Randox Health Grand National 2018 - as it happened!

Sat 14 Apr 2018

By Racinguk.com staff


  • Tiger Roll won the Randox Health Grand National in a photo finish with Pleasant Company.
  • It was a second Randox Health Grand National win for trainer Gordon Elliott (first was Silver Birch in 2007).
  • It was also a second Randox Health Grand National win for owner Michael O'Leary (first was Rule The World in 2016).
  • It was a first Randox Health Grand National win for jockey Davy Russell on his 14th ride in the race. At the age of 38, he was the oldest jockey riding in the race.
  • Winner Tiger Roll is an eight-year-old - he becomes the fifth of that age to win the race since 1988. The others have been Party Politics (1992), Bindaree (2002), Many Clouds (2015) and One For Arthur (2017).
  • The winning distance of a head is the second shortest in recent history - Neptune Collonges won by a nose from Sunnyhillboy in 2012.
  • Five of the first six horses home were Irish-trained. It is thought to be the first time that all of the first four horses across the line were trained in Ireland. It was the 26th Irish-trained winner of the Randox Health Grand National.
  • Tiger Roll carried 10st 13lb to victory. The last winner to carry that weight was Maori Venture in 1987
  • Tiger Roll has won at the Cheltenham Festival three times: the two-mile Triumph Hurdle in 2014, the four-mile National Hunt Chase in 2017 and the Cross Country Chase in 2018.
  • There was a sold-out crowd today of 70,000 racegoers at Aintree
  • Ciaran Gethings snuck in to the Randox Health Grand National aboard Saint Are after Adrian Heskin injured his wrist from a fall aboard Rocklander in the Betway Handicap Chase.
  • The Grand National field has been whittled down to 38 after Walk In The Mill and Regal Encore were taken out on Saturday morning.
  • Diego Du Charmil turned over hot favourite Petit Mouchoir in the Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Hurdle.
  • Thomas Patrick and Richard Johnson won the Betway Handicap Chase.
  • Black Op edged out Lostintranslation in a thrilling finish to the Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle.
  • Tom Scudamore and David Pipe teamed up with Mr Big Shot to win the Gaskells Handicap Hurdle, the opener on Grand National day.

Aintree Grand National day 2018 live blog!

Sat 21:44
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Get it all from #GrandNational day at Racinguk.com, including:
Full replays from @AintreeRaces
Video interviews from @LydiaHislop
Video analysis from @nickluck, Steve Mellish and Jonathan Neesom
Big-race reports and colour from @Louchepunter & @StevoGG

And much more!
Sat 21:36
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Sat 21:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"That's twice in about 10 days Gordon has done that to me - he did it in the Irish National, too!"

Watch Mullins and Mullins on their narrow #GrandNational second with Pleasant Company and listen to Bryony Frost after her fifth on Milansbar. 👇👇👇

Sat 21:20
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Davy Russell: "I’m sure everyone who has been with me since I was a child can feel the magic of this"

Winning #GrandNational rider overwhelmed by first win | via Andy Stephens at Aintree 👇👇

Sat 21:04
Will Hayler@HaylerWill
Saint Are's trainer Tom George tells @PAracing that his horse was 'a bit shook up' and will stay overnight at Aintree but that he's being 'looked after incredibly well' and that 'he'll hopefully be fine'. #bloodygreatnews 👍👍👍
Sat 21:03
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
21:00 at Wolverhampton

1. Bobby Joe Leg 8/1
2. Indian Affair 14/1
3. Juan Horsepower 8/1

Full results here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168809…
Sat 21:01
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Davy Russell dedicates first #GrandNational win to Pat Smullen.

Full replay and video reaction from @Aintreeraces 👇 👇 👇

Sat 20:45
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Didn't pick the #GrandNational winner?

Edie Molyneux did!

Edie is currently in Mexico undergoing treatment for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) and was the honorary number 41 in the race. #Fight4Edie
Sat 20:35
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
20:30 at Wolverhampton

1. Ocean Of Love 4/1
2. Manjaam 7/1
3. Mister Manduro 16/1

Full results here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168808…
Sat 20:32
Racing UK@Racing_UK
*This* was #GrandNational day.

Re-live it al with our live blog replay 👇👇👇

Sat 20:16
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#GrandNational - 4 things we learnt at @AintreeRaces:

Irish eyes smiling ✅
Elliott National treasure ✅
Golden girl Frost does proud ✅
All jockeys & 37 horses okay ✅

+ watch video analysis from @nickluck, Steve Mellish & Jonathan Neesom. 👇👇

Sat 20:06
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
20:00 at Wolverhampton

1. Promising 7/2
2. Tivoli 5/2
3. Hermosita 5/6 f

Full results here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168807…
Sat 20:00
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Sat 19:45
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter

An enquiry was held to ascertain why Danny Cook, the rider of I Just Know, which had fallen on the first circuit, proceeded to wave the riders around Becher's Brook on the second circuit.

Sat 19:45
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"That's twice in about 10 days Gordon has done that to me - he did it in the Irish National, too!"

Watch Mullins and Mullins on their narrow #GrandNational second with Pleasant Company and listen to Bryony Frost after her fifth on Milansbar. 👇👇👇

Sat 19:35
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"That's twice in about 10 days Gordon has done that to me - he did it in the Irish National, too!"

