Grand National 2017 tips: Our racing experts make their selections

The Telegraph
The Grand National is on Saturday April 9 at Aintree - Rex
The Grand National is on Saturday April 9 at Aintree - Rex


The Grand National is getting every more competitive and remains as unpredictable as ever - the past five winners have started at 33/1, 25/1, 25/1, 66/1 and 33/1 - so the moral is, if you fancy a horse do not worry about the price.

If we forgive Vicente his form this season, and there is every reason to believe we can as he likes decent ground and there has been very little of that about during a wet winter, then last year's Scottish Grand National winner is definitely overpriced at 25-1. 

Trevor Hemmings loves to win this race and has been successful with Many Clouds, Hedgehunter and Ballabriggs. He clearly saw enough in Vincente's profile to believe that he was worth purchasing and the eight-year-old will have his first run in the green, white and yellow colours here. He could well provide National win number four for Hemmings, one of National Hunt racing's biggest and most fervent supporters.

Marcus Armytage

We may have had 170 years to work out a system for finding the winner of the Randox Health Grand National but, if anything , it is getting harder rather than easier. A pin or a name with some sort of attachment has probably never been more useful.

That said I have picked four horses from which I believe the winner will come; The Last Samuri, Highland Lodge, The Young Master and Wonderful Charm which raises the prospect of Katie Walsh becoming the first female jockey to win the race.

The Last Samuri is not big and has top weight but he loves the course, will get into a rhythm and should again finish in the top half dozen. The Young Master has the not inconsiderable advantage of amateur Sam Waley-Cohen in the plate, has been trained very much with this race in mind and warmed up nicely at Cheltenham. He has the combination of class and weight to win.

Highland Lodge is another to have won and been second on his last two visits to Aintree in the Becher Chase, loves the place and having not run since December is coming here fresh and yet trained to the minute.

Wonderful Charm has also had the benefit of light season and finished like a steam train in the Foxhunters. His confidence is high and he could be the surprise package of the Paul Nicholls five.

The most glamorous looks from Aintree

Who else is being tipped?

Frankie Dettori, three-times Champion Jockey: 

Saphir Du Rheu. He is trained by the Champion trainer Paul Nicholls, in Sam Twiston-Davies he has a good jockey and his owner Andy Stewart is my friend. 

John Francombe, seven-times Champion Jockey

Cause Of Causes. He has a lot of class to win a race as demanding as the National.

Clare Balding, broadcaster

Cause of Causes. I'm a huge fan. He ran well in the National a couple of years ago, he's a clever jumper and his stamina is proven. At a big price each-way I like Maggio.

Jilly Cooper, writer 

Blaklion. Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies is such a lovely man and his two boys are fantastic riders. Nigel has won the race before and the horse’s jockey, Noel Fehily is so sweet.

Peter Scudamore, eight-times Champion Jockey

One For Arthur (which his partner Lucinda Russell trains). He's very well at home, will stay the trip and has a great chance.

Bob Champion, Grand National-winning jockey

Blaklion.  His trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies knows what’s needed to win a Grand National and he will be ridden by Noel Fehily who is a fantastic horseman.

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Grand National 2017


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