Grand National

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16 Feb 16 16:18
Date Joined: 29 Aug 02
| Topic/replies: 7,112 | Blogger: Mully's blog
The Crabbie's Grand National
Grade 3 handicap chase, £1,000,000 total prize fund. 5.15pm, Saturday, April 9, 2016, four miles, two and a half furlongs (4m 2f 74yds). For seven-year-olds and upwards which, up to and including March 21, have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase with an official distance description of 'about three miles' or more and which are allotted a rating of 120 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 14. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at closing may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances up to and including February 14 would merit a minimum rating of 120. To qualify, horses must have run at least three times in chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Racing Authority up to and including February 14. At the Handicapper's discretion, such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. Entries closed, February 2, entries revealed February 3 (126 entries
).Weights revealed February 16. First scratchings deadline March 1, second scratchings deadline March 22. Five-day confirmation stage April 4, final declarations 10am, April 7. Maximum field 40 runners.

    Horse    Age/Wgt    Rating    Owner    Trainer
1)    MANY CLOUDS (IRE)    9-11-10    165    Trevor Hemmings    Oliver Sherwood
2)    DON POLI (IRE)    7-11-09    164    Gigginstown House Stud    Willie Mullins IRE
3)    SILVINIACO CONTI (FR)    10-11-08    163    Potensis Bloodstock Ltd & Chris Giles    Paul Nicholls
4)    CARLINGFORD LOUGH (IRE)    10-11-07    162    J P McManus    John Kiely IRE
5)    VALSEUR LIDO (FR)    7-11-06    161    Gigginstown House Stud    Willie Mullins IRE
6)    HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR)    9-11-05    160    Mrs Julian Blackwell    Venetia Williams
7)    FIRST LIEUTENANT (IRE)    11-11-04    159    Gigginstown House Stud    Mouse Morris IRE
8)    FOXROCK (IRE)    8-11-03    158    Barry Connell    Ted Walsh IRE
9)    WONDERFUL CHARM (FR)    8-11-03    158    Robin Geffen    Paul Nicholls
10)    BALLYNAGOUR (IRE)    10-11-02    157    Allan Stennett    David Pipe
11)    THIRD INTENTION (IRE)    9-11-02    157    Robert and Sarah Tizzard    Colin Tizzard
12)    GILGAMBOA (IRE)    8-11-01    156    J P McManus    Enda Bolger IRE
13)    LORD WINDERMERE (IRE)    10-11-01    156    Dr Ronan Lambe    Jim Culloty IRE
14)    O'FAOLAINS BOY (IRE)    9-11-01    156    Trembath, Hyde, Outhart & Hill    Rebecca Curtis
15)    ON HIS OWN (IRE)    12-11-01    156    Andrea & Graham Wylie    Willie Mullins IRE
16)    SAM WINNER (FR)    9-11-01    156    Angela Yeoman    Paul Nicholls
17)    THE DRUIDS NEPHEW (IRE)    9-11-00    155    The Stonehenge Druids    Neil Mulholland
18)    TRIOLO D'ALENE (FR)    9-11-00    155    Sandy & Caroline Orr    Nicky Henderson
19)    WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE)    7-11-00    155    Gigginstown House Stud    Noel Meade IRE
20)    ROCKY CREEK (IRE)    10-10-13    154    The Johnson & Stewart Families    Paul Nicholls
21)    ROI DU MEE (FR)    11-10-13    154    Gigginstown House Stud    Gordon Elliott IRE