Watch Mullins and Mullins on their narrow #GrandNational second with Pleasant Company and listen to Bryony Frost after her fifth on Milansbar. 👇👇👇

Sat 19:33
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
19:30 at Wolverhampton

1. Daphinia 16/1
2. Penniesfromheaven 6/4 f
3. Deia Glory 8/1

Full results here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168806…
Sat 19:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#RUKQuoteOfTheDay: “He’s a rat of a little thing!” – Michael O’Leary discusses Tiger Roll after his success in the #GrandNational @AintreeRaces. 😂

Watch all the key interviews from today in our interviews section. ➡️ bit.ly/2xE5mpt
Sat 19:15
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#RUKMomentOfTheDay: Tiger Roll defeats Pleasant Company in a thrilling finish to the 2018 #GrandNational @AintreeRaces.

Watch all the finishes from Aintree today for free in our results and replay section. ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Sat 19:14
Will Hayler@HaylerWill
Only in British racing could you get a bollocking for trying to help.
Sat 19:10
Will Hayler@HaylerWill
Aintree officials now reporting that Saint Are is "stable" and continuing to receive veterinary care. Charlie Deutsch is said to be "fine" after being able to walk back in to receive medical treatment.
Sat 19:06
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
19:00 at Wolverhampton

1. Sunshineandbubbles 9/2
2. Lady Persephone 12/1
3. Carraigin Aonair 3/1 f

Full results here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168805…


It wasn't quite the dream result, but Bryony Frost finished a memorable fifth aboard Milansbar and was left buzzing by the Grand National experience.

"He has run a brilliant race," she said. "It was a great event to be part of and you can be so proud of your horses and what you have asked them to do.

"Down by Valentine's the second time round, he just started to come underneath me a bit and I had to give him a minute, as it's a long way home.

"We went a lovely, even gallop and I rode him in his own space. I hope he sleeps as well as I will tonight.

"Our scariest moment was at the first. I was thinking that he jumps so well, that he might over-jump, and he was right down on his nose.

"Then we got into a rhythm and he was in my hands all the way. He missed one before the Canal Turn, but he was fifth and that is an amazing feat."

Sat 18:43
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
18:30 at Wolverhampton

1. Sevilla 20/1
2. Air Ministry 5/1
3. Avocet 9/4 f

Full results here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168804…
Sat 18:42
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Great to see Maquisard, who was down for a few minutes, up on his feet after his fall in the finale @AintreeRaces. #GrandNational

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Sat 18:33
Will Hayler@HaylerWill
Just checked with BHA - no injuries in last race, Saint Are still being looked after in racecourse stables, no update to previous announcements.
Sat 18:31
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Good to see Katie Walsh up okay after her fall at the last aboard Scheu Time in the finale @AintreeRaces. #GrandNational


Davy Russell is currently holding court in the media centre, laughing his way through how it feels to be a Grand National-winning jockey.

He said: "When we were parading on the way to the start, I heard the commentator say 'And here's the oldest jockey in the race', I thought 'Jaysus, I'd better not turn up next year'.

"When you've had 14 attempts like I've had, you kind of think 'This is just impossible to win' but I got a bit of confidence from Saint Are last year, who gave me a great spin in third, and felt that maybe it might actually be possible."

Russell continued: "At this time of year, you get the first cut of grass in the spring and at home we used to push all the grass together and make up a Grand National-style fence and ride over them, so I've actually won the Grand National a thousand times! It was about the only time I wanted to help cut the grass."

Sat 18:26
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
18:20 @AintreeRaces

1. Havana Beat 12/1
2. Dear Sire 12/1
3. Sternrubin 7/1

Full results and replay here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168802…
Sat 18:18
Sat 18:12
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Sat 18:11
Racing UK@Racing_UK
David Mullins' reaction after the result of the photo finish was announced @AintreeRaces 😩. #GrandNational #PleasantCompany
Sat 18:05
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Tiger Roll powers to #GrandNational victory as Davy Russell dedicates win to Pat Smullen.

#GrandNational full replay & video reaction. 👇👇👇

Sat 18:01
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"That's twice in about 10 days!" - Willie Mullins "proud" of Pleasant Company's effort in the #GrandNational @AintreeRaces.

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Sat 18:00
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Looking forward to seeing Matt Chapman's selfie with Davy Russell having dragged him away from Lydia...
Sat 17:58
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Saint Are is returning to the racecourse stables for further assessment.

37 jockeys reported to be fine; Charlie Deutsch has walked into the racecourse medical centre for assessment.

Sat 17:48
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"First number 13....Tiger Roll!" #GrandNational #PhotoFinish
Sat 17:46
Racing UK@Racing_UK
There are no major concerns reported for 37 horses in the #GrandNational.

Saint Are, the only other runner, is being assessed on-course. A further information update will be issued once available.


He might never win a popularity contest, but Michael O'Leary will be heading home with another Grand National under his belt.

O'Leary's relationship with the race underwent a bit of a bumpy spell last year when he attacked the handicapping of a couple of his horses, but it's a good job he had a change of heart because he ran five, and with a mile to run, three of them were still in with a definite shout.

"This is a freak result - another freak result!" he said. "I won it two years ago and I didn't think I could possibly win it again for another 20.

"I'm most pleased of all for Davy Russell. He's not at the end of his career, but he's 38 and he wanted to win this race. Gordon had won it before, I'd won it before, but this is everything for him."

Most strikingly of all, it's an Irish 1-2-3-4, a total clean sweep, continuing the theme of their dominance at the Cheltenham Festival.

