not dismissed completely.

On His Own

Going well when falling last year at Bechers last year and runs off the same handicap mark. Has a massive chance this time following a pleasing comeback over hurdles in February. Effective on good through to heavy. Ruby Walsh booking would be a huge bonus.

Oscar Time

Ran really well to finish second in 2011 but little encouragement from this year’s form.


All looks too much for this chap.

Quel Esprit

Talented sort that appears to have sorted out his jumping problems. Possibly at his best in smaller field.

Quiscover Fontaine

Departed the fun at the seventeenth fence last year. Claims at his best on the same handicap mark as last year.

Rare Bob

This fellow has been steadily backed and is a fancied outsider. Has been brought to the boil in the last couple of months. Arrives in better form than last season on a 6lb lower handicap mark.

Roberto Goldback

Ran away with as Ascot handicap last November on his first start for Mr Henderson. Disappointed until showing promise in the Racing Post Chase. Looks on a high enough handicap mark.

Saint Are

Has a good record on the Mildmay course. Ran a fair race at Ascot when third to Vino Griego, six-lengths behind Cappa Bleu. A live outside if taking to the National fences.


Ran an excellent race to finish third last year. 5lb higher this time round but has been specifically trained for the race this time round. Has every chance of seeing the trip out being a year older and stronger.


Inexperienced but improving and won well last time out. Has been brought along steadily and a good winner last time out. Needs to prove himself effective in big field.


Went down by the narrowest of margins last year when nabbed on the line by Neptune Collonges. 10lb higher handicap mark and has not had what you could call an ideal preparation. Nevertheless, his trainer is a master with long-distance chasers. Another for A P’s short list.

Swing Bill

Running well this season but on a career high handicap mark at twelve-years of age. Stamina an issue.


Finished second in the Thyestes Chase which can prove good guide. Stays well and a reliable jumper.


Stamina doubts.


2012 National Hunt Chase winner and runner up in the Welsh National last December. 7lb higher handicap mark now but a real long distance specialist. Chase form suggests he may be happiest on undulating tracks.

The Rainbow Hunter

Trained by a Grand National winning trainer who has had this race in mind all season. Handles good or good to soft and claims if avoiding early mistakes. In the dark over his stamina.


Stays well and arrives in good form following a recent win. Limitless stamina and claims off a 7lb lower handicap mark than last year. Fell at the tenth having been hampered at the fifth fence.

Viking Blond

Fell at the first fence in 2011. Stays well but needs everything to go his way to show his best form.

Weird Al

Capable on his day but has become inconsistent due to blood vessel problems.

What A Friend

Well backed when pulled-up in Ballabriggs’s National. Still talented but plenty to prove having had just one disappointing run this season.

More on Grand National 2013 from the Racing Post.