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Published: 12:10 | 16/2/16

Clouds tops National weights

Many Clouds heads the weights for this year's Crabbie's Grand National as he bids to become the first back-to-back winner of the Aintree marathon since Red Rum in 1974.

Oliver Sherwood's charge carried 11st 9lb to victory under Leighton Aspell in 2015 and he has been handed another pound for this year's renewal, heading the weights at 11st 10lb

Five of the first six horses home in 2015 are among the 126 entries with runner-up Saint Are ( 10st 5lb), fourth Alvarado (10st 2lb), fifth Shutthefrontdoor (10st 11lb) and sixth Royale Knight (10st 1lb) among those who could take their chance this time. However, Saint Arc and Alvarado are not guaranteed a place in this year's field.

2014 winner Pineau De Re has been handed 10st 2lb, the same weight that Betfred Becher Chase scorer Highland Lodge will have to carry, while 2013 Crabbie’s Topham Chase winner Triolo D’Alene will shoulder 11st.

There are 38-Irish-trained horses entered, including RSA Chase hero Don Poli (11st 9lb), Carlingford Lough (11st 7lb), First Lieutenant (11st 4lb), Gilgamboa (11st 1lb), Sir Des Champs (10st 13lb), Double Seven (10st 1lb) and Lord Windermere (11st 1lb), one of two past winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The other is 2011 Cheltenham hero Long Run (10st 8lb).

Paul Nicholls' nine entries are headed by six-time Grade One victor Silviniaco Conti (11st 8lb).

Commenting on the weights for the April 9 feature, Andrew Tulloch, Jockey Club Racecourses’ Regional Head of Racing for the North West and Clerk of the Course at Aintree, said: “The 169th renewal of the Crabbie’s Grand National is all set to be one of the strongest ever Grand Nationals with no less than 83 of the 126 entries currently in the handicap, having been allotted 10 stone or more.

“It will be fascinating to see if Many Clouds can become the first back-to-back winner since Red Rum 42 years ago, particularly as he is in the unique position of being only set to carry a pound more than when successful in 2015.”

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