Sat 17:43
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He's unbelievable!" - Gordon Elliott reflects on Tiger Roll's success in the #GrandNational @AintreeRaces. 👏

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Sat 17:41
Racing UK@Racing_UK
There were a total of 14 finishers in the 2018 #GrandNational.

1. Tiger Roll 10/1
2. Pleasant Company 25/1
3. Bless The Wings 40/1
4. Anibale Fly 10/1
5. Milansbar 25/1

More to come.
Sat 17:35
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Tiger Roll - what a career.

🏆 Triumph Hurdle 2014
🏆 National Hunt Chase 2017
🏆 Cross Country Chase 2018
🏆#GrandNational 2018
Sat 17:32
Will Hayler@HaylerWill
Looks to me like 14 finishers in the National - await confirmation
Sat 17:32
Racing UK@Racing_UK
What a finish! Tiger Roll (10-1) just hangs on to win the #GrandNational @AintreeRaces and provides Gordon Elliott with his second success in the race.

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Sat 17:31
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
17:15 @AintreeRaces

1. Tiger Roll 10/1
2. Pleasant Company 25/1
3. Bless The Wings 40/1

Full results and replay here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/157780…
Sat 17:29
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Tiger Roll edges the photo finish with Pleasant Company to win the #GrandNational
Sat 17:13
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The stage is set.....#GrandNational


The trumpets are out, the National Anthem has been sung. It's finally time for the parade of horses in front of the stand to begin. We won't be going off on time, but we're not too far away... unlike Richard Johnson, who's probably fast approaching the Crewe exit of the M6 by now.

The betting market has remained surprisingly static in the last few minutes, with Total Recall still at the head of the betting and Tiger Roll and Annibale Fly reasonably solid in behind. It's Seeyouatmidnight who is probably the best-backed horse in the final minutes, but there's no sign of an unexpected monster Monkerhostin-style gamble coming from nowhere.


Sat 17:04
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
My #GrandNational list. Singles, Combination forecasts & tricasts.

Fly my lovelies.


Thunder And Roses
Tiger Roll
Tenor Nivernais
Raz De Maree
Houblon Des Obeaux
Total Recall
Sat 17:00
Andy Stephens@StevoGG
One busy paddock. The winner is in there somewhere. #grandnational
Sat 16:58
Racing UK@Racing_UK
More #GrandNational runners leaving pre-parade ring. Is your fancy among them?
Sat 16:57
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Dual #GrandNational-winning jockey Ruby Walsh delivers his big-race verdict 👇👇

Sat 16:55
Racing UK@Racing_UK
There is £1m up for grabs at @AintreeRaces in 20 mins but also eternal glory + this well-guarded trophy. 💂🏼‍♀️🏆💂🏼
#GrandNational prize-money:
1st £500,000
2nd £200,000
3rd £100,000
4th £65,000
5th £40,000
6th £30,000
7th £20,000
8th £15,000
9th £10,000
10th £5,000
Sat 16:52
Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Groom of Captain Redbeard should win best turned out human. #SnazzyTrousers #GrandNational
Sat 16:50
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Lord Windermere and Anibale Fly share a glance before the #GrandNational
Sat 16:48
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Pre-parade #GrandNational
Sat 16:46
Will Hayler@HaylerWill
To be fair to @dickyjohnson77, even though it IS the Grand National, we've all been in that 'Well, I'm on the motorway now' situation. #musthavesomethingexcitinglinedupthisevening
Sat 16:43
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Not long left of our #GrandNational2018 offer!
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Sat 16:40
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Ciaran Gethings will now ride Saint Are in the #GrandNational @AintreeRaces. He replaces the injured Adrian Heskin. (via @nickluck)
Sat 16:40
Racing UK@Racing_UK
#GrandNational runners in the pre-parade ring @AintreeRaces. The £1million race sponsored by @RandoxHealth is off at 5.15. Have you found the winner yet?


Henry de Bromhead reveals after the race that it was Sean Flanagan's decision to move Identity Thief up to three miles and 'hunt him around and switch him off'.

Flanagan therefore gets the plaudits, not just for the plan but for its execution, as he gave Identity Thief the perfect pouncing ride, switching him off and picking off his rivals one by one in the manner of Paul Carberry.

The victory opens up new avenues next season for Identity Thief, at one point touted as a potential superstar two-mile hurdler before losing his way and experiencing a disastrous spell over fences.

On the other hand, it poses new questions about Sam Spinner, who never looked entirely happy from the start. Might a set of cheekpieces help to focus his attention on the task in hand because the talent is surely within...

Sat 16:36
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
If Richard Johnson has left Aintree he should do one of these...#GrandNational
Sat 16:35
Will Hayler@HaylerWill
UNCONFIRMED - It's no longer Richard Johnson on board Saint Are, apparently, as he has left the course. 🚗
Ciaran Gethings the man now in the plate!
Sat 16:31
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Identity Thief (14-1), who was having his first start over three miles, causes an upset in the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle @AintreeRaces. #GrandNational

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Sat 16:28
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
16:20 @AintreeRaces

1. Identity Thief 14/1
2. Wholestone 7/2
3. Sam Spinner 6/5 f

Full results and replay here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168801…
Sat 16:26
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"We're going to ride him much more patiently." - Nigel Twiston-Davies discusses the chances of Blaklion and Double Ross in the #GrandNational @AintreeRaces.

