Grand National 2024 LIVE results: I Am Maximus wins - horse racing updates, latest news, reaction and more

Grand National 2024 LIVE!

One of the most exciting renewals of the Grand National in recent years ended with a superb victory for I Am Maximus at Aintree.

Dominant Irish trainer Willie Mullins saddled his first winner in the world’s greatest steeplechase since 2005, while four-time Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Paul Townend claimed the race for the first time at the 13th attempt to plug the one glaring gap on his CV. The JP McManus-owned horse was one of a dozen still in contention heading towards the final fence but surged clear after The Elbow to win by a wide margin from Gordon Elliott duo Delta Work and Galvin, who finished either side of the Rachael Blackmore-ridden Minella Indo.

There was plenty of other thrilling horse racing action on Saturday, with Brighterdaysahead and Strong Leader both enjoying Grade 1 success by winning the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle and Liverpool Hurdle, respectively, while Mullins’s National victory has added a fascinating element to the race for the British trainers’ title. You can follow all the action from Aintree LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below.

Grand National 2024 latest news and updates

  • I Am Maximus runs away with thrilling Grand National

  • Found A Fifty scores in Maghull Novices' Chase

  • Brighterdays ahead beats the boys to land Mersey Novices' Hurdle

  • Strong Leader grabs Grade 1 glory for Bowen and Murphy

  • Gwennie May Boy wins opener for in-form Skelton

JP McManus revels in third Grand National triumph

20:32 , George Flood

Today was a third Grand National success for I Am Maximus’ owner JP McManus, who bought the horse after his promising showing at Cheltenham a year ago.

The former Manchester United shareholder - who had five runners in total in today’s Aintree showpiece - also had glory in the 2010 edition with Don't Push It and then again with Minella Times in 2021.

"I love everything about the race” he told ITV earlier.

"I love Liverpool, the excitement of coming here, the build-up to the National, it's just a very, very special place. When you win it's a wonderful spectacle.

"The Grand National, you are always looking forward to it and what you might have for the next one because it is such a special race.

"Willie planned the campaign with this horse a long time back and thankfully it worked out."

 (Lorraine O'Sullivan/PA Wire)
(Lorraine O'Sullivan/PA Wire)

Willie Mullins 'gobsmacked' by Grand National, Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle treble

19:45 , George Flood

I Am Maximus’ stunning success at Aintree this afternoon has now seen the dominant Willie Mullins win all of the Grand National, Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup this year.

The legendary trainer - who also brought up his century of winners at Cheltenham back in March - insisted such a treble was well beyond his expectations as he said he was “gobsmacked” by the array of quality in his yard.

"You might have the favourites for all those races, but you don't for one minute think you are going to win all three," he said.

"We can't believe it at home. We're gobsmacked looking at the talent we have in the yard. When I was a smaller trainer I'd be proud to have one of the barns that we have.

"I have an amazing team, I don't think I saddled a runner at Cheltenham, I let them do it and it probably works better when I'm not involved.

"If someone had said we'd have 100 winners at the Festival you wouldn't have thought it was possible, so we're as amazed as anyone that it happened."

Willie Mullins: 'Game on' in race for British trainers' title after Grand National win

18:57 , George Flood

Here’s the triumphant Willie Mullins on his pursuit of an incredible first British trainers’ title after his second Grand National victory at Aintree this afternoon.

"I didn't know we'd gone in front. You can expect to see us at Sandown, Ayr and wherever!" he said.

"We'll have to go for it now. We needed to have a really good National and we have. It's game on now, isn't it.

"I'd love to win the championship. Vincent O'Brien has done it in the 1950s and it is something different to do.

"As much as I'd like to win it my owners would like me to win it and so would my staff, so now we're in this position you have to have a real go.

"JP McManus has been telling me for the past couple of years to have a real go, but I always think just mind yourself at home rather than spread yourself too thin and leave yourself wide open to have a bad season at home.

"Travelling horses takes it out of them, especially early in the season, which is why we don't do it, but it's panned out well today."

 (David Davies for The Jockey Club/PA Wire)
(David Davies for The Jockey Club/PA Wire)

RESULT: 5:35pm - Weatherbys Bumper

17:42 , Malik Ouzia

  1. Horaces Pearl

  2. Tripoli Flyer

  3. Good And Clever

5:35pm - Weatherbys Bumper

17:40 , Malik Ouzia

Horaces Pearl comes from a long way back to nab his stablemate Tripoli Flyer!