22)    SIR DES CHAMPS (FR)    10-10-13    154    Gigginstown House Stud    Willie Mullins IRE
23)    HOLYWELL (IRE)    9-10-12    153    Gay Smith    Jonjo O'Neill
24)    SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR (IRE)    9-10-11    152    J P McManus    Jonjo O'Neill
25)    SOLL    11-10-11    152    Derrick Mossop    David Pipe
26)    AACHEN    12-10-10    151    Tony Bloom    Venetia Williams
27)    BOSTON BOB (IRE)    11-10-10    151    Andrea & Graham Wylie    Willie Mullins IRE
28)    BUYWISE (IRE)    9-10-10    151    T Hywel Jones    Evan Williams
29)    TURBAN (FR)    9-10-10    151    Edward O'Connell    Willie Mullins IRE
30)    DOUBLE ROSS (IRE)    10-10-09    150    Options O Syndicate    Nigel Twiston-Davies
31)    MORNING ASSEMBLY (IRE)    9-10-09    150    Clipper Logistics Group Ltd    Pat Fahy IRE
32)    GALLANT OSCAR (IRE)    10-10-08    149    J P McManus    Tony Martin IRE
33)    GOONYELLA (IRE)    9-10-08    149    Ann & Alan Potts Partnership    Jim Dreaper IRE
34)    LE REVE (IRE)    8-10-08    149    Pat Betts    Lucy Wadham
35)    LONG RUN (FR)    11-10-08    149    Robert Waley-Cohen    Robert Waley-Cohen
36)    ONENIGHTINVIENNA (IRE)    7-10-08    149    Judith Luff    Philip Hobbs
37)    THE LAST SAMURI (IRE)    8-10-08    149    Paul & Clare Rooney    Kim Bailey
38)    UCELLO CONTI (FR)    8-10-08    149    Simon Munir    Gordon Elliott IRE
39)    UNIONISTE (FR)    8-10-08    149    John Hales    Paul Nicholls
40)    BEAR'S AFFAIR (IRE)    10-10-07    148    G B Barlow    Nicky Henderson
41)    KRUZHLININ (GER)    9-10-07    148    Paul & Clare Rooney    Philip Hobbs
42)    RULE THE WORLD    9-10-07    148    Gigginstown House Stud    Mouse Morris IRE
43)    BALLYCASEY (IRE)    9-10-06    147    Susannah Ricci    Willie Mullins IRE
44)    BLACK THUNDER (FR)    9-10-06    147    Donlon, MacDonald, Fulton & Webb    Paul Nicholls
45)    HADRIAN'S APPROACH (IRE)    9-10-06    147    Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes    Nicky Henderson
46)    JUST A PAR (IRE)    9-10-06    147    Graham Roach & Paul Barber    Paul Nicholls
47)    KATENKO (FR)    10-10-06    147    Andrew Brooks    Venetia Williams
48)    LIVING NEXT DOOR (IRE)    10-10-06    147    John Breslin    Tony Martin IRE
49)    THUNDER AND ROSES (IRE)    8-10-06    147    Gigginstown House Stud    Sandra Hughes IRE
50)    VICS CANVAS (IRE)    13-10-06    147    Bodeen Bandits Partnership    Dermot McLoughlin IRE
51)    KATKEAU (FR)    9-10-05    146    Prof Caroline Tisdall, J A Gent, R C Wilkin    David Pipe
52)    MENDIP EXPRESS (IRE)    10-10-05    146    David Maxwell Racing Limited    Philip Hobbs
53)    PENDRA (IRE)    8-10-05    146    J P McManus    Charlie Longsdon
54)    SAINT ARE (FR)    10-10-05    146    David Fox    Tom George
55)    SPRING HEELED (IRE)    9-10-05    146    Dr Ronan Lambe    Jim Culloty IRE
56)    VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR)    7-10-05    146    Prof Caroline Tisdall & John Gent    David Pipe
57)    HOME FARM (IRE)    9-10-04    145    Chris Jones    Henry de Bromhead IRE
58)    MON PARRAIN (FR)    10-10-04    145    David Maxwell Racing Limited    Paul Nicholls
59)    THE ROMFORD PELE (IRE)    9-10-04    145    Trembath & Outhart    Rebecca Curtis
