It’s that time of year again when we get to see which jockeys will be partnered with which Grand National runners and now we have the full compliment of men and women who will do battle on April 14th.
Two that won’t be making an appearance in 2018 are Ruby Walsh and Leighton Aspell who have both been sidelined due to injury. Walsh fell from Al Boum Photo in the second race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival and suffered a stress fracture on the old break. Aspell damaged his neck in a fall at Hereford last week and faces at least six weeks on the sidelines.
As for the jockeys that will be lining up, here’s a little bit about each so you can familiarise yourself with them for the big race:
David Bass – The Last Samuri
This will be the third Grand National outing for David Bass and The Last Samuri who finished 2nd in 2016 but could only manage 16th last year. They were runners-up in the Becher Chase in December and all signs say this partnership could do very well again.
Tom Bellamy – Double Ross
Tom works primarily for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and in terms of earnings is well on his way to having his best season to date. Rode Double Ross in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase but pulled-up.
Rachael Blackmore – Alpha Des Obeaux
Making her Grand National debut in 2018 is conditional jockey Rachael Blackmore who will be one of three female jockeys to line up this year. A consistent jockey who is on 30 wins this season, she has already ridden Alpha Des Obeaux in the Irish Gold Cup this season.
James Bowen – Shantou Flyer
Another conditional jockey making his Grand National debut, James Bowen was just 16 years old riding 13-year-old Raz De Maree to victory in the Coral Welsh National in January. He has since turned 17 but if he could perform a miraculous win at Aintree, he would be the youngest jockey to have ever done so.
Sean Bowen – Warriors Tale
It looks like Warriors Tale may be the only runner fielded by Paul Nicholls this year so all hopes will be pinned on Sean Bowen who rode the 50/1 Le Mercurey in last year’s National. He got around to finish in 12th place.
Paddy Brennan – Chase The Spud
A hugely successful jockey, Paddy Brennan won the Gold Cup on Imperial Commander in 2010 and won six major races, including the King George, on Cue Card and was second in the 2015 Grand National on Saint Are.
Henry Brooke – Delusionofgrandeur
Has already ridden over 400 times this season and has partnered this horse on one previous occasion. Henry is the son of trainer Julia Brooke and was condition jockey champion in 2013.
Jonathan Burke – Childrens List
Usually a jockey for Charlie Longsdon who he started working with last July, Burke was the retained rider to leading owners Ann and Alan Potts between 2014 and 2016.
Alain Cawley – Perfect Candidate
It been just over three years since Alain Cawley rode out on Perfect Candidate and his last major win was the Hennessy Gold Cup in 2010 on Joncol.
Harry Cobden – The Dutchman
Cobden ran in last year’s National on Just A par for Paul Nicholls and while he didn’t place, he did get around the course so that kind of experience will help as he goes again with The Dutchman.
Aidan Coleman – Pendra
Rode Pendra in the 2016 National and finished in 13th place and was supposed to be on board again last year but the horse got pulled so paired with Tenor Nivernais instead and got around in 17th place.
Sam Coltherd – Captain Redbeard
Conditional jockey Sam will be riding out on Captain Redbeard for his father and trainer Stuart Coltherd for his Grand National debut. They also own the horse so this is very much a family affair.
Danny Cook – I Just Know
This is Danny Cook’s third Grand National and he’s hoping for better luck than when riding Definitly Red last year when he was so badly hampered at Becher’s first time around that the saddle slipped and he was forced to pull up.
Charlie Deutsch – Houblon Des Obeaux
Charlie has only had 84 chase starts this season but that hasn’t stopped him earning over £225K for connections from them. A young jockey, he also paired with Houblon Des Obeaux last year and got him home in 10th place.
Keith Donoghue – Valseur Lido
Donoghue works primarily for Gordon Elliott and this season has worked quite a bit with Tiger Roll including winning at Cheltenham in March in the Glenfarclas Chase.
Robbie Dunne – Gas Line Boy
Robbie has only had two previous rides in the Grand National, but he finished third on 13-year-old Vics Canvas, a 100/1 chance in 2016 and Gas Line Boy was a 50/1 chance last year when he finished 5th.
Sean Flanagan – Road To Riches
If Road To Riches can improve his form then Sean Flanagan could be in for a terrific race. Flanagan has been racing since 2006 and in 2016 became stable jockey for Noel Meade.
Bryony Frost – Milansbar
Taking part in her first Grand National is jockey Bryony Frost on board Milansbar for trainer Neil King. The pair rode to victory in January at Warwick in the betfred Classic, which was also Milansbar’s first win in nearly two years.