A one-two for Feral O’Brien!

5:35pm - Weatherbys Bumper

17:39 , Malik Ouzia

Mister Meggit stumbles in traffic!

5:35pm - Weatherbys Bumper

17:39 , Malik Ouzia

Very few changes in the order as they turn into the home straight...

5:35pm - Weatherbys Bumper

17:37 , Malik Ouzia

Wellington Arch and Good And Clever are the pair leading the way...

5:35pm - Weatherbys Bumper

17:35 , Malik Ouzia

And they’re off!

5:35pm - Weatherbys Bumper

17:31 , Malik Ouzia

For the last time this week, the runners are heading down to the start...

5:35pm - Weatherbys Bumper

17:24 , Malik Ouzia

Onto our final race of the meeting, then. Mister Maggit is your 5/2 favourite for father and son duo Jonjo O’Neil and Jonjo O’Neil Jr., while that Sean Bowen and Olly Murphy combination that enjoyed Grade 1 success earlier on look to have a decent chance with Castle Evers.

"He's a thorn in my side!"

17:13 , Malik Ouzia

Some immediate compensation for Gordon Elliott, then, in the shape of a Grade 1 winner after coming so close in the Grand National.

Elliott saddled both Delta Work in second and Galvin in fourth but was once again bested his old rival.

“That man again, Willie Mullins!” he tells Racing TV. “He’s a thorn in my side.

“But it’s brilliant, I’m so proud of the horses and so proud to be here. For me, it’s the greatest race in the world and it’s great to have something to do with it.”

How good is Gaelic Warrior?

17:08 , Malik Ouzia

Another big old boost for the form of last month’s Arkle at Cheltenham.

Gaelic Warrior won that race in some style but the two horses he hammered - Found A Fifty and Il Etait Temps - have come out and won Grade 1s at Aintree.

RESULT: 5:00pm - Maghull Novices' Chase

17:05 , Malik Ouzia

  1. Found a Fifty

  2. Master Chewy

  3. Liberty Hunter

5:00pm - Maghull Novices' Chase

17:04 , Malik Ouzia

Found A Fifty edges it in a thriller!

5:00pm - Maghull Novices' Chase

17:03 , Malik Ouzia

Master Chewy and Found A City together at the last!

5:00pm - Maghull Novices' Chase

17:03 , Malik Ouzia

Quilixios and Nickelback jump the fourth-last together but Found A Fifty is travelling into it nicely...

5:00pm - Maghull Novices' Chase

17:01 , Malik Ouzia

Quilixios leads them down the back under Rachael Blackmore...

5:00pm - Maghull Novices' Chase

17:00 , Malik Ouzia

Carnage at the start as Matata shifts markedly to the right but everyone’s just about gotten away...

5:00pm - Maghull Novices' Chase

17:00 , Malik Ouzia

And they’re off!

Bucking the trend?

16:58 , Malik Ouzia

The given wisdom is that you need a young, unexposed horse to win the Grand National but that result flies in the face of that theory.

The winner is only eight, but he won an Irish Grand National last year, while the next three - Minella Indo, Galvin and Delta Work - are all veterans with bags of open company Grade 1 form in the book stretching back years.

5:00pm - Maghull Novices' Chase

16:53 , Malik Ouzia

We’ll come back to the National but onto our penultimate race of the meeting - and our final Grade 1.

Intriguingly, the favourite Found A Fifty began this season finishing second to I Am Maximus in a novice chase at Down Royal in November.

Fair to say they’ve had fairly different campaigns since...

Mullins leads trainers' title

16:51 , Malik Ouzia

We’ve just had confirmation that on the back of that race, Willie Mullins now LEADS the race to be champion trainer in Britain.

That is despite being based in Ireland and having trained just 19 winners on these shores all year.

I suspect we’ll see him in this neck of the woods a fair bit more over the next fortnight before Sandown’s finale on April 27.

Current standings:

  1. Willie Mullins, £2,847,969

  2. Dan Skelton, £2,808,641

  3. Paul Nicholls, £2,733,776

Irish dominate

16:49 , Malik Ouzia

As forecast, it was domination from the Irish, with the first four home all trained on the Emerald Isle.

Kitty’s Light was the first British runner home in fifth.

“Wonderful,” says his trainer Christian Williams. “The horse tried his heart out all the way and got in a good rhythm.”

That winning feeling...

