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Ginger Joe - Runner by Runner Guide to the 2023 Randox Grand National

Publish Date: 16/04/2023
Fact checked by: Mike McKean
Key Points
  • It's here! The 2023 Randox Grand National!
  • Your exclusive guide to all 40 runners
  • Choose your winning picks right here

Welcome to my 2023 Grand National guide racing fans!

It’s time for the lottery event of the National Hunt season, the 2023 Randox Grand National. Today, I’m bringing you a complete guide to this iconic race and giving you my opinion on each of this year’s 40 runners.

Noble Yeats is the reigning champion and finished fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He’s sure to put up a solid effort to keep his crown, but he isn’t the only runner with the credentials to win a Grand National.

Grand National facts

The Grand National isn’t anything like the challenge it used to be back in Red Rum’s heyday. The fences and ditches are smaller and there is much more emphasis on class horses now. Nevertheless, it is still a harsh 40-runner contest and you absolutely need a bit of luck to pick the winner.

With a distance of 4m 2f and 30 fences to jump, this really is the ultimate test for horses. They need to jump well, have bags of stamina and be smart enough to keep out of trouble if they are to have any chance of winning the race.

Betting on the Grand National

Over 30 million people bet on this race every year and for many of them, it will be their only bet of the year. Bearing in mind that plenty of them choose their winner by name, colour or number, rather than form, it also means that the market prices don’t really paint a true picture. Which goes some way towards explaining some of these startling trends:

  • Only 15% of Favourites have won this race during its 200-year history
  • On average, only 63% of the runners complete the Grand National course
  • The average price of winning runners since 1998 is 24/1

So, for regular punters like us, this is an opportunity to find some real value bets. And to help the cause I’m going to give you a guide to every runner in the race, complete with a rating to help you make up your mind.

Which is the best Grand National bookie?

All of my favourite bookies have great odds and offers, together with plenty of extra places for today’s big event, so you’ll see I’ve included several different selections for you. But let’s start with the Bet £5 Get £20 in Free Bets offer from Ladbrokes. 

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2023 Grand National Runners

#1 ANY SECOND NOW @ 14/1

He may be 11 years old now, but Any Second Now is a model of consistency and loves it here at Aintree. He’s clearly in the form of his life and finished 15 lengths behind Galopin Des Champs, and then won a Grade 2 at Navan last time out to set himself up for a 3rd tilt at the spectacle. He finished 3rd in 2021, a clear 2nd last year and has solid claims to go one better despite being 8lb higher in the weights. As solid as any in the race. 8/10

#2 NOBLE YEATS @ 12/1

In 2022, Noble Yeats broke all of the trends to win as a seven-year-old and continued to improve by running into a very creditable fourth place in this year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup. He’s 19lb higher in the weights this time around, but if he gets into the same sort of rhythm, he is going to make a very bold bid at keeping his crown. 8/10

#3 GALVIN @ 20/1

As a National Hunt Chase winner over 3m 6f, Galvin definitely has the stamina for this test, but he isn’t weighted to win this. He has to concede 7lb to his stablemate Delta Work, who already has better form than him for this season. The course and going will clearly suit, but I find it hard to see him winning this. 4/10

#4 FURY ROAD @ 33/1

Although he has received some support for this race, I’m not sure Fury Road wants this stamina test. Despite him putting up some career bests this season at Leopardstown, they were all over shorter. Frankly I see plenty of runners ahead of him today. 4/10

#5 THE BIG DOG @ 12/1

The Big Dog has won two valuable handicaps this season over 3m and followed up by finishing third in the Welsh National, despite jumping poorly that day. He was also running a huge race in the Irish Gold Cup, going well in front at a big price before falling two out, so if he stays on his feet the whole way round, he should be there or thereabouts. 7/10

#6 CAPODANNO @ 20/1

Capodanno has been very disappointing considering his early reputation and has struggled to stay 3 miles, let alone 4m2f. Can’t see it happening. 3/10

#7 DELTA WORK @ 9/1

After winning his second Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival this season, Delta Work comes to this year’s Grand National with a big chance. He finished third here last year despite jumping unusually badly. However, he has bounced back since and running off a mark 1lb lower he is firmly on my radar. 9/10

#8 SAM BROWN @ 66/1

Sam Brown is on a career high mark for this year’s event and looks well out of his depth here, making him very easy to oppose. 1/10

#9 LIFETIME AMBITION @ 25/1

A fairly solid horse who often finds two or three too good and I feel this may be the case again this year. I’m sure that Lifetime Ambition will give a good account of himself, but this is unlike any test he has faced before. 3/10

#10 CAREFULLY SELECTED @ 50/1

Here is a horse I really fancy for this race. Even though Carefully Selected hasn’t been tested over this sort of trip, he is one that settles well and is a particularly sound jumper. Once he gets into a rhythm, he is hard to take on.

