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Hewick tops list but only seven British horses in top 34

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The last-gasp Kempton winner has been handed 11st 12lb for the April 13 spectacular, putting him at the top of the 87 contenders for the extended four-and-a-quarter-mile contest. A Cheltenham Gold Cup date awaits next month first, however, with Hanlon dreaming of a big-race hat-trick in the crown jewels of the staying chase calendar.

He said: “I knew he’d have top-weight. You have to expect that. He probably deserves top-weight. I think the trip will suit him. He’s going for the Gold Cup first and please God he comes out of the Gold Cup safe and if he does he’ll definitely head there (to Aintree).

“It’s a mighty day. It’s one of those days you look forward to all year. The National, the Gold Cup and the King George at Kempton – they’re the three big days in England aren’t they, so it’s great to have a runner there.”

While Hewick – who is one of 56 Irish-trained possibles – has proven himself at Grade One level and numbers the American Grand National on his CV, he is no stranger to major handicaps, with the €850 purchase having prevailed off 11st 7lb in the 2022 Galway Plate after also landing the bet365 Gold Cup off 3lb less.

Hanlon feels conditions rather than weights are key for his contender, with the revised safety limit of 34 meaning there is just 20lb between Hewick and those who would be at the bottom of the field, with Latenightpass, Minella Crooner and Run Wild Fred all sitting on 10st 6lb.

He added: “The most important thing is that he gets good ground. With fewer runners in the race this year, there won’t be quite as much weight between us and the horses at the bottom. In previous years the difference could be a fair bit more and we’d be giving more away. He won the Galway Plate off nearly top-weight, he won the bet365 (Oaksey Chase at Sandown Park) off a big weight. It’s not that he’s not used to carrying top-weight and he carries it very well. All is great with him and he couldn’t be better. I’m very, very happy with him.”

Last year’s winner Corach Rambler is off 11st 2lb this time for Lucinda Russell having gone up 13 pounds in the ratings. He was carrying 10st 5lb last April, with the second-placed Vanillier allotted 10st 8lb off a four pounds higher mark than in 2023 – as he tries to turn the tables.

Conflated, one of a battalion of Gordon Elliott-trained entries, is second in the handicap on 11st 9lb while 2022 winner Noble Yeats is 1lb lower, with Emmet Mullins plotting a Stayers’ Hurdle spin at Cheltenham before another Aintree challenge.

Cotswold Chase winner Capodanno is the highest-weighted of Willie Mullins’ team on 11st 4lb – the same weight as Gary Moore’s Welsh National winner, Nassalam.

The John McConnell-trained Mahler Mission has been among the leading contenders for some time and has been given 11st 1lb, with other key names including Henry de Bromead’s pair of 2021 Gold Cup winner Minella Indo (11st 2lb) and Aint That A Shame (10st 9lb), who was a gamble in the race last year but trailed home well beaten.

Six fewer runners will go to post this year as part of safety changes made by Aintree, with the reduction in field size leaving some fancied names already needing a number of runners to drop out. The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Monbeg Genius is one of six entries currently sitting on 10st 4lb with a number in the low 40s, which would have been sufficient in many other years to make the final field, while Panda Boy – one of four 14-1 co-second-favourites with William Hill, is rated 1lb below but at a number in the 50s.

