Grand National 2022: A Horse-By-Horse Guide To The World’s Greatest Race

Betfred's Matt Hulmes gives us a horse-by-horse breakdown of the 2022 Grand National
12:01, 08 Apr 2022

The 174th running of the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree will see forty runners and riders set out over the four and a quarter miles in a bid to join the immortal greats to have won this famous contest.

Here I have run the rule over the field in a bid to find the 2022 World’s Greatest Race.

MINELLA TIMES – Last year’s hero who has to defy over a stone rise in the weights. Failed to complete in two starts this season, falling in the John Durkan and pulled up at the Dublin Racing Festival. Needs more to be the second dual winner in three years but far from out of the question after his six-length victory twelve months ago.

DELTA WORK – First sighter of the fences at Aintree but took to the Cheltenham cross-country with victory at the festival, a route tried and tested by his illustrious, albeit “badly handicapped” stablemate Tiger Roll. Dual Cheltenham festival winner and five-time Grade 1 winner who brings the best form into the contest. Major player if handling the fences and looks likely to start the trip. Gordon Elliot has trained three Grand national winners, with Silver Birch in 2007 and dual hero Tiger Roll in 2018 & 2019.

DELTAWORK002JPG

ANY SECOND NOW – Only 7lb higher and 8lb better off with Minella Times for his eight lengths third in last year’s National. Warmed up for this with a game win in the Bobbyjo Chase in February and has the perfect blend of speed and stamina having won over two mile and an extended three-mile trip. Trainer Ted Walsh won the contest in 2000 with Papillon.

RUN WILD FRED – Still technically a novice despite eleven starts over fences. Stamina assured as he proved when second in the National Hunt Chase and runner-up in last year’s Irish national on decent ground. Handicapper may have his measure though off a tough mark.

GettyImages 1188808301jpgjpg

LOSTINTRANSLATION – Third in the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup but subsequently lost his way. Looked like he may have a resurgence this season after Ascot win on seasonal return but has not produced anything of note since. Well beaten in Cheltenham handicap this time around and would be able to run off 7lb lower if weights were reframed.

BRAHAMA BULL – Has got a big field win on his CV at Punchestown but generally found wanting at a higher level. Unseated rider in the cross-country last month is a worry while pulled up in two runnings of the Thyestes Chase and well beaten in an Irish National and Galway Plate. Third in the Ladbrokes Trophy but was beaten nearly thirty lengths and a pound easing in the weights does not tempt. Willie Mullins only Grand National victory came in 2005 with Hedgehunter.

BURROWS SAINT – Looked the winner crossing the Melling Road last year but weakened on the long run-in to be beaten 27 lengths. Excellent second to Al Boum Photo on New Year’s Day and while it was worrying to see him beaten a long way six weeks ago, the feeling is Willie Mullins left plenty to be worked on. Won an Irish Grand National at the age of six and runs off the same mark as last April. Big player.

MOUNT IDA – Winner of last year’s Kim Muir Chase at Cheltenham and took her form to a new level when winning against her own sex on two occasions this season. Too bad to be true in the Mares’ Chase last month when jumping right-handed but wasn’t the only one from her stable to underperform. 14lb higher than for that Festival victory but good chance of staying. Bids to be first mare to win race since Nickel Coin in 1951 and just the 14th winning mare in the 174th running.

LONGHOUSE POET – Gambled on winner of the Thyestes Chase in January and trained by the mastermind of 2006 winner Numbersixvalverde. Had the traditional hurdles prep in February and although well beaten that day, is another major player from the Emerald Isle on his chase form as Ireland bid for their fourth straight win in the race.

FIDDLERONTHEROOF – Never out of the first three in his last eleven starts and ran a great second in the Ladbrokes Trophy. Is 7lb higher here after that though and didn’t find as much as anticipated when well fancied at Ascot in February. Promises to stay and has hinted at top class ability in the past. Well held at last year’s Aintree festival but has missed Cheltenham and will be a fresher horse. One of the better British hopes of victory.

TWO FOR GOLD – One of the best handicapped runners in the field as he went up 5lb for his gallant second in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase in February after the weights were framed. Now a bona fide Graded performer who has a nice racing weight for Kim Bailey who trained the winner 32 years ago in Mr Frisk, the fastest horse ever to complete the National trip. Another who has the blend of speed and stamina to be a player and I think he has the potential to run a huge race.

TWOFORGOLDjpg

SANTINI – Plenty of back class having been second in the 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Unfairly labelled as slow but has shown he is still capable this season after switching to Polly Gundry’s stable, including a second in the Cotswold Chase. Won't lack stamina and could plug on late for place money if not outpaced in early stages. 

