Things are really starting to heat up in anticipation of the Grand National on April 13th. Despite the race being still a couple of weeks away, Emmet Mullins has confirmed that Harry Cobden has been booked to ride Noble Yeats.

The past winner famously rode to victory as a 7-year-old novice with amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen on board in 2022.

With an enviable record around Aintree, which included finishing second on Oscar Time in 2011, as well as seven wins on the Grand National course from 41 rides, he quickly became the most successful course jockey in modern times.

He was also the first amateur jockey to win the Grand National since Marcus Armytage on Mr Frisk in 1990.

Coupled with the Noble Yeats’ age at the time, novice status, and the fact that Waley-Cohen had announced his impending retirement, most people overlooked him as a potential winner. Hence the odds of 50/1!

So now that we know Harry Coben will be on board, what are his chances in 2024? You can bet on the Grand National with Lottoland so if you fancy Noble Yeats, let’s see if he’s still got what it takes to bag another epic win at Aintree.

Noble Yeats Grand National Chances

The history books will recount Noble Yeats’ terrific win in 2022 and he did return to Aintree just a few months later to win the Man Clouds Chase in December 2022.

As the next Grand National rolled around, hopes were high that he could win another before the BHA Handicapper more or less scuppered his chances.

Deciding he was simply too good, his winning weight of 10-10 was bumped up to 11-11 – more than a stone heavier.

With Sean Bowen on board, the duo successfully navigated the 2023 National to finish in fourth place, 8½ lengths behind the winner, Corach Rambler.

He finished his season in Auteuil with a seventh-place finish in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris.

So, back again this season, he has had three decent runs, including the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Despite only managing seventh place in that race, trainer Emmet Mullins remains very positive and, when speaking to the Racing Post, said: “We needed more of a stamina test to bring out our lad’s strength.

“He’s been himself since, because it wasn’t a stamina test he didn’t have to go to the well and he’s come out of it in good order.”

So, with Noble Yeats in fine form and relishing the prospect of a more challenging race, it looks like Harry Coben will be the man to help him achieve it.

Harry Cobden

Usually, Harry Cobden is automatically booked on any horse the trained Paul Nicholls has running.

However, for the 2024 Grand National, Nicholls withdrew his only entry, Threeunderthrufive, to leave the door open for Cobden to be booked elsewhere.

This isn’t a new partnership for Cobden and Noble Yeats. The duo won the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham in December before pairing up again for the Stayers Hurdle in March.

Ordinarily, Sean Bowen would be saddling up, but he is currently sidelined with an injury.

That means Cobden now has the opportunity to lead Noble Yeats to victory and become the first previous winner to regain the title since Red Rum in 1977.

As for his own track record in the Grand National, Cobden has completed the course twice in five attempts.

  • 2023 Coko Beach – pulled up at fence 29
  • 2022 Lostintranslation – finished in 15th place
  • 2019 Warriors Tale – pulled up at fence 28
  • 2018 The Dutchman – was unseated at fence 23
  • 2017 Just A Par – finished in 14th place

He currently leads the Jockey Championship in the UK with a 23% win rate and 150 winners from 640 starts.

Add in another 251 places (2nd, 3rd and 4th) and that takes his total earnings to just over £2,840,000, this season.

So can he add a Grand National win to his already impressive collection of victories? We’ll find out on April 13th 2024.

How The Betting Markets Look

It should come as no surprise to anybody who follows the Grand National that Corach Rambler is this year’s race favourite, again.

Last year, his win in the Ultima at Cheltenham saw his odds tumble, and he duly rewarded those who backed him.

But as we all know, the BHA Handicapper likes to set a challenge, and similar to Noble Yeats in 2023, Rambler’s weight has also been increased by an additional stone.

He was the 8/1 favourite last year and is already as short as 5/1 with some bookies for 2024. So maybe Noble Yeats offers better value?

At a general 16/1, he is definitely more appealing for the each-way backers who like a horse with form around the course.

He also came away from Cheltenham in great form, and we know he can carry near top weight around the course.

But this isn’t a two horse race and there are plenty of challengers including the likes of Vanillier, last year’s runner-up and I Am Maximus from Willie Mullins.

It’s a race that Cobden will relish and if nothing else, is giving him his best chance at a winner since he first rode in it in 2017.