The nation’s favourite horse racing showpiece takes place at Aintree on Saturday (BBC1, 5:15pm) and the relative merits of each horse plus a predicted finishing order is analysed below.

Most bookmakers are paying 1/5th odds but 6 places for each way betting (Bet365 are paying ¼ odds the first 5 but will return the each way part of the stake, so for example a 5 each way bet will result in £5 being returned to your account if the horse fails to reach the frame).

Anibale Fly (Best Price 14/1): Finished second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and as a result its price has been chopped severely. Should not be a million miles away but other rivals represent better value.

Valtor (66/1 - 888Sport): Pulled up at Cheltenham in its most recent run where an injury might have surfaced (hung markedly). Stamina is also a query and all in all, too many question marks.

Tiger Roll (9/2): Bidding to become the first horse since Red Rum to win two consecutive Grand Nationals and this fact has probably contributed to a criminally short price. The odds are beginning to lengthen a little at the time of writing but although he has probably improved from last year a 9lb rise has to be overcome and there are some potential dark horses in opposition. Unless the price drifts to around 6/1 or higher the prudent approach is to take a chance with an opponent at a much bigger price.

Outlander (100/1): Tiger Roll trainer Gordon Elliott was happy to sell him on Thursday and we can back that judgement that he will not be threatening the principals.

Don Poli (100/1): Also sold by Gordon Elliott on Thursday and like Outlander, has little conceivable chance.

Go Conquer (50/1 - Hills): Has shown improved form culminating in a win at Doncaster over 3 miles last time out. The Grand National will obviously be a much more searching test but he is not dismissed entirely.

Mala Beach (80/1 - Hills/Bet365): Beaten easily by Jury Duty last time out and other form does not suggest 156 is a favourable mark. Easy to overlook.

Minella Rocco (40/1): Second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup two years ago but has run well only once in seven starts since. Too risky a betting proposition.

Lake View Lad (14/1): Recent form has been very encouraging but has never gone beyond 3 miles 2 before so backers are having to trust he lasts the distance. Should he do he will almost certainly be in the mix but at 14/1 there are better value alternatives.

Pleasant Company (20/1): Pipped by Tiger Roll in the race last year and has gone up 7 lbs as a result. Two modest runs have occurred since but should he return to last year’s form he would have a fair chance. 20/1 is an accurate reflection of his probability of winning.

Ballyoptic (40/1): Lost out to Joe Farrell in last year’s Scottish Grand National by the narrowest of margins but while that rival has improved he has flatlined. Not a complete no-hoper but others higher up the pecking order.

Dounikos (40/1 - Hills/Betvictor): Had run well in only one of six starts before displaying marked improvement at Punchestown over 3 miles 4 last time out. Jockey bookings suggest he is second only to Tiger Roll in trainer Gordon Elliott’s predicted order and he is one to keep an eye on at 40/1.

Rathvinden (10/1): Running consistently as of late and winning the 4 mile National Hunt Challenge Cup at Cheltenham last year suggests he has the stamina. Fell at Leopardstown last year so jumping is not assured but he ought to run his race. However, 10/1 is probably too short.

One For Arthur (25/1): Won the Grand National two years ago and is six pounds higher than that success. However, has only run twice since, falling on both occasions. Can be taken on at 25/1.

Rock the Kasbah (20/1 - Unibet): Capable on his day but the step up to 4 miles 2 is a concern. The Shareef don’t like it and at the prices, neither does the tipster.

Warriors Tale (80/1 - Bet365): Pulled up in the race last year and this trip does seem to be too long for him.

Regal Encore (66/1): Finished eighth in the race two years ago and is probably a marginally better horse than then. Needs others to underperform but may scrape into the top six if luck is on his side.

Magic of Light (100/1 - Bet365): Fell in the Fairyhouse chase won by Rathvinden when sent off favourite and behind a couple of these when seventh at Cheltenham last time out. A 14 length win at Newbury proves she has ability and although a speculative wager, she is one of the better massive priced selections.

A Toi Phil (80/1 - Hills): Unraced beyond 3 miles (and even that distance was over hurdles) and has not looked ahead of his allocated mark anyway. This is an example where 80/1 is too short a price.

Jury Duty (20/1 - Betfred): Comfortably beat Mala Beach last time out and has run consistently well this year and last apart from falling over 4 miles at Cheltenham in the race won by Rathvinden. Each-way contender if he stays the trip.

