Grand National trainers: What they said
Key quotes from Grand National trainers ahead of the 2022 race
The Grand National is the world’s most famous steeplechase run over 4m2f of Aintree turf.
Forty horses have to successfully navigate 30 fences before they can cross the winning line in front and the race is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar, meaning plenty of attention on the Grand National trainers and jockeys.
With the big race only hours away, we have taken a look at what some of the biggest names in horse racing have to say about their chances of landing one of the biggest prizes in the sport.
Elliott has won the race three times in the past and is responsible for a plethora of leading contenders in 2022. Here he gives us the lowdown on the best of them.
“He might not quite be up to Gold Cup class anymore. It looks like he has got a nice weight there and I think he could easily take to these fences.”
“Samcro has had a lot of problems with his sinuses, but we have them sorted again and the plan is to go straight to the Grand National. He is a very good horse on his day and we are just hoping these fences might light him up.”
“Death Duty is a dual Grade One winner that at the moment is off 10st 1lb, which looks a lovely weight.”
Mullins has won the race in the past with Hedgehunter and will be relishing the chance of running last year’s fourth Burrows Saint off the same rating of 156.
“Burrows Saint looked very good for most of the race last year (finished fourth). He just ran out of petrol a bit going to the last.
“However, he is more mature this year and he is certainly one a lot of jockeys would like to ride. He is definitely a horse with a chance off that weight.”
“Brahma Bull is a proper handicapper that has been placed in plenty of top staying handicap chases. He is a horse that the heavy winter ground probably doesn’t suit – he really improves in the spring.”
Coral ambassadors ‘Team Tizzard’ look set to fire two of their big guns at the Aintree showpiece.
“We had a bad season last season with him but I think that is a mark he is capable off of. He has always been a good jumper.
“He is a lovely jumper and that is one thing that plays to his strengths. If we got a bit of good ground he would be well within his capability to travel and jump around there. Let’s not forget he was rated a stone higher at one point and if he got back to somewhere near his best then he could be involved.”
“This has been the plan for Fiddlerontheroof since the Ladbrokes Trophy where he had a hard enough race. It was going to be too soon to go for a King George, then we talked about it and we thought he could have a live chance in a Grand National.
“I’m sure off 155 he would be competitive and he is a lovely jumper.”
Walsh won the Grand National with Papillon in 2000 and Any Second Now looks to build on last year’s third.
“I knew he was going to get a few pounds more as he was third in the National last year. He was a bit unlucky then – whether he’d have beaten the winner I’m not sure, but he’d definitely have been closer.
“Of course I’d always be happier with less weight and I’d be happier with less than 11 stone but it is what it is. The only problem is if the top weights don’t run and we end up around 11st 6lb or 11st 7lb – that would be tough.
“He’s up there with Papillon and Seabass (third in 2012) for ability, you’d think. They had nice weights in the race and they both ran well and he’s that type of horse.
“A win would be the main thing for me – when you get to my age you don’t get too many more chances to win it again! I’d like to win it again, I must say. It was great to win it once and it would be marvellous to win it twice.”
“That (weight) is quite encouraging. We’ve been saying that if he got 11st then that would be amazing, so 10st 10lb is even more amazing.”
“According to the handicapper he is 4lb well in, but we will see how right he is.
“He has been in good form all season. His run at Ascot was great. He jumps, gallops and stays, and I don’t quite know what else you want for Aintree because I’ve never won it, but we will find out on Saturday, won’t we?”
“We earmarked this horse as a National-type horse a good while ago. He was third in the Irish National last year and it was always the plan to go for the English National after that.
“He won twice after I’d taken out the licence and has been a good horse for us so far.
“He ran over hurdles in Fairyhouse first time up this season and we were delighted with his run to finish third in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.
“After that he had a nice run in the big handicap hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival and it was always the plan after that to keep him fresh for Aintree.
“We do think he’s a National horse. If he jumps the first two or three fences and takes to it well, you know you’ve a half-decent chance.
“After that, if we get a bit of luck on the day, you never know what might happen.”
All odds and market correct at date of publication