Who are the Grand National runners for 2016?
The countdown is on to the Grand National 2016, which will take place on 9th April with a new start time of 5.15pm.
With over £1 million in prize money up for grabs, the Grand National remains the world's most famous race and many trainers will be eyeing up a win over the tough Aintree fences.
Many Clouds won the 2015 Grand National despite being available as a 33/1 shot before the start of the race, standing firm to hold on despite a brave late challenge from French-bred horse Saint Are.
All eyes will be on jockey Leighton Aspell, who has ridden the winner of the Grand National in each of the last two years.
So who are Grand National runners for 2016?
The field takes shape
With two months to go until the big race, the field is starting to take shape, with some favourites beginning to emerge from the large pack.
Many Clouds is likely to be among the contenders again after winning the race in 2015. The horse was led to a narrow victory by jockey Aspell, who was also on board when Many Clouds finished second in the recent BetBright Trial Chase.
Owner Trevor Hemmings has won the National three times and Many Clouds is likely to be the horse to beat in the 2016 Grand National, especially if Aspell decides to ride him again and try to win the race for a historic third year in a row.
Kruzhlinin was missing from the line-up last year but competed well in the 2014 Grand National. A switch to Philip Hobbs’ yard seems to have done the trick for this talented horse, who won at Kempton on January 9th.
Many tipsters were backing Shutthefrontdoor for glory in 2015 and the horse is likely to be back for another try at the Grand National this year. AP McCoy could only steer the starting favourite to fifth place in his last National race, but perhaps the lifting of that pressure could see Shutthefrontdoor more competitive in 2016.
2016 Grand Opening Day betting
at Aintree is also likely to be popular with those interested in the Grand National.
Other horses to consider
Saint Are was a narrow second to Many Clouds in 2015 and some pundits are tipping the horse to go one place better this year.
Trainer Tom George has been candid about his hopes for Saint Are as a National contender in 2016, with the horse likely to be raced just once more in anticipation of the historic April meeting at Aintree.
Saint Are last featured in the Betfred Becher Chase, where he made a semi-successful return to the Aintree course by finishing in seventh place.
There had been speculation George may try to get Saint Are a run at the Cheltenham Festival, but the trainer has confirmed the horse is being saved for the National as he is not judged suitable for Cheltenham's notoriously tight turns.
Triolo D'Alene is another likely National contender after winning his first race in over a year at Kempton in January, but trainer Nicky Henderson is worried about the impact of that victory on the horse's handicap.
Barry Geraghty was on board Triolo D'Alene at the 2014 National but pulled the horse up. Triolo D'Alene, now peak National age at 9, may be more ready for the race this year.
The 2013 Hennessy Gold Cup winner has suffered a raft of breathing and knee problems but was flawless in winning comfortably at Kempton recently, albeit in a very small field.
Finally, Buywise trainer Evan Williams has confirmed the impressive horse will be entered in the 2016 Grand National after fine recent runs.
A famed stayer, Buywise has finished in the first four in a series of top chases, so will be well worth keeping an eye on at Aintree this year.