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2018 Grand National tips - Total Recall and Houblon Des Obeaux the names on most expert's lips

A view from last year's Grand National.

We've looked through various horse racing media publications to bring you which horses the experts are tipping in Aintree's most famous race on Saturday 14th April.

David "Newsboy" Yates (The Mirror)

1 I JUST KNOW (18/1 Ladbrokes)
2 SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT 
3 FINAL NUDGE 
4 ANIBALE FLY

There's an upset in the offing in the 2018 Randox Health Grand National at Aintree today — I JUST KNOW!

Five years ago, Sue and Harvey Smith, the husband-and-wife training team based at High Eldwick in West Yorkshire, saddled Auroras Encore to a 66-1 shock in the world’s greatest steeplechase.

And the pair have another exciting candidate in up-and-coming stayer I Just Know. The eight-year-old was bought to tackle steeplechases over a distance of ground, so it’s no surprise that he was no great shakes as a hurdler.

But I Just Know showed plenty of promise for the future when tackling the larger obstacles last winter, landing handicap chases at Hexham, Doncaster and Catterick Bridge from his seven outings.

This season, the gelded son of Robin Des Pres - a stallion who imparts stamina into his offspring – has continued his progress.

After two runs at Carlisle in October and November, I Just Know stepped up to three miles and six furlongs for the North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick two months later. And it was there that he showed his potential for this afternoon’s test.

Ed Chamberlain (ITV Racing)

1 BLAKLION (14/1 Betfair)
2 Tiger Roll
3 Captain Redbeard
4 Virgilio
5 Lord Windermere
6 Houblon Des Obeaux

Oli Bell (ITV Racing)

1 THE LAST SAMURI (22/1 William Hill)
2 Milansbar
3 Blaklion
4 Seeyouatmidnight
5 Pleasant Company
6 I Just Know

Matt Chapman's Top Four (ITV Racing and AtTheRaces)

1. TOTAL RECALL (14/1 Coral)
2. THE LAST SAMURI
3. VIEUX LION ROUGE
4. UCELLO CONTI

I’m going with the Mullins class act Total Recall to defy pulling hard and a fall in the Gold Cup. He’s a classy horse and was so tough at Newbury earlier in the season.

The Last Samuri ran well at Cheltenham and might hit the frame despite the going being softer than ideal. Vieux Lion Rouge should jump round, but he has stamina doubts, while Ucello Conti might just do what he has always promised.

Total Recall (right) winning the Ladbrokes Trophy earlier in the season.


Sam Turner (The Daily Mail)

Venetia Williams etched her name into Grand National folklore nine years ago when Mon Mome sprung one of the biggest shocks in the history of the great race and HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (40/1 Coral) could be poised to repeat the trick.

The Herefordshire handler had been involved with the training of a National winner before Mon Mome's stunning 100-1 triumph as she spent a year at Martin Pipe's stable the year Miinnehoma won in 1994.

However, Williams became the first female trainer to win the National since Jenny Pitman in 1995 when overseeing Mon Mome's triumph and she could join an elite roll call of dual winners if Houblon Des Obeaux can build on his effort in last year's race. 

Templegate (The Sun)

The world’s greatest race looks as wide-open as ever but SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT (14/1 Ladbrokesmust have a great chance of giving Scottish trainers Aintree glory for the second successive year.

Sandy Thomson’s ace has always had plenty of class as his defeats of Bristol De Mai and Blaklion earlier in his career show.

Abandoned meetings meant he had to go to Newbury for his prep race three weeks ago. That might not have been ideal to race so close to the big day but it does mean he’s been ready to go for a good while.

The soft ground won’t bother him at all and his third behind Vicente in the Scottish National shows he has the stamina for the job.

Peter Scudamore (Former Champion Jockey)

The female jockeys have attracted all the attention in the build up to the Grand National, but I reckon it will be James Bowen who will be making history.

Victory on SHANTOU FLYER (28/1 William Hill) will make Bowen the youngest jockey to win this great race. That honour is still held by Bruce Hobbs, who was 17 years and 88 days old when he won on Battleship in 1938. James is 17 years and 33 days.

Rob Wright (The Times)

Venetia Williams sprang a surprise when saddling Mon Mome to a 100-1 success in the 2009 Grand National and she can stage a repeat with HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (40/1 Coral) in the Randox Health-sponsored showpiece at Aintree today.

More rain yesterday has turned the ground in this mud-lover’s favour and he has plenty going for him. Houblon Des Obeaux was just not fast enough to keep up early on when a staying-on tenth on faster ground last year — he passed ten horses after the second last and was full of running at the finish — but conditions here will be much more to his liking and he has plenty of classy form to his name.

Houblon Des Obeaux (right) landing alongside One For Arthur (Centre) in last years' Grand National.


Ruby Walsh (Former Grand National winning jockey)

1 ANIBALE FLY (14/1 Betfair)
2 TOTAL RECALL
3 CARLINGFORD LOUGH

Anibale Fly and Total Recall are fairly obviously the two to beat in the Grand National.

Anibale Fly was third in the Gold Cup and won the Paddy Power Steeple Chase at Leopardstown last Christmas, while Total Recall won the big handicap chase at Newbury in December.

I’d be surprised if one or both are not involved in the finish.

I reckon Carlingford Lough is as dark a horse as you get in this one. Mark Walsh rides him and he’s been a class horse.

While he hasn’t been troubling the form book in recent times, he has some really good runs on his previous pages. He has a real chance of doing something at a big price.

Alex Hammond (Sky Sports)

1 TOTAL RECALL  (14/1 Coral)
2 Tiger Roll 
3 Blaklion 
4 Ucello Conti 
5 Captain Redbeard
6 Anibale Fly

Simon Holt (Commentator)

1 RAZ DE MAREE (25/1 Ladbrokes)
2 Tiger Roll
3 The Last Samuri
4 Blaklion
5 Anibale Fly
6 Baie Des Isles

Chris Cook (The Guardian)

TOTAL RECALL (14/1 Coral) (5.15) can prove the answer to a fantastically competitive Grand National at Aintree. Having looked like becoming a hot favourite when the weights were revealed two months ago, he remains a very reasonable price at 12‑1 and can give his trainer, Willie Mullins, a second success in the race he first won with Hedgehunter in 2005.

Some will be put off by the fact that he fell when last seen but I can forgive that tumble, at the third-last in a typically hot Cheltenham Gold Cup. Many a good horse has been caught out by that fence and although the National field usually goes a strong pace, it is unlikely to match the Gold Cup for intensity.

Timeform published some numbers this week showing that horses who fell last time out have a weak record in the National over the past decade. But those with longer memories will recall Rhyme N Reason falling in the 1988 Gold Cup and then landing the National the following month, while Red Marauder fell at the first fence in his prep run before winning at Aintree in 2001.

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2018 Grand National tips - Total Recall and Houblon Des Obeaux the names on most expert's lips

We've looked through various horse racing media publications to bring you which horses the experts are tipping in Aintree's most famous race on Saturday 14th April.

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