Randox Grand National weights in full

1 Hewick (IRE) 9 11 12 169 Mr T. J. McDonald John Joseph Hanlon IRE

2 Conflated (IRE) 10 11 9 166 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

3 Noble Yeats (IRE) 9 11 8 165 Mr Robert Waley-Cohen Emmet Mullins IRE

4 Capodanno (FR) 8 11 4 161 Mr John P. McManus W. P. Mullins IRE

5 Coko Beach (FR) 9 11 4 161 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

6 Nassalam (FR) 7 11 4 161 John and Yvonne Stone Gary Moore

7 Fakir d’Oudairies (FR) 9 11 3 160 Mr John P. McManus Joseph Patrick O’Brien IRE

8 Ash Tree Meadow (FR) 8 11 2 159 Alymer Stud Ltd Gordon Elliott IRE

9 Corach Rambler (IRE) 10 11 2 159 The Ramblers Lucinda Russell

10 I Am Maximus (FR) 8 11 2 159 Mr John P. McManus W. P. Mullins IRE

11 Janidil (FR) 10 11 2 159 Mr John P. McManus W. P. Mullins IRE

12 Minella Indo (IRE) 11 11 2 159 Mr Barry Maloney Henry de Bromhead IRE

13 Asterion Forlonge (FR) 10 11 1 158 Mrs J. Donnelly W. P. Mullins IRE

14 Mahler Mission (IRE) 8 11 1 158 Colm Herron & Rockview Racing Syndicate John McConnell IRE

15 Stattler (IRE) 9 11 1 158 Mr R. A. Bartlett W. P. Mullins IRE

16 Classic Getaway (IRE) 8 11 0 157 Cheveley Park Stud W. P. Mullins IRE

17 Delta Work (FR) 11 11 0 157 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

18 Foxy Jacks (IRE) 10 11 0 157 Ms Rachel Carthy M. F. Morris IRE

19 Threeunderthrufive (IRE) 9 10 13 156 McNeill Family Paul Nicholls

20 Galvin (IRE) 10 10 12 155 Mr R. A. Bartlett Gordon Elliott IRE

21 Farouk d’Alene (FR) 9 10 11 154 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

22 Salvador Ziggy (IRE) 8 10 11 154 William Hurley/Mrs Aisling Hurley Gordon Elliott IRE

23 Eldorado Allen (FR) 10 10 10 153 J P Romans & Terry Warner Joe Tizzard

24 Letsbeclearaboutit (IRE) 9 10 10 153 Alymer Stud Ltd Gavin Cromwell IRE

25 Ain’t That A Shame (IRE) 10 10 9 152 Robcour Henry de Bromhead IRE

26 Fury Road (IRE) 10 10 9 152 Sierra Pacific & Pioneer Racing Gordon Elliott IRE

27 James du Berlais (FR) 8 10 9 152 Mr Simon Munir/Mr Isaac Souede W. P. Mullins IRE

28 Bronn (IRE) 7 10 8 151 Mr Simon Munir/Mr Isaac Souede W. P. Mullins IRE

29 Vanillier (FR) 9 10 8 151 Mrs H. M. Keaveney Gavin Cromwell IRE

30 Dusart (IRE) 9 10 7 150 Bartlett & Carthy Nicky Henderson

31 Le Milos (GB) 9 10 7 150 The Jolly Good Partnership Dan Skelton

32 Longhouse Poet (IRE) 10 10 7 150 Sean & Bernardine Mulryan Martin Brassil IRE

33 Mr Incredible (IRE) 8 10 7 150 Paul Byrne & J. Carthy W. P. Mullins IRE

34 Latenightpass (GB) 11 10 6 149 Mrs P. A. Ellis Dan Skelton

35 Minella Crooner (IRE) 8 10 6 149 KTDA Racing/Nick Courtney/Cillian Moran Gordon Elliott IRE

36 Run Wild Fred (IRE) 10 10 6 149 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

37 Adamantly Chosen (IRE) 7 10 5 148 Watch This Space Syndicate W. P. Mullins IRE

38 Chemical Energy (IRE) 8 10 5 148 Bective Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

39 Mac Tottie (GB) 11 10 5 148 Steve & Jackie Fleetham Peter Bowen

40 Favori de Champdou (FR) 9 10 4 147 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

41 Limerick Lace (IRE) 7 10 4 147 Mr John P. McManus Gavin Cromwell IRE

42 Meetingofthewaters (IRE) 7 10 4 147 Mr P. Byrne W. P. Mullins IRE

43 Monbeg Genius (IRE) 8 10 4 147 Barrowman Racing Limited Jonjo O’Neill

44 Roi Mage (FR) 12 10 4 147 Pryde/Van Der Hoeven/McGladery/Beaumont Patrick Griffin IRE

