At Last The Race Will Be Run, 2021 Grand National Runners and Riders
Finally it seems the global pandemic and far reaching effects of Covid-19 might finally be behind us, because this weekend in a glorious haze of colour, speed and adrenaline the 173rd Grand National will take place at Aintree.
The 2021 Grand National Betting will be held at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, April 10th at 5.15pm. Sponsored by Randox Health, the prize fund for the Grand National is £1,000,000 which makes it the most valuable jump race in Europe.
Whilst things are still not quite back to ‘normal’ as the race and the entire Grand National Festival will take place behind closed doors for the first time in its history, it is still anticipated that over 600 million people will watch the race in over 140 countries.
The Grand National Festival is a three-day meeting running from Grand Opening Day on Thursday 8th April, followed by Ladies Day on the Friday and concluding with Grand National day on the Saturday.
The Grand National is the longest national hunt race in Britain, run over a marathon trip of 4 miles and 2½ furlongs and is contested by 40 horses jumping 30 fences over two laps. The course has much larger fences than normal; 16 in total, 14 of which are jumped twice. The five most iconic fences are The Chair, Valentine’s Brook, Foinavon, Becher’s Brook and the Canal Turn.
We know that the early favourite in the ante-post betting Tiger Roll has already been withdrawn due to excessive weight allocation. With 68 horses still included at the five-day declaration stage, the final field of 40 horses will be confirmed on the Thursday 8 April following a ballot 48 hours before the race.
As it stands this year’s favourites include Cloth Cap ridden by Tom Scudamore and trained by Jonjo O’Neill, two horses from the JP McManus stables – any Second Now trained by Ted Walsh and Minella Times trained by Henry De Bromhead – and Kimberlite Candy trained by Tom Lacey and ridden by Richie Mclernon.
It has got to be said on basic form and at the weights, it would be hard to put anybody off backing Cloth Cap but the Grand National is unique and has seen numerous upsets since it was first run in 1839. There will be 39 runners competing against Cloth Cap and in such a wide race just about any horse has a chance of winning the Grand National!