SAMCRO – Was labelled as the second coming but never really hit the heights after a fall in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle as a novice. Chasing career started well but it has been a long time since he has shown any worthwhile form and unless this unique test revitalises him it just looks like he will enjoy the day out. 

ESCARIA TEN – Just worn down close home by Any Second Now six weeks ago in his prep run. Plenty of good novice form with promise of more to come and stays well. May just prefer some more rain and give in the ground to be at his best but still looks a major player.

GOOD BOY BOBBY – The choice of 2012 winning jockey Daryl Jacob from a selection of three. Solid handicap form in the north this season but well beaten off this mark at Kempton six weeks ago. stamina not totally assured and will need a career best. Nigel Twiston-Davies a dual Grand National winning trainer, last twenty years ago with Bindaree.

LordDuMesniljpg

COKO BEACH – Fourth of four in the key trial race, the Bobbyjo Chase behind three of today’s rivals. Won last year’s Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park which is solid form but not shown much since off higher marks. Needs to bounce back now but can’t be enthusiastic about this season’s form.

DE RASHER COUNTER – Won the Hennessy in 2019 and only had the four starts since. Well beaten fourth on his return at Newbury recently but that pleased connections who were aiming here. Runs off the same mark as his big win three years ago and far from a forlorn hope who ticks plenty of boxes.

KILDISART – A long time between drinks but his last victory came in the race before the National here in 2019. Not disgraced since and a good second in last year’s Ultima. Runs off the same mark as his win three years ago and decent effort over a trip too short five weeks ago. Meets many of the key trends and is likely to run a big race as a place player at a price.

DISCORAMA – Just two wins in 21 starts tells its own story for a horse who has the class but always finds a way to get beat. Just behind Kildisart in last year’s Ultima but approaching four years since any kind of victory. Will stay but opposable.

TOP VILLE BEN – Another who meets plenty of key trends and has been rejuvenated over hurdles of late. Seemed to be enjoying himself in the Becher Chase until taking a heavy fall and needs to overcome that. Bold jumping front runner who could give a bold showing but should find a couple too good.

ENJOY D’ALLEN – Been the subject of good support and positive vibes from his trainer. Excellent third in a big field handicap at Leopardstown over Christmas and far from disgraced over hurdles at Dublin Racing festival. Well weighted Irish raider with the right profile and recently purchased by JP McManus. 

ANIBALE FLY – A veteran who will be in his fourth Grand National. Twice been placed in a Gold Cup too and showed he is no back number when placed at the Punchestown Festival last May. That was his final run over fences having been kept to hurdles since and bids to become just the fifth winning 12yo since Red Rum’s third win in 1977. Looks to have had his best chances already.

DINGO DOLLAR – The mount of The Sportsman blogger and 2013 Grand National winning rider Ryan Mania. Perhaps no surprise then that he has trodden a very similar path to the 2013 hero, second in last year’s Scottish National and then prepping at Kelso five weeks ago. Will appreciate decent ground and another who has plenty in his favour, just a question of if he’s good enough.

DINGODOLLARjpg

FREEWHEELIN DYLAN – Shock 150/1 winner of last year’s Irish Grand National and followed that up with a decent fourth at the Punchestown festival. Shown little in three subsequent starts and would probably be a bigger shock than his win at Fairyhouse last April.

CLASS CONTI – Third behind Coko Beach in last year’s Thyestes was his last real worthwhile form. Got round in his own time in last year’s renewal but needs a comeback of Lazarus proportions to be considered seriously. 

NOBLE YEATS – Bought recently by the Waley-Cohens whose colours have had a lot of success over these fences. Jockey Sam Waley-Cohen has won over them six times and been runner-up four times from 32 spins but never won the Grand National, fourth in 2014 his best finish. Still a novice and was well beaten in the Ultima. Bids to end the poor run of 7yo’s who haven’t been successful since 1940.

MIGHTY THUNDER – Last year’s Scottish national hero and represents the 2017 winning connections of Lucinda Russell and Derek Fox. Stays, jumps and handles all types of ground. similar chance to Dingo Dollar although not really produced off a mark this high before.

CLOTH CAP – Sent off the 11/2 favourite twelve months ago and looked to be going very well until weakening quickly after Valentine’s. Was too early to be a stamina issue with connections pointing to a respiratory noise that he made. Had a subsequent wind operation and not really fired this season. However, finds himself five times the price now and off the same mark he contested the race off as favourite last year. Jonjo O’Neill won the race in 2010 and has the knack with handicap chasers. May not have missed its turn just yet.