If there is to be a story for this year’s Grand National renewal, well maybe it could be young Mikey O’Sullivan capping off an already fine season in the saddle. Mikey already has five Grade 1’s to his name this year and there is every possibility that he could be adding a Grand National to that if it all works out. I think he can get a great tune out of Carefully Selected, making him a live squeak for me. 8/10

Bookie pick number two

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#11 COKO BEACH @ 33/1

Now, a good friend of mine, Joe McCabe of JM Racing, put me onto Coko Beach at 100/1 earlier on in the season and he has certainly found the value. He was a very impressive winner over 3m 4f at Punchestown last time out and bids to become just the fourth grey to win the Grand National. If we see a repeat of his Punchestown performance, he’s a great each way shout. 6/10

#12 LONGHOUSE POET @ 20/1

This one has been on the radar for many of my Discord followers this year, but I don’t fancy Longhouse Poet at all myself. He may be a solid jumper and he may stay 3m 4f, but I don’t see him good enough to win a Grand National. Not one for me. 4/10

#13 GAILLARD DU MESNIL @ 11/1

Gaillard Du Mesnil finished third in the Irish Grand National and won this year's National Hunt Chase when taking advantage of a late fall from Mahler Mission. I think this stronger stamina test looks like it could bring out even more improvement in him. He’ll still need a lot of luck to win, but I’m sure he’ll do connections proud. 6/10

#14 DARASSO @ 100/1

Not much to say about Darasso really. He has struggled to stay in 3 mile races and I very much doubt he’ll even make it to the finish here. 1/10

#15 LE MILOS @ 14/1

This one is a tricky call. Le Milos isn’t guaranteed to stay quite this far, but he did improve when he stepped up to 3m 2f last time out and actually saw the race out very nicely. He has to improve again to do well here, but he does have a nice turn of foot and if he is able to use it at this trip, then he’s likely to place. 6/10

#16 ESCARIA TEN @ 125/1

Needs to start now…Escaria Ten is a no-go zone for me. 1/10

#17 THE BIG BREAKAWAY @ 33/1

He hasn’t won a race in nearly four years, but The Big Breakaway is a big strong lad. He ran his best race for a long time when just pipped in the Welsh National, which was his first try over 3m 6f and he certainly has the potential to be the surprise package in the field. This sort of test could be what he wanted all along and it would be no surprise to see him in the places at the end of the race. 7/10

#18 CAPE GENTLEMAN @ 100/1

Although he showed promise as a novice, things haven’t worked out at all well for Cape Gentleman since then and he is impossible to fancy on form. 1/10

#19 ROI MAGE @ 40/1

Roi Mirage is an interesting contender here. He has some good form over the longer trips and seems to peak around this time of the season. There are no stamina doubts with this one either, he's definitely a lively outsider. 5/10

#20 DIOL KER @ 80/1

Here is one that could easily outrun his odds. Diol Ker is one of the few runners here that has conditions set perfectly for a tilt at this race. He handles really deep ground and ran a blinder at Clonmel over 3 miles, looking like he was crying out for this longer trip. He may not quite have the class angle of some others, but he’s certain to give this his best shot. 7/10

Bookie pick number three

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#21 A WAVE OF THE SEA @ 40/1

Although he is a nicely bred horse, but for a National I would prefer a better jumper. A Wave Of The Sea has run well in the Munster National twice, but he needs to improve a ton to win here and his jumping ability worries me a lot. 3/10

#22 MINELLA TRUMP @ 50/1

I’m not sure what Minella Trump is even doing here to be honest… 1/10

#23 VANILLIER @ 16/1

A very talented animal, but when it comes to his jumping, Vanillier is far better suited to Hurdles. He’s at a joke of a price to my way of thinking. 2/10

#24 VELVET ELVIS @ 33/1

Velvet Elvis has a nice profile for this and staying the trip shouldn’t be too much of an issue for him either. He has been back in fine form in his last two races and placed sixth in last year's Irish National, so he has plenty of experience for a seven-year-old. He’s carrying featherweight, which is a big plus and I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t go very well indeed. 7/10

#25 AINT THAT A SHAME @ 8/1 (FAV)

As the big gamble of the week so far and you can see why when you look at him. Aint That A Shame is a cracking jumper and travels very well which is very much required around Aintree, particularly on this ground. He’s the right type and a bold bid is highly likely. 7/10

