Grand National 2014 Who is your choice? Tidal Bay A top-class steeplechaser and really likable but he's 13, older than any winner since 1923, and he hasn't won over fences since the end of 2012. Despite that, he's got more weight to carry than any National winner in the 40 years since Red Rum's second victory. He's a smasher but hard to fancy for this. Long Run Beat Denman and Kauto Star to win the Gold Cup but that was three years ago and he's looked regressive. He probably has the stamina for this but, even with the stuffing taken out of the fences, there is potential for his jumping to let him down here and he has a lot of weight to shoulder. Hunt Ball There are good prizes to be won with Hunt Ball but he probably doesn't have the stamina for this and, even judged on the very best of his achievements, he has a lot of weight to carry. Plus he likes fast ground, which he won't get Triolo D'Alene Looked the right sort when winning the Hennessy in November but no Hennessy winner has ever won the National, largely because they get lumbered with so much weight. Triolo has 11-6 and only one National winner in the past 37 years has carried as much. His stamina is doubtful and he had a hard race just three weeks ago when beaten in the Gold Cup. Rocky Creek Was second to Triolo D'Alene in the Hennessy and weighted to beat him this time. He looks the stouter stayer of the two. You could worry about his lack of experience - he's only had seven runs over fences and his wins over fences have come against small fields. He'll probably run well but must be vulnerable to something with less weight. Quito De La Roque Was a star novice chaser but that was three years ago and he's been regressive. There's quality in there somewhere and perhaps Aintree will spark something inside him but it really needs to. When talent has been buried for this long, it tends to stay buried. Colbert Station Was well fancied for last year's National, when his inexperience let him down and he unseated Tony McCoy at The Chair. He's not much more experienced now and fell last time out, so you could worry that jumping may be an issue again, plus his recent form has been nowhere near as good as it was last year. But he has the talent if things fall right. Walkon Took well to these fences when second in a different race last April. Has a touch of class about him but stamina is a serious concern because, whenever he's tried three miles or further, the petrol has seemed to run out. Balthazar King Has become a Cheltenham specialist and the suspicion is that he is often helped by the dry, fast going they often get there. For safety reasons, the ground is never allowed to dry out to the same extent at Aintree and that makes life hard for this frontrunner, who faded from Becher's last year and may well do something similar. Wayward Prince You might give him a squeak on the pick of his form but he has repeatedly failed by wide margins in handicaps and this would be the toughest such race that he's encountered. His stamina for this test can't be relied upon either. Mr Moonshine Was pulled up in last year's Grand National, having got tired from the second Canal Turn and the question is why he should do any better this time with an extra 10lb to carry. His two wins this year were over much shorter trips and in much smaller fields. He has yet to show the kind of stamina or toughness needed for this. Teaforthree He might be perfect for the Grand National if they had to do five miles but, as it is, he's a bit on the ploddy side, as we saw when he was left trailing on the run-in last year. That was still a good run, and he's slightly lower in the weights this time and his form remains good. Granted a bit of luck, he could be the right horse for this, though his odds are really a bit short, considering he's won nothing for two years. Across The Bay Used to win his races from the front but it's very hard to win a National that way, as he found out when fading into 14th last year. Fascinatingly, a change of tactics seemed to work for him when he was held up and then won at Haydock over Christmas. He has some quality about him, so he could be in the mix if his new conservative tactics help him to see out his marathon. Double Seven He took an age to win over fences but then put together a string of successes last summer, building to the Munster National, in which he beat a horse that then won at the Cheltenham Festival. He's still fairly treated, has some class and probably has the stamina for this, so he has a fine chance. Battle Group He's been a great horse for the spring Festivals, twice running well at Cheltenham and winning three different races at the Grand National meeting over the past three years. This is another step up and he's a stone higher in the weights than he was last year but he may well be in peak form again for his favourite time of year and he can run well. Buckers Bridge A Grade Two winner over fences, so he has some quality and he ran pretty well last time when third to On His Own, the horse that nearly won the Gold Cup. He was beaten a fair way but was giving the winner 5lb. His stamina probably won't stretch this far and he's run poorly on the two occasions when he's been tried in big fields. Lion Na Bearnai Won the Irish National at 33-1 a couple of years ago, which makes him the right sort of horse for this, though he seemed to be found out on a couple of visits to England for tough handicaps last season. His stable was under a cloud for most of that winter, which is a possible excuse. He's still high in the weights, having won a small race at Fairyhouse in February. Probably just lacks the necessary quality but he's shocked us before. Prince De Beauchene Has been strongly fancied for the past two Nationals until being ruled out days beforehand, both times by stress fractures to his hip. It looks as though he'll be able to take part this time but the question is how much ability he retains because his recent form has been moderate and he's still high in the weights. Do you really believe this horse is about to return to the level he set two years ago? Monbeg Dude Has won three high-value races of this type, handicap chases over marathon trips, and on a variety of ground. This is tougher again but he is equipped to cope in a way that few of his rivals are. He's almost certainly going to be held up, so he'll need a bit of luck with his run through horses on the second circuit but if he gets that, he should get into the argument. Big Shu It's hard to get a grip on how good this horse is because he's never taken part in a conventional steeplechase, his career has been in hunter chases and cross-country races. But his form in two handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival suggests he belongs in this company and he certainly has the stamina, having won over four miles on heavy under 12st 3lb at Punchestown last