16:40 , Malik Ouzia

To think how long Paul Townend spent as No2 to Ruby Walsh. What a jockey this man is - and now he’s won it all!

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

More to come...

16:38 , Malik Ouzia

We’ll have more reaction to the National as we get it but a reminder that we still have two more races to come on the card, including more Grade 1 action up next...

Welfare update

16:36 , Malik Ouzia

The Jockey Club are reporting that all 32 runners and riders have come home sound, though Mac Tottie has been walked into the horse ambulance for further assessment after being pulled up.

Remarkably, of those 32 there were 21 finishers, seven horses pulled up, four unseats but not a single faller.

Winning trainer Willie Mullins

16:28 , Malik Ouzia

Paul was super on him because I don’t think the horse was giving him a lot of help all the way around. He has supreme confidence in the horse and that he always has that bit in the tank.

I could see his body language, he was happy so I was happy.

I Am Maximus into the history books

16:22 , Malik Ouzia

I said there were loads in with chances to a very late stage - but look how far clear the winner pulls!

The Grand National

16:17 , Malik Ouzia

An utterly remarkable race. I’ve never seen anything like it in this race in terms of the number of runners still in contention jumping the last.

“I’m a very lucky boy,” says Paul Townend, who ticks off what was just about the only big race missing from his CV.

RESULT: The Grand National

16:12 , Malik Ouzia

  1. I Am Maximus

  2. Delta Work

  3. Minella Indo

  4. Galvin

  5. Kitty’s Light

The Grand National

16:11 , Malik Ouzia

I Am Maximus charges away to win the Grand National!

The Grand National

16:10 , Malik Ouzia

Delta Work and Minella Indo lead over the last!

The Grand National

16:10 , Malik Ouzia

So many with chances!

The Grand National

16:09 , Malik Ouzia

Over the Melling Road for the final time with two to jump...

The Grand National

16:09 , Malik Ouzia

Panda Boy, Foxy Jacks and Farouk d’Alene are the strugglers...

The Grand National

16:08 , Malik Ouzia

Eldorado Allen now coming to press Glengouly and sneaks up the inside to lead at the Canal Turn...

The Grand National

16:08 , Malik Ouzia

Mac Tottie is pulled up out the back.

The Grand National

16:07 , Malik Ouzia

Bad mistake by Foxy Jacks but he stays up. Not great from Eklat De Rite either.

The Grand National

16:07 , Malik Ouzia

Out onto their second circuit with 28 still going...

The Grand National

16:06 , Malik Ouzia

Into the home straight for the first time and they’ve bunched up.

Glengouly leads them over the chair, where Mahler Mission and Mr Incredible are down!

The Grand National

16:04 , Malik Ouzia

Limerick Lace with another blunder, while Noble Yeats is having to be hurried along at the back...

The Grand National

16:04 , Malik Ouzia

Mistakes from Limerick Lace and Delta Work as they jump the Canal Turn.

Stattler has been pulled-up.

The Grand National

16:03 , Malik Ouzia

Glengouly the early leader alongside Foxy Jacks as they approach Becher’s...

The Grand National

16:02 , Malik Ouzia

Corach Rambler has gone at the first!

The Grand National

16:01 , Malik Ouzia

And they’re off!

The Grand National

16:00 , Malik Ouzia

Having said that, there’s huge late money coming for Limerick Lace!

Market check

15:59 , Malik Ouzia

Not loads to split them but it does look like I Am Maximus will go off slight favourite at 13/2 ahead of Corach Rambler at 15/2.

The Grand National

15:58 , Malik Ouzia

Right then, 32 runners, 30 fences, four miles and the contenders are down at the start.

Almost showtime...

Changes to the start

15:57 , Malik Ouzia

A reminder that unlike in previous renewals, we’ll have a standing start today in the hope of avoiding a repeat of last year’s chaos in the opening few seconds of the race.

The first fence has also been brought forward in a bid to reduce the speed the runners are going as they tackle the obstacle.

Less than ten minutes to go...

15:52 , Malik Ouzia

Get those betslips and sweepstake tickets ready.

Derek Fox has just led the jockeys out of the weighing room with the trophy he won last year. He’ll hope to have his hands on it again in about half-an-hour’s time...

Speaking of Corach Rambler...

15:47 , Malik Ouzia

Trainer Lucinda Russell has just been speaking to ITV about the ground and backers will be pleased with her verdict.

“I don't think that’s so much of an issue. It was last week when we thought it was going to be heavy but not now.”

