The weights for the 2013 Grand National have been released today with the Paul Nicholls trained Tidal Bay heading the weights with 11-10 but off a favourable handicap mark off 162 as opposed to his official BHA mark of 171 which has not sat well with Ted Walsh trainer of last years 3rd placed horse Seabass who despite being rated 154 on official ratings will only be receiving 8 pounds from Tidal Bay after been given 11-2 to carry where he would expect to receive 17 pounds from the top weight in any other handicap. Paul Nicholls also has three other entries with What A Friend 11-5, Join Together 10-12 and Harry The Viking 10-2 bidding to give the champion trainer his second win in the race after Neptune Collonges memorable last gasp win last year while Ted Walsh who trained Papillon to win in 200 could also be represented by Colbert Station who has been given 10-11 to carry
Prince De Beauchene 11-3 and On His Own 10-10 both among the favourites in the ante post markets for the race head a very strong team entered by Ireland's leading trainer Willlie Mullins who also has grade 1 winning chaser Quel Esprit 11-3, Lambro 10-6, Call The Police 11-1 and Shakervilz 9-7 entered in the Aintree spectacular.
2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander has been allocated 11-6 but the Cheltenham Gold Cup is his main objective and he is by no means a certain runner but if allowed to take his chance he looks very well treated on his best form while former Grand National winner Ballabriggs has been given 11-0 the same weight he carried to success in 2011 and should give another good account of himself.
Teaforfree trained in Wales by Rebecca Curtis and winner of the 2012 4m NH Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and runner up under a big weight in the Welsh National last month has been given 10-13 while former Scottish Grand National winner Beshabar who has not seen on the track since suffering a injury in the 2011 Hennessy Gold Cup has been given 10-5 and would appear thrown in on the pick of his form but it would be a remarkable training feat by Tim Vaughan who intends to send his horse straight to the National without the aid of a prep run.
After studying the weights my idea of the winner at this stage is Tidal Bay and a reproduction of the form that saw him win the grade 1 Lexus Chase from the likes of Sir Des Champs and Flemenstar and finish 2nd off top weight giving 6 pounds to Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Bobs Worth in the Hennessy Gold Cup would surely be enough to see him become the first horse to successfully carry top weight to Grand National victory since the great Red Rum.