As we turn to springtime, and get the Cheltenham Festival out of the way, horse racing fans around the world will begin to turn their attention to Aintree for the historic Grand National.
Usually, everything comes to a halt at 5:15pm on race-day as around 500 million people across the globe tune in for the four-mile, two-and-a-half-furlong outing.
However, last year the famous race was cancelled due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, and Tiger Roll, who was stealing all the headlines in the build-up, was denied the opportunity of a third successive win in the £1 million race.
Luckily, whilst this year’s Grand National could be delayed by a matter of days, there will be no virtual replacement and we’ll all be treated to some live-action racing from Aintree – from the comforts of our own homes, of course. So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the horses leading the way in the early Grand National betting exchange. Read on to find out more!
Burrows Saint – 12/1*
The next couple of months could be massive for trainer Wille Mullins. The Irishman is once again tipped to sweep his opposition to wayside at the Cheltenham Festival, potentially landing a third successive victory in the Gold Cup in the process, and following the Prestbury Park meeting, Burrows Saint could give him his second victory in the Grand National. Hedgehunter’s victory in 2005 was the Irish trainer’s maiden success at Aintree, and he’ll be hoping that Burrows Saint, who is the joint-favourite for the National, can end that drought. The eight-year-old won the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in 2019, and he is in good stead to put up a solid challenge.
Cloth Cap – 12/1*
Trainer Jonjo O’Neill is still on the hunt for his inaugural victory in the Grand National, and Cloth Cap certainly has the pedigree to deliver the £1m prize pot for the County Cork-native. A 10-length victory over Aye Right in the Trophy Chase at Newbury in November of last year will provide the horse’s connections with confidence ahead of the tricky race, and the nine-year-old currently shares the favourite status with Burrows Saint ahead of the Grand National.
Santini – 14/1*
Santini was just a neck away from landing trainer Nicky Henderson his third triumph in the Gold Cup last year, but perhaps he could make it up to the 62-time Cheltenham winning trainer by securing him his first victory in the Grand National. However, at this stage, another crack at the Cheltenham Festival showpiece looks to be the much more likely scenario for the nine-year-old, who has failed to win in all of his last four outings.
Secret Reprieve – 14/1*
Secret Reprieve has found a bit of form of late and as a result his odds of winning the Grand National have been slashed from around 25/1 to 14/1. The seven-year-old won the Welsh Grand National Trail at Chepstow in December and amazingly backed it up with a victory in the actual race a month later, beating The Two Amigos on both occasions. Given his form, he could be a real contender for the Aintree race.
Tiger Roll – 14/1*
Of course, we have got to include Tiger Roll. With last year’s race cancelled, the 11-year-old can still become the first horse to win three successive Grand Nationals and match Red Rum’s record of three victories in the race. However, his form of late has left much to be desired and he has been well beaten time and time again, most notably as he trudged home in last place some 65 lengths behind Beacon Edge at Navan. Another poor showing in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham could see him pulled from the race completely.
Any Second Now, Kimberlite Candy and Presenting Percy are slightly further out at 16/1*
*All odds correct at time of writing
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