year. Burton Port The concern with him is that he missed last season with a tendon injury and hasn't looked the same horse since. But as soon as the weights were fixed for this race, he ran his most encouraging race for years. His weight has tumbled and he's very fairly treated if that last run wasn't just a flash in the pan but it's four years since he last won a race. Wears a tongue tie for the first time. Our Father Built a big reputation on limited signs of promise but has become a serial disappointment with too many obvious limitations to make him attractive for a test like this, even at a big price. He used to go well when fresh but even that didn't hold up this season, when he was a well beaten favourite in the Hennessy. His jumping let him down last time and I don't think he wants to go this far. Untempting. Mountainous He's next to unbeatable on heavy going, as when he won the Welsh National in December. He won't get that here but he will appreciate the extreme stamina test and there should be some give in the ground. But he is on a career high mark and must be vulnerable to anything with a modicum of pace. The Rainbow Hunter Supposedly unlucky last year when his jockey is said to have been knocked off at the Canal Turn, though the form book says he hit the fence and it's not clear from the video what happened. But his two best bits of form give him a real chance and he seems to have been helped by a wind operation before his last run. I'm not convinced he has the stamina but he would be dangerous if he did. Vintage Star He was a fair sixth in the Welsh National but his two wins over fences have been modest affairs and his overall form doesn't entitle him to get involved in a race as good as this. His stamina is open to question and his jumping let him down last time when he was a faller at the Cheltenham Festival. Chance Du Roy Has twice run well in shorter races over these fences and you have to like that. He won the Becher Chase here in December and there's a chance he might have the stamina for this on that evidence though I don't think he had much left at the finish. He's been well beaten twice since and I suspect we might have seen the best of him for this season. Hawkes Point Was only beaten a head in the Welsh National by Mountainous, proving his stamina. But quality is another question and there's a risk he'll be left behind if the ground isn't as saturated as it was in Wales. His only success over fences was a novice chase in which he beat three finishers and he had Ruby Walsh aboard to help him that day. Kruzhlinin Four wins from 12 is a fair strike-rate over fences but his wins have been in smallish fields at Kelso and Carlisle, giving him a lot to prove in this company. When he's been tried in better races, at the Cheltenham Festival or in the Great Yorkshire Chase, he has been found wanting. Pineau De Re A fascinating reclamation project, he lost his form for his old stable in Ireland and was sold last summer to an English trainer with a good reputation for reviving horses. Judged on this horse's two most recent starts, he's done a terrific job and it's easy to see this one running a big race, though he did fall when tried over these fences in December. Golan Way Has shown some of his old spark for a new trainer after a year off the track but even at his peak, he hasn't looked good enough for this and his stamina is questionable for a quality race at this distance. Twirling Magnet He looked useful winning a novice chase at Cheltenham in October but has been shown up a bit in a couple of good handicaps since then. He probably needs a faster surface than he's going to get but his trainer has a tremendous record with staying chasers. Vesper Bell It's probably a mistake for us all to be ignoring a horse from the stable of Willie Mullins but, even at 100-1, I struggle to find this one tempting. His only success over fences was in a beginners chase when he beat three finishers and he's been comfortably held in better quality races. His jumping has let him down twice in his past three starts, including once over these fences. The Package Hasn't won as many races as he should have done but has lots of ability and is the right kind of horse for this. I think his stamina will hold up but he will need luck in running because he will be held up to make late progress through the field. He has a chance if everything falls right. Wears cheekpieces for the first time. Raz De Maree Won the Munster National and then the Cork National in autumn 2012 and on that form he'd be interesting but he then missed a year through a supposedly minor injury and his form hasn't been the same since. There may be excuses but he would need a lifetime best to figure in the finish and that seems a lot to ask. Wears a visor for the first time. Rose Of The Moon I like his trainer, who gets horses fit, but this one looks right up against it. He's only had two runs over fences since leaving novice company and he won a small race last time but he struggled round here in the Becher in December and it's not clear that he wants this kind of stamina test. His jumping can be a problem, too. Wears cheekpieces for the first time. Shakalakaboomboom Ran a great race two years ago, when he led over the second-last but then ran out of puff. He'd done too much too soon, attacked the course with too much verve. Had he raced more conservatively, he might have won. He's 9lb lower this time but the worry is that he missed 21 months with a leg injury and has not looked the same horse since. Even if he was as good as ever, his stamina may give out like the last time. An interesting outsider for each-way purposes. Wears cheekpieces for the first time. Alvarado Won a long-distance handicap at Cheltenham in November, form that gives him half a chance. He often makes mistakes and has even refused a couple of times, which is off-putting, and he might be the kind of horse that peaks each autumn. Not wildly tempting but the trainer and the jockey are the type to win this race. Last Time D'Albain It's more than two years since his only win over fences, over a distance two miles short of this race, at a time when he was rated two stone lower than he is now. You can make some sort of case for him, because he was third in a shorter race over these fences last spring, but I don't think his stamina can hold up. One In A Milan This will be just his seventh start over fences and his only win was in a novice race early last year against two rivals. Still, he's been third in a Midlands National and fourth in a Welsh National, so he has stamina. He probably lacks the necessary quality, though, and he might get left behind if there isn't much rain in the build-up. Wears a visor for the first time. Swing Bill Has had a couple of stabs at this and not been good enough. Now he's 13 and likely to be slower than ever. Would be a most surprising winner.