It’s the one you’ve all been waiting for, the 2021 Grand National preview from Betting.co.uk. Two-thirds of British adults place a bet on the world’s most famous steeplechase at Aintree, so here are the horses you should consider as picked out by our tipsters this year.
See who experts like in our 2021 Grand National preview
Cloth Cap is a short-price favourite for the 40-runner contest over four-and-a-quarter miles. Why? Well, he won the Ladbrokes Trophy (known to older readers as the Hennessy Gold Cup) at Newbury jumping well from the front. Good ground is key to this horse, who represents three-time Grand National winning owner Trevor Hemmings.
The Jonjo O’Neill charge is also 14lb well-in to the race after also taking a Listed event at Kelso. Cloth Cap has a special Aintree rating of a whole stone less than his official mark. It’s easy to see why he’s the favourite. Is he value? Not really, but his claims are obvious.
Burrows Saint heads contenders trained in the Emerald Isle for the Grand National. He won the 2019 Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, a breakthrough success there for Willie Mullins. The English equivalent has been his target ever since, and trainer’s son Patrick takes the ride.
Minella Times was a big ante post Grand National gamble and then some. One of a magnificent seven runners carrying the famous green and gold colours of owner JP McManus, the support came because of his connectons. Minella Times hails from the Henry De Bromhead stable that did so well at Cheltenham last month. Rachael Blackmore is again aboard this unexposed contender.
More McManus runners have chances
Any Second Now won the 2019 Kim Muir Challenge Cup at Cheltenham, meanwhile, and wily trainer Ted Walsh has had this in mind for him since then. His route to Aintree is quite unusual, but most of the McManus owned runners have some sort of chance.
Anibale Fly has placed twice in the Grand National before, so may do so again. At the age of 11, he may be past his peak but course form should be respected. Kimberlite Candy has been staying on at the finish when second in the Becher Chase on the course, and should have no difficulty getting the marathon trip.
Other Irish raiders prominent in the betting are Discorama for Paul Nolan and Magic Of Light. The former is a consistent type who runs well without winning. His stable had the Irish Grand National fourth on Easter Monday. Magic Of Light was runner-up at Aintree to Tiger Roll in 2019, so could go well again.
Farclas is the mount of Jack Kennedy, who had the choice of Denise Foster and Gigginstown House Stud’s rides. Like owner-stable companion Tiger Roll, he won the Triumph Hurdle as a younger horse. Bar those and second reserve Secret Reprieve, who took the Welsh Grand National, it is 25/1 and bigger for the rest.
Outsiders to consider
Any good Grand National preview also highlights lively outsiders. Bristol De Mai frames the weights for Nigel Twiston-Davies. Mister Malarky should find conditions to his liking, and a win here would be fitting for Colin Tizzard before he retires and passes the reins to son Joe.
First reserve Some Neck has good Cross Country form that he brings to the table. He would have a good each-way chance if getting into the race. Alpha Des Obeaux was just behind him at the Cheltenham Festival and has experience of the Grand National fences, so could go well.
Acapella Bourgeois gave weight and a beating to Burrows Saint in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse. He seems to have got better with age for Mullins. Lord Du Mesnil, meanwhile, landed the Grand National Trial at Haydock but faces very different going across Merseyside.
Potters Corner is a past Welsh National winner, but hasn’t had the ideal prep for Aintree with missed engagements. Yala Enki goes well in front, yet comes here after a tough campaign for Paul Nicholls, who also runs Give Me A Copper. See our shortlist below:
2021 Grand National preview shortlist
- Burrows Saint *****
- Cloth Cap ****
- Minella Times ****