The Grand National at Aintree on Saturday 10th April at 5:15pm comes at the end of the annual Randox Grand National Festival and is the biggest race in the whole of the racing world. This is a grueling four mile, two-and-a-half-furlong handicap, with a maximum field of forty runners competing over 30 fences. The unique course has a rich history dating back hundreds of years, with the first Grand National taking place in 1858.
Throughout its history racegoers have enjoyed memorable races with wins by legendary horses such as Red Rum, Crisp and Aldaniti cementing the contest into the nation’s psyche. The course famously features fences that are much larger than at most other tracks, particularly the notorious ‘Becher’s Brook’ and ‘The Chair’ proving the ultimate challenge for both horse and even the most experienced jockeys (although in recent times the size of the fences have been gradually reduced for safety reasons).
In 2020 the race was abandoned due to the global Covid-19 pandemic and in 2021 it is likely to be run with a restricted audience. However, that will not detract from the usual fervor that grips the country for the largest betting races in the world. Previously, in 2019 there was a worldwide audience of over 500 million viewers and over 140+ countries watching the competition unfold live. In the UK it is the race that stops the nation uniting families, friends and professionals for this grand spectacle.
The field is huge, so here at beth.bet we have analysed the runners and riders for you finding 5 key horses to follow in the lead up to race day.
1) Cloth Cap – Best priced 5/1 favourite
Jonjo O’Neill’s scopey chaser has really impressed this winter and is a bold jumping, front-runner with a high cruising speed. He has shown pure class when winning a Newbury handicap in November and in a valuable listed chase at Kelso in March, and comes into the Grand National, fresh, fancied and sure to relish the good ground that he needs. The only question mark hanging over him is stamina…he has run over four miles before in the Scottish Grand National back in 2019 when he finished a fair third so the extra two furlongs shouldn’t be an issue. He looks to hold outstanding claims and is sure to start one of the shortest priced favourites for many years.
2) Any Second Now – Currently 11/1
Ted Walsh knows exactly what it takes to win a Grand National and this warrior has won three times from eighteen starts over fences. His latest effort at Navan in March impressed under a very confident ride, winning the Grade 2 Webster Cup Chase on the bridle (over a trip of two miles that really should have been far too sharp for him). He is a proven stayer in the past with plenty of form at three miles, and beyond and is trained by a genius (who will ensure he is well prepared to exploit this generous looking handicap mark for the National).
3) Kimberlite Candy – Currently 14/1
This Tom Lacey trained horse has endured a bit of a mixed season in truth and the yard has been struggling for winners, but recent signs are more encouraging.
This horse has won four from sixteen starts over fences and ran an absolute
screamer over these fences when finishing second behind ‘Vieux Lion Rouge’ in the Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree in December. That was great preparation for the Grand National, and he is unexposed and granted had an extreme test of stamina so should go really well if on a going day.
4) Burrows Saint – Currently 16/1
Willie Mullins comes to Aintree fresh from a hugely successful Cheltenham
campaign, and this promising 8-y-o has only had nine runs over fences, winning three times at a useful level. He ran really well in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last time out in a Grade 3 contest, finding only the short priced favourite ‘Accapella Bourgeois’ too strong. He is stepping into unknown waters for this longer test of stamina, but there has been money for him in the ante post markets and is entitled to maximum respect here.
5) Secret Reprieve – Currently 16/1
Trained by Evan Williams in Wales, this is an improving 7-y-o who is completely unexposed (with two wins from six over fences so far). He ran the perfect trial for this prize when winning the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow in January.
Given his relative inexperience, he impressed there under Adam Wedge, landing a wholesale gamble down to 5/2 favourite in that eighteen-runner field. He has been put away and freshened up with three-and-a-half months off the track and comes into this with no doubts about his stamina (with more improvement to come).
Best of luck to all beth.bet customers with your Grand National selections – remember that with a field as big as the Grand National, extra places offered by bookmakers could extend the terms to 5,6,7 or even 8 more horses past the post (this hugely increases your chances of winning mathematically). Do take advantage of the prediction tool to help you analyse the market and get the best prices possible to increase your punting profitability.