#26 CORACH RAMBLER @ 9/1

After managing to double up in the Ultima this year. Corach Rambler might well seem an obvious choice. However, I’m not convinced he will stay this trip, despite being visually impressive. He was superb at Cheltenham and my view on him for the National may not be very popular, but I think this long trip will catch him out. 6/10

#27 ENJOY D’ALLEN @ 40/1

If you go back to 2021, Enjoy D’Allen has some interesting form, but he hasn’t seemed the same since then and his jumping is a big worry here. If he gets himself into an early rhythm and sticks with it in a prominent position, he could possibly make the frame, but he definitely needs to jump much better than he has been recently. Classy on his day, but comes here with a big caveat. 5/10

#28 MR INCREDIBLE @ 14/1 (NAP)

My NAP for this year’s Grand National is Mr Incredible. I think that Willie Mullins has road mapped him for this race very well, having managed to get him into the race carrying just 10st 4lb, which is a massive advantage over this trip and in these testing conditions. He is a hold up horse generally and came on the scene late to finish second over 3m 5f at Warwick and then to finish a creditable third in the Kim Muir at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

He actually looked like he came to win the race at Warwick, but he was given an easy time of things in the closing stages, as if they had other targets in mind and it seems they did. He is a very unexposed seven-year-old, who appears to have loads of improvement left in him yet. I think he is almost tailor made for a Grand National. He fits the profile of last year’s winner, Noble Yeats, and he fits most trends. I think he will be darting home late to try and take the spoils. 10/10

#29 MISTER COFFEY @ 40/1

Mister Coffey has yet to clock up a win over fences. He just doesn’t really have the right profile even though connections have tried to manufacture him into a Stayer. I really cannot see this one even getting close in this to be honest. 4/10

#30 CLOUDY GLEN @ 50/1

If there was ever a wrong type for the Grand National, then Cloudy Glen is exactly that. In my opinion, even if he’s still on his feet at the end, he probably won’t show much at the finish. Looks highly unlikely. 2/10

Bookie pick number four

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#31 HILL SIXTEEN @ 80/1

Although he should give a good account of himself, Hill Sixteen really hasn’t shown enough form to pick him out of these in a race where you clearly need a bit of class these days. 3/10

#32 GABBYS CROSS @ 66/1

There are no concerns with Gabbys Cross when it comes to the going, but when it comes to his stamina, that’s a whole different story. Definitely one that’s hard to fancy here. 3/10

#33 RECITE A PRAYER @ 80/1

Although he represents top connections and was third in the Cork National over 3m 4f, Recite A Prayer has been in awful form since then and is of no interest here. 2/10

#34 EVAS OSKAR @ 50/1

Evas Oskar is a genuine 3 miler who acts on deeper ground. Even though he ran well for a long way in the Eider Chase over 4 miles, he faded late on and this much sterner challenge is likely to be well out of his range. 4/10

#35 OUR POWER @ 20/1

This horse is the closest you can get to a genuine dual-purpose horse. Our Power has some serious form on the Flat, but also seems to also have tons of stamina. He has won his last two races over 3 miles and even though conditions are more testing here, he has solid place claims if he turns up in the same form. Sam Thomas does particularly well with the Stayers and it would be no surprise if he were to finish right up there. 8/10

#36 DUNBOYNE @ 40/1

Although his form ties in with Mr Incredible, I think Dunboyne has already shown us everything he’s got. He’s not the right type for this race and I don’t think for a minute he will even place here. 4/10

#37 FRANCKY DU BERLAIS @ 125/1

This is a very honest horse and he ran a blinder in the Cross Country Chase, but Francky Du Berlais won’t stay round here. 1/10

#38 FORTESCUE @ 100/1

Despite being a genuine Stayer, Fortescue seemed to find this race too much last year and unseated when having no chance. There certainly hasn’t been anything significant since then to give his form a boost either. 2/10

#39 BACK ON THE LASH @ 20/1

Back On The Lash has clearly received some strong support to get backed into his odds, but for me, he has far too much to do. I really don’t see him having much of a shout. 4/10

#40 BORN BY THE SEA @ 50/1

At 6lb out of the Handicap here, Born By The Sea has it all to do. By rights, he shouldn’t be winning this, but then again, this is the Grand National... 2/10

Ginger Joe’s winning picks for the 2023 Randox Grand National

  1. Mr Incredible 14/1 (NAP)
  2. Delta Work 9/1
  3. Any Second Now 14/1
  4. Carefully Selected 50/1
  5. Our Power 20/1
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