45 The Goffer (IRE) 7 10 4 147 Mr Allan Snow Gordon Elliott IRE

46 Chambard (FR) 12 10 3 146 David & Carol Shaw Venetia Williams

47 Eklat de Rire (FR) 10 10 3 146 Mr P. Davies Henry de Bromhead IRE

48 Embittered (IRE) 10 10 3 146 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

49 Galia des Liteaux (FR) 8 10 3 146 Mr Michael Ariss Dan Skelton

50 Gevrey (FR) 8 10 3 146 Denis Gallagher Racing Gordon Elliott IRE

51 Glengouly (FR) 8 10 3 146 Roaringwater Syndicate W. P. Mullins IRE

52 Kitty’s Light (GB) 8 10 3 146 R J Bedford & All Stars Sports Racing Christian Williams

53 Panda Boy (IRE) 8 10 3 146 Old Pals Partnership Martin Brassil IRE

54 Busselton (FR) 7 10 2 145 Mr Michael Hilary Burke Joseph Patrick O’Brien IRE

55 Empire Steel (IRE) 10 10 2 145 Alan Wight Sandy Thomson

56 Fiddlerontheroof (IRE) 10 10 2 145 The Minions Jim Boyle

57 Malina Girl (IRE) 7 10 2 145 Mrs J. M. Russell Gavin Cromwell IRE

58 Desertmore House (IRE) 9 10 1 144 O. B. P. Carroll/Anthony Vaughan Martin Brassil IRE

59 Fantastic Lady (FR) 9 10 1 144 Mr E. R. Hanbury Nicky Henderson IRE

60 Highland Hunter (IRE) 11 10 1 144 Nic Brereton and Lindsey Brennan Fergal O’Brien

61 Kinondo Kwetu (GB) 8 10 1 144 Gunalt Partnership Sam England

62 Fakir d’Alene (FR) 9 10 0 143 Bective Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

63 Ontheropes (IRE) 10 10 0 143 Cheveley Park Stud W. P. Mullins IRE

64 Shakem Up’arry (IRE) 10 10 0 143 Mr Harry Redknapp Ben Pauling

65 Amirite (IRE) 8 9 13 142 Patrick Hale Henry de Bromhead IRE

66 Angels Dawn (IRE) 9 9 13 142 Mr Alfred Sweetnam S. Curling IRE

67 Annual Invictus (IRE) 9 9 13 142 Mr Thomas Michael Smith Chris Gordon

68 Diol Ker (FR) 10 9 13 142 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

69 Riaan (IRE) 7 9 13 142 Philip J. Reynolds Gordon Elliott IRE

70 Sail Away (FR) 8 9 13 142 Mr and Mrs J. D. Cotton Dan Skelton

71 Samcro (IRE) 12 9 13 142 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

72 Macs Charm (IRE) 9 9 12 141 Macs Charm Syndicate Colm A. Murphy IRE

73 Cepage (FR) 12 9 11 140 The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams

74 Dunboyne (IRE) 9 9 11 140 S. P. O’Connor Gordon Elliott IRE

75 Iron Bridge (IRE) 8 9 11 140 Hemmings Racing Jonjo O’Neill

76 Tullybeg (IRE) 9 9 11 140 Bective Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

77 Famous Bridge (IRE) 8 9 10 139 Hemmings Racing Nicky Richards

78 Ashtown Lad (IRE) 10 9 9 138 Darren & Annaley Yates Dan Skelton

79 Frontal Assault (IRE) 9 9 9 138 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE

80 Mister Coffey (FR) 9 9 9 138 Lady Bamford & Alice Bamford Nicky Henderson

81 Good Boy Bobby (IRE) 11 9 8 137 Dash Grange Stud Nigel Twiston-Davies

82 Tommie Beau (IRE) 9 9 7 136 Simon & Christine Prout Seamus Mullins

83 Revels Hill (IRE) 9 9 6 135 Noel Fehily Racing Syndicates-Revels Hil Harry Fry

84 Where It All Began (IRE) 8 9 6 135 Patrick & Scott Bryceland, McNeill Family Gordon Elliott IRE

85 Moroder (IRE) 10 9 2 131 Mrs Ann Leftley Seamus Mullins

86 Full Back (FR) 9 9 1 130 Mr Ashley Head Gary Moore

87 Minella Trump (IRE) 10 9 1 130 Mr T. G. Leslie Donald McCain

87 entries go forward

56 Irish-trained

Not qualified

Battleoverdoyen (IRE), Fakiera (FR), Its On The Line (IRE), Placenet (FR), Royal Thief (IRE), So des Flos (FR).

Scratched

Celebre d’Allen (FR)

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