Grand National 2024: My First Five Home

Silver Birch

All this week has been building up for this moment. 34 horses, 30 fences, 10 minutes. The wildest, most exhilarating, most watched race in the world is back. The Grand National. Everyone will have their own picks, from the colour of the silks, to one with a good name, it’s a lottery. Here are my five picks for the National that I think will come home the strongest.


Main Pick: I Am Maximus – 7/1

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This is a horse that has very strong claims to win the race. And I’m fully taken with him. He’s an out and out stayer, proved with his win in the Irish National last year. He loves the heavy ground, proved with his emphatic win in the Bobbyjo Chase (Often used as a leg up for either Irish or Grand National). He has Grade One form, finishing in front of Paddy Rewards Club Chase winner next time out, Found A Fifty back in the Drinmore. Fianally, he finished behind Capodanno and Galopin Des Champs at Christmas, who both went on to win next time out. Yes, a horse has never won the National carrying 11st 6lbs, but records are here to be broken. Out of the front runners, I can’t look past I Am Maximus.


Each-way choice: Mahler Mission – 14/1

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Once again, this horse has been targeted at this race. Way back at the start of December after his brilliant run in the Coral Gold Cup. The one thing that Mahler Mission likes to do is run well fresh, 32232. It’s missing some 1’s, but he’s never far from hitting the frame. He faced a tough opponent in Datsalrightgino last time out, but was six-and-a-half lengths clear of Monbeg Genius in third. His National Hunt Chase run at 2023 Festival showed how well he can stay, barring his fall at the second-last. The eventual winner Gaillard Du Mesnil finished a gallant third and could end up repeating the feat, if not go better.


Mud-lover: Galia Des Liteaux – 28/1

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Barring her last run, Galia Des Liteaux has had a great season. Her second in the Classic Chase was fantastic, when she was clear by 12 lengths to eventual third Guetapan Collonges. The winner My Silver Lining has finished second and third since, respectively. Plus Beauport, who was pulled up that day, went and won the Midlands National backed the form up slightly. She’s a lover for heavy ground, with two out of three wins on the surface. She has to defy history if to win the National. The last mare to do it was Nickel Coin back in 1951.


Surprise Package: Roi Mage – 50/1

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Despite such a big price this year, Roi Mage ran well in last year’s renewal, finishing a respectable seventh. He then went and won the big Cross-Country race at Compiegne, guided round by today’s jockey James Reveley. Reveley has already had a big winner in the UK this year, when the Englishman riding in France won with Il Est Francais at Kempton on Boxing Day. Having rode, and won, Roi Mage, this being his sole ride of the day and being brought out from France, there’s a feeling that Reveley might know something about Roi Mage that we don’t.


A Grand National Outsider: Farouk D’Alene – 100/1

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Farouk D’Alene was one of the best novices coming into the 2022 Brown Advisory. And he could have won it, had it not been for a fall at the second last. He then wasn’t seen for about 18 months until he reappeared in the Troytown last November, when falling at the first. Then he had one last go over fences at Thurles when finishing fifth, but finishing in front of Capodanno. He was close to winning a Pertemps qualifier over Christmas, but pulled up at Cheltenham. His handicap mark over fences is 153, but he’ll need to improve his jumping over the bigger obstacles for this marathon trip.


Whoever you are on this Grand National the very best of luck!

Why not check out my selections for the other races on Day Three! Click the link here

All prices are with William Hill – Official Betting Partner of the Grand National.

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