2014 Grand National Form Guide
All 40 horses that line up for the 2014 Grand National will aim to bag the coveted title on April 6, 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.
2014 Grand National Form
Teaforthree produced a gallant effort to finish third in last year's Grand National, but the Rebecca Curtis-trained raider will look to build on that fine display in the 2014 renewal and heads to Aintree on the back of finishing eighth in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.
He was not seen this season until Christmas where he could only finish ninth in the Welsh National at Chepstow, but a much more improved effort followed when second in a Listed event at Ascot, before he was outclassed in the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.
Only beaten 21 lengths in the Gold Cup, the ten-year-old will relish a step back up in distance and his front-running tactics are sure to be adopted on April 5 and he sets the standard on the form guide and is a major player.
Tidal Bay maybe in the twilight of his national hunt career, but the 13-year-old has been in tremendous form over the last 24 months and he will head to Aintree looking to hand Paul Nicholls another success in the Grand National and whose to say the veteran can't feature prominently.
A winner of the Bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby on his first start, the Ditcheat inmate could only finish fifth in the Betfair Chase, but a terrific weight carrying display in the Welsh National saw him take third place, before he bagged a decent second in the Grade One Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.
Long Run propels off the list of entries seeing only a few years ago he was storming to glory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but the Nicky Henderson-trained raider will now set his sights on another notable national hunt prize and will be a major player in the 2014 Grand National if producing the goods on April 5.
Well beaten in the Charlie Hall Chase and Betfair Chase, the Seven Barrows raider then unseated his rider in the King George VI Chase, when well beaten, but he bounced back to winning ways when beating Knockara Beau in a Kelso contest and having returning to winning ways will hope to build on that on Merseyside.
Ever since Monbeg Dude landed the 2013 Welsh National he was earmarked as a genuine Grand National contender and the Michael Scudamore-trained raider will head to Aintree on the back of som indifferent performances this campaign.
Third in a novice hurdle behind Kings Palace in his first start, he then was a decent fourth in a Grade Three contest at Cheltenham, before returning to Prestbury Park and easing to victory in December which saw his price plummet in the 2014 Grand National Betting.
A disappointing display when fifth of 12 in the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster wasn't ideal preparation, but a step up in trip should play to his strengths and he is one of the raiders with the most attractive form heading into the race.
Nicky Henderson's Triolo D'alene made a pleasing start to the season when finishing a creditable third behind Houblon Des Obeaux in a Grade Three at Ascot, but the Seven Barrows inmate progressed in tremendous fashion when going on to land the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
Reeling in Rocky Creek in the closing stages of the prestigious event, Triolo D'alene showed that he is a real class act when getting the better of a host of classy rivals and it launched him into the Cheltenham Gold Cup reckoning, but having been well-backed for the event, he could only finish tenth and will look to bounce back in the Grand National.
Rocky Creek was an exciting novice chaser last season landing the Reynoldstown Novices' Chase, but even though the Paul Nicholls-trained charge has failed to land a victory this season he was a gallant runner-up to Triolo D'alene in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
After that effort he was next seen competing in the Argento Chase on Cheltenham's Festival Trials Day, but he could only finish second to The Giant Bolster in that contest and connections that will be hoping that he can improve for the step up in trip and he could be a major factor in the National.
Prince De Beauchene
Willie Mullins's Prince De Beauchene has not excelled on the racecourse this season having been unable to get his head in front, but the Co. Carlow inmate will be one of the leading Irish challengers for the 2014 Grand National and from a top class training operation will need to respected.
Third in the Grade One JNWine Champion Chase in his first start, the 11-year-old could only finish 13th in the Hennessy Gold Cup before finishing last of nine in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown, however, he was an improved fourth in the Kinloch Brae Chase and with proven form at Aintree will be an interesting contender.
Balthazar King has been in stunning form this campaign and he bagged his third win on the spin at Cheltenham at the festival when getting the better of Any Currency to land the Cross County Chase for the second time in what was a thrilling climax.
Having kicked off the season with an awesome display of jumping to land the Showcase Trophy at Prestbury Park, Philip Hobbs' star then landed the Cross Country trial in November before bagging the big one in March and he will now look to show his class in the Grand National on April 5 and he heads to Liverpool in superb form.
Pineau De Re
Pineau De Re struggled in the early part of the national hunt season as he finished down the field in competitive events at Cheltenham and Aintree, where he fell in the Becher Chase over the National fences, but since then Dr Richard Newland's raider has improved as the season has progressed.
A winner of a veterans' handicap chase at Exeter, the 11-year-old then ran superbly to finish third in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival and in that contest he was staying on in eye-catching fashion and will enjoy the step up in distance and will be an intriguing contender for the Aintree showpiece.
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