60)    BISHOPS ROAD (IRE)    8-10-03    144    Alan Halsall    Kerry Lee
61)    KNOCK HOUSE (IRE)    7-10-03    144    Tim Radford    Mick Channon
62)    OPEN HEARTED    9-10-03    144    Craig Buckingham    Dan Skelton
63)    SHOTGUN PADDY (IRE)    9-10-03    144    Axom (XXXVI)    Emma Lavelle
64)    ALVARADO (IRE)    11-10-02    143    William & Angela Rucker    Fergal O'Brien
65)    HIGHLAND LODGE (IRE)    10-10-02    143    Bowes Lodge Stables    James Moffatt
66)    MAGGIO (FR)    11-10-02    143    Douglas Pryde/James Beaumont    Patrick Griffin IRE
67)    PERFECT CANDIDATE (IRE)    9-10-02    143    ISL Recruitment    Fergal O'Brien
68)    PINEAU DE RE (FR)    13-10-02    143    John Provan    Dr Richard Newland
69)    PRESENT VIEW    8-10-02    143    Sir Chips Keswick    Jamie Snowden
70)    BALLY BEAUFORT (IRE)    8-10-01    142    Rob Rexton    Nigel Twiston-Davies
71)    BENBENS (IRE)    11-10-01    142    Sarah Such & C G Paletta    Nigel Twiston-Davies
72)    CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA)    8-10-01    142    J P McManus    Gordon Elliott IRE
73)    DOUBLE SEVEN (IRE)    10-10-01    142    J P McManus    Martin Brassil
74)    MIDNIGHT PRAYER    11-10-01    142    The Legends Partnership    Alan King
75)    MOUNTAINOUS (IRE)    11-10-01    142    Hartley Phillips Roseff Shields    Kerry Lee
76)    ROYALE KNIGHT    10-10-01    142    Chris Stedman & R J Corsan    Dr Richard Newland
77)    BLESS THE WINGS (IRE)    11-10-00    141    Adrian Butler/S P O'Connor    Gordon Elliott IRE
78)    BROADWAY BUFFALO (IRE)    8-10-00    141    Jo Tracey    David Pipe
79)    CORRIN WOOD (IRE)    9-10-00    141    Dermot Hanafin Robert Rose Ian Whitfield    Donald McCain
80)    DARE TO ENDEAVOUR    9-10-00    141    Aidan Ryan    Eric McNamara IRE
81)    EMPEROR'S CHOICE (IRE)    9-10-00    141    The Bellamy Partnership    Venetia Williams
82)    SPLASH OF GINGE    9-10-00    141    John Neild    Nigel Twiston-Davies
83)    ZIGA BOY (FR)    7-10-00    141    Axom LI    Alan King
84)    GAS LINE BOY (IRE)    10-9-13    140    The Three Graces    Jim Best
85)    GRAY HESSION (IRE)    9-9-13    140    Alan Gray    Jonjo O'Neill
86)    MILBOROUGH (IRE)    10-9-13    140    Helen Cross    Ian Duncan
87)    BOB FORD (IRE)    9-9-12    139    The JJ Partnership    Rebecca Curtis
88)    NIGHT IN MILAN (IRE)    10-9-12    139    Richard Collins    Keith Reveley
89)    OUR FATHER (IRE)    10-9-12    139    The Ives & Johnson Families    Gordon Elliott IRE
90)    ROGUE ANGEL (IRE)    8-9-12    139    Gigginstown House Stud    Mouse Morris IRE
91)    RUSSE BLANC (FR)    9-9-12    139    Mark Jackson    Kerry Lee
92)    SEABASS (IRE)    13-9-12    139    Gunners Syndicate    Ted Walsh IRE
93)    FIREBIRD FLYER (IRE)    9-9-11    138    R E R Williams    Evan Williams
94)    MR MOONSHINE (IRE)    12-9-11    138    D Pryde, J Beaumont, D van der Hoeven 1    Sue Smith
95)    OPERATING (IRE)    9-9-11    138    Paul & Clare Rooney    Gordon Elliott IRE
96)    PAINT THE CLOUDS    11-9-11    138    Peter Deal & Jill & Robin Eynon    Warren Greatrex
97)    BIG WATER (IRE)    8-9-10    137    Elm Row Racing Syndicate    Alan Swinbank
98)    BENVOLIO (IRE)    9-9-09    136    Patricia Thompson    Paul Nicholls
99)    COGRY    7-9-09    136    Graham and Alison Jelley    Nigel Twiston-Davies
