Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Johnny Ward

Grand National 2023 tips today: Rachael Blackmore to become queen of Aintree again with Ain’t That A Shame

There is still no race to rival the Randox Grand National at Aintree— and Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore can today win it for the second time in three years, this time with Ain’t That A Shame.

In a global sense, the £561,000 purse for first prize is not especially noteworthy — the richest event in world racing is the Saudi Cup, a £16.6m sprint over the Riyadh dirt with £8.3m available for the winner — but nothing compares to a handicap chase over unique fences and four and a half miles.

With 13 of the first 14 in the betting trained in Ireland, it illustrates the seismic movement of good horses across the Irish Sea in recent years — not that the British are without a chance of keeping the National at home.


Blackmore created history aboard Minella Times two years ago when she became the first female jockey to win the Aintree showpiece and she rides Ain’t That A Shame for De Bromhead, with the nine-year-old available at 20-1. Stamina is the main concern, however.

De Bromhead says he is “hopeful” his charge will get the distance. He tends to be ridden prominently in his races, and it will be fascinating to see if Blackmore rides him as if he is likely to get home. He should get into a nice jumping rhythm regardless.

Big-race tips

1 Ain’t That A Shame

2 Mr Incredible

3 Noble Yeats

4 Corach Rambler

5 Longhouse Poet

A great deal was made of the inexperience of the novice Noble Yeats before he won the race 12 months ago but Ain’t That A Shame is lesser raced. The Emmet Mullins runner had appeared 11 times on the track going into the extravaganza. Ain’t That A Shame has only seen the track 10 times.

The De Bromhead runner’s form stacks up really well. He battered Macs Charm at Gowran last time and that runner made his handicap debut on Monday at Punchestown, winning quite easily. At Leopardstown at Christmas, he was backed into favourite in a big handicap and arguably travelled best of all, finishing just behind Panda Boy, who ran a blinder in the Irish National.

The Irish probably have Corach Rambler to worry about. His success in the Ultima at last month’s Cheltenham Festival for the second year running means he is officially 10lb ‘well-in’ tomorrow.

Derek Fox rode the horse with remarkable patience. That might be easier in a big-field handicap at Cheltenham than at Aintree but the horse has a powerful finish and it will be captivating to see how Fox plots his route.

Queen of Aintree: Rachael Blackmore has a great chance of winning the Grand National again (REUTERS)

A bigger threat to the selection might be the Willie Mullins-trained Mister Incredible, who has his own ideas over how to race but has now put two really solid efforts back to back. He is owned by Paul Byrne, who sold Noble Yeats prior to his National triumph.

Byrne has developed an obsession with finding horses for the National. Mr Incredible was a rather left-field option — he refused and then pulled up on his last two starts for De Bromhead — but has taken well to life at Mullins’s barn.

Could Noble Yeats do it off a 19lb higher mark 12 months later? Sam Waley-Cohen has since retired, so Sean Bowen will be on board a horse who ran a fine race in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Longhouse Poet represents a stable that knows all about winning the big race, with Martin Brassil having trained 2006 victor Numbersixvalverde. He did seem to lack stamina badly in last year’s race, however. Expect his jockey

JJ Slevin, among the winners yesterday at Aintree, to take his time. Blackmore will do just that, too. Or could Davy Russell ride Galvin to glory and retire on the spot? It is a race not to be missed.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.