Grand National Weights Revealed As Bristol De Mai At The Top Of The Pile

Today there was a flurry of Grand National fever on the day that the racing world woke up to the prospect that they would only have to wait one more day until until British racing is back on our screens and the horses are back where they should be, on a racecourse.

The weights for the most historic race in the history of the sport was revealed with the obvious top weight being unveiled as Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained grey gelding will shoulder a weight of 11st 10lb which will see him be the same as a rating of 168 and five pounds away from his normal BHA mark if his trainer decides to enter him in the race at Aintree.

The 2019 Randox Health Grand National currently has over 100 entries which will be whittled down to around 40 horses before the off.

Last season's fourth at Aintree and third in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, Anibale Fly was next to be revealed at 11st 6lb, right behind him was another Irish challenger in Alpha Des Obeaux at 11st 4lb along with Welsh Grand National winner Elegant Escape.

Last season's winning trainer Gordon Elliott holds a possible 22 entries for the Handicap contest at this stage and he is set to enter his superstar winner from last year with Tiger Roll facing a nine pound rise from his mark last season at 11st 1lb and a rating of 159.

Last season saw one of the greatest finishes to a Grand National in the history of the race with Tiger Roll just doing enough on the line to fend of the Willie Mullins trained Pleasant Company who goes up seven pounds to 10st 11lb.

(Credit Racing Post) With the moving on and retirement of the previous man to sort the horses weights out in Phil Smith, this year they have been framed for the first time by Martin Greenwood, who said: "It was fairly straightforward to do the weights. I tried to treat it like any other race while bearing in mind there has to be some digression when needed.

"Bristol De Mai heads the weights and his rating has been compressed by 5lb as I thought it was better to have a horse at the top of the handicap whose rating was slightly out of kilter. If Bristol De Mai does run then I think it was the right call to make.

"I found Auvergnat (10st 8lb) of Enda Bolger's hard to weigh up. He has a lot of cross-country form and he was the hardest one I had to deal with. He has been running primarily in cross-country races and they are events which are having an increasing impact on the Grand National, highlighted by Tiger Roll's success last year.

"His form ties in with Josies Orders and Tiger Roll. He would almost have three different ratings, one in the mid-140s for regulation fences, a high 150s for the cross-country fences and I have put him somewhere in the middle of that (152) to tie in with Josies Orders."

Greenwood added: "I think there are several interesting horses like Vintage Clouds and Elegant Escape, who is towards the top of the betting. He is an improving horse and was a good second to Frodon at Cheltenham last time, so you can see why he is one of the more fancied horses.

"I think it would be a knee-jerk reaction to make too much of the small amount of horses who are weighted 11st or higher. I wouldn't want to get too clever about what the reason is.

"At the entry stage, you needed to be around the mid-70s to get you into the race. I think anything based in the top 80 has a chance of getting in.

"Four of the last five years, horses approaching that number have got in so some connections shouldn't give up because they are rated towards the bottom."