The Grand National is upon us, with 40 runners making the trip to Aintree to feature in the world’s most famous steeplechase.
The huge-field handicap kicks off at 5:15, with entrants taking on 30 fences in a bid to have their name etched into history.
Our resident writers Dom Chapman and Reece Charlton have ripped apart the card, with the pair selecting their best three runners for the contest.
Here are their best bets for the 2022 Grand National.
Grand National – Dom’s Selections
- Éclair Surf | J: Thomas Bellamy T: Emma Lavelle (14/1)
The 8-year-old has snuck into the National off a mark of 143 and will be 39th in the weights in the usual field of 40. He was last seen running a cracker in the Eider, finishing behind subsequent Scottish National hero, Win My Wings. Prior to that, he won the Classic at Warwick ahead of future Ultima runner-up Gericault Roque with the Cheltenham handicap winner Corach Rambler also in behind. To add further spice to his profile, he chased home Welsh National winner Iwilldoit in the Chepstow Trial back in December, so seems primed for a big run here and will have no issues with a first crack at this trip.
- Mount Ida | J: Denis O’Regan T: Gordon Elliot (33/1)
Last season’s Kim Muir winner has rarely raced over two-and-a-quarter miles but based on her Cheltenham success in 2021, seems to be crying out for this sort of test. He was 2-2 this season with wins at Clonmel and Fairyhouse, respectively, before lacking a bit of toe in the Mares’ Chase at Prestbury Park. However, the step up in distance should play right into her strengths and while there are concerns over the return to a left-handed track, her handler is a three-time winner of this race so cannot be discounted easily.
- Discorama | J: Bryan Cooper T: Paul Nolan (40/1)
The son of Saddler Maker finished seventh in this race a year ago and is now 1lb lower in the ratings. He had a pipe-opener back in October over hurdles before finishing a good second back over fences at Fairyhouse so won’t be rusty as he reappears in this sphere. He isn’t a proven winner, but has finished second in the National Hunt Chase and third in the Ultima previously, even finishing ahead of A Plus Tard as a novice at Punchestown, so looks well handicapped to be on the premise at the finish once again.
Grand National – Reece’s Selections
- Deise Aba | J: Tom O’Brien T: Philip Hobbs (66/1)
I’ve had my eye on Deise Aba for a few weeks now and I cannot figure out why his price is so high. The nine-year-old carries some respectable form over the longer distances this season, finishing second in the London National as well as just being held in a three-mile handicap chase at Sandown last time out. He sits at a handy mark in this contest and while he will need to produce a career best performance in this contest, he clearly has capabilities of at least being competitive in this contest.
- Kildisart | J: James Bowen T: Ben Pauling (66/1)
Another runner that looks majorly overpriced to me, Kildisart could produce a big performance for James Bowen in the Grand National. The 10-year-old has only been seen once since November 2020, but he is 2lbs below his mark when finishing second in the Ultima and he gave a good account of himself when running over an inadequate trip in the Greatwood Gold Cup last month. The gelding should appreciate the longer trip and could go well here.
- Longhouse Poet | J: Darragh O’Keeffe T: Martin Brassil (16/1)
The winner of the Thyestes Chase back in January, Longhouse Poet could well bounce back to form after a heavy defeat at Navan last time out. The gelding has shown promise over the longer distances and his trainer clearly knows the type to run in the National, after winning the 2006 edition and placing third and sixth on other occasions. The eight-year-old would likely need a bit of rain, but he looks capable and he may be the one to watch out for here.