Racecards ➡️ bit.ly/2uLpje4

Tips ➡️ bit.ly/2w99RZF
Sat 16:22
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Richard Johnson has had 20 rides in the #GrandNational without success.
Came closest when second on What’s Up Boys in 2002 & Balthazar King in 2014. #SaintAre
Sat 16:21
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The British Horseracing Authority responds to Trevor Hemmings' exclusive comments to @Racing_UK & @LydiaHislop about the #GrandNational reserves system. twitter.com/BHAPressOffice…
Sat 16:15
Will Hayler@HaylerWill
Confirmed - Richard Johnson now rides Saint Are in the #GrandNational


Earlier today, we had four or five horses disputing favouritism at around 12-1, but we have a clear market-leader now with Total Recall having assumed a clear position at the head of the market at around 10-1 with most fixed-odds firms.

Perhaps the indications that the ground isn't quite as testing as may have been feared are encouraging his supporters, as I think good to soft is probably better for him than soft or heavy, or perhaps it's just the weight of money from the legions of friends and family of Lar Byrne who make up the Slaneyville Syndicate.

Sat 16:12
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Sat 16:10
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Does Sam Spinner #FeelLikeAWinner @AintreeRaces today? A motivational message for all the horses in the paddock for the Stayers Hurdle. #GrandNational
Sat 16:04
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Richard Johnson has ridden Saint Are nine times previously, including in 2011 when they won the Sefton Novices' Hurdle at @AintreeRaces. Could the champ get a #GrandNational ride at the 11th hour? twitter.com/ValueRacingPlu…
Sat 16:01
Will Hayler@HaylerWill
Sad to report that The Voice was unable to call that winner home due to being used as a temporary coatstand
Sat 15:54
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"My answer is, I'm not wrong." - Three-time Grand National-winning owner Trevor Hemmings launches scathing attack at the BHA over #GrandNational entries and weights.
Sat 15:48
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
15:40 @AintreeRaces

1. Thomas Patrick 3/1 f
2. On Tour 14/1
3. Paper Lantern 10/1

Full results and replay here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168798…
Sat 15:41
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
The last time Paul Nicholls had two Grade 1 wins in such close proximity in Britain was Silviniaco Conti and All Yours on the same day at the #GrandNational meeting three years ago.
Sat 15:39
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Trevor Hemmings take a bow...👏

Sat 15:39

Everyone has a Grand National story like this one. Well, a bit like this one...

Sat 15:34
Sat 15:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Harry Cobden and Diego Du Charmil on course to victory in the Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Chase @AintreeRaces

Listen to the jockey on his #GrandNational chances aboard The Dutchman

👉 bit.ly/2qwvqkR
Sat 15:26
Racing UK@Racing_UK
No #GrandNational runner for Nicky Henderson but he’s top trainer @AintreeRaces this week. Five G1 triumphs
Sat 15:26
Racing UK@Racing_UK
.@PFNicholls cheers home Diego Du Charmil in the Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Chase @AintreeRaces. 😂👏 #GrandNational #NichollsCam

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Sat 15:15
Racing UK@Racing_UK
It's a seventh win in the Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Chase for Paul Nicholls as Diego Du Charmil defeats the odds-on favourite Petit Mouchoir under Harry Cobden @AintreeRaces. #GrandNational

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Sat 15:15
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Steve Mellish reports on Racing UK that he timed Diego Du Charmil's victory at just 12 seconds outside standard, in his words 'the fastest time of the week' and a definite indicator that the ground is drying out ahead of the big race.

Sat 15:10
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
15:00 @AintreeRaces

1. Diego Du Charmil 5/1
2. Petit Mouchoir 4/5 f
3. Shantou Rock 13/2

Full results and replay here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168796…

Sat 15:05

Gaskells Handicap Hurdle - Aintree - The Jockey Club Fabulous shot of the field going over the hurdle in the Gaskells Handicap Hurdle.

Sat 15:03

Coleen Rooney - Aintree - The Jockey Club Coleen Rooney on the balcony at Aintree just a few weeks after giving birth to son Cass Mac.


Petit Mouchoir is getting himself noticeably stewed up on his way to the start. In particular, he took a dislike to the tunnel that connects the parade ring to the racecourse, whizzing around in circles for a bit before Davy Russell could get him to head out.

Now that he is at the post, he looks more settled, but he is a bit of a law unto himself and the task now will be keep a lid on him in the race itself.


Time to declare an interest. As an owner with Phil Kirby's team, I know how much it would mean to him and the whole yard to win a Grade One - and even more so a Grade One on Grand National day.

Phil first mentioned the idea of going for this race before Christmas and so far his plan has worked out perfectly. She's had a successful season, mixing fences and hurdles, but don't think for one minute that's because she has issues with her jumping - she is a brilliant jumper of a fence.

Realistically, I'm shocked she is as short as she is in the betting to beat Petit Mouchoir. She has plenty to find on the formbook. But the stable are absolutely flying at present and, purely personally, I would absolutely LOVE to see Lady Buttons win this.

Sat 14:47
Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
What was that about a fireman and his hose? twitter.com/Racing_UK/stat…
Sat 14:47
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Daryl Jacob congratulates Noel Fehily after his victory aboard Black Op @AintreeRaces. 👏 #HighFive #GrandNational

Sat 14:45ONE UP FOR OP

Black Op has the potential to be some horse if he can learn to jump properly - he easily lost a length to Lostintranslation when landing on all fours over the last, but showed impressive resolution to go back past in the final strides and deny the Tizzards another winner.

