Know nothing about horse racing? Let us guide you to the best bets in this weekend's Grand National.
Bidding to become the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to land back-to-back victories but faces a stiff task off top weight. Nevertheless, he loves Aintree and shaped well on his prep run a Cheltenham. Rating 8 (out of 10).
As quirky as he is talented, it is impossible to predict how he will react to the unique fences and the extreme distance. If he takes to the course then he could be in the shake-up – it’s quite a big ’if’ though. 6.
His fourth in the Gold Cup gives him every chance and he is sure to attract plenty of support. Co-owned by Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, this smart chaser would be a major player if he rises to the occasion and is ’well in’ at the weights. 8.
Unlucky in the race last year when he was hampered at the 20th fence and unseated his rider. Has won the Becher Chase over these obstacles and has been trained for another crack. 7.
A fascinating Irish contender, whose trainer went close with Greasepaint in 1983 and 1984. A winner on the Flat, over hurdles and over fences, he certainly has plenty of class and has been lightly raced over the last couple of years. 8.
This purchase from France, where he was a prolific winner, has yet to run in Britain but connections have won the National in the past and are clearly excited by the nine-year-old. Hard to assess, however. 5.
May not be the stable’s first string, but a decent performer. His form stands up well and he was fourth in the Topham over these fences last April. 7.
Having his third attempt after finishing sixth and fourth in the last two years for Paul Nicholls and has since changed stables. Sure to have his supporters and he has been trained with just this day in mind. 8.
Very useful on his day and not that many miles on the clock. However, his jumping could be a big issue here as he does make the odd mistake. 4.
Has been a big fancy for some time to continue the McCain family’s amazing record in this great race. Did not have his first run of the season until January and after two spins over hurdles shaped well when second back over fences at Kelso. 9.
Went on many people’s short list when winning the Bobbyjo Chase, a traditional trial for the National, at Fairyhouse in February. The trainer struck with Hedgehunter in 2005 and this is his number one hope this time round. 9.
The Irish National winner in 2009, he was pulled up here 12 months ago after losing touch when making a bad mistake. He has since been switched from Bob Buckler’s stable and his new trainer has been focusing on getting him 100% for the big day. 8.
No grey has won since Nicolaus Silver 50 years ago but few have arrived on Merseyside with his credentials. Second in the 2009 Welsh National, he put up a terrific performance when scoring at Haydock last month for the second year running. Any rain would help his cause. 7.
Quietly fancied last year only to unseat his rider at the 20th fence. Has been given an unorthodox preparation with two runs in point-to-points which he won both. Trainer won with Silver Birch in 2007. 8.
Missed the cut for the race last year but has safely got in this time. Usually prominent from the start in his races but fell at Cheltenham on his latest outing. 6.
Has an interesting profile for a National horse and could run a big race if he takes to the course. The stable is not known for its runners in this, but he is normally a good jumper and should be suited by the galloping nature of Aintree. 7.
Although a winner on the Mildmay course as a novice, he has not quite lived up to expectations and has plenty of weight for what he has achieved of late. 4.
Would be a fairytale triumph for connections of Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run. He was bought after finishing second in last year’s Irish National with Aintree as the objective. Ran a fine trial last time out and could well deliver. 10.
Has been mixing it in top novice company this season and stepped up to win the ever-competitive Racing Post Chase at Kempton recently. Remains open to huge improvement and is at the right end of the weights. Inexperience the worry. 7
Yet another of a strong Irish contingent. Unexposed yet has shown a good level of form in staying chases, finishing runner-up in the Cheltenham four-miler last year and second to Majestic Concorde on his last start in December. 7.
The winner in 2008 and runner-up in 2009, age appeared to catch up with him when he was 12th last year and hard to fancy to strike again, although he could get round in his own time. 5.
Has some fair form to his name from his days in France but was pulled up on his British debut in Cheltenham’s cross-country event. Not up to a task like this. 2
Won last year’s Summer Plate at Market Rasen and will have ground to suit, but still difficult to seeing making much impact. 2
Was fourth in this a couple of seasons ago and ran similarly well to grab third last year. Those experiences should stand him in good stead and he may pick up minor honours again, but difficult to see him winning. 6
Progressive chaser who has won twice at Haydock this season and was not disgraced in finishing fifth in a hot handicap at the Cheltenham Festival. Looks the sort to do well in this race if taking to the fences, but this might be a year too soon. 6
Has lost a gear or two since since winning a Grade One back in 2006, but has done well to come back from numerous injury problems. A winner at Thurles earlier this season and might go well for a way, but huge question marks over his stamina. 5
Highly creditable fifth in last year’s renewal and has since won the Becher Chase over these giant fences. Looks badly handicapped as a result, however, and no 13-year-old has won this since the 1920s. 2
Enjoying a fine campaign, winning on decent ground at Newbury before ploughing through the mud to win a competitive Classic Chase at Warwick. Ran no sort of race last time but has an each-way squeak if forgiven that and the rain comes in bucket loads. 6
A nine-time winner but this a different league to what he has been competing in for most of the season. No chance unless the rest fail to complete. 1
Won a heavy ground Irish Grand National last spring and this has been the plan since. But she was well beaten by the Midnight Club last time and hard to see her reversing that form. Snapped up recently by last year’s winning owner JP McManus. 4
Not a bad sort at his level – but this isn’t it. Might improve for this extreme distance, but surely not enough to make his presence felt. 1
Won three on the spin in 2008 but then spent almost three years on the sidelines. Last of 10 on his belated comeback and it seems injuries have wrecked a promising career. 1
Arrived from France with a big reputation a while back but has managed just one win and was beaten out of sight in this 12 months ago. Might get round again but will be nearer last than first. 2
Has looked the sort to run well in this for a while but he has failed to complete the last two years. Fair effort at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and would have place claims if completing, but that is no given. 5
Was well fancied 12 months ago but could only finish a never-nearer seventh. Has been largely disappointing since and if he could not do it last year, he surely won’t this time. 4
Has not had much racing over the past few years but showed he retains some sort of ability when second in a Newbury hunter chase last time. This is a different kettle of fish and impossible to fancy. 2
Parted company with his jockey at halfway last year but recent second to stablemate The Midnight Club, finishing in front of Oscar Time and Vic Venturi, reads well. Definite each-way chance. 7
Was well beaten off when unseating his rider last year, but has since filled the runner-up spot in the Becher. Disappointed since in the Welsh National but a return to these fences might light him up. One of the more appealing 100-1 shots but not getting any younger. 5
Very smart horse who beat fellow National hope Ballabriggs at Kelso recently. Of some interest off a featherweight but quick ground would be a big blow to his chances. 6
Won a thrilling Munster National in October and a recent spin over hurdles should have him spot-on fitness-wise. Lack of course experience the main concern. 5
Ran away with the Topham 12 months ago and was not disgraced in finishing sixth in the Becher on ground softer than ideal. Has been campaigned over hurdles since to protect his mark and can be given an each-way squeak. 6
Talented but quirky individual, who was second in the Kim Muir for the second year in succession at Cheltenham. Anyone’s guess how he’ll take to this and he’s not betting material. 2
Will definitely stay but lacks the pace to threaten on this quicker ground. Pulled up in the Midlands National last time too, so too many negatives to make a case for him. 2
Second in the Welsh National but they are going to go too quick for him on this ground. 2
1. OSCAR TIME
2. The Midnight Club
3. Vic Venturi
4. Big Fella Thanks