2015 Grand National Form Guide
All 40 horses that line up for the 2015 Grand National will aim to bag the coveted title on April 11, but many horses will simply struggle to manufacture their way round the unique National course, whilst some will struggle to see out the extreme distance of 4m 3f 110y.
So, we take a look at some of the horses to follow who we believe shouldn't struggle with the idiosyncrasies of the course and have also proven form when it comes to not only tackling the Grand National, but have performed admirably in long distance handicap chases.
2015 Grand National Form
Shutthefrontdoor is set to be AP McCoy's final ride in the Grand National and the Jonjo O'Neill-trained raider will head to Aintree on the back of some sparkling performances and showed last season that he relishes a real test of stamina having won the Irish National.
A win at Carlisle in November was equally as impressive and he shaped as if there's a lot more to come over fences and if he can take to the unique test of Aintree on April 11 then he has to be regarded as one of the leading players in this year's event.
Rocky Creek put up a fine effort on the front end in last year's Grand National when finishing fifth and Paul Nicholls' raider will head into this year's contest in terrific form having stormed to victory in Kempton Park's BetBright Chase in February.
He was immediately slashed in the 2015 Grand National Betting and if he can improve on that effort he has to be regarded as a leading player for this year's contest, as he shaped as if he could be a much-improved horse heading into the Merseyside marathon.
The Druids Nephew
Neil Mulholland tasted success at the Cheltenham Festival for the first time in March when The Druids Nephew stormed to victory in one of the competitive handicap chases, and the exciting, progressive chaser will now aim to land another big prize in the Grand National.
Having finished second to Sam Winner at Cheltenham earlier in the season, he finally got his head in front at Prestbury Park with an emphatic win which saw him launch clear of his rivals in the closing stages and a repeat of that should see him on the vicinity.
Balthazar King was a superb runner-up in last season's Grand National and Philip Hobbs' star will have a third crack at the race and will be hoping that he can go one better in this year's renewal, and unsurprisingly he is a prominent figure in the latest betting.
He was last seen winning over his beloved Cross Country fences at Cheltenham, but connections opted to bypass this year's Cheltenham Festival and will send him to Aintree a fresh horse, as he looks to finally get his head in front in the world's greatest steeplechase.
Pineau De Re
Dr Richard Newland's Pineau De Re will attempt to emulate Red Rum's achievements of winning back-to-back Grand National crowns on April 11, but the veteran hasn't tasted success since his win in the Aintree showpiece 12 months ago and he will face a stiff task off a higher mark.
He was last seen running in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival and could only finish in the mid-division, but with proven form at the track he has to be on punter's shortlists as he aims to emulate his heroic display on Merseyside.
A former winner of the Scottish Grand National, Godsmejudge has shown that he relishes these sort of marathon trips and if he can recapture that form he showed when lifting the Ayr prize then he has to be respected as a leading contender in this year's Grand National.
Alan King's charge will have to find a lot to reverse the form with Rocky Creek, who beat him by over 30 lengths in the BetBright Chase at Kempton Park, so the Barbury Castle inmate will be up against it against the Paul Nicholls-trained star.
Paul Nicholls will not only unleash Rocky Creek, but also Unioniste, who two starts ago was an impressive winner in soft conditions at Sandown Park and shaped like he could shape up into every bit a Grand National horse for this season.
Housed in the upper echelons of the weights, the classy grey was then unable to live with subsequent Gold Cup hero Conyegree in the Grade 2 Denman Chase at Newbury, but he will find this a little easier and he has to be respected.
Fergal O'Brien's Alvarado was a fine fourth in last season's Grand National and with experience on his side this time around he could well be a leading outsider for this year's race and if he can improve on last season then he has to be a figure.
He has only raced once this season in a veterans' handicap chase at Doncaster and that should have sharpened him up for a tilt at this year's Aintree contest and he will be a popular choice amongst each-way punters aiming to land the coveted prize.
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