5 dark horses in the 2016 Grand National

By Captain Thomsen on 01 Apr 2016

McKinnley at the Grand National

The Grand National has a habit of producing surprise winners. In hindsight the horse's potential for victory in the world's toughest stayer's race always seems crystal clear. However, it's not quite as easy picking out the rough diamonds from the Grand National field to identify a potential winner.

Here's our pick of five dark horses who could cause an upset at the 2016 Grand National.

Wonderful Charm

After a couple of good results in standard chases Wonderful Charm's spent four seasons competing in handicaps, with the odd unsuccessful tilt at a high profile chase thrown into the mix. While he's managed to win or place in 10 of his 14 career chases, he's never won over a distance greater than 21 furlongs. That said he did manage a second place over 26 furlongs last time out, and will be travelling considerably lighter at Aintree. With this kind of profile and youth on his side he can't be ruled out as a prospect for an upset.


Ballynagour's most significant achievement over fences was his victory in the Byrne Group Plate at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival. Since then he's been routinely switched between hurdles and fences, and his last win was achieved over hurdles in May of 2015. In the 2015 Betfred Bowl he pushed Silviniaco Conti very close while carrying 11-7, which suggests that the 11-2 he'll have onboard in the Grand National is likely to see him in contention over the final mile of the race.

On His Own

On His Own's record shows some promising signs. In his six wins over distances of 24 furlongs or more he achieved those victories by six lengths or more on all but one occasion. His most recent win, in a handicap chase at Cork, saw him finish 15 lengths clear of the field. Don't read too much into his recent finish at the back of the field in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He'll be travelling 9lbs lighter on Grand National day and competing against a less impressive field. On His Own should be in the mix in the final furlongs and could challenge for the win.

Rocky Creek

Rocky Creek is something of a Grand National veteran, and will be competing in the race for the third time in 2016. His best performance in the race was a 5th place in 2013 while carrying 11-5, so the lighter handicap he'll carry this year could see him enter contention. He finished second behind Gold Cup winner, Don Cossack, in a race at Down Royal earlier this season, so he's still a top quality horse on his day. Unlikely to be awed by the occasion he's well poised to make a challenge for the title.

The Druid's Nephew

While wins have been a rarity for The Druid’s Nephew in his chase career, the ones he has achieved stand him in good stead for the Grand National. In 2015 he ran out a winner in the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase over 25 furlongs at the Cheltenham Festival. A month later he fell in the Grand National, but has since built himself towards some form, finishing second in a handicap chase at Doncaster last time out. One of the few established stayers in the field, we can expect him to be in the mix over the final furlong if he jumps well. A decent each-way option at his price.

And our pick of the 2016 Grand National dark horses is…

It's always a good idea to hedge your bets for the 2016 Grand National, and what better way to do so than with an overpriced outsider with genuine potential to score a major upset.

Of the dark horses we've identified in the 2016 Grand National field, On His Own stands out. Good enough to be declared for the Cheltenham Gold Cup this season, he's repeatedly proven himself capable of turning up the heat over the final furlongs of stayers races.

Visit Betfred to bet this tip now

2016 Grand National Odds

Many Clouds - - - -
Vics Canvas - - - -
Gallant Oscar - - - -
Onenightinvienna - - - -
The Last Samuri - - - -
Kruzhlinin - - - -
Rule The World - - - -
Just A Par - - - -
Katenko - - - -
Black Thunder - - - -
Unioniste - - - -
Ballycasey - - - -
Hadrian's Approach - - - -
Vieux Lion Rouge - - - -
Pendra - - - -
Saint Are - - - -
Home Farm - - - -
The Romford Pele - - - -
Le Reve - - - -
Ucello Conti - - - -
Silviniaco Conti - - - -
Rocky Creek - - - -
First Lieutenant - - - -
Wonderful Charm - - - -
Ballynagour - - - -
Gilgamboa - - - -
On His Own - - - -
The Druids Nephew - - - -
Triolo D'alene - - - -
Sir Des Champs - - - -
Goonyella - - - -
Holywell - - - -
Shutthefrontdoor - - - -
Soll - - - -
Buywise - - - -
Boston Bob - - - -
Aachen - - - -
Morning Assembly - - - -
Double Ross - - - -
O'faolains Boy (IRE) scratched
Indicated odds were updated on 0 UTC. Please note that odds are subject to change.