We mark your card for the world’s greatest steeplechase with five horses worthy of a flutter.
ORGANISEDCONFUSION (Arthur Moore, Ireland)
It looks fairly plain to see Arthur Moore has had the Grand National in mind for Organisedconfusion ever since he won the Irish version so well last spring.
This lightly-raced seven-year-old was given a couple of obligatory warm-up runs over hurdles and after recovering from a first-fence fall at Leopardstown, he ran quite nicely over a grossly inadequate trip at Gowran Park last month.
Has a nice racing weight and Moore has already booked the excellent Nina Carberry for the mount, so there is every chance two celebrated names of the Irish game can break their National duck at a rewarding price to punters.
SYNCHRONISED (Jonjo O’Neill)
He initially looked badly handicapped for this when Phil Smith revealed his weights but the former maths teacher must be having sleepless nights now.
Despite him carrying top weight, he will be running off a mark of 161.
After he finished like the proverbial steam train to lift the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month he should be running off 168.
So whatever you think of his chances he has won the most prestigious race of the season, traditionally the hardest to win, and he’s 7lb well-in.
His jumping technique leaves a little to be desired but he has never fallen over fences and has already won a Midlands Grand National in heavy ground to prove his stamina. He could go off a very short price with Tony McCoy on his back.
KILLYGLEN (Stuart Crawford, Ireland)
Formerly trained by Howard Johnson, this 10-year-old has never been short of ability. Indeed, he won the Grade Two three-mile novice chase at this meeting three years ago which earned him a mark in the 150s.
The move to Ireland was puzzling as he’s a good ground horse and has spent as much time racing in England as at home, and showed when third in a good race at Haydock in November that he is no back-number.
He was still going reasonably well when falling at the fourth-last 12 months ago and while that is a long way from home, he’s 5lb lower this year.
CAPPA BLEU (Evan Williams)
The Welsh handler should be applauded for his handling of State Of Play who has been placed in the last three renewals of this but stable jockey Paul Moloney has made no secret that this 10-year-old holds stronger claims this season.
He runs in the same colours so there is no chance of upsetting the owners and he won the Haydock race in which Killyglen finished third.
A third place finish in desperate ground in the Welsh National proved his stamina and he ran an eyecatching race at Ascot last time out.
ALWAYS RIGHT (John Wade)
This lightly-raced 10-year-old promised so much at the start of the season but for one reason or another it just hasn’t happened.
He won the Grimthorpe at Doncaster last season, a traditional National trial, and signed off that campaign with a good third in the Scottish National.
He won a decent race at Kelso first time out over an inadequate trip, showing surprising speed, but has been pulled up the last twice at Wetherby and Haydock.
Travelling like the winner on both occasions until push came to shove, his breathing has been operated on so expect a bold show.
RARE BOB (Dessie Hughes, Ireland)
Dessie Hughes could do with a change of luck in this race and Rare Bob certainly has the class to run a big race at a huge price.
He must have good ground to be seen at his best and was in with a chance of beating Prince De Beauchene at this meeting last year when he unseated at the second-last. He then went on to finish third in a Grade One at Punchestown.
He has steadily slipped down the handicap this season as all his runs have been on soft ground, including when he had a sighter over these fences in the Becher Chase and the last time he ran off a mark as low as this he won a £60k handicap.