Which horse should you back for the Grand National? The complete guide

Telegraph Sport
The runners make their way over the first few fences in last year's Grand National - 2016 Getty Images

The Last Samuri heads the final field of 40 runners in Saturday's Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.

Kim Bailey's nine-year-old was a gallant runner-up 12 months ago, but faces a tougher task this year off a 12lb higher mark.

Jonjo O'Neill's More Of That is next on the list and is one of three runners for owner JP McManus along with Cause Of Causes and Regal Encore.

The Charlie Longsdon-trained Pendra, who is also owned by McManus, was the only horse among the top 40 at Monday's confirmation stage not to be declared.

The Last Samuri ridden by David Bass in last year's Grand National Credit: PA

The Gigginstown House Stud silks, worn to victory last year by Mouse Morris' Rule The World, will be sported by five runners this year in Roi Des Francs, Wounded Warrior, Measureofmydreams and the Morris pair of Thunder And Roses and Rogue Angel.

A former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner lines up in Lord Windermere while last year's RSA hero Blaklion represents Nigel Twiston-Davies and Noel Fehily.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has five representatives as he looks to win a second National.

Vieux Lion Rouge is one of the favourites for the 2017 Grand National Credit: PA

Saphir Du Rheu, Le Mercurey, Just A Par, Vincente and Wonderful Charm will all take their chances while David Pipe will saddle Vieux Lion Rouge, one of the favourites, Ballynagour, La Vaticane and Doctor Harper, who is the last horse to make the cut.

Definitly Red, One For Arthur, Highland Lodge, Pleasant Company and The Young Master are others of note in the maximum field.

Pendra, listed in the initial runners list earlier this week, was the only withdrawl ahead of Thursday's final confirmation.

Full list of runners and riders

A maximum of 40 horses will race. All horses are  British unless stated

All the entries have a Telegraph star rating, which reflects their chance based on previous form and suitability to the race. The horse with the best chance has five stars and those with the worst have one star. 

Horse, age, weight, trainer & rating

1. THE LAST SAMURI (IRE), 9, 11-10, Kim Bailey (161) **** 14/1
Excellent second a year ago and looks even better this year; looks sure to make another bold bid.

The Last Samuri

2. MORE OF THAT (IRE), 9, 11-6, Jonjo O'Neill (157) ** 12/1
Fair sixth in Cheltenham Gold Cup last time and has touch of class; better since fitted with cheekpieces.

More Of That

3. SHANTOU FLYER (IRE), 7, 11-5, Rebecca Curtis (156) *** 50/1
Stays 3m but yet to tackle extreme distances; likes good ground or softer.

Shantou Flyer

4. PERFECT CANDIDATE (IRE), 10, 11-5, Fergal O'Brien (156) ** 50/1
Often front runs; stays and jumps well and acts on any going.

Perfect Candidate

5. SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR), 8, 11-5, Paul Nicholls (156) **** 16/1
In good form this season and ran his best race for years when fifth in Gold Cup; has not fallen since 2014.

Saphir Du Rheu

6. ROI DES FRANCS (FR), 8, 11-3, Gordon Elliott (154) * 50/1
Stays well and showed benefit of blinkers first time when winning comfortably on latest outing.

Roi Des Francs

7. WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE), 8, 11-2, Noel Meade (153) * 50/1
Consistent and capable stayer but not a prolific winner; good jumper and should get around.

Wounded Warrior

8. WONDERFUL CHARM (FR), 9, 11-2, Paul Nicholls (153) ** 40/1
Has had his enthusiasm rekindled in hunter chases; ran right up to best when second at Cheltenham last time; best on good ground.

Wonderful Charm

9. TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR), 10, 11-1, Venetia Williams (152) * 40/1
Useful on his day and likes to race up with pace, which could well add to his stamina issues.

Tenor Nivernais

10. BLAKLION, 8, 11-1, Nigel Twiston-Davies (152) **** 12/1
Classy and holds his form well. Ran a fine race when second in Haydock’s Grand National Trial. Likes fast ground.

Blaklion

11. DROP OUT JOE, 9, 11-1, Charlie Longsdon (152) *** 50/1
Has only run 12 times in past 3 years so has had injury issues but definitely has ability; good ground is best.

Drop Out Joe

12. LE MERCUREY (FR), 7, 11-0, Paul Nicholls (151) * 40/1
Fair performer but does not win often and stamina has to be taken on trust.

Le Mercurey

13. THE YOUNG MASTER, 8, 10-13, Neil Mulholland (150) ** 16/1
Won Bet365 Gold Cup last spring so stamina not an issue. Out of form since, including when falling 2 out here in December; showed a bit more last time.

The Young Master

14. CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA), 9, 10-13, Gordon Elliott (150) *** 14/1
Looks a likely type and won nicely over Cheltenham’s Cross Country track last time; stamina not an issue and ground should suit.

Cause Of Causes

15. REGAL ENCORE (IRE), 9, 10-13, Anthony Honeyball (150) ** 50/1
Inconsistent but capable on a going day; best form on fast ground.

Regal Encore

16. VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR), 8, 10-12, David Pipe (149) **** 10/1
Proven over the fences and this tough stayer, who appears to act on most types on gound, must be respected.

Vieux Lion Rouge

17. DEFINITLY RED (IRE), 8, 10-12, Brian Ellison (149) *** 10/1
Generally progressive and we have probably yet to see the best of him; impressive when beating The Last Samuri at Doncaster; strong player.

