There are plenty of reasons why people love backing certain runners in the Grand National. Sometimes it’s because of a name, other times it’s the jockey on board but for a lot of fans, it’s because the runner is a grey horse.
Racing fans absolutely love them. And while grey winners are few and far between, there is a good reason for that. So few grey runners get entered, with even less making the starting tape, that statistically, it is very difficult to notch up the wins.
Neptune Collonges from trainer Paul Nicholls was the last grey runner to win the Grand National in 2012. That made him only the third grey to win in the history of the race.
That said, any horse can win the Grand National and its colour is irrelevant!
Below are the Grey runners entered into the 2023 Grand National. Can any of them tear up the history books and become the winner on April 15th 2023?
The Gigginstown grey that looks set to run in the Grand National 2023, Coko Beach is trained by Gordon Elliott.
Fans may remember that he ran in last year’s national and got around the course to finish in 8th place. It may have been out of the money but never overlook a horse that has previous experience over those tricky Grand National fences.
Another year older, and with almost no weight change, he could easily go another few places in 2023. Plus, he has just won a marathon 3m4f at Punchestown in the Grand National Trial Handicap Chase so he is on form.
Gaillard Du Mesnil
A cracker of a chaser from trainer Willie Mullins and one of his best chances of adding another Grand National win to his already impressive list of victories.
Owned by Mrs J Donnelly – who also owns two-time Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo – Gaillard Du Mesnil has won or placed in all nine of his chase starts.
He was third in the Irish Grand National last year and goes to Aintree fresh off the back of another solid win, this time at the Cheltenham Festival in the National Hunt Challenge Cup run over 3m6f.
On a winnable weight, the only thing that might hinder him is the fact that he is only 7-years-old but then again, Noble Yeats defied the odds, maybe Gaillard Du Mesnil can too!
Trained by Gavin Cromwell, Vanillier will benefit greatly from having much less weight to carry than he is used to.
Last time out, he ran off 11-08, but for the 2023 Grand National, it will 10-06, which will no doubt help him get further around the course.
He doesn’t have a vast amount of experience in the longer distance races but gave a good account of himself last year at Cheltenham, finishing 3rd over 3m6f so he does have stamina when it’s needed.
He will need to improve on his current form but anything is possible in the Grand National.
Trained by Tim Vaughan, this is one of my long shot picks for the 2023 Grand National and one I backed at 66/1.
Odds have dropped slightly, but there is still a lot of value to be had if you back this grey each-way.
His impressive stats include finishing 4th last time out in the Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle, which is run over 4m1f – and he was carrying a whopping 12 stone! For the Aintree Grand National, he will be on 10-01, so a significant decrease in weight which will only help his chances.
He also won at Cheltenham in December over 3m2f, and was 2nd in the Jewson Handicap Chase in November over 3m3f.
There’ll be tough competition on the day, but Eva’s Oskar might just sneak into the places.
Unlike other years, all four greys entered into the 2023 Grand National, have made the cut. That means there are none further down the list who might miss out on a place.
The only way one of them may not run is if it is withdrawn by the trainer. For example, Gaillard Du Mesnil has also been entered into the Irish Grand National which takes place on April 10th.
So if Willie Mullins sends him to Fairyhouse then there’s little chance he will also be at Aintree five days later!