100)    NO SECRETS (IRE)    12-9-09    136    Malcolm Denmark    Tony Martin IRE
101)    SUMMERY JUSTICE (IRE)    12-9-09    136    Mrs H Brown    Venetia Williams
102)    AMIGO (FR)    9-9-08    135    A L Cohen & Willsford Racing    David Pipe
103)    COMPETITIVE EDGE (IRE)    9-9-08    135    J P McManus    Conor O'Dwyer IRE
104)    GOLDEN CHIEFTAIN (IRE)    11-9-08    135    Brocade Racing    Colin Tizzard
105)    DOING FINE (IRE)    8-9-07    134    Carl Hinchy    Rebecca Curtis
106)    DROMNEA (IRE)    9-9-07    134    Ann Daly    Mouse Morris IRE
107)    GOLDEN WONDER (IRE)    10-9-07    134    P M Cooney    Sandra Hughes IRE
108)    INDIAN CASTLE (IRE)    8-9-07    134    Askew Dick Hernon Reynard    Ian Williams
109)    RIVAGE D'OR (FR)    11-9-07    134    Gigginstown House Stud    Tony Martin IRE
110)    STANDING OVATION (IRE)    9-9-07    134    The Bravo Partnership    David Pipe
111)    IKORODU ROAD    13-9-06    133    W J Odell    Graeme McPherson
112)    NED STARK (IRE)    8-9-06    133    The Dunkley & Reilly Partnership    Alan King
113)    RATHLIN    11-9-06    133    Masters Of The Hall 2    Micky Hammond
114)    RIGADIN DE BEAUCHENE (FR)    11-9-06    133    Andrew Wiles    Venetia Williams
115)    WYCK HILL (IRE)    12-9-06    133    J P McManus    David Bridgwater
116)    PORTRAIT KING (IRE)    11-9-04    131    James Beaumont & Douglas Pryde    Patrick Griffin IRE
117)    WOODFORD COUNTY    9-9-04    131    The Englands and Heywoods    Philip Hobbs
118)    ANY CURRENCY (IRE)    13-9-03    130    Cash Is King    Martin Keighley
119)    DARK LOVER (GER)    11-9-03    130    The Dark Lovers    Jamie Snowden
120)    SEEBRIGHT    9-9-03    130    Mrs D J Fleming    Victor Dartnall
121)    GODSMEJUDGE (IRE)    10-9-02    129    Favourites Racing Ltd    David Dennis
122)    SAROQUE (IRE)    9-9-02    129    Andrew Brooks    Venetia Williams
123)    TOUR DES CHAMPS (FR)    9-9-02    129    Caroline Mould    Nigel Twiston-Davies
124)    AERLITE SUPREME (IRE)    9-9-01    128    M J Haines    Evan Williams
125)    FINANCIAL CLIMATE (IRE)    9-9-01    128    Sara Fillery & Friends    Oliver Sherwood
126)    HARRY THE VIKING    11-9-01    128    Jim Beaumont & Quona Thomson    Sandy Thomson
Pause Switch to Standard View Last one to get in 2016 game
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Report Mully February 16, 2016 4:20 PM GMT
This year I'm predicting No. 83- Ziga Boy will be our 40th runner. Who do you think?
Report shockster February 16, 2016 5:04 PM GMT
I have backed horses with 10-01 so reckon it will be Present View on 10-02.  Sods Law
Report The Headmaster February 16, 2016 5:29 PM GMT
I think the current 10-02s or 10-01s will be where it stops and as there's a few of them the handicap marks at the time (which decide the order) will be crucial imo.
Report GI MAC February 16, 2016 6:45 PM GMT
Spring Heeled will be the last one in, making it a compressed handicap.
Report dunlaying February 22, 2016 4:07 PM GMT
I think you could be close there. Bishops Road is my guess. I hope I am wrong.
Report Penguin Keeper February 22, 2016 4:35 PM GMT
pineau du re
Report Can't Catch Me February 23, 2016 3:50 PM GMT
G1. Why do you think the number will be as high on the list as 56 that misses out?