Definitly Red

18. UCELLO CONTI (FR), (27), 9, 10-12, Gordon Elliott (149) ** 16/1
Fair performer but has not won since moving to Ireland and not since 2014 in France; 6th a year ago and aimed at this since.

Ucello Conti

19. DOUBLE SHUFFLE (IRE), 7, 10-12, Tom George (149) ** 40/1
On the upgrade and a likeable sort; acts on any ground; looks capable of playing his part.

Double Shuffle

20. HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR), 10, 10-12, Venetia Williams (149) * 40/1
Smart chaser once but age is catching up with him; fourth in last year’s Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter.

Houblon Des Obeaux

21. PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE), 9, 10-12,  W. P. Mullins (149) *** 16/1
Improving and looks to have been targeted at this race; a solid jumper who seems to go on any ground.

Pleasant Company

22. ONE FOR ARTHUR (IRE), 8, 10-11, Lucinda Russell (148) *** 14/1
Third to Vieux Lion Rouge here in December and then won over 3m 5f at Warwick when wearing a tongue tie for the first time.

One For Arthur

23. BALLYNAGOUR (IRE), (70), 11, 10-11, David Pipe (148) * 66/1
Was once smart but is hard to predict these days. Unseated rider at 19th fence last year.

Ballynagour

24. O'FAOLAINS BOY (IRE), 10, 10-11, Rebecca Curtis (148) * 66/1
Appears to have lost his way this season and has in fact not won since December 2015; hard to fancy.

O'Faolains Boy

25. HIGHLAND LODGE (IRE), 11, 10-11, James Moffatt (148) *** 25/1
Has a good record over the fences in three attempts with form figures of 812 and this has been his target all season; bold show expected.

Highland Lodge

26. BISHOPS ROAD (IRE), 9, 10-10, Kerry Lee (147) * 50/1
Fair performer but has become prone to jumping mistakes and came down at the first over these fences at last year’s meeting.

Bishops Road

27. LORD WINDERMERE (IRE), 11, 10-10, Jim Culloty (147) * 50/1
Won 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup but is on the downgrade these days. Got as far as the 24th fence two years ago before pulling up. 

Lord Windermere

28. SAINT ARE (FR), 11, 10-10, Tom George (147) ** 33/1
Finished second two years ago but has failed to finish on past two attempts over the fences. Looked close to best when second last time. 

Saint Are

29. VICENTE (FR), (49), 8, 10-10, Paul Nicholls (147) *** 20/1
Won 2016 Scottish Grand National but disappointing since. However, his record suggests he is a spring horse and he could easily bounce back.

Vicente

30. JUST A PAR (IRE), 10, 10-9, Paul Nicholls (146) ** 33/1
Finished 15th when a 40/1 chance in last year’s race. Returned to form at Newbury recently; good jumper.

Just A Par

31. MEASUREOFMYDREAMS (IRE), 9, 10-9, Noel Meade (146) ** 40/1
Favourite when an early faller in 2016 Scottish Grand National; lightly-raced this season and ran with some promise at Cheltenham last time.

Measureofmydreams

32. RAZ DE MAREE (FR), 12, 10-9, Gavin Patrick Cromwell (146) *** 33/1
Finished 8th in 2014 National but improved since; has twice won Cork Grand National and finished second in Welsh National last December; solid stayer.

Raz De Maree

33. STELLAR NOTION (IRE), 9, 10-9, Henry de Bromhead (146) * 50/1
Normally races at short of 3m and has yet to prove he has the stamina for a contest such as this.Best on decent ground.

Stellar Notion

34. ROGUE ANGEL (IRE), 9, 10-8, M. F. Morris (145) ** 33/1
A brave winner of 2016 Irish Grand National; well behind Vieux Lion Rouge here in December and might need softer ground.

Rogue Angel

35. COCKTAILS AT DAWN, 9, 10-8, Nicky Henderson (145) * 100/1
Has a very patchy profile and fell in last year’s Topham (2m 5f) over the fences; unproven in stamina department.

Cocktails At Dawn

36. THUNDER AND ROSES (IRE), 9, 10-7, M. F. Morris (144) ** 33/1
Has not won since landing the 2015 Irish Grand National although has run some fair races. Best with some give in the ground. 

Thunder And Roses

37. GAS LINE BOY (IRE), 11, 10-7, Ian Williams (144) * 66/1
Fell at the first when a 66/1 chance in 2015. Relatively consistent and stays well enough. Enjoys decent going.

Gas Line Boy

38. GOODTOKNOW, 9, 10-7, Kerry Lee (144) ** 66/1
Stays well but is an in-an-out-perofmer who tends to throw in a really poor run from time to time. Seems to act on any going.

Goodtoknow

39. LA VATICANE (FR), 8, 10-6, David Pipe (143) * 100/1
Has twice got around over these fences but in much shorter races and stamina has to be an issue.

La Vaticane

40. DOCTOR HARPER (IRE), 9, 10-6, David Pipe (143) ** 66/1
Capable handicapper but a rare winner these days. All types of ground seem to suit.

Doctor Harper

Place your bet on the Grand National here >>

RESERVES:

BLESS THE WINGS (IRE), 12, 10-5, Gordon Elliott (142) 50/1

KNOCK HOUSE (IRE), 8, 10-3, Donald McCain (141) 66/1

SAMBREMONT, 7, 10-2, W. P. Mullins (139) 66/1

Grand National betting: Your guide to the best odds, free bets and offers >>​

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