Noble Endeavor (50/1): Has not shown enough over either these fences nor at 3 miles 5+ to suggest he will be a factor.

Monbeg Notorious (66/1): Has been heavily beaten over both runs at 3 miles 4 this season and is difficult to make a case for.

Ramses De Teillee (25/1): Ran with promise over his latest two starts including finishing second in the Welsh Grand National. The feeling is that the race might come too soon in his development (he is a seven year old) but he is one to keep an eye on.

Just a Par (125/1 - Bet365): Has had just the one run since April 2017 where Walkinthemill trounced him by 35 lengths in December. Dunfermline have more chance of winning the Championship than this beast has of being first past the post.

Tea for Two (66/1): Fell (when on the retreat) in the Cross Country race won easily by Tiger Roll at Cheltenham last month and not easy to fancy.

Step Back (25/1): Thrashed Rock the Kasbah by 13 lengths at Sandown 11 months ago but his two runs this year (albeit on good ground) have been underwhelming and he does not tick enough boxes at the prices.

Ultragold (66/1): Pulled up at the Cross Country Chase won easily by Tiger Roll but did run well over the National fences in December. Mixed messages but an outside place chance.

Blow by Blow (150/1 - Bet365): Gordon Elliott has thrown the lot at this race including no-hopers like this animal. Wind surgery last month will have had to perform miracles.

Up for Review (40/1): Faded in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham finishing behind a number of these opponents. Stamina must surely be open to question.

Singlefarmpayment (66/1): Another to be well beaten in the Ultima Handicap Chase and appears to be suited to livelier ground than he will encounter on Saturday. Opposable.

Vieux Lion Rouge (50/1 - Skybet/Hills): Sixth, seventh and ninth in his three previous Grand National attempts showing a lack of stamina in the closing stages each time. More of the same beckons this time around.

Valseur Lido (66/1): Finished a fading eighth in the race last year and has not shown enough this campaign to indicate he will improve on that showing.

Vintage Clouds (14/1): After wind surgery ran very well to finish two lengths ahead of Lake View Lad in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. Races off the same mark and his third at last year’s Scottish National provides evidence that he should stay the distance. Made an awful blunder ending his hopes at the Welsh National so the jumping has to stand up to the test and the price on offer is probably a fair one.

General Principle (40/1): Won over 3 miles 5 at the Irish National this time last year and a decent third behind Dounikos at Punchestown in February. However, did pull up last time out so that needs forgiving. Has some sort of chance without his claims being overly compelling.

Livelovelaugh (80/1 - Bet365): First venture over three miles resulted in an underwhelming midfield finish at Cheltenham’s Kim Muir this year. Extremely difficult to entertain as a contender.

Walk In The Mill (28/1 - Bet365): Won over these fences at 3 miles 2 in December and has since run solidly in two prep hurdle races with this race in mind. A very solid contender at a decent price.

Folsom Blue (66/1 - Bet365/Hills): Finished fourth in the Irish National last year but two undistinguished performances in the Welsh and Midlands Nationals since then do not mark him down as a serious candidate for this race, particularly as a 12 year old.

Captain Redbeard (66/1 - Bet365/Hills): Fell in the Grand National last year and despite performing well elsewhere has continually struggled over these fences. Not easy to make a case for.

Bless the Wings (150/1 - Bet365): Third in the race last year but has mainly unsuccessfully contested cross-country races this season. At 14 years old all the evidence points to him being on the wane and running close to last year’s position appears a tough ask.

Joe Farrell (20/1): Won the Scottish National off a mark of 135 last year and ran even better when runner up at Newbury over 3 miles 2 on his latest start. Solid contender.

Summary: Many eyes will be on whether Tiger Roll can emulate Red Rum and win the race for the second year in succession. The Gordon Elliott trained horse is certainly not without a chance but at the likely odds, there is value in taking him on. One of his stablemates, Dounikos is a decent alternative, as is Joe Farrell and at three-figures, Magic of Light can outrun those odds and hit the frame. Marginal preference is for Walk In The Mill who has proved he can jump and should stay well.

Prediction: 1st: Walk In The Mill; 2nd Dounikos; 3rd Tiger Roll; 4th Joe Farrell; 5th Magic of Light.