Grand National News
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How will The Last Samuri's weight affect his race?
Friday 7th April 2017

The Grand National is almost upon us, and everyone is starting to look at the horses that have the best winning chance of winning the sport’s most famous, and oldest, race. One of the biggest names that many pundits and horse racing fans will be keeping an eye on is The Last Samuri.

The Last Samuri
© Racehorse Photos
The Last Samurai

The Last Samuri was trained by Kim Bailey, the trainer who won the same race back in 1990 with the course’s record holder Mr Frisk. Having placed second in last year’s Grand National, behind the winner Rule The World, The Last Samuri will be looking to prove himself the winner for this race. Able to run superbly, even when carrying the top weight which saw him a close third in the Becher Chase and finishing runner-up to Definitely Red in the Grand National trial this year at Doncaster, it is no surprise to see The Last Samuri as one of the bookies’ favourites going into the race. But one thing that people will be questioning, is how his weight will affect his race.

His Last Race

During the last race in the Grand National 2016, The Last Samuri had just 10st 8lb to run when he finished second, but this year will see the horse carrying the top weight of 11st 10lb after Carlingford Lough was pulled out. If he manages to make it home as the winner, Kim Bailey’s runner will actually be the first top weight winner since Red Rum’s phenomenal run at 12st in 1974. However, the race has changed dramatically since Red Rum’s time, and taking a look at the field of competition and the fences themselves are an indication that things might not be all that easy for The Last Samuri.


Since Red Rum’s time, the distance of the race has reduced in distance, to just four and a quarter miles. Having already practiced this run at top weight at the Becher Chase at Aintree, The Last Samuri has a good chance of getting round well. Stamina will be the most important thing for the horse this year, having been beaten at the final stretch by Rule The World at a lower weight.

This Year’s Runners

All 40 runners in the race have been confirmed with a weight of around 19lb. This compared to 1974 when Red Rum won at the top weight however, is a stark contrast. 15 of 42 runners ran with the minimum weight of 10st. This shows just how much more competitive The Grand National is, making the race more open to the outsiders, meaning The Last Samuri is in with a tough run with his heavy weight. You can get even closer to the action of the Grand National by choosing the horse you want to back with the help of the Ladbrokes Grand National Horse Generator. This will help you to pick which horse to turn to out of the 40 runners, depending on age, jockey colours and the low, medium or high return.

The Fences

Since Red Rum’s time, the famous fences have become much less unforgiving, making the race far more competitive, giving even the biggest of outsiders a strong chance. However, this may make the race easier for the horses carrying the top weights, at least easier than it was back when Red Rum succeeded. There are a number of different horses that could enter the race as favourites, but it is almost certain that The Last Samuri will be one of them.

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