HomeRacing irishThree Grand National horses to follow as rain descends on Aintree

Three Grand National horses to follow as rain descends on Aintree

Last year’s Grand National may have been marred by protests, but it looks increasingly likely that the 2024 running of the famous race will be affected by a more traditional British problem – the weather.

With the official going at Aintree currently being described as ‘soft, heavy in places’, and Storm Kathleen expected to batter the area in the build up to the Festival, owners and trainers alike will have to take difficult decisions as to whether to pull their horses out of the race at the final moment.

But while the bad weather spells problems for many, there are a few mudlarks that’ll absolutely revel in the difficult conditions. Here are three Grand National runners to keep a close eye on if the poor weather extends deep into the week.

Nassalam really came to everyone’s attention as a potential Grand National winner in December. Having already won the Welsh National trial on heavy Chepstow ground earlier in the month, he went on to dominate the Welsh Grand National too. Nassalam took a field of 19 horses apart, winning by a remarkable 34 lengths, so don’t be put off by his more recent showing at Cheltenham.
Delta Work

Many watchers of the Grand National will already be familiar with Delta Work, given he came home third in the 2022 running of the famous race. He followed that impressive showing up with a big win at the Cheltenham Festival, securing the Cross Country Chase in 2023 on soft ground. Detractors may say he’ll be past his best as an 11 year old, but the cancellation of this year’s Cross Country Chase ensures Delta Work will head to Aintree fresher than in previous years.
I Am Maximus

Of all this year’s Grand National favourites, I Am Maximus could be the one to benefit most from softer ground. None of his last 11 runs have been on ground better than soft, so a sapping four miler at Aintree should prove far less daunting than for many of his rivals. Irish horse racing fans may recall I Am Maximus winning the 2023 Irish National on soft ground at Fairyhouse, and he was most recently seen taking the Bobbyjo Chase by 14 lengths under soft to heavy conditions.

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