Grand National 2017: Tips, odds and betting guide to the runners and riders for this week's Aintree Festival

We take an early look at the likely contenders for Saturday's race

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The Independent Online

Millions will tune in this Saturday for the unique spectacle that is the Grand National.

40 horses are expected to line up to jump 30 fences over four and a quarter miles, in what certainly features among the toughest but most rewarding challenges runners, riders and punters can face. With a competitive field of horses, each allotted a certain weight according to their ability, everyone is trying to spot an angle or just some nice silks before having a bet.

Below we give a brief outline to each and every runner, with accompanying prices from 888 Sport. They’re offering five places in the race for each-way bets.

Runners and Riders

1.       The Last Samuri 16/1 

Trainer: KC Bailey

Owner: Paul and Clare Rooney

2nd in the race last year bodes very well but has to carry a stone more this time

The Last Samuri ridden by David Bass and Vics Canvas ridden by Robert Dunne clear the last fence as eventual winner Rule The World ridden by David Mullins jumps it in third position during the Crabbie's Grand National Steeple Chase at Aintree (Getty)

2.       More Of That 14/1

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill

Owner: John P McManus

Formerly one of the best around but dodgy jumping and inconsistent form significant question marks

3.       Shantou Flyer 66/1 

Trainer: R Curtis

Owner: Carl Hinchy

Others look much better handicapped but longer trip could see great improvement

4.       Perfect Candidate 50/1 

Trainer: F O’Brien

Owner: Isl Recruitment

Led from start to finish last time, could give bold show from the front

5.       Saphir Du Rheu 20/1 

Trainer: PF Nicholls

Owner: The Stewart Family

5th in Cheltenham Gold Cup, hoping that race didn’t leave too great a mark. Would like rain

6.       Roi Des Francs 66/1 

Trainer: G Elliott

Owner: Gigginstown House Stud

Up against it with several of these in front of him two starts ago

7.       Wounded Warrior 66/1 

Trainer: N Meade

Owner: Gigginstown House Stud

Appears to have lost his way this season but wouldn’t be the first horse this owner has seen rejuvenated at Aintree

8.       Wonderful Charm 50/1 

Trainer: PF Nicholls

Owner: RJH Gefen and Sir John Ritblat

Solid this season in different class but back against the big boys here. Pulled up in this last year

David Mullins celebrates after winning the Grand National on Rule The World (Getty)

9.       Tenor Nivernais 33/1 

Trainer: V Williams

Owner: Boultbee Brooks Ltd

Prefers soft ground and disappointing last time. Trainer knows how to win this though

10.   Blaklion 14/1 

Trainer: NA Twiston-Davies

Owner: S Such and CG Paletta

Grade 1 winner swerved Cheltenham to be in perfect shape for this. Little horse may struggle with the fences but has surprised before

11.   Drop Out Joe 66/1 

Trainer: CE Longsdon

Owner: The Jesters

Off since last summer and mark this high has proved his undoing before

12.   Le Mercurey 50/1 

Trainer: PF Nicholls

Owner: D Thompson

Bought by new owner just last week who purchased the 1992 winner two days before that year’s race

13.   The Young Master 20/1 

Trainer: NP Mulholland

Owner: Dajam and The Old Masters

Fell at the second on his only start over these fences but will be hoping for good spring ground

14.   Cause of Causes 12/1 

Trainer: G Elliott

Owner: John P McManus

Very impressive winner last time over similar fences at Cheltenham. Quiet before then but huge chance now in form

15.   Regal Encore 66/1 

Trainer: AJ Honeyball

Owner: John P McManus

Very difficult to catch right, either winning or (more often) unable to finish

16.   Vieux Lion Rouge 11/1 

Trainer: D Pipe

Owner: Prof Caroline Tisdall and John Gent

Worthy favourite having won two of the main trials this season. Hard to see not running well

17.   Definitly Red 10/1 

Trainer: B Ellison

Owner: PJ Martin

The North’s best chance was very impressive last time. Questions over stamina slight concern

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary celebrates after his horse, Rules The World, won the Grand National (Getty)