What price an Irish winner?

15:46 , Malik Ouzia

Last year’s defending champion, Corach Rambler, really is carrying British hopes on his own if the market has this right.

Betfair have him as one of only two home runners in the top-ten in the market, which is dominated by the Irish.

The other is Kitty’s Light for Christian Williams and given he trains in Wales - and Lucinda Russell is based in Scotland - you have to go all the way down to Galia Des Liteaux at 28/1 to find the most likely English winner.

Mullins to end drought?

15:38 , Malik Ouzia

Willie Mullins has an even bigger team, with eight runners including the favourite, I Am Maximus.

He says he could make a case for “five or six” of them.

Worth remembering, though, that as dominant as he has been at Cheltenham, he hasn't won this race since Hedgehunter in 2005.

Elliott mob-handed

15:32 , Malik Ouzia

Gordon Elliott, who’s won this race three times in the past including twice with Tiger Roll, will probably have mixed feelings about this drying ground.

It might be bad news for the likes of Delta Work and Coko Beach, but better for Galvin and Chemical Energy.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Runner-by-runner guide

15:28 , Malik Ouzia

30. Galia Des Liteaux 

Another looking to bridge the long gap between triumphs for mares. Ran a really encouraging race when second in Warwick’s Classic Chase on first try over marathon distance but bombed out as odds-on favourite at Exeter next time.

31. Panda Boy 

Hasn’t won a race in almost two years but finished a good fifth in last season’s Irish National and was second to the fancied Meetingofthewaters at the Dublin Racing Festival a couple of months back. Trainer Martin Brassil won this race with Numbersixvalverde all the way back in 2006.

32. Eklat de Rire 

A talented novice chaser once upon a time but has lost his way badly since pulling up when sent off favourite for the Coral Gold Cup in 2022. Has had several long lay-offs in the intervening period and showed little sign of his old ability at Cheltenham last month.

34. Kitty’s Light

Sneaks in at the foot of the handicap after top-weight Conflated was taken out earlier this week. Form over largely inadequate trips and a mixture of obstacles this season can almost be ignored, with all roads leading to Aintree ever since he ran up a stunning sequence of hat-tricks in marathons last spring.

Runner-by-runner guide

15:20 , Malik Ouzia

27. The Goffer

Well-fancied heading into the Ultima and fifth-placed finish was no disgrace. At the age of seven, should still have a fair bit of improvement in him but soft ground will not be in his favour.

28. Roi Mage 

Ran a cracker at a big price to finish seventh last year and back for another go at the age of 12. Difficult to imagine him improving on that show but proved ability remains when a decent second to Adamantly Chosen at Down Royal last time.

29. Glengouly 

Some way down the list of Mullins candidates but looks to have conditions in his favour at least, having twice finished second in heavy-ground handicaps in Ireland this season.

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

15:19 , Malik Ouzia

Strong Leader surges away after the last and will win it for Sean Bowen and Olly Murphy!

Winning jockey Sean Bowen

15:16 , Malik Ouzia

“He’s a difficult horse to ride he’s not straightforward and he’s not a good jumper at all, to be honest with you!

“It’s brilliant. It’s great to do it for Olly who’s been such a good supporter of mine.”

RESULT: 3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

15:13 , Malik Ouzia

  1. Strong Leader

  2. Buddy One

  3. Hiddenvalley Lake

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

15:12 , Malik Ouzia

Buddy One takes it up jumping the third-last!

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

15:11 , Malik Ouzia

Hiddenvalley Lake still travels nicely on the inside...

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

15:10 , Malik Ouzia

Flooring Porter leads them out onto their second circuit with Hewick now moving up nicely...

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

15:09 , Malik Ouzia

It’s like Noah’s Ark this - the ten runners strung out in five sets of two...

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

15:08 , Malik Ouzia

Flooring Porter, as tends to be his wont, makes the early running alongside Dashel Drasher...

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

15:06 , Malik Ouzia

And they’re off!

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

15:06 , Malik Ouzia

Runners down at the start...

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

15:03 , Malik Ouzia

A huge race in its own right this, but you wouldn’t blame a single one of the jockeys if there were just a tiny bit of them looking further ahead.

Plenty of these, including the likes of Paul Townend, Rachael Blackmore and Jordan Gainford have got decent chances in the National.

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

14:58 , Malik Ouzia

Hewick is an interesting runner here. He won the King George at Christmas and was at that stage being targeted at the Grand National itself but would’ve carried a hefty weight.

