The Willie Mullins Grand National runners for 2023 are topped by the recent Cheltenham Festival winner Gaillard Du Mesnil as the leading Irish handler looks for his second win in the big Aintree race.
Grand National Free Bets to Back Willie Mullins Runners With
Willie Mullins Has Won the Grand National Just Once Before
The champion Irish trainer Willie Mullins had another decent Cheltenham Festival with six winners, that included the Gold Cup with Galopin Des Champs. However, the County Carlow trainer has only landed the Grand National once before and that came 18 years ago with Hedgehunter (2005).
Therefore, Mullins will be keen to end this long spell without a success in the world’s greatest steeplechase, with the other big Irish yard of Gordon Elliott racing ahead with three wins in the race.
Willie Mullins Grand National Runners For 2023: Gaillard Du Mesnil Has Been Well-Supported
At this stage, Willie Mullins has five possible 2023 Grand National runners, but the final field of 40 will be announced on Thursday 13th April, when we’ll find out which of his entries are definite Aintree starters.
GAILLARD DU MESNIL @ 11/1
Not the quickest horse, but that certainly doesn’t matter in the National. What he lacks in pace, he makes up for in stamina – backed up again last time out when staying on to win the NH Chase at the Cheltenham Festival (watch below). Is yet to finish out of the top 3 from this nice career chase starts (2 wins) and looks sure to be suited by this gruelling test.
Is also a grey horse, so will be looking to become only the fourth grey to win the National. He was also a fine third in the Irish National last year – a race that is often a good guide for this.
While those looking to go against Gaillard Du Mesnil may highlight his age (7) as a negative. We’ve only had 1 National winner aged 7 since 1940 – but that was 12 months ago. The other minus is that Cheltenham winners don’t have a great record in the race. Only 3 horses that won at the Festival that same season since 1961 have won the National in the same season.
MR INCREDIBLE @ 12/1
Disney Pixar film fans will be frothing at the mouth with the name of this horse. While many feel he’s got an ‘incredible’ chance of giving Mullins his second National winner. Stayed on well to take third in the Kim Muir Chase at Cheltenham last time and if he’d not fluffed the last may have won. Prior to that Mr Incredible was second in the Classic Chase at Warwick over 3m 5f – staying on again – so this 4m 2 1/2f trip looks to be right up his street. Has just 10st 4lbs in weight too and got into the race proper this week. Any rain would help too, but those against him will again (like Gaillard Du Mesnil) look to his age (7) as being a negative.
CAPODANNO @ 16/1
Yet another 7 year-old in the race for Mullins, so he’s got a trio of fancied runners looking to defy that age stat. Useful chaser though that was third in the Red Mills Chase last time out and was a G1 Novice Chase winner at Punchestown last April. Still only had 6 career runs over fences so that lack of experience isn’t ideal for the National. Stamina also has to be taken on trust, with 3m 1/2f the furthest he’s gone to date. That said, if this JP McManus owned runner is able to stay the trip he looks a chaser with more to come but will his lack of experience be his downfall.
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CAREFULLY SELECTED @ 50/1
No spring chicken at 11, but the National has thrown up three winners of this age since 2012. Won the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in January, but the handicapper raised him 9lb for that win. Is also very lightly-raced for his age – just 7 runs over fences – and knows how to win having landed four of those. Debut run in the race and has a fair weight at 11st 1lbs, so not without a squeak.
RECITE A PRAYER @ 66/1
Sneaked into the race recently as number 39 and should relish the longer trip. Third in the Cork National back in November to his stablemate Captain Kangaroo over 3m4f. Has also finished in the top two in 50% of his 12 chase runs and with only 10st 1lbs has a featherweight to carry. The negative is his last two runs have been poor, including when well down the field in the Becher Chase over these fences in December.
Note: Odds are subject to change.
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