Noel Fehily was denied a ride in the Grand National when Minella Rocco was taken out of the race, but gets a big winner on the day aboard a horse who is a smart prospect.

"He deserved a race like that after the way he ran behind Samcro at Cheltenham - he's a very, very tough horse and he had to dig deep," said Fehily. "He jumped brilliant early. When he's in behind early, he's very neat, it's just that when he finds daylight he starts to look around and loses respect for them."

Sat 14:45
Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Asked Tom George if he might pop Black Op over a fence before horse begins holiday. “Not a bad idea” he said “as ground in autumn often too quick” 20-1 for RSA chunky - he’s all over a chaser.
Sat 14:41
Racing UK@Racing_UK
When you're lucky enough to get some of the best seats in the house...😜 👨‍🚒🙋‍♀️

Sat 14:41
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Paddy Power make the battling Black Op 20-1 for the RSA Chase next season. Will not be beaten by lack of courage if turning up there.
Sat 14:38
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Sat 14:34
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Black Op gets the better of Lostintranslation in a thrilling finish to the Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle and gains his first success at Grade One level. #GrandNational

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO
Sat 14:31
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
14:25 @AintreeRaces

1. Black Op 3/1
2. Lostintranslation 12/1
3. Momella 10/1

Full results and replay here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168791…
Sat 14:31
Sat 14:23
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Photo, photo! Racegoers @AintreeRaces re-enact that momentous finish between Crisp and Red Rum. Potential whip ban for runner-up. #GrandNational #ItAllGoesOnHere


Despite being arguably 'the form horse' on his second to Samcro, Black Op has drifted to a big price in our next race, the Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle .

Presumably, the stable form of Tom George is a big factor, but the market support for On The Blind Side is strong. He's a horse with a very tall reputation and now a solid 6-4 favourite to give Nicky Henderson a sixth Grade One winner at the meeting.

Sat 14:21
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Sat 14:19
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"It's just very, very holding." - Tom Scudamore, who guided Mr Big Shot to victory in the opener @AintreeRaces, tells us his thoughts on the ground conditions. #GrandNational
Sat 14:15
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Hercules did not qualify to run in the @RandoxHealth #GrandNational. Only 5 and did not run in a Chase this season. Look out for him in 2020.


It's amazing what a winner can do for confidence levels. I listened to David Pipe being interviewed about Vieux Lion Rouge's Grand National prospects and he didn't sound that confident. Now, he's in the winner's enclosure, there's a new-found sense of optimism over Vieux Lion Rouge's prospects of seeing out the National trip.

"He's very well and I do think that being that extra year older and stronger is going to give him a good chance," says Pipe.

Scudamore is even more optimistic, saying: "I'm going to ride him like I think he will stay because I think he will. There have been plenty of instances in past Grand Nationals of horses seeing out the trip better on their second or their attempts at the race. I don't think the ground is an issue for him at all and I think he's got every chance."

Sat 14:06
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Tom George and team prepare Black Op for the Mersey Novices Hurdle @AintreeRaces. No Samcro to deal with today - are you with or against him? #GrandNational
Sat 14:04
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He'll run a very good race." - David Pipe is hoping Vieux Lion Rouge will stay the trip this year in the #GrandNational @AintreeRaces.

Racecards ➡️ bit.ly/2uLpje4

Tips ➡️ bit.ly/2w99RZF
Sat 13:58
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The wash down/cool down facility @AintreeRaces is superb. Shade, fans and copious amounts of water. Also-rans in the first will soon be on way home.
Sat 13:56
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The David Pipe-trained Mr Big Shot battles bravely to justify favouritism in the Gaskells Handicap Hurdle @AintreeRaces and is now 3-4 over hurdles. #GrandNational

Results ➡️ bit.ly/2w8fYfO


By and large, it's been a quiet season for David Pipe, but that's a well-timed winner as Mr Big Shot justifies market support to land the opener for the same connections who will be represented by Vieux Lion Rouge in the big one.

Tom Scudamore has just performed a ridiculously theatrical punch of the air for winning what is essentially just a handicap hurdle - you get the feeling that was a much-needed victory for the team, on what is after all one of the most-watched days of racing all year long.

Sat 13:54
Racing UK Fast Results@RacingUKresults
13:45 @AintreeRaces

1. Mr Big Shot 7/1 f
2. Now Mcginty 12/1
3. Ah Littleluck 10/1

Full results and replay here ▶️ racinguk.com/results/168786…
Sat 13:46
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Memories of triple #GrandNational winner Red Rum decorate @AintreeRaces. This was the horsebox that took him to and from the races. #legend
Sat 13:37
Racing UK@Racing_UK
These guys @AintreeRaces made schoolboy error of not consulting over who’s turn it was to wear nifty yellow number. 👀 #GrandNational
Sat 13:37
Racing UK@Racing_UK
We are celebrating this year’s Randox Health #GrandNational in style with an unmissable one day only offer!
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Sat 13:26


Go on then. In the spirit of participation, I picked Road To Riches.


One of the prizes that you might not be aware is up for grabs today (unless you're a hoof fetishist) is the award for the Best-Shod Horse, presented each year by the Worshipful Company of Farriers.

The winner last year was Charlie Sands, who shoed Drop Out Joe, and completed a remarkable double when also winning the same 'Best-Shod' prize at the Badminton Horse Trials. Impressive stuff.

