My Account Login | Contact Us
Grand National
 Photo courtesy of

The last three runnings of the Grand National have gone to Irish or Scottish raiders. It's a race everyone wants to win and an English-trained winner will have their work cut out for them at Aintree near Liverpool this year.

With the prospect of up to half the 2019 Grand National field being from the Emerald Isle, the world-famous National Hunt horse on Saturday, April 6 promises to be fascinating. Who are the leading English-trained contenders for this ultimate test of thoroughbred and jockey?

Elegant Escape

Colin Tizzard could aim his young improver Elegant Escape at the Grand National. The seven-year-old is bidding to become the first of that age to win the world's most famous steeplechase since 1940.

Stats are there to be defied, however, and Elegant Escape had sufficient stamina to win the Welsh Grand National at Christmastime. The Aintree race is over three-quarters of a mile further than that event, but there are no doubts about his staying credentials.

Bookmakers like Paddy Power already have Grand National runners odds and Elegant Escape is towards the head of their betting market. As he's open to much more progress, this horse is the leading English-trained contender for Aintree.

Rock The Kasbah

Philip Hobbs has had a much better jumps season this year than last with his horses. Among his high-profile winners is Rock The Kasbah, who plundered a Grade 3 stayers' handicap at the November Meeting at Cheltenham.

This nine-year-old has often been at his best over long distances. Form in tests of endurance is obviously essential for a Grand National winner and there is every reason to think Rock The Kasbah will get the trip if he lines up at Aintree.

Hobbs is certainly keen on aiming him at the big race. If there is one slight concern about Rock The Kasbah, then it would be whether his jumping will stand up to the rigours of the Grand National fences - many of which are bigger than regulation steeplechase size.


The bookies in the British Isles are very wary when Dr Richard Newland brings horses into his stable from Ireland or France. Abolitionist is an import from the Emerald Isle who ran really well when third in the 2017 Irish Grand National.

Now an 11-year-old, he has been lightly-raced since and is qualified for Aintree after running in a veterans' chase at Newbury. Newland enjoyed Grand National success back in 2014 with Pineau De Re, who was the same age as Abolitionist is now.

If running up to the form of his Irish National performance, then that puts him in with a big shout. Abolitionist, like Rock The Kasbah, is available at a general 25/1 in the Grand National betting, though he will need a few horses to defect from the race to be sure of a run.

Ramses De Teillee

Another of the young pretenders that could have Aintree on his agenda is Ramses De Teillee. Trained by David Pipe, the son of National Hunt horse racing legend Martin, this seven-year-old has been a close second in the Welsh National and then the official Grand National Trial at Haydock Park.

As with Chepstow conqueror Elegant Escape, Ramses De Teillee will have to belie the stat about horses of his age not delivering at Aintree in modern times. He certainly has the potential to be a Grand National horse after those narrow defeats.

With a lighter campaign under his belt this season, Ramses De Teillee should have plenty left in the tank for a first try at Aintree. He'll have a nice racing weight for the Grand National and that can often be the key to handicaps over jumps.

Photo credit for "Aintree Racecourse" by Rept0n1x (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Find more interesting articles in our section on Steeplechase.

Our Mission — Serving the professional horse person, amateur owners, occasional enthusiasts and sporting interests alike, the goal is to serve all disciplines – which often act independently yet have common needs and values.

Equine Info Exchange is totally comprehensive, supplying visitors with a world wide view and repository of information for every aspect related to horses. EIE provides the ability to search breeds, riding disciplines, horse sports, health, vacations, art, lifestyles…and so much more.

EIE strives to achieve as a source for content and education, as well as a transparent venue to share thoughts, ideas, and solutions. This responsibility also includes horse welfare, rescue and retirement, addressing the needs and concerns of all horse lovers around the world. We are proud to be a woman-owned business.