That would be a massive turnaround from previous years.... 68 on the list is the highest up there not to get in in the last 15 years.
Report Meat Loaf March 4, 2016 4:30 PM GMT
You may need to be in the top 60-65 of the original list to get in this year. Doesn't look to be many non runners to me.
Report boy wonder 07 March 22, 2016 6:43 PM GMT
I agree and hope our local horse highland lodge makes it at 65 but its going to be touch and go I think he may be number 40
Report Chaplins Club March 22, 2016 7:29 PM GMT
Think Cause Of Causes will be the last to scramble in now.
Report The Headmaster March 26, 2016 9:08 PM GMT
This has caught a few on the hop.  Barring the obvious ones aren't we almost looking at decs already? Not going to go anywhere near as low as I and many others thought Sad

Possible this will be the shape of things to come as a) the prize money is now monumentally attractive and b) because of that it costs a fair amount to enter and stay in through various stages
Report Meat Loaf March 27, 2016 9:51 AM BST
Yep agreed there won't be many horses coming out. Horses like Cause of Causes have no chance of getting in.

Bishops Road may scrape in if lucky.
Report dunlaying March 27, 2016 11:42 AM BST
I have backed Bishops Road . I am far from confident of getting a run . Everybody tells me that he must get in but I cannot see where the eight NRs are.
Report The Dragon March 27, 2016 12:52 PM BST
im on BR too lets hope he gets inPlain
Report dunlaying March 27, 2016 1:16 PM BST
He might not have the chance to get in as he is entered in The Topham.
Report Penguin Keeper March 27, 2016 1:45 PM BST
Bishops Road will only be entered in the Topham just in case he doesn't get in national.

Possible non runners imo.
Carlingford Lough. Not heard this is definitely the target, though would seem like a horse who would get the trip.Pulled out of race late last year.Mcmanus does like running horses in this though.
Ballynagour. A fragile sort who has been out of form. Every chance he doesn't take up his entry.
O'Faolains Boy. Think he will only run if the romford pele doesn't personally.
Gilgamboa. Surely will have other options over shorter. Has not shown any sign of staying this trip so far.Caveat that owner loves having runners.
Turban. If we are to believe the trainer!?! his target is the Topham. Unlikely to run i'd suggest.
Living Next Door. Declared for Irish National.

From Turban down to Spring Heeled(excluding Living Next Door) it is hard to see any withdrawing out of choice.

However, you would expect 2 horses to get injured between now and the race. Hope its not one i've backed though.

My best guess is now that Bishops Road will be last one in.
Report The Dragon March 27, 2016 6:52 PM BST
hope your right penguinHappy
Report Roger The Butler March 27, 2016 8:42 PM BST
Really want Highland Lodge to get in - at 52 does anyone think he has a squeak?
Report Rydal March 27, 2016 9:17 PM BST

I'd say about 60% chance - but this is a strange year (mind you, I say that every year!)
Report jasey March 27, 2016 10:16 PM BST
Just can't see Highland Lodge getting in and he would have to draw lots with PDR.I think last year only 6 or 7 came out after Easter so Bishops Road-Knock House would be my guess.
Report Roger The Butler March 27, 2016 11:09 PM BST
Yes, I think it is looking bleak for him getting a run. Pity as he would have been a very lively outsider at 50s and ticked every stat going except for a recent run.
Report sixtwosix March 28, 2016 4:20 PM BST
Will be very unfortunate if Alvarado ,twice placed  ,and his jockey going for a staggering 8th placed ride for the same owners doesn't get a run ...
Report The Headmaster March 28, 2016 9:36 PM BST
On my knees for Bishops Road to get in too.  Going to be really tight.  Racing Post has him listed below Knock House but I reckon he's above him as they're on the same weight which should be ordered by current highest O/R.
Report dunlaying March 29, 2016 11:32 AM BST
Highland Lodge is not entered for The Topham . That would suggest to me that connections are confident of getting in as the horse would be 6 better off in the shorter race.
Report Can't Catch Me March 29, 2016 11:58 AM BST
I'd be quite surprised if Highland Lodge gets in looking at the list myself.
Report TYSON 2 March 29, 2016 11:59 AM BST
ballycasey in the topham though?
Report Can't Catch Me March 29, 2016 12:40 PM BST
Hard to know Tyson. Personally I havent seen anything to suggest he could stay the National trip, but they felt he was worth a go last year and he fell so early they might want to try again.
Report dunlaying March 29, 2016 4:16 PM BST
I would be amazed if he got in since Perfect Candidate/ Maggio should leapfrog Pineau De Re, Alvorado and Highland Lodge.
If I have interpreted the rules correctly.
Report dunlaying March 29, 2016 4:41 PM BST
There is some doubt about that.^
Report The Dragon March 29, 2016 7:50 PM BST
O'Faolains Boy likely to have another target with RP the preferred National horse
Report liberator of the oppressed March 30, 2016 6:40 AM BST
Do I get my Pineau dosh back on here if it is a NR? Bit of a miscalculation by some trainers I think with loads you'd ordinarily expect to get in oot and no where to go. Still that's quality and compression and way of the world because Chelters in many respects exactly same. No room for error or chance.
Report Fangsy March 30, 2016 8:13 AM BST
You get your money back Liberator if it is balloted out, i.e. if it is declared to run but the 40 places are already filled.
Report Fallen Angel March 30, 2016 11:18 AM BST
all this about horses not getting in, if owners or trainers allowed them to run more frequently and achieve a higher rating then it wouldn't be a problem. People must know the game by now if your going to be 60/70 in the list you are unlikely to figure, as such you need to run the horse in the hope of getting its rating up rather than play cat and mouse and hope to sneak in number 40. Personally i could only see a max 10 coming out which would take us down to whatever is currently 50.
Report The Headmaster March 30, 2016 12:49 PM BST
It would be nice if the race had a 4 or 5lb OPTIONAL penalty system.  That way the Silvianacos and Many Clouds of this world can be campaigned freely as they would decline the kind offer of a penalty should they win, while yer Bishops Roads and Cause Of Causes would say thanks very much and move up the order, allowing in-form horses to leapfrog their possibly out-of-form, stale and stagnant contemporaries.
Report The Headmaster March 30, 2016 1:51 PM BST
My thoughts on what the actual order is outside the top 40.  Why the RP and others can't get this sorted I don't know, it's clearly going to play a big part:

41st Saint Are
42nd Ballot between Pendra and Spring Heeled
44th Vieux Lion Rouge
45th Katkeau
46th Ballot between Home Farm and The Romford Pele
48th Bishops Road
49th Knock House
50th Present View
51st Perfect Candidate
52nd Maggio
53rd Ballot between Pineau De Re and Highland Lodge
55th Alvarado
Report kavvie March 30, 2016 11:04 PM BST
present view will get least..
Report Money Tree cost me thousands!! March 30, 2016 11:29 PM BST
Very good idea headmaster.
Report Fangsy March 31, 2016 8:48 AM BST
Headmaster - I like the idea of the weights being movable.  The sheer size of the national's prize pot distorts the whole season for these horses and some flexibility (maybe option of Feb weight or current weight?) would help a lot.
Report PeteTheBloke March 31, 2016 10:41 PM BST
It certainly makes you think carefully when you see 117.5% on the right hand side. I can't remember it
ever being that high before.
Report runandskip April 1, 2016 2:02 AM BST
Interesting thoughts
My take on the National now is that with the prize money so high and the course being made 'easier' more and more quality horses will be aimed for the race.
I believe the days of laying one out for the race could be numbered, trying to sneak one in at the bottom of the handicap could work against the trainers now because there are more higher rated horses being entered.
I will use one of my fancies for the race Home Farm as a perfect example.
HF ran a mighty race as a 6yo in the Irish Grand National and I'm pretty sure the plan was hatched to have a crack at the National back then. History says the best chance of winning is being a 9 or 10yo.
2015 he was entered and was allocated 11-02, connections probably thought that was too high, HF did run in Coneygree's Gold Cup after the weights were published and even though he Pulled up connections obviously thought it was worth a shot.
Come 2016 and after only one run over hurdles this season HF gets allocated 10-04, now I presume connections were very happy with this mark, another run since over hurdles to sharpen him up and hes ready to go to Aintree, but hang on will he get in (hopefully he will)
A lot of horses have been trained this way over the years but like I said earlier things could be about to change.

As I go through the runners it seems a shame that the race could be missing a previous winner in Pineau De Re and placed horses like Alvarado (twice) and Double Seven, last years Second is still only 41 on the list !!!!!
On top of that we have improving horses such as Bishops Road, This seasons Becher and Welsh National winners and recent Cheltenham winner Cause of Causes looking likely to miss the race when others above them are making up the numbers.

How can that be ?

