Grand National 2024 Preview

It’s time to take a look at one of the horse racing highlights of the year!

Last updated: 10.04.2024

The Grand National forms part of the Aintree Festival that is held every year in Merseyside in England and forms an integral part of the horse racing calendar. Lets take a look at the upcoming race!

The festival is a National Hunt event that has been held since 1839 and is a handicap steeplechase that runs at an official distance of 4 miles and 2.5 furlongs. It is the most valuable jump race in Europe, with a prize fund of £1 Million and is one race that attracts the attention of fans who are not normally horse racing enthusiasts. The race itself is widely known as the ultimate test of both horse and rider due to its distance and tough conditions. The race is watched by approximately 700 million people in over 140 countries. The winner of the race pockets an impressive £500,000 with the remaining prize fund distributed amongst other participants. 

The race itself dominates the Aintree Festival, which is actually a three day event. Unlike other major horse racing meetings, such as Cheltenham, Epsom and Ascot where, despite big individual races, the festival as a whole is what attracts viewers, at Aintree it’s all about the Grand National. The first winner of the race back in 1839 was made a 6.00 favourite to win the race and there have been many famous gambles over the years. The tough conditions mean that there have often been outsiders winning, with some even being successful at a price of 100.10, most recently in 2009 when Mon Mome won. The most recent outsider to win was Noble Yeats in 2022 that was a 51.00 shot. 

As well as the racing on the track, there is plenty of other entertainment, music and fashion awards. It is a perfect excuse to dress up and enjoy the day out, especially if the weather permits. This is not only a highlight in a sporting sense but also in the social calendar of many individuals. As for those not able to attend in person, many will be grouped around their TV sets at home or at their local meeting points watching the race and cheering on their horse. Picking a horse is for many individuals part of the fun, with many taking their time to choose the right horse based on recent results, course conditions or form of the jockey as well as historical data. For those who don’t have the time or interest in researching which horse is more likely to perform well the other way of picking a horse is simply by going through the list and searching out the one with a name that stands out.


The favourite to win the race is Corach Rambler, currently at 6.50, who won the race last year. The highlight this year for the horse was a third placed finish in the 2024 Gold Cup and so far it has amassed £776k in prize money. 

I am Maximus is currently second favourite at 9.00. This horse didn’t run in last year’s edition but was a winner of the 2023 Irish Grand National. 

Vanillier is the third favourite, the runner up in last year’s race and can currently be backed at a price of 11.00.

There are many factors when it comes to deciding who to back, with Corach Rambler the understandable favourite following the dominant performance last year. Rachel Blackmore became the first female jockey to win this race in 2021 and her horse will surely be heavily backed again. JP McManus won this race for the second time in 2021 and trainer Henry de Bromhead had both first and second placed horses in 2021.

When attempting to pick a winning horse there are many factors to consider. The weight is one of the most important factors as the top rated horse will carry 11st 10lbs but a classy horse will still be able to win despite this handicap. The ground is also very important as this is a long race and heavy ground will have an impact on any horse that isn’t suited to a long battle. The age of the horse is also a key factor, only those over 7 years can enter with ones aged between 8 and 11 thought to be at the right age. As things stand, the going is Good to Soft, which means that the track shouldn’t be too testing but that can change if there is heavy rain over the coming days. 

It is extremely difficult to pick a winner in such a long, tough race. Many will go for the favourite, Corach Rambler (6.50), or just pick out a random horse by name. A few that might be worth considering are Panda Boy (15.00), as this horse seems to have been prepared especially for this race and the same can be said of Mahler Mission (17.00). Last year’s second placed finisher Vanillier (11.00) is also an interesting bet with Irish trainer Gavin Cromwell having an excellent season so far. Meetingofthewaters (11.00) is probably one of the best picks as his performance at Cheltenham last month really stood out as Grand National type form and is also well handicapped. 

Last updated: 10.04.2024