Barry Geraghty – Anibale Fly
The retained rider for owner for JP McManus, Geraghty has ridden in 17 Grand Nationals and won it on Monty’s Pass in 2003. He is undoubtedly one of the most experienced riders in the race.
Ciaran Gethings – Saint Are
Unbelievably, Gethings got the call up to ride Saint Are about 40 minutes before the race. The original jockey, Adrian Heskin, got injured so the standby Richard Johnson was supposed to ride but he had left the course so the owners decided to go with Gethings as he works for Tom George.
Brian Hughes – Seeyouatmidnight
The stats on jockey Brian Hughes are quite staggering and from 284 chase starts this season, he has won or placed (up to 4th) a whopping 215 times which is a rate of 75.7% in the money! No wonder odds for Seeyouatmidnight are tumbling.
Daryl Jacob – Ucello Conti
This will be Ucello Conti’s third trip to the Grand National with Daryl Jacob on board for all three attempts. He finished 6th in 2016 but unseated last year. A solid jockey who has notched up winning money of over £1m this season.
Jack Kennedy – Bless The Wings
Wonderkid jockey Jack Kennedy may just be 18 years old but has already notched up winnings of over €1.4m this season alone! With a 27% win rate and 62 wins/places from 100 chase starts this season, he has every chance in the Grand National.
Andrew Lynch – Lord Windermere
Lynch has never ridden Lord Windermere but is not a stranger to top quality horses, most notably the Henry De Bromhead-trained Sizing Europe with wins including the Arkle Chase and the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
David Mullins – Pleasant Company
Nephew to trainer Willie Mullins, David won the Grand National in 2016 on board the Mouse Morris trained Rule The World, on his first attempt. Can he make it two wins in three years?
Tom O’Brien – Tenor Nivernais
Born into a racing family, Tom’s uncle is trainer Aidan O’Brien and he started riding for him more than 15 years ago before moving to the UK. He was second on McKelvey in the 2007 National.
Brendan Powell – Maggio
Powell has never ridden Maggio so a first for the pair but the softer ground should help. Powell last raced in the Grand National in 2015 on Royale Knight and finished in 6th place.
Robbie Power – Raz De Maree
Trainer Gavin Cromwell wasted no time in snapping up Power, who won the race on Silver Birch for Gordon Elliott in 2007, for the mount. Raz De Maree won the Coral Welsh National in January under Jamie Bowen but he has been booked to ride Shantou Flyer.
Davy Russell – Tiger Roll
One of the most successful jockeys working today, Davy Russell is fresh off the back of his best Cheltenham Festival to date with four wins including the Ryanair and RSA Chases. He has never won a Grand National but Tiger Roll could change that.
Tom Scudamore – Vieux Lion Rouge
From Vieux Lion Rouge’s first race in 2012 to his run at Ascot in February, Tom Scudamore has partnered him 19 times including two Grand Nationals and two Becher Chases and has got around Aintree every time.
Gavin Sheehan – Final Nudge
Rode Cole Harden to victory in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2015 and a month later was in his first Grand National on board Tranquil Sea. Currently having a solid season with a 20% chase win rate.
Harry Skelton – Virgilio
Harry will be riding out on Virgilio for his brother Dan Skelton as the trainer fields his first Grand National runner. From 12 runs together they have five wins and three places so a very good record.
JJ Slevin – Thunder And Roses
Got the call up the day before the Grand National when Minella Rocco was withdrawn. JJ Slevin partnered Thunder And Roses in the Irish Grand National last year and finished 4th.
Paul Townend – Total Recall
Looks set to go off as favourite so it’s just as well that Paul Townend has already won on Total Recall twice this season – the pair are on great form.
Sam Twiston-Davies – Blaklion
Sam will be on board one of the race favourites, Blaklion for his father and trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. While he usually works for Paul Nicholls, he paired with Blaklion for the Becher Chase on the understanding that he would be able to do so again for the Grand National and Nicholls agreed.
Katie Walsh – Baie Des Iles
Keeping it in the family, Katie will be riding for her husband/trainer Ross O’Sullivan on the 66/1 shot Baie Des Iles. Walsh became the highest placed female jockey in the Grand National when finishing in third place on Seabass in 2012.
Mark Walsh – Carlingford Lough
Walsh has extensive experience on Carlingford Lough and the pair have ridden out together on 15 occasions since the horse first started racing in 2011. He knows this horse very well which will help in the race.
Adam Wedge – Buywise
Adam has been riding out on Buywise on and off since 2013 so has a long history with the runner which will stand them in good stead. The pair were 4th in the Ultima at Cheltenham last year and 6th at Chepstow in December.
All of the jockeys have now been confirmed and if any of the above grab your fancy then you can now back them NRNB (Non Runner No Bet) with both Paddy Power and Betfair!