this year’s grand national

Who are the dark horses ahead of this year’s grand national?

The Grand National is one of the most famous horse races in the world, and it is held every year at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England. The first run in 1839 was a long and challenging race, covering more than 4 miles, and involving 30 fences over two laps. It’s not just the distance and the jumps that make this race special; it’s also the richest jump race in Europe, with a prize fund of £1 million.

The Grand National is the main event of the three-day festival at Aintree, which runs from Thursday, April 11, to Saturday, April 13. The big race is on Saturday afternoon. To make the race safer for horses and riders, the number of horses running in 2024 has been lowered from 40 to 34.

Every year, as the race approaches, attention turns to the lineup of horses, especially those not in the limelight— the dark horses. These are the underdogs, the competitors who might not be the top picks in the betting odds but still have a chance to take everyone by surprise and win.

Velvet Elvis, Mr. Incredible, Enjoy Dallen, and Delta Work: The Quartet of Potential Surprises

Among the potential dark horses this year, Velvet Elvis, Mr. Incredible, Enjoy Dallen, and Delta Work stand out as contenders that could outrun their current odds. Each of these horses possesses unique qualities, whether it be previous course form, improvement potential, or a favourable handicap mark, making them candidates worth considering for those looking to bet on an underdog with a strong chance of securing a place or even clinching victory​.

A Closer Look at the Dark Horse Contenders

With the Grand National on the horizon, the buzz around potential dark horses is palpable, not least due to the odds released by online sportsbooks. These platforms have shared their predictions and launched an array of Grand National betting offers, enabling fans and bettors to gauge the underdogs who might defy expectations.

Roi Mage

A previous Grand National participant, Roi Mage, showed promise by finishing seventh in last year’s race. With a respectable record and slightly lighter weight compared to the previous year, Roi Mage enters this race with experience and potential that could see him improve on past performances​.

Desertmore House

The nine-year-old gelding has an intriguing background, having competed against some notable names, and secured commendable finishes. Desertmore House’s performance in recent races suggests a readiness to take on the Grand National’s challenge, making him a dark horse with a genuine shot at upsetting the odds​​.

Coko Beach

With two Grand Nationals under his belt, Coko Beach has experienced the highs and lows of this event.

Despite an unfortunate outing in last year’s race, the preparation and strategy from a successful trainer like Gordon Elliott could position Coko Beach for a significant improvement this time around​.

Limerick Lace

Fresh off a victory at the Cheltenham Festival, Limerick Lace carries momentum and form into the Grand National. Her recent win, showcasing determination and staying abilities, align with the qualities needed to excel in the demanding environment of Aintree​.


Despite a mixed season, Galvin’s lower handicap mark compared to the previous Grand National attempt makes him a contender to watch.

The gelding’s performance in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan highlights his potential on better ground, suggesting that Galvin could be a threat if conditions favor him​.

Final Thoughts

The 2024 Grand National is set to be another chapter in the storied history of this illustrious race. With a mix of favourites and dark horses ready to take on the challenge, the event promises to be a spectacle of skill, determination, and, perhaps, surprise. Whether it’s the seasoned contenders or the underestimated underdogs, the Grand National continues to showcase the best that horse racing offers.

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