Grand National 2024 tips: How to the pick the winner and the best bet

Derek Fox on Corach Rambler clears the Chair fence to win the Grand National horse race at Aintree Racecourse Liverpool, England, Saturday, April 15, 2023
Corach Rambler (centre) won last year's Grand National, benefitting from a huge improvement in form after the weights were announced - AP Photo/Jon Super

The 2024 Grand National is tomorrow and for many that means it is time to start the process of finding the winner.

The winning horse will obviously have to stay but it can be no coincidence that two novice chasers, therefore potentially unexposed to the handicapper, have won recently. Rule The World (2016) had never won a chase while Noble Yeats (2022) had been campaigned, for the most part, over distances we now know were way too short for him.

Last year’s winner Corach Rambler entered the race incredibly well handicapped at 10st 5lbs and cruised to victory in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival, meaning his rating had jumped by another 10lb by the time the tapes went up at Aintree.

This year, he is in a similar position following a third-placed finish in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

In truth, picking a Grand National winner does require as much good fortune as it does good research but even with that in mind, Telegraph Sport will do its utmost to find you a winner.

For the full list of runners in this year’s Grand National, read our horse-by-horse guide. And if you’re running a competition between friends or colleagues, download our sweepstake kit for the 2024 edition.

Marcus Armytage’s tip

Corach Rambler’s odds halved after his Gold Cup third but 9/2 is skinny for any horse, even one which is officially well 3lbs in so, at this stage, and unless it becomes more of a thing with the modern National, two time winners have tended to be once a generation.

He has an each-way chance but I would not be looking any further than I Am Maxmius. He is set to carry the same weight and, after giving Vanillier 12lbs and a 14-length beating in the Bobbyjo Chase in his warm up for this, he looks 6lbs well in on his new official Irish rating.

He was an Irish National winner on only his fifth start over fences and although Paul Townend had to get after him early on, it only looked like he was warming up from two out at Fairyhouse so the trip does not look a problem. Before winning the Bobbyjo this season he has been finishing within hailing distance of Galopin Des Champs.

I am afraid there is not much fairytale attached – often a prerequisite for a National winner – as both Willie Mullins and JP McManus, who bought him last spring, have won the race although it would be a first for whoever rides him. My head is ruling my heart though and I am sure he will start shorter on the day.

Telegraph Sport’s tips

I Am Maximus at 25/1 (now 12/1); Corach Rambler at 6/1 (now 9/2)

Celebrity tips

Bob Champion: I Am Maximus – He stays, he jumps and he’ll love the ground’

Sir Anthony McCoy: I Am Maximus – Maybe I’ve been watching too much Gladiator but he’s won an Irish National and will love the ground.

Damien West, actor: Galia Des Liteaux – She might be a bit slow but she will keep going all day in the mud.

What are the weights for the Grand National and what do they mean?

The Grand National is a handicap, meaning horses will carry different weights depending on their ability. The top-rated runner in the race will carry a weight of 11st 12lb, with the lowest-rated carrying 10st 2lb.

Unlike normal handicaps which are completely tied to official ratings, the Grand National is assessed as a standalone contest by the BHA handicappers. They have the job of merging the ratings of British and Irish challengers into one field. Official ratings carry huge weight in these deliberations but factors such as course form and previous Grand National performance also come into this assessment.

The weights for this year’s race were announced on February 20 and will be fixed until the race is run. This means rises or falls in a horse’s official rating have no impact upon the weight they carry in the Grand National – something that Corach Rambler took advantage of in last year’s race.

Stay ahead of the curve with our carefully sourced Grand National betting offers for 2024, find them all here along with Grand National tips and odds to help you through the week

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.