Grand National 2015 runners: When will the 40 runners be confirmed?

The race takes place this Saturday at 4.15pm

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The Independent Online

The 2015 Grand National takes place this Saturday at 4.15pm with 40 runners set to tackle the arduous 30 fence course at Aintree.

Picking a winner is never easy, but before you can begin to narrow down your options using either a scientific approach or the eeny-meeny-miny-moe method, you'll need to know which horses are running the race. So when will that be confirmed?

The race is for seven-year-olds and upwards which, up to and including March 23 this year, have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more. The possible runners also need to have been allotted a rating of 120 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of those entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 15.

The 'five-day confirmation stage' was on Easter Monday, at which point the number of possible runners was whittled down to 65.

The actual race can feature a maximum of 40 runners which will be confirmed in the 'final declaration' at 10am on Thursday.

There will also be four reserves named, and by 9am on Friday any non-runners from the 40 must be declared so that they can be replaced.

Although the final 40 are yet to be announced, Shutthefrontdoor has been declared the early favourite, in part due to AP McCoy rumoured to be in the saddle. Balthazar King and Rocky Creek are also fancied.