Sat 12:53
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Meet Boris, left, a 15-year-old Irish Sport, and Harriet, a 16-year-old Clydesdale. Important job later today - they are leading in the #GrandNational winner. #standtall @MerPolMounted
Sat 12:52
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Sat 12:45


I can't stop myself from watching videos of old Grand Nationals. This is the only sporting event in the world that has this strange effect upon me.

Rutherfords has been hampered, and so has Castle Falls. Rondetto has fallen. Princeful has fallen. Norther has fallen. Kirtle-Lad has fallen. The Fossa has fallen. There’s a right pile-up... Leedsy has climbed over the fence and left his jockey there... and now, with all this mayhem, Foinavon has gone off on his own! He’s about 100 yards in front of everything else.”
Sat 12:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Last-minute preparations.



My friends and family are always telling me I should get out more.

They may well have a point because I’ve just ventured outside the Media Centre and bumped into the delightful Lystra Adams.

The Staffordshire lass turns heads wherever she goes and is the partner of David Fox, who owns Saint Are, runner-up in the Grand National in 2015 and third 12 months ago.

Asked what emotions she goes through, she said: “Oh my God, it’s nerve wracking because of the big fences. I scream from start to finish.

"When he came in third last year I was running up and down everywhere. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Will the now 12-year-old hit the jackpot today?

“This is not his ground, it’s a shame the sun has only just come out,” she said. “He likes it firm, not soft, just how I like my men!”

And with that I gulped, complimented Lystra on her wonderful outfit/nails and went back inside.

Sat 12:22
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Sat 12:15


The compulsory jockeys' safety briefing is about to take place in the weighing room, but not everyone is totally impressed by having to sit through it all.

One jockey, who I spoke to earlier this week (and who asked not to be quoted) said: "For those of us who have ridden in the race a few times, it basically goes in one ear and out the other. I know why they have to do it, but why it has to be at midday, instead of an hour before the race, God only knows.

"They'll say 'Look after your horses, it's testing ground out there'. As if we didn't already know that. Then you have to sit around waiting for five hours, by which time you've forgotten it all..."

Sat 11:57
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"But I want a Politologue scarf..."
Which one would you have?
Sat 11:56
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The #GrandNational course @AintreeRaces remains heavy, soft in places. Andrew Tulloch, Clerk of the Course, tells us more about the ground conditions. #MarkYourCard
Sat 11:52
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"He continues to progress." - Donn McClean believes Ballymore Novices' Hurdle runner-up Black Op is the one to be on in the Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle @AintreeRaces. #GrandNational #MarkYourCard

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If, like me, you simply can't throw your money away quickly enough, here are two more special bets to consider (subject to all of the usual caveats about being able to get on).

There was a false start in the Topham yesterday. There were two false starts in the Grand National last year. There was a false start in 2014 (which, ridiculously, saw all the jockeys referred to the BHA) and I'm pretty sure there was one in 2015 too.

You know where I'm going with this. It's 6/4 with Betway that there is a false start again this year. It's not a great price, but it's not a bad one either.

The other market I've had a good look at is the number of finishers. Sporting Index put the spread at 12-13 and that looks about right to me, so Ladbrokes' 9-4 about less than 12 makes some fixed-odds appeal.

Everyone knows about the state of the ground and although it's dry now and forecast to remain dry for the rest of the day, it's overcast and neither breezy nor warm. I expect the going to be very attritional and I'd be confident that in the jockeys' safety briefing, the message of 'Make sure you look after your horses' will be very firmly communicated - the days when completing the course at any cost was itself seen as a glorious achievement are past. I'd be astonished if there are more than 15 finishers, with quite so many of them palpably questionable stayers.

Sat 11:48
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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It must be hard being an old boy like Raz De Maree.

No 13-year-old has won the Grand National since Sergeant Murphy in 1923, but faith in the Welsh National winner remains undimmed in some quarters.

Raz De Maree was a facile winner of the Welsh National in January and has not run since his six-length romp at Chepstow. He just went for a little canter, presumably to stretch out those ageing limbs.

Every single one of the last 27 Grand National winners bar one raced eight weeks or less prior to their Aintree success, but that is not the case with Gavin Cromwell's charge.

Raz is Cromwell's only second ever runner in the big race, so let's hope he knows what he's doing - colleague Andy Stephens has tipped him as his best bet in the race.

Sat 11:40
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"I'm not surprised he is short." - Will Sam Spinner record his second success at Grade One level in the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle @AintreeRaces today? Mark Howard tells us his thoughts. #MarkYourCard #GrandNational

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Sat 11:34
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The old boy's in good heart 👌

Will the Welsh National winner become the first 13-year-old winner of the #GrandNational since Sergeant Murphy in 1923?

@StevoGG thinks so 👉 racinguk.com/news/how-to-be… twitter.com/gavincromwell1…


Forgot to mention in earlier copy (and this was before the bubbly) that Bob Champion is also extremely keen on Wholestone in the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle at 4.20pm.

Worth mentioning that Tommo, who has the scarf with his name eblazoned on it (see earlier post), reckons Bob is the "worst tipster in the world".

Right, I'm off for a wander around the course to see how the atmosphere is building. Back soon.


A lady with a tray of champagne is doing the rounds in the media centre.

This is where you find out the true professionals from those who cannot resist the lure of bubbles before lunch.

I hesitated briefly before accepting this liquid delight.