He prefers better ground, too, which is part of the reason why connections have decided to come back over hurdles this afternoon.

3:05pm - Liverpool Hurdle

14:50 , Malik Ouzia

Back to the Grade 1 action next in the form of the three-mile Liverpool hurdle.

Flooring Porter, second to Teahupoo in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last time, is your favourite from Hiddenvalley Lake, who skipped the Festival.

It looks a deep race, though, with contenders right the way down to Champ as the 28/1 outsider of the field.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

RESULT: 2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:48 , Malik Ouzia

  1. Cruz Control

  2. Sam Brown

  3. Forward Plan

Runner-by-runner guide

14:47 , Malik Ouzia

24. Chemical Energy 

Off the track for more than six months since finishing sixth in the Kerry National. Sold as part of the Caldwell dispersal earlier this year and new owners Bective Stud will be hoping their £215,000 investment soon comes to look a bargain.

25. Limerick Lace

No mare has won this race since Nickel Coin in 1951 but the JP McManus-owned seven-year-old comes in as one of the form horses in the race and seemingly still on the up after victory at Cheltenham last time.

26. Meetingofthewaters 

Has progressed rapidly this season, winning a beginners chase in November and then the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown only a month later. Third in the Ultima last time after being snapped up by JP McManus. Big chance.

2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:41 , Malik Ouzia

Not many horses have won off the front end this week at Aintree. Winning jockey Stan Sheppard suggests this could be a very nice horse.

2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:38 , Malik Ouzia

Cruz Control leads them a merry dance to win it under a peach from Stan Shepard!

Sam Brown flies home for second but just had too much to do to get to the winner.

2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:37 , Malik Ouzia

Still it’s Cruz Control by a couple as they jump the second-last...

2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:37 , Malik Ouzia

Harry Skelton finds a bit of racing room on The King Of Ryhope...

2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:36 , Malik Ouzia

Gavin Sheehan has to give Fugitive a reminder as Cruz Control continues to lead the way.

Looks like Demnat may be pulled up...

2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:35 , Malik Ouzia

The favourite, The King Of Ryhope, is being given a very quiet ride out the back by Harry Skelton...

2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:33 , Malik Ouzia

Cruz Control making the early running as they head down the back straight for the first time.

All jumpping okay so far...

2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:31 , Malik Ouzia

And they’re off!

2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:29 , Malik Ouzia

Runners are down at the start...

2:30pm - William Hill Handicap Chase

14:26 , Malik Ouzia

Right then, the racing continues and we’re over fences for the first time today in the William Hill Handicap Chase.

The King Of Ryhope is the favourite at around 4/1 for that flying Skelton team.

Crebily was very well backed at Cheltenham when just denied by Shakem Up’Arry in the Plate.

Runner-by-runner guide

14:20 , Malik Ouzia

20. Latenightpass 

Fourth in the Foxhunters’ at Aintree last season and has excelled this term reinvented as a cross country horse. A family affair: owned and bred by Pippa Ellis, ridden by daughter-in-law Gina Andrews and trained by her husband Tom Ellis.

21. Minella Crooner 

Inconsistent type with significant stamina doubts over extreme trip like this. Started the campaign with victory in a listed race at Wexford but pulled up in two of four starts since and finished well behind the fancied I Am Maximus and Vanillier at Fairyhouse in February.

22. Adamantly Chosen 

Another Mullins contender, who must defy the miserable record of seven-year-olds in the race. Didn’t look an obvious candidate for this kind of test until bolting up over three-and-a-quarter miles at Down Royal last month but comes in in good form.

23. Mac Tottie 

Loves Aintree and the National fences, having won both the Grand Sefton and the Topham in recent seasons. Both of those races are over much shorter, though, and the big outsider has stamina doubts to answer.

"She's very, very good"

14:16 , Malik Ouzia

Winning trainer Gordon Elliott: “She’s good. I’m just delighted to train winners. The horses have been running well all week and we’ve been hitting the crossbar.

“I didn’t hide what I thought of this mare going to Cheltenham and I came out gutted.”

But he's tight-lipped on plans for her future...

“Look she’s very good. She showed how special she is. She’s very, very good. We’ll go wherever we want!”

A monster display!

14:08 , Malik Ouzia

We’ll wait for the official distances, but Brighterdaysahead has beaten the Mullins pair of Ile Atlantique and Jimmy Du Seuil by a long, long way there.