18.   Ucello Conti 20/1 

Trainer: G Elliott

Owner: Simon Munir and Isaac Souede

6th last year and could well run better if jumping holds up

19.   Double Shuffle 33/1 

Trainer: TR George

Owner: Crossed Fingers Partnership

At just seven years old likely to be too young to strike a blow

20.   Houblon Des Obeaux 50/1 

Trainer: V Williams

Owner: Julian Blackwell

Needs rain but has a habit of placing in hot handicaps

21.   Pleasant Company 14/1 

Trainer: WP Mullins

Owner: Malcolm C Denmark

In good form after latest win and lines up as best hope for high class trainer and jockey combination

22.   One For Arthur 14/1 

Trainer: Lucinda V Russell

Owner: Two Golf Widows

Dab hand over long distances. Progressive this season and will be primed for such a test

23.   Ballynagour 66/1 

Trainer: D Pipe

Owner: Allan Stennett

Yet to finish a race this season and unseated in last year’s renewal. Serious leap of faith needed

24.   O’Faolains Boy 33/1 

Trainer: R Curtis

Owner: Trembath, Hyde, Outhart and Hill

Very little recent form to speak of but formerly one of the most exciting staying chasers around

25.   Highland Lodge 25/1 

Trainer: James Moffatt

Owner: Bowes Lodge Stables

Could be good value considering short distance behind Vieux Lion Rouge last time but now double his price

26.   Bishops Road 66/1 

Trainer: Kerry Lee

Owner: Alan Halsall

Fell at the first when tackling these fences over shorter distance last year. Progressive before then though

27.   Lord Windermere 50/1 

Trainer: JH Culloty

Owner: Dr R Lambe

Former Gold Cup winner who would be very well handicapped if returning to form

28.   Saint Are 33/1 

Trainer: TR George

Owner: DW Fox

Second two years ago may well have been his best chance to win this

29.   Vicente 25/1 

Trainer: Vaughan Marshall

Owner: Jane Truter and KP Truter

Scottish Grand National winner recently bought by owner with great record in the race

30.   Just A Par 50/1 

Trainer: PF Nicholls

Owner: Paul K Barber and the Late CG Roach

Inconsistent profile and hard to know if he will fire on the day

31.   Measureofmydreams 50/1 

Trainer: N Meade

Owner: Gigginstown House Stud

Found life difficult since good third at Cheltenham last year, including heavy defeat latest

32.   Raz De Maree 40/1

Trainer: GP Cromwell

Owner: James J Swan

Stays well and showed speed during warm up for this. Could run well at big odds

33.   Stellar Notion 66/1

Trainer: H de Bromhead

Owner: RS Brookhouse

Keeps placing in tricky handicaps over in Ireland, always appearing to just run out of steam

34. Rogue Angel 33/1

Trainer: MF Morris

Owner: Gigginstown House Stud

Irish National winner last year has been well beaten on every start since. Trainer won with similar sort last year though

Owner Michael O'Leary celebrates with his wife Anita, with jockey David Mullins all smiles after riding Rule The World to victory in the 2016 Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree (Getty)

35.   Cocktails At Dawn 66/1

Trainer: NJ Henderson

Owner: RJH Geffen and Sir John Ritblat

Questionable stayer but not short of speed. Trainer yet to have a winner in this

36.   Thunder And Roses 25/1

Trainer: MF Morris

Owner: Gigginstown House Stud

Another Irish National winner who will stay the distance and versatile when it comes to the ground

37.   Gas Line Boy 100/1

Trainer: Ian Williams

Owner: The Three Graces

Frequent attendant of staying handicaps but rarely the winner

38.   Goodtoknow 66/1

Trainer: Kerry Lee

Owner: Burling Daresbury Macechern Nolan Potter

Not short of stamina and in good form before pulling up latest

39.   La Vaticane 100/1

Trainer: D Pipe

Owner: Maria Bukhtoyarova

This mare’s only recent wins have only come against much weaker opposition

40.   Doctor Harper 66/1

Trainer: D Pipe

Owner: The Johnson Family

Latest run was another disappointment after lofty reputation he once had


R1.   Bless The Wings 50/1

Trainer: G Elliott

Owner: Adrian Butler and P O’Connor

Has come close in good races down the years and if sneaking in here could go well

R2: Knock House 66/1

Trainer: D McCain Jnr

Owner: T Leslie

R3: Sambremont 100/1

Trainer: W Mullins

Owner: Shanakiel Racing Syndicate

R4: Viva Steve 66/1

Trainer: F O'Brien

Owner: P & C Rooney