Willie Mullins (On His Own 7/1 + Quel Espirit 50/1) – Mullins will be quietly confident of winning the Grand National this year for a second time after Hedgehunter ran out victorious in 2005.
The Irishman has won nearly everything there is to win in National Hunt racing and heads to Aintree following a hugely successful Cheltenham Festival.
On His Own, his best chance of National success, has been heavily backed in recent weeks after winning on his reappearance at Naas over the sticks.
He fell when going very well in last year’s race, won by Neptune Collonges, and comes back 12 months later raring to go again off relatively the same mark.
Ted Walsh (Seabass 10/1 + Colbert Station 14/1) – Known as one the biggest characters currently within racing, Ted Walsh also is a very astute racehorse trainer.
His biggest achievement in the training ranks came when Papillion won the Grand National in 2000 with son Ruby in the saddle.
His victory by one and a half lengths from Mely Moss lives long in the memory as one of the greatest finishes of a National and Walsh looks to have a very good hand this season. Last season Walsh teamed up with daughter Katie to finish third with Seabass.
The horse was heavily backed but Katie just fell short of becoming the first ever female jockey to win the Grand National as she was outstayed in the final stages.
Seabass is back this year, along with Colbert Station, who could be the mount of 2010 Grand National winning jockey AP McCoy.
Rebecca Curtis (Teaforthree 16/1) – Training National Hunt horses is hard enough at the best of times, but in a male dominated sport, being a women can increase the battle to be noticed.
Thankfully, talent does eventually rise to the surface no matter what chromosome you carry, and that is certainly the case with young trainer Rebecca Curtis, who has a big chance of Grand National success this year with Teaforthree.
The rise of Curtis can be seen with her new working relationship with owner JP McManus, who she trained At Fishers Cross to win the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival. She has one of the most picturesque training facilities in the UK on the Welsh coast and regularly trains her star Teaforthree on the beach and in the sea herself.
If succesfull Curtis would join an illustrious list of women to have won the world’s most famous National Hunt race that includes Jenny Pitman and Venetia Williams.
Nigel Twiston-Davies (Imperial Commander 20/1) – There is no better current trainer than getting a horse ready for the Grand National than Nigel Twiston-Davies.
The talented trainer has twice won the world’s most famous steeplechase, first in 1998 with Earth Summit and then again in 2002 when Bindaree strode to victory. This year he relies on perhaps the greatest horse to ever grace his stables, Imperial Commander – a former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner.
He has had his problems but the talent is still there as shown by a wonderful comeback run at Cheltenham in the Argento Chase, where he finished second to Cape Tribulation.
Donald McCain (Weird Al 50/1 Ballabriggs 20/1 + Across The Bay 80/1) – When your dad is the trainer Red Rum, there is a huge expectancy on your shoulders to deliver in the Grand National.
Luckily, Donald McCain takes after his father in the training department. He gave the McCain family a fifth National success in the 2011 Grand National when Ballabriggs won the event and although he looks well held on current from you can’t rule out a runner with the name McCain next to it.