Grand National: Warrior can be the hero for punters'

The greatest horse race in the world returns tomorrow (5.15pm).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 7th April 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:14 pm
Jockey David Mullins jumps the last fence onboard Rule The World during the Crabbie's Grand National Chase during Grand National Day of the Crabbie's Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool.l. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday April 9, 2016. See PA story RACING National. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire EMN-160415-143233002

The Grand National is an iconic event recognised across the world.

Forty horses and jockeys contest over a gruelling trip of four-and-a-half miles, jumping 30 fences that includes Beechers Brook, Canal Turn and the Chair.

This year’s renewal doesn’t feature as many classy individuals as it has done in the past few years.

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Wounded Warrior is a horse that thrives on good ground.

With not an inch of rain forecast in Liverpool, Noel Meade’s charge will finally get his preferred surface for the first time since running a fine second behind Valseur Lido in a Grade One race at Punchestown two years ago.

Wounded Warrior did the donkey work that day, making all from the front. He stuck on gamely in the business end of the race to finish a two-and-a-half length second.

If Wounded Warrior gets into a rhythm, he could stay on for a place.

The class angle is More Of That.

A former World Hurdle winner, the son of Beneficial has been a frustrating sort since switching to fences.

But he ran a belter in the Irish Gold Cup two starts ago.

The nine-year-old was travelling a dream and looked to be putting it up to winner and subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Sizing John but fell at the final flight.

More Of That finished sixth in the Gold Cup last month and it depends on how much that run has taken out of him.

Blaklion and Vieux Lion Rouge went at it hammer and tongs in Haydock’s Grand National trial in February.

It was the latter who came out of top but Blaklion reopposes three pounds better off.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, who’s won the race twice before, skipped Cheltenham with Blaklion to keep the gelding fresh.

The Last Samurai was second last year but is 12 pounds worse off.

It will be an incredible training performance from Kim Bailey if the horse can go one better.

Runner-up in 2015 was Saint Are.

He stuck on stoutly to finish second at Doncaster last time and trainer Tom George has been in cracking form this season.