Grand National: ones to watch in 'race that stops a nation'

Cloth Cap ridden by Tom Scudamore (white cap) clears the last to win The Ladbrokes Trophy Chase

Cloth Cap ridden by Tom Scudamore (white cap) clears the last to win The Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury Racecourse. - Credit: PA

The race that stops a nation, the £750,000 Randox Health Grand National takes centre stage at Aintree on Saturday as 40 horses bid to etch their name into sporting folklore in one of the most famous races across the world.

The National has been won by some of the sport’s most iconic stars including Red Rum and Tiger Roll. This year’s renewal features a number of possible landmarks with Tabitha Worsley, Bryony Frost and Rachael Blackmore bidding to become the first female rider in history to win the contest, whilst Cloth Cap at 4/1 is one of the shortest-priced favourites in the history of the race.

The market leader for this year’s event is Cloth Cap who bids to make owner Trevor Hemmings the winning-most owner in the history of the race with a fourth success in the race.

The 4/1 shot backed up success in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in November, with an easy success at Kelso on his latest start.

Other leading players include Burrows Saint (8/1) who is a former Irish Grand National winner for Willie Mullins and shaped with promise when second at Fairyhouse in Graded company on his latest start.  

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Any Second Now (10/1) is a fascinating runner for Ted Walsh having warmed up for this assignment with an easy win at Navan in Graded company on his latest start. He promises to be suited by this stiff test of stamina. Kimberlite Candy is another to note.

The nine-year-old shaped has run twice over the Grand National fences and has filled the runner-up spot on both occasions in the Becher Chase. He shaped with promise at the track in December and looks sure to be suited by this stiff test of stamina.

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Rachael Blackmore stands on the precipice of history if she can guide Minella Times to victory. She was the first female to be crowned the leading rider at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival and would be the first lady to win the famous chase if successful on the 11/1 shot.

Minella Times brings solid handicap form to the table having finished second in two competitive handicaps at Leopardstown this term.

Others to warrant a mention include Discorama (14/1) who has been well-supported in the build-up to this race for Paul Nolan. The unexposed eight-year-old was second in Grade One company in 2019 and is of interest given the smart form in his back catalogue.

Bristol De Mai (20/1) will have to shoulder top-weight if he is to land the famous steeplechase, but is a multiple Grade One winner and finished a good second at Sandown on his latest start.

Farclas (18/1), second in handicap company at the Cheltenham Festival last time out and 2019 Grand National second Magic Of Light (18/1), are others to note.

Elsewhere, mother and daughter combination Tabitha Worsley and Georgie Howell are targeting Grand National glory with 66/1 shot Sub Lieutenant, whilst Potters Corner (25/1) captured the 2020 Virtual Grand National and is now chasing success in the real-life version for Welsh trainer Christian Williams.

Our Grand National selection: Kimberlite Candy (11/1)

The nine-year-old holds the right credentials to go close in Saturday’s contest. He brings proven form over the Grand National fences to the table and this stamina-laden test should also suit. If he can get into a good jumping rhythm, he looks a leading player.

Latest Grand National betting from

4/1 Cloth Cap; 8/1 Burrows Saint; 10/1 Any Second Now, Minella Times; 11/1 Kimberlite Candy; 14/1 Discorama; 16/1 The Storyteller; 18/1 Farclas, Magic Of Light; 20/1 Bristol De Mai, Potters Corner; 25/1 Milan Native; 28/1 Bar

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