Cloth Cap
Cloth Cap

SNOW LEOPARDESS – Looks the leading candidate to be the first wining mare since 1951 having landed the Becher Chase here in December in her favoured soft conditions. No horse has even done the Becher/Grand National double in the same season and forecast rain hasn’t materialised as expected, but three form three this season and has plenty else in her favour. She has already had a foal and would be an incredible story if this beautiful grey became the first ‘mother’ home in front, having had a foal.

AGUSTA GOLD – Sent off second favourite in last year’s Irish version but finished well beaten. Shown little this season until second in a small field contest three weeks ago. Hits a few key trends and hails from the all conquering Willie Mullins stable but would still present as a surprise winner.

DEISE ABA – Very hot and cold profile. Either wins, finishes second or pulls up, has been his profile over his last eight starts. One of those runner-up efforts came at Aintree over hurdles but all his best chasing form comes from Sandown and looks to prefer going right-handed. Should stay but doubtful he will be in contention when it matters.

BLAKLION – Sent off the 8/1 favourite back in 2017 when an 8yo but showed he retains ability and zest when sixth last year as a 12yo. No teenager has won since 1923 though and despite a return to form in veterans races this campaign and the amazing story he would deliver, it’s hard to see him bettering his previous efforts on his fourth attempt.

Blacklionjpg

POKER PARTY – Former Kerry National winner who became assured of a run when the same connections removed top weight Chris’s Dream. Shown little in three starts since an 18-month layoff and looks set for just a nice day out.

DEATH DUTY – One of seven set to represent Gordon Elliott. went off fancied in the Ultima but could manage only sixth there. Previously had landed the Irish Grand National trial in good style so no issues with stamina and has plenty of form in big field handicaps. A little older than ideal but relatively lightly raced and Elliott held the cards to take one out to sneak him in at the bottom.

DOMAINE DE L’ISLE – Impressed in back-to-back wins at Kempton and Cheltenham last spring and runs off the same mark as that latest victory. Looked to be tailing off in the Becher Chase but plugged on for fourth, beaten just over twenty lengths. Will appreciate the better ground and despite being well beaten in the Eider Chase, this will have been his target and connections will be delighted to get a run. 

ÉCLAIR SURF – Runaway winner of the Classic Chase at Warwick in January and has been a fair bit of support for him since his Eider conqueror, Win My Wings, hacked up in the Scottish National last Saturday. Gets into the race at the 11th hour to join stablemate De Rasher Counter and hits plenty of the key trends. 

FORTESCUE – An even later entry than Éclair Surf but guaranteed a run now. Top handicap form this season, finishing a good second at Kempton before third in the Peter Marsh at Haydock and then running down Fiddlerontheroof at Ascot. Another with the right age, weight, and form profile.

COMMODORE – Not seen since winning at Cheltenham in December and now races of a career high mark after a 9lb rise. Handles good to soft but prefer it softer and faces a tall order. Trainer Venetia Williams won the race in 2009 with 100/1 shot Mon Mome.

SCHOOL BOY HOURS – Won a big field handicap chase over Christmas at Leopardstown and a well backed favourite in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham. Still in contention when a bad mistake at the tricky downhill fourth last. Off the same mark here and trainer Noel Meade had a good season. Another for JP McManus whose Easysland was taken out to squeeze this one in.

ROMAIN DE SENAM – Formerly useful two a half-miler for Dan Skelton now having his second start for David Pipe. Pulled up in the Midlands National three weeks ago and a doubtful stayer over this far before ability becomes a factor. Hard to fancy.

SUMMARY

  1. ANY SECOND NOW

  2. TWO FOR GOLD

  3. KILDISART

  4. BURROWS SAINT

The 174th Randox Health Grand National is as ultra-competitive as one would always expect. 

Of the market leaders, it looks like ANY SECOND NOW will be pitching in at the business end. He has enough speed to win over two miles and showed his stamina when third last year. He has the perfect blend and although a little higher in the weights than a typical winner, he has plenty in his favour and looks a solid proposition. 

Of those at bigger prices, I think the market has underestimated the claims of TWO FOR GOLD who is actually well in at the weights after his excellent second a Ascot in February and if he stays I can see him running a huge race, while KILDISART can also make it a three strong attack on the race. He hasn’t won since taking the race that precedes the National in 2019 but is lightly raced since and has an ideal profile for the race.

Another likely to run a solid race is BURROWS SAINT. Despite being disappointing at Fairyhouse last time, the experience of last year will stand him in good stead and if he can be held onto for longer, can see his race out better and hit the frame.

Betfred's 2022 Grand National Odds*

*18+ | BeGambleAware

x
Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Liverpool
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at: DataProtection@Betfred.com

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.