How is the final list of Grand National runners decided?
Grand National 2024 runners likely to form the field are listed above with the final line up being confirmed in April 2024.
The entries into the race are all allotted running weights during February each year. Then on the Thursday of the Grand National, at 10am, the top 40 runners in the weights which haven't been withdrawn are confirmed.
In previous years a reserve system has been in place in case of any non-runners in the run up to the race. However, from 2023 the reserve system will be scrapped and if their are non-runners after the declaration time the race will go ahead minus those non-runners.
Grand National Guide will of course keep you updated at every step, we will have the runners updated here as soon as possible after each stage. So the final list of grand national runners is decided based on
- Entries (Close end of January)
- Weights (Revealed mid February)
- Declarations (End of Feb, mid March & Grand National week)
- Non runners
- Final Confirmation (Friday 12th April 1pm)
Grand National Entries
Each year there are normally several hundred grand national entries which are whittled down to the final 40 runners on race day. A horse will be able to be entered in the grand national if it meets the minimum entry criteria.
The race is open to horses aged 7 and older with a handicap of 120 or higher. All entries must also have finished in the first four in a chase of 3 miles or longer. Here are the stats from this year's entries:
- 85 Initial Entries in January 2023 (twenty-two less than 2022)
- 54 Irish Entries (up by one from 2022)
- 21 Entries trained by Gordon Elliott (two more than last year)
- 8 Entries trained by Willie Mullins (same as last year)
- 1 Previous Winner Entered - Minella Times (has since been retired due to injury)
Grand National Weights
During February each year these entries are then allotted running weights for the Grand National. These are based on ratings which the official handicapper gives each of the horses entered.
Each horse already has an official rating for use in handicaps but the official handicapper will adjust this where they think necessary to produce a rating just for the Grand National.
Typically the handicapper will reduce the rating of the very top runners to compress the handicap, that really means narrow the weight differences between the runners.
Because the Grand National is run over such a long distance, longer than other races during the season, each pound of weight theoretically has more impact. This is part the reason why the horses at the top of the handicap often run off ratings lower than their normal weights.
Also this is an opportunity for the handicapper to have a specific opinion on each of the runners to try to make the race a true handicap - the theory being that each horse should carry the same chance once the weight is taken into account.
Grand National Declarations
The initial entry date is at the end of January and then there are further stages through to the race day when runners need to be confirmed at declaration stages which are sometimes called forfeit stages. At each stage a runners connections may need to pay a further entry fee to confirm their runner.
Once the final Grand National declarations have been made we will have the confirmed runners and riders listed here. Use this list of Grand National horses to pick your bet for the 2024 Grand National.
Grand National Non Runners
The last declaration stage takes place at 10am on the Thursday before the race at which point the top 40 runners in the weights are left in. Reserves are no longer used.
If horses withdraw and become non runners after this point then the field will start with less than 40 runners. We will be updating this list of grand national horses regularly in the run up to the race so that we keep on top of the likely runners during the year and then from the Friday before the race we will confirm the final list of runners.
Horses become non runners for a number of reasons. Some horses prefer certain ground conditions and if these aren't in place the horse's connections may decide not to run their horse.
Horses may have injuries or illnesses of course or connections may not have been able to get them to the required fitness in time. Some horses are entered in a number of races and the choice of where they will run is made at a later date.
The Irish Grand National for example is run during early April too and horses cannot run in both races as they are too close together.
Confirmed Grand National Runners
The maximum grand national field is 40 runners and riders and the full number of horses are likely to start the 2024 Grand National unless there are any late withdrawals.
- Most Grand National Runners - 66 in 1929
- Least Grand National Runners - 10 in 1883
- Number of Runners Since 2000 - Between 38 and 40 each year
- Fastest Winning Runner - Mr Frisk (1990) 8m 47.8s
- Slowest Winning Runner - Lottery (1839) 14m 53s
More information about The Grand National Horses
We have included the runners name, number (from 11th April), age, weight, along with a brief description of the horses chances. By each of the grand national horses you will also see a star rating, their latest odds and the bookmaker to place your bet with. Click the link See Offer to open your account with an online bookmaker and place your grand national bet. No need to join the long queue at the betting shop these days, your grand national horses can be backed quickly and easily with a reputable online bookmaker by clicking on the links on this page.
There are various way to make your selection for the Grand National 2024 and we have tried to help you with your Grand National bets by providing content that can assist you if you are not sure which horse you want to bet on. We have provided a variety of different content to allow you to make your selection based on form and Grand National trends or if you want to follow our experts then we have four selections for you to choose from on our Grand National Tips page.
Grand National Runners and Riders - Further Analysis
For the Grand National 2024 we have undertaken detailed analysis to look at the records of Grand National Trainers and Grand National Jockeys. Our Grand National statistical research will help you if you want to select your Grand National bet by using the trainers and jockeys that have excellent previous records in the race and have supplied Grand National winners or placed horses.
Alternatively, you might want to focus on the most successful Grand National jockeys such as Davy Russell or Daryl Jacob who both have good records in the Grand National. See these pages for more information
Help Choosing a Grand National Runner from the List
As well as picking your Grand National Horse from this list of runners, with brief information, we have a number of other fun ways you can select your Grand National bets. Some like to look down our list of runners and choose based on this information alone. Others take a lucky dip to pick a horse completely at random. You can select your Grand National runner by picking your horse by the colours that the jockey will wear in the Grand National 2023 or the area of the country they are trained in or even the star sign the horse was born under! Head over to our Lucky Dip/Pinstickers section of the site to select your runner by
- Lucky Dip
- Star Sign
- Where they live
If you want to use a bit more skill in determining your grand national horses, then we have some really detailed tools that go into in depth analysis. Our Winner Predictor tool has an excellent record of picking the winner. It uses an algorithm that analyses many form factors and characteristics of each of the runners to produce a rating for each national horse. Check this out if you want to narrow down the field of runners to a smaller more manageable list to choose from. Our form tool does a similar thing but this is based on the criteria you think are important. Start with 40 runners and then enter factors which you look for such as if the runner has won over a certain distance or has a certain jumping record. As you enter your criteria, your list of grand national runners starts to decrease. Check out these useful grand national runner analysis tools
If you would rather follow advice for the race then check out 2024 Grand National tips page or see all todays racing tips on our recommended site OLBG who have some excellent horse racing tips.
Female Grand National Runners & Riders
Many people like to place a bet on a female Jockey or a female horse (Mare).
Snow Leopardess, Agusta Gold and Mount Ida were the three mares who ran in the Grand National two years ago. No mares ran in the Grand National last year
Lady jockeys with possible grand national runners this year are:
- Rachel Blackmore (became the first lady jockey to win the Grand National three years ago)
- Bryony Frost
Keep checking back and we will confirm the Mares and the Female jockeys making the final lineup for the 2024 Grand National. In the meantime here are some interesting stats and facts about female grand national runners;
- Winning Grand National Mares - 13
- Last winning Grand National Mare - Nickle Coin (1951)
- Last placed Grand National Mare - Magic of Light (2019)
- Best Lady Jockey Position - Rachael Blackmore WON in 2021
- Lady Jockey & Trainer - Venetia Williams rode in 1988 and trained the winner in 2009
Venetia Williams fell from 200/1 chance Marcolo as a jockey and went on to win as a trainer with 100/1 shot Mon Mome in 2009 and is the only lady to ride and train a grand national runner.