The Grand National is not really a race that can be dominated by one trainer or one jockey as it is such a wide open event but certain jockeys and trainers do have a better than average record in the race whilst some surprisingly big names in the training world have a less than exceptional record in the race so it could pay to go with those with a proven record in the Grand National 2012. To see a full list of Grand National Runners, click here .
Tony McCoy is often the jockey that most punters will look out for and as a winner of the BBC Sports Personality Award in 2010 even the once a year punters will all know his name but is he one to follow in this race? The reason he won the 2010 Sports Personality was because he rode Don’t Push It to victory in the Grand National that year but that was his first and only win in the race to date. He rode the same horse to third last year and that equalled his previous best finish on any horse other than Don’t Push It, McCoy came third in the 2002 and 2006 Grand Nationals aboard Blowing Wind and Clan Royal. That is not perhaps the record you’d expect from Tony McCoy but backers of Synchronised, this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, will undoubtedly be happy to hear that McCoy is riding that horse this year and he looks most likely to go off as favourite on the day.
Perhaps the jockey to follow on Grand National day is Ruby Walsh. He only has one more win than McCoy having ridden Papillon to victory in 2000 and also Hedgehunter in 2005 but his overall record looks a bit better than Tony McCoy’s. Walsh also finished second on Hedgehunter in 2006 and was unlucky not to win on him in 2004 and he has placed on three other horses over the past decade or so. This year Walsh has chosen to ride the lightly raced contender On His Own who has unsurprisingly come in for plenty of support since that decision. Ruby Walsh will be up against family members Katie Walsh and Ted Walsh in this race, Ruby’s sister Katie rides Seabass for their father Ted and it could even turn out to be a 1-2 for the Walsh siblings.
Paul Nicholls has sent out many well fancied horses over the year’s in the Grand National but he is still yet to taste victory in the race. Paul Nicholls has had 34 Grand National runners during his training career and only three of those have gone on to place in the race so he could be forgiven if he isn’t overly confident about the chances of Neptune Collonges this year. Another powerhouse trainer is Nicky Henderson, who had an amazing Cheltenham Festival, but he hasn’t had such amazing fortunes in the Grand National. He has only seen one of this last ten runners even finish the Grand National which is a possible negative against the chances of Shakalakaboomboom.
There are trainers with an excellent record in this race for one so competitive though. Willie Mullins has a strong Grand National history, his horse Hedgehunter won in 2005, finished second a year later and was unlucky not to win in 2004 whilst more recently he has had a horse finish sixth in the race for the last two years which shows he can still get them very competitive. Mullins could saddle three (On His Own, The Midnight Club and Quiscover Fontaine) this year. Jonjo O’Neill is another with a good record in the Grand National, his Don’t Push It has come first and third in the last two years and Clan Royal was also a great Grand National horse finishing second in 2004 and third in 2006. He has the hot favourite Synchronised in the race this year as well as the option of running Arbor Supreme and Sunnyhillboy.
The name McCain has been one to look out for in the Grand National for decades and it should be once again this year. Ginger McCain saddled Red Rum to four Grand National victories in the 70s and also won the race with Amberleigh House in 2003 before handing the training duties over to his son Donald McCain Jnr in 2006. Since then McCain Jnr has had seven runners in the race, only two of which have failed to complete the course and he had his best result to date last year when Ballabriggs won the Grand National. Ballabriggs will be bidding to become the first horse to win more than one Grand National since Red Rum whilst Weird Al could also line up for McCain Jnr. Find the best Grand National Runners based on their jockeys and trainers here.