But it's purely for medicinal purposes, you'll understand. I've had a bit of indegestion and figure the champers will help settle that.

Sat 11:10
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"The bigger money has come for Shantou Flyer." - Jack Jacob Milner (@JJMSports) tells us which horses have been well supported with @BetVictorRacing for the #GrandNational @AintreeRaces. #MarkYourCard

Racecards ➡️ bit.ly/2uLpje4


The legend that is Bob Champion is here in the media centre at Aintree and I’ve just had a quick chat with him about his thoughts on the big race.

Champion is better qualified than most to know what is required, becoming part of Aintree folk law with his victory on Aldaniti in the 1981 National.

He reckons Seeyouatmidnight is the one to beat in the main event; liking the fact he is fresh and that he is a thorough stayer proven on testing ground.

His each-way selection is I Just Know, the progressive Sue Smith-trained eight-year-old.

The one he cannot have on his mind is Blaklion. “He came there cruising last year but did not get home, why is that going to be different today on softer ground. And he’s had a wind op, I reckon only one in ten of those work.”

When Aldaniti won, the going was soft and Champion says such ground conditions do change the dynamics of the race.

He also says the early pace will be pivotal. If they go quick early, he imagines plenty not lasting home, especially if it does not rain before the race starts because he says the ground will become tacky and make for even more of a stamina test.

If he were riding this afternoon, he’d be taking an early pull and trying to conserve energy for when it matters at the finish.

Derek Thompson, a National ever-present since Red Rum won in 1973, is doing some work with Champion this morning and insists we plug the former jockey’s new book, out today, titled “Call Me Bob”.

Tommo, whose scarf carries his name in green letters (which will be handy if he ever loses it), said: “Give him a copy, give him a copy. His words are being read by thousands.”

So, to all six of you glancing at this, consider buying it. And if you do meet Champion, then call him Bob, obviously.


Among those out on the track early this morning were Ross O'Sullivan and Katie Walsh with their very live contender Baie des Iles.

I can't remember a horse whose price has crashed so quickly for this race - within a matter of hours at the start of the week, her odds had gone from 66-1 to 16-1 across the board, which is quite a move in a market that had been largely static for weeks, if not months. And that 16-1 is pretty firm today too.

How did the betting market overlook her chances for quite such a long time? It's hard to say, but I genuinely believe Katie Walsh has a massive chance of making history today. So, I think, does she.

LISTEN: Katie Walsh on her chances of success aboard Baie Des Iles
Sat 11:01
Racing UK@Racing_UK
No woman has ever done it...

Get all the build-up to the #GrandNational on Sky Ch. 432 free-to-view now!
Sat 11:00
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"It really is special." - Graham Thorner reminisces about his victory aboard Well To Do in the 1972 #GrandNational @AintreeRaces.


Exactly how sodden is the soil at Aintree? It will undoubtedly be key in determining who is going to win at 5.15pm.

The general consensus of jockeys I asked yesterday after they had ridden on the Grand National track insisted it was “very soft” but that’s not very scientific, is it?

So let’s look at what the winning times are telling us.

On Thursday, the Foxhunters’ Chase took 17 seconds longer to run than 12 months previously, when the going was officially good to soft.

And yesterday, after more rain, it took Ultragold 5min 50sec to win the Topham. A year earlier he had won in 5min 28sec.

So it took him 22 seconds longer to win. That equates to 88 lengths.

I’d imagine a winning time in the region of 9min 45 sec - about a minute slower than when Mr Frisk won in a course record time in 1990 when the race was over a quarter of a mile further.


This has been one hell of a meeting for Simon Munir and, er, that other fella who I am convinced doesn't exist. Isaac Souede? Really? It's a bit like Marks & Spencer. Pool old Mr Spencer, too. It;s easy to gorget the second chap.

Anyway, Munir and Souede have scythed through the Grand National meeting and they rely on Gordon Elliott's Ucello Conti in the Grand National itself at 5.15pm.

The two men have struck in three Grade Ones here this week with Terrefort, L'Ami Serge and We Have a Dream and clearly Ucello Conti would be the icing on the cake.

Daryl Jcob has naturally ridden all three and you can hear his thoughts on Ucello Conti's chances form the jockey from our roving reporter Mike Vince below 👇

LISTEN: Daryl Jacob on the 2018 Grand National
Sat 10:46
Racing UK@Racing_UK
"It's going to be hard for him." - Mark Howard is against Blaklion, one of the favourites for the #GrandNational @AintreeRaces today. Do you agree with his thoughts? #MarkYourCard

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From the moment you get to within 10 miles of Aintree racecourse, there are reminders that this is an event like no other in the sport. Fully four hours before the first race - and eight hours before the National itself - you can already find yourself in a queue of traffic, and there was a quite ridiculous posse of bus-spotters lined up on the junction opposite the Old Roan pub hoping to take photographs of their favourite coaches and buses on their way to the course. (Imagine being both a bus and racing fan, this day must be as close as you get to heaven...)

If you're reading this, I'm presuming you're already a lover of the great game, and if you are, you are almost certain to have been already asked by some of your friends and family for a tip.

How to approach this challenge? I always try and offer up the name of a horse who I hope will at least still be going on the second circuit and this year's selection in that respect is Vieux Lion Rouge. If I had to pick one horse I thought most likely to be in the first eight, it would be him. He's fresh, he jumps round, he handles give in the ground. What's not to like? (Answer: Stable not flying, generally disappointing form this season, but that's why he's 33-1 I guess...).