Remember, those were the horses that finished behind the much-lauded Ballyburn at Cheltenham.

A knock for the form or just an outstanding mare?

Winning jockey Jack Kennedy

14:05 , Malik Ouzia

“I wanted to hold onto her longer but I couldn’t, she just took me there. She’s done it easy. She’s a really talented mare."

How did she get beat at Cheltenham?!

“I really can’t put my finger on it. We knew she was better than that. Nice to show everyone today.”

RESULT: 1:55pm - Mersey Novices' Hurdle

14:03 , Malik Ouzia

  1. Brighterdaysahead

  2. Staffordshire Knot

  3. Bugise Seagull

1:55pm - Mersey Novices' Hurdle

14:01 , Malik Ouzia

She's over and away!

Brighterdaysahead lives up to the hype and canters clear to win in good style!

1:55pm - Mersey Novices' Hurdle

14:01 , Malik Ouzia

Brighterdaysahead cruises up on the outside...

1:55pm - Mersey Novices' Hurdle

14:00 , Malik Ouzia

Espirit De Potier, the grey, leads them over the third-last but they’re all well bunched...

1:55pm - Mersey Novices' Hurdle

13:59 , Malik Ouzia

Ile Atlantique is just taking a bit of a strong hold as they turn out onto their second circuit...

1:55PM - Mersey Novices' Hurdle

13:57 , Malik Ouzia

Josh The Boss makes the early running. Patrick Mullins has Ile Atlantique quickly into a nice jumping rhythm in behind...

1:55PM - Mersey Novices' Hurdle

13:57 , Malik Ouzia

They’re off!

Away and racing in our first Grade 1 on National day...

A brighter day?

13:54 , Malik Ouzia

Gordon Elliott was fairly sick when Brighterdaysahead was beaten by Golden Ace at Cheltenham but that was over two miles and connections appears confident that the step up to two-and-a-half will suit here.

“Hopefully today she can show today what we’ve always thought of her,” jockey Jack Kennedy tells ITV.

Kennedy is also set to ride Delta World in the Grand National later: “I just would’ve preferred if the ground hadn’t dried out as much as it has but fingers crossed.”

1:20pm - William Hill Handicap Hurdle

13:49 , Malik Ouzia

Gwennie May Boy leads at the last and pours it on to take it for Dan Skelton!

1:55PM - Mersey Novices' Hurdle

13:48 , Malik Ouzia

Grade 1 action next and an intriguing contest, too.

Brighterdaysahead stands at the top of the market stepping out of mares’s company having been second at Cheltenham when spoken of as if defeat was out of the question.

Willie Mullins has the next two in Ile Atlantique and Jimmy Du Seuil, who finished second and third behind Ballyburn at Cheltenham.

We should get a decent line into the form of both of those races...

Runner-by-runner guide

13:39 , Malik Ouzia

15. Eldorado Allen 

Well-exposed grey who has run well in some decent handicaps this season but disappointed in the Ultima at Cheltenham, which often works out a good trial for this.

16. Ain’t That A Shame 

Winner of the Thyestes Chase under Rachael Blackmore last time out but since purchased by amateur jockey David Maxwell, who will take the ride himself this weekend. Well-backed last year but finished 17th, last of those to get round.

17. Vanillier 

Stayed on brilliantly after the last 12 months ago to give Corach Rambler a fright but had too much to do. On significantly better terms with that horse at the weights and will surely be ridden more prominently this time around.

 (Mike Egerton/PA Wire)
(Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

18. Mr Incredible 

Leading chance for Irish trainer Willie Mullins, who could catapult himself into contention for the British trainers’ title with victory. Has only run once since unseating in last year’s renewal, that an excellent second in Midlands National last month.

Good signs for Galia?

13:32 , Malik Ouzia

Dan Skelton has proven himself the master with these handicap hurdlers all season.

Can he convert that magic touch to fences later on?

He’s got just one runner in the Grand National and that’s Galia Des Liteaux.

Good news for Kitty’s Light supporters as well, because his trainer Christian Williams has just had an 80/1 second-place in that opener in Lord Snootie.

Result: 1:20pm - William Hill Handicap Hurdle

13:29 , Malik Ouzia

  1. Gwennie May Boy

  2. Lord Snootie

  3. West Balboa

  4. Johnnywho

1:20pm - William Hill Handicap Hurdle

13:26 , Malik Ouzia

Three to jump and at least a dozen still with chances here...

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