Thursday, May 23, 2024

Who will win the Grand National 2024? Our writers’ picks

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The 2024 Grand National takes place at Aintree today promises to be another thrilling spectacle as some fantastic horses tackle the 30 famous fences in pursuit of the big prize.

Below, our writers share their tips for the Grand National and why they think their pick will win. 

Odds correct at time of publishing and subject to change.

Take a look at our Grand National betting offers and the best betting sites ahead of the big race.

Who will win the Grand National 2024 and why?

Pick 1: Panda Boy @ 12/1 with Ladbrokes – Thomas Reynolds

The name Martin Brassil is unlikely to ring many bells outside the racing bubble, but his modestly proportioned County Kildare operation is renowned for punching well above its weight on National Hunt racing’s biggest stages.

The trainer won the 2006 National with Numbersixvalverde – and his Panda Boy looks to have been precision-campaigned to creep in at the bottom of the weights for this year’s race, a factor that could prove vital on what is likely to be soft or heavy going.

Like the 2022 winner Minella Times, the Valirann gelding was second in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown in December, while his seven-length fifth in last year’s Irish Grand National over 3m 5f on soft ground suggests he has every chance of staying this 4m 2f trip.

Panda Boy remains unexposed over fences after just eight tilts at the larger obstacles to date and, having reportedly returned a stronger horse this season, he could show further improvement by stepping up in this marathon Aintree trip.

Pick 2: Meetingofthewaters @ 11/1 with Ladbrokes – Chris Thomas

Owner JP McManus is fielding a very strong Grand National team, and I am siding with his Meetingofthewaters to win the UK’s most famous race. Younger and potentially less exposed than other fancied runners in the field, Meetingofthewaters has oozed class this season, even in defeat at the Cheltenham Festival. 

If he takes to the challenge, I expect him to stylishly creep into contention in the latter stages of the contest. To win, he will have to firmly prove his stamina – and in doing so would give jockey Danny Mullins a famous first victory in the National.

Pick 3: Mahler Mission @ 14/1 with Ladbrokes – Calum Weill

John McConnell’s first ever runner in the Grand National was not my first pick this year. However, unless the rain eases and wind dries out the Aintree turf considerably, my 100/1 ante-post punt on Galvin does not have a great chance of completing the full 4m 2½f. I believe the prevailing weather is likely to play a big part in how the race is run, with the east-northeasterly winds adding to the stamina test. 

The immediate temptation was to swap to Gordon Elliot-trained stablemate and mud-loving Delta Work, who has reportedly been flying all week at home, but I landed on Mahler Mission. If he can replicate his incredible frontrunning performance from last year’s bottomless National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, which unfortunately ended in a fall at the penultimate fence, he will have the entire field stretched out and either not completing or unable to reel in the eight-year-old son of Mahler.

Pick 4: Meetingofthewaters @ 11/1 with Ladbrokes – Emma Nagle

The Court Cave gelding was a bit too keen at Cheltenham when third in the Ultima but that experience should stand him in good stead. Still only a seven-year-old, he has been very progressive since joining Willie Mullins this season and could be one of the most unexposed runners in the field. He ticks all the boxes for me.

Find racecards for every meeting every day plus horse racing selections for every race, with each runner’s chances rated out of five.

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