You can listen to an interview with trainer David Pipe, who won with Comply Or Die in 2008, below 👇

LISTEN: David Pipe on Vieux Lion Rouge
Sat 10:36
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Could this be the most open Grand National, ever?

The bookmakers seems as puzzled as punters and no runner this morning is shorter than 14-1. Remarkable.

Remember to ask for prices if you are having a bet.

The on-course bookmakers have a nasty habit of trimming odds nearer the start time.

Sat 10:15
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Dual National-winning rider @Ruby_Walsh kicks off our live #GrandNational blog with his two selections for the big race 👇👇



I wish I was riding in today’s Randox Health Grand National, but my leg is an a moonboot so I will be watching on from Aintree with great interest and no doubt enjoyment.

Ruby Walsh and Katie Walsh at Aintree - The Jockey Club

The Grand National Festival and especially the race itself, has really grown from one year to the next in terms of popularity and it’s one of the great sporting occasions.

The first aspect to focus on is the heavy ground. I’m of the mind-set that this is National Hunt racing and National Hunt horses should be able to handle slow ground. It also makes it safer for the riders involved, so the ground isn’t going to detract from the race at all.

Aintree has black soil and it’s different to Cheltenham or Haydock up the road. It gets wet very quickly and can generate a huge amount of kickback. The rain punctures the ground and it really sucks you in. Stamina will matter more than it usually does and the days of a two-and-half-mile horse winning the Grand National have gone out of window.

That’s not because of the modification of the jumps; it’s because there are now measures in place to catch the loose horses in catchment areas, which is a great thing, not only for safety, but also because it means a truer test of pace. Previously, the loose horses used to be at the front of the field and it meant jockeys took their time to see what the loose horses would do and the pace would be slowed down as a result.

I am sucker for class when it comes to the National, but this year it’s going to take guts.

If it continues to rain it will inconvenience horses over 11 stone. Every 1lb above 11st is really going to count against you. If it got really soft, then you’d have to look at horses under 11st.

It’s funny in that when I started to ride in the National there was always a line of jockeys queuing to get into the sauna. Given the bottom-weight is 10st 5lb, no-one uses it now! Have the horses got that much better? I am not so sure.

Anyway, given my preference for class, and if the rain doesn’t get in too much, then I think Anibale Fly and Total Recall are the two to focus on.

They both ran so well in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. I think that form is head and shoulders above everything else in the race.

I know Total Recall well, given he’s trained by Willie Mullins, and he’s been in great form this season, winning the Munster National and Ladbrokes Trophy, what was previously the Hennessy, and was running a good race in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, before falling three out.

Total Recall

He over-jumped that fence, which he has tendency to do; he can go a bit high and go through the air. His jockey David Mullins was adamant he’d be involved, but then jockeys always have that optimistic slant! From my eyes, he had been off the bridle once or twice and I reckon he would have finished in or around Anibale Fly, who was third.

I don’t think running in the Gold Cup will inconvenience the pair. Hedgehunter was second in both the Gold Cup and the National and Many Clouds finished sixth at Cheltenham before winning the big race in 2015. And this year, there is four weeks between the two races.

The concern is if you come to Aintree as a bit of an afterthought, in that the horse has been trained to peak at Cheltenham after a long season, but I don’t think these two will be over the top.

So I’d side with Total Recall, but Anibale Fly won’t be far from him, if they both get round, but I do have a worry that their big weights could counter their class element.

Of course, I’ll be keeping a very close eye on Baie Des Iles, who is ridden by my sister Katie.

Her husband Ross O’Sullivan is very happy with the mare and she’s had a good preparation. She won the national trial at Punchestown in 2017 and then was third in the same race in February on very testing ground.

She’s a good jumper and hopefully Katie will have a good run on the day.

Sat 10:13
Racing UK@Racing_UK
We are now live @AintreeRaces for #MarkYourCard. Tune in for all the latest updates and tips ahead of #GrandNational day.

Racecards ➡️ bit.ly/2uLpje4

Tips ➡️ bit.ly/2w99RZF


It is a grey day here at Aintree but not as cold, or wet, as on Thursday and Friday. We may even see the sun later, forecasters have predicted.

The ladies of Liverpool were heroic yesterday, when the majority wore outfits designed for 80 degree heat.

Very few in the sellout 50,000 crowd were wearing the jumpers, jackets, gloves, hats and scarves that their male partners chose to adorn themselves with.

That either means they have have fierce stubborn streaks, or that their men in their lives are none too chivalrous.

Sat 10:06


Regal Encore and Walk In The Mill have been ruled out of the Grand National this morning - so 38 will go to post for the big one.

The JP McManus-owned Regal Encore, who had been 33-1, is out because his blood anlysis is not normal. Walk In The Mill, meanwhile, is lame.

No reserves are allowed in the race after 1pm on Friday.

There has not been a smaller Grand National field since 32 lined up in 1999, when Bobbyjo won.

Sat 9:52
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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Sat 9:46
Racing UK@Racing_UK
Five magical stories set to be written in today's #GrandNational at @AintreeRaces | by @StevoGG.

Sat 9:30
Racing UK@Racing_UK
The story of Blaklion: @Alexsteedman visits Nigel Twiston-Davies and hear from Sam Twiston-Davies as last year's fourth goes in search of redemption.
Sat 9:26
Racing UK@Racing_UK
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