I don't know what others reckon but I think it would be a good idea to have win and your in races (like the all weather champs day recently)

I would give all winners of previous Aintree Nationals a free pass
that seasons Hennessy, Becher, Welsh National and any Cheltenham Festival 3 mile+ Chase winner an automatic entry

Phil Smith and the gang could think of something along these lines to get the best horses in the National come raceday
Report Fangsy April 1, 2016 8:30 AM BST
Spring Heeled (42/43) reportedly 99% to miss.
Report The Headmaster April 1, 2016 10:31 AM BST
Win and you're in or free passes look dangerous to me.  You'll end up letting washed up has beens into the race for the latter and horses that could be a stone out the weights for the former. 

Optional penalties surely the way to go?
Report boy wonder 07 April 1, 2016 1:29 PM BST
Yes the race has changed totally in recent years, in an effort to entice the better horses the top weight is now 11-10 why? what was wrong with 12-00 Red Rum carried it in 1974 the 11-10 ceiling obviously favours those at the top end of the weights with the compression of the weights, with the modified fences surely the class horses find it just as easy as running around a park course also the great prizemoney on offer encourages the classier types to run it wont be too many years down the line that the number of horses is decreased to possibly 30 runners and a weight range of no more than 10lbs, yes it had to change to suit the politically correct brigade but it isn't the grand national I grew up with, as long as every horse returns safe we can breathe a sigh of relief for another 12 months
Report Rydal April 1, 2016 1:29 PM BST
It's all a bit too convoluted for me - how about putting the entry fee up by 5k - that should sort them out.
Report Fangsy April 3, 2016 9:06 AM BST
Carlingford Lough looks out.
Report runandskip April 5, 2016 5:07 PM BST
Could be a mix of both our thoughts 'The Headmaster'
They obviously read this Forum ;)

RP story today

AINTREE will hold wide-ranging discussions on the conditions for the first Randox Health Grand National in 2017 after qualification issues were brought to a head by the likelihood that former winner Pineau De Re and Aintree specialists Alvarado and Highland Lodge will miss the cut for Saturday's race.

After BHA head of handicapping Phil Smith on Tuesday reordered runners below the 40-horse cut-off point who were on the same weight, Haydock Grand National Trial winner Bishops Road moved up a place to 41 and needs only one above him to come out, but Pineau De Re has dropped to 46, Highland Lodge to 47 and Alvarado to 48.

Aintree boss John Baker said: "The Grand National is evolving and has taken a different form over the last few years. The quality of the race improves all the time, which we wanted, but that has consequences.

"In the old days you could not have envisaged horses like Pineau De Re and Alvarado missing out, but having so many good horses looking to get into the race is a nice problem to have."

'Win and you're in' a possibility

So-called 'win and you're in' races will be high on the list when the Aintree team have their annual wash-up.

Baker said: "We want the Becher Chase to be a proper Grand National Trial and to connect the two races. Highland Lodge, this season's winner, might not get in, so that could possibly be a ‘win and you are in' race, and similarly the Haydock Grand National Trial, because although Bishops Road may well get in now, there was a danger he wouldn't."

The Grand National is traditionally free of penalties, but Baker said Aintree might look into "something a little quirky like optional penalties", which connections might accept with a runner who looked borderline to make the cut but decline if guaranteed a run.

Automatic qualification for previous winners or placed horses is less likely, however.

Baker said: "You could win a National at eight and still be racing five years later when rated down in the 120s. Would you really want one like that in?"

BHA open to discussions

Any proposals from Aintree's side will need approval from the BHA, but the authority is increasingly open to innovative race conditions.

Spokesman Robin Mounsey said: "We would never rule any suggestions out before we have had a chance to consider any proposals fully.

"The current entry and handicapping approach seems to be working well, with the race going from strength to strength and arguably in 2016 producing the strongest ever running of the race.

"We would, however, be happy to discuss any proposals with Aintree or other stakeholders after this year's meeting has concluded."
Report dunlaying April 5, 2016 6:06 PM BST
Run them to their rating and that is that. Because of the safety limit there is always a chance that good horses will miss out.
Report Chaplins Club April 5, 2016 6:13 PM BST
dunlaying is very shrewd Happy
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