Who's hot and who's not in today's big race

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Hot tips

Slim Pickings

Why he can win: Third last year despite a final-fence error. His trainer, Tom Taaffe, whose grandfather and namesake won the race 50 years ago, has spent every moment since preparing him for today. Odds: 12-1


Why he can win: Still going smoothly when falling six fences from home t last year. His vastly experienced trainer and owner have given him a light campaign so that he'll be fresh to fulfil that promise today. Odds: 12-1

Philson Run

Why he can win: Has few miles on the clock for a 12-year-old and was finishing strongest of all last year. True stayer who is a .great credit to his small Devon stable where the trainer doubles as an accountant. Odds: 28-1

Cloudy Lane

Why he can win: Is the shortest-priced favourite since Red Rum three decades ago for good reason. Improving fast and his trainer, Donald McCain, son of Red Rum's handler, Ginger, is in compelling form. Odds: 6-1

Comply Or Die

Why he can win: Has developed into a thorough stayer for powerful David Pipe stable, yet has crept into the race on a low weight and has the stealthy skills of Timmy Murphy in the saddle to guide him home. Odds: 10-1

Warm hopes


Why he might win: His trainer, Alan King, can do little wrong this season, and blinkers have sharpened D'Argent's jumping to a point where he could be the first grey to win since Nicolaus Silver in 1961 can . Odds: 25-1

Bewleys Berry

Why he might win: Has done well over these fences, despite falling at Becher's when going well on second lap last year. Excuse a below-par effort last time when stable out of sorts and he has fine chance Odds: 14-1

Mon Mome

Why he might win: Trainer Venetia Williams rode in the National and was knocked out when falling at Becher's. Has skilfully guided Mon Mome's career so that he comes here fresh, fit and fancied. Odds: 28-1

Dun Doire

Why he might win: Has sneaked in at the foot of the weights, to the relief of his shrewd trainer who has aimed him at this all season. Jumped poorly when pulled up last year but worth another chance. Odds: 25-1

Snowy Morning

Why he might win: Had looked like a potential top-notch performer when beating all bar Denman at Cheltenham last year but has disappointed since and has been rejected by Ruby Walsh today. Odds: 20-1

Lukewarm prospects


Why he shouldn't win: Has been rejected by Tony McCoy and, although not quick enough to win, should plug on with credit for his French trainer, François Doumen, and Irish owner, JP McManus. Odds: 40-1


Why he shouldn't win: The 2005 winner and 2006 runner-up is now a 12-year-old, yet has been given little respite inthe weights despite finishing only ninth last year. Picked by outstanding Aintree rider Ruby Walsh. Odds: 20-1


Why he shouldn't win: Pulled up last year due to choking, and hampered when unseating at the first in 2004 but still only a 10-year-old and has posted solid performances this year for his astute French trainer. Odds: 50-1

Chelsea Harbour

Why he shouldn't win: Has thrived on deep mud in Ireland over the winter but this fast-draining course will not play to his strengths. Solid performer but the handicapper has surely taken his measure now. Odds: 16-1


Why he shouldn't win: No six-year-old has won since 1915 and although Turko is talented he is also very unlikely to last the trip after having shown such good form over a shorter distance at Cheltenham. Odds: 33-1

Madison Du Berlais

Why he shouldn't win: Solid performer but weighted accordingly. Very unlikely to give Tom Scudamore the National-winning ride that eluded his father, Peter, but not his grandfather, Michael (on Oxo in 1959). Odds: 66-1

Point Barrow

Why he shouldn't win: Co-favourite last year when falling at the very first fence, and previously a winner of the Irish Grand National – but he has done little to his enhance reputation in recent months. Odds: 28-1

Mr Pointment

Why he shouldn't win: Has a tendency to bleed when put under pressure and that makes him a risky proposition in the most gruelling race of all, even with the Gold Cup-winning rider Sam Thomas on board. Odds: 22-1


Why he shouldn't win: A tough Cheltenham specialist who is unlikely to add to the two wins – Earth Summit and Bindaree – of his trainer, Nigel Twiston-Davies, over this dramatically different circuit. Odds: 66-1

Idle Talk

Why he shouldn't win: Habit of unshipping his jockey is far from being an ideal trait over these fences, but has plenty of ability too. Second-string to the favourite, Cloudy Lane, in Donald McCain's yard. Odds: 66-1

Out in the cold


Why he won't win: Used up his luck when sneaking into the race yesterday as first reserve. David England, his rider, has enough confidence in him to switch from Naunton Brook, but that's not saying much. Odds: 125-1


Why he won't win: Had looked a potential champ when starting on the steeplechasing road but has been beset by problems. Jockey Paddy Brennan has failed to complete on both previous mounts. Odds: 66-1

King John's Castle

Why he won't win: Although trained by Arthur Moore and ridden by Paul Carberry, whose fathers teamed up to win the 1975 National with L'Escargot, may need softer ground to emulate their feat. Odds: 20-1


Why he shouldn't win: Broke down before crossing the line as runner-up to Silver Birch last year and has suffered an interrupted preparation this time – and did not make his seasonal debut until a month ago. Odds: 28-1


Why he won't win: Managed to escape being sent to the sales by winning at Sandown in January after more than a year off the track. Injuries have curtailed his career, but is capable of surprising if fit. Odds: 100-1

Naunton Brook

Why he won't win: Likes to force the pace, as he attempted to last year when making the running until eventually pulling up. Not a very wise tactic in this marathon event. Looked badly out of sorts last time out. Odds: 100-1

Black Apalachi

Why he won't win: Poor run last time was attributed to lack of blinkers but they can be a hindrance in turmoil of this event. Has never fallen, but does not win often either and would need softer ground to shine. Odds: 50-1

Vodka Bleu

Why he won't win: Back to his best in blinkers this season and the sort of 'thinker' who could rise to this challenge. Has a good turn of foot but lacks the stamina to still be in contention to deliver it to effect. Odds: 50-1

Butler's Cabin

Why he won't win: Though Tony McCoy has selected him ahead of three other JP McManus horses, he was hardly presented with a great choice. Will take more than McCoy's strength to get him home. Odds: 16-1

No Full

Why he won't win: Very little prospect of lasting out the trip and was beaten pointless by most of the other Irish contenders in a race back in January. From a Co Kilkenny stable that is rarely able to send out a winner. Odds: 150-1

Snowball's chance

Hi Cloy

Why he should be put out to grass: Would have a great chance if this event was run over two miles or so, rather than double that distance. A good jumper of fences but will not improving at the age of 11. Odds: 125-1


Why he should be put out to grass: Running very poorly last autumn and the only reason that sequence has not been maintained this spring is probably because he has not been on a track since December. Odds: 66-1

Bob Hall

Why he should be put out to grass: Had his stamina tested for the first time in a contest at Cheltenham last month. Answer was that he didn't have any – so his participation here is pretty baffling. Odds: 125-1

Cornish Sett

Why he should be put out to grass: Operation to cure wind problems since his last race in December may bring improvement, but needs to. Best qualification is that he is related to two National winners. Odds: 150-1

Milan Deux Mille

Why he should be put out to grass: Looks to be the weakest of David Pipe's four-strong hand even though he finished fifth over these fences in the Topham Trophy last year. Generally poor form since. Odds: 66-1

Tumbling Dice

Why he should be put out to grass: Yet another contender who would need a horsebox to last out this trip. Represents smart trainer, though, but still unlikely to throw a double six and claim victory here. Odds: 125-1


Why he should be put out to grass: Skipped his date at Doncaster sales ring to come here and has the services of last year's winning rider, Robbie Power, in the saddle. But that's all he has going for him. Odds: 200-1

Baily Breeze

Why he should be put out to grass: His canny trainer, Mouse Morris, sprung a 33-1 surprise in the Irish National last month, but impossible to make a case for a horse last and pulled-up in only starts this year. Odds: 66-1

Iron Man

Why he should be put out to grass: Likely to race prominently, just not for very long and is an absolute certainty to be pulled up, as he has been on his last two outings when completely overfaced, as he is here. Odds: 100-1


Why he should be put out to grass: Do not be fooled by the fact that his last two runs were in the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup. He was completely out of his depth in those races and will be again here. Odds: 250-1

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