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The 2021 Randox Grand National: Your essential runner-by-runner guide

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Sat 10 Apr 2021

The final field for the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday was revealed on Thursday, with a few final twists.

Leading amateur jockeys Patrick Mullins and Jamie Codd were revealed as the riders of Burrows Saint and Milan Native, respectively, while Potters Corner will wear first-time blinkers. The last-naned will be ridden by Jack Tudor, one of 11 jockeys who will be taking part in the race for the first time.

Cloth Cap, trained by Jonjo O'Neill and the mount of Tom Scudamore, is hot favourite to keep the prize on English shores and the home team could do with a boost after Irish challengers dominated at last month’s Cheltenham Festival. As things stand, 22 runners will represent Britain, with 18 flying the flag for Ireland.

Who will add their name to the Randox Grand National roll of honour?

There will be no previous Grand National winners in the line-up, but Vieux Lion Rouge (two-time Becher winner), Blaklion (Becher) and Hogan’s Height (Grand Sefton) do boast a victory over the big fences and many others in the line-up have run well over them.

Balko Des Flos, Shattered Love, Milan Native, Farclas and Blaklion have won at the Cheltenham Festival, while notable long-distance winners in the field include Bristol De Mai (three-time Betfair Chase winner), Burrows Saint (Irish National), Takingrisks (Scottish National) Potters Corner (Welsh National), Cloth Cap (Ladbrokes Trophy) and Talkischeap (bet365 Gold Cup). Secret Reprieve (Welsh National) is a reserve.

Horses who have shown improved from since the weights were framed in mid-February – and as a consequence are well-in at the weights – include Cloth Cap (14lb well-in), Lord Du Mesnil (5lb well-in), Acapella Bourgeois (2lb well-in), Any Second Now (2lb well-in) and Farclas (2lb well-in). Bristol De Mai, the top-weight, is also 2lb well-in.

I’ve bolded up my top ten contenders, below, but some of you may want to cut to the chase. Here’s who I like best, taking into account present prices. 1 Any Second Now. 2 Discorama. 3 Minellacelebration. 4 Mister Malarkey. 5 Cloth Cap. 6 Burrows Saint. 7 Minella Times. 8 Anibale Fly. 9 Vieux Lion Rouge. 10 Takingrisks.

Here’s a guide to all those still in the mix.

1. BRISTOL DE MAI

Rating (out of 10): 6.5. General odds: 28-1

 Bristol de Mai heads the weights