Last updated on April 10th, 2023 at 05:14 PM
Last year’s winner Noble Yeats is set to be one of the 40 runners that will line up in the 2023 Grand National. The Irish horse is vying to become just the 10th horse in history to win the world’s most famous steeplechase more than once.
Trained by Emmet Mullins in Ireland, the eight-year-old has established himself as one of the best chasers in the sport over the last 12 months, with the highlight of that period being his Aintree success.
A Big Run Expected Again from the 2022 Winner
Noble Yeats is the second favourite at 19/2 in the Grand National 2023 odds. Given how well he jumped last season, and the way he powered home at the end of the gruelling 4m2½f distance, a repeat success cannot be ruled out.
The eight-year-old has had an excellent campaign on the track. He was successful in a Listed race at Wexford by just under five lengths back in October. A couple of months later, he won the Grade Two Many Clouds Chase at Aintree. That was his first triumph at that level.
Mullins’ stable star has not been able to add to his tally on his last two appearances, but he ran an excellent race in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the feature contest at the Cheltenham Festival. He stayed on strongly at the back end of the 3m2½f race to finish fourth.
Extra Weight and New Jockey This Year
If Noble Yeats is to successfully defend the Grand National, there are two factors he will need to overcome this year. The first is the weight he will need to carry.
He has the second-highest allocation in the field with 11st 11lb. Only one horse (Any Second Now) has a higher allocation with 11st 12lb.
Noble Yeats carried 10st 10lb to victory in 2022. The extra 15lb will make it a lot tougher for the defending champion this year. Only one horse has carried 11st 11lb or more to Grand National victory in the last 50 years and that was the great Red Rum in 1974.
As well as having extra weight, Noble Yeats must prevail this year without his jockey from 2022. Sam Waley-Cohen gave him an excellent ride 12 months ago but that was the last appearance of his career, as the amateur jockey retired from the saddle following his Grand National victory.
Corach Rambler Heads the Challengers
Corach Rambler’s done it again! pic.twitter.com/JZ5quU3iph— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) March 14, 2023
Only one horse sits above Noble Yeats in the Grand National betting this year and that is Corach Rambler. Lucinda Russell’s runner is at the bottom end of the weights for the contest, and many racing pundits believe he will run a big race at Aintree.
The Scottish-based horse prevailed on his last outing, as he won the Ultima Handicap Chase, one of the races at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. The nine-year-old chaser has shown he has the stamina for the Grand National, so he leads the challenge against Noble Yeats.
This year’s steeplechase will be the 175th in the history of the race. A sell-out crowd is expected to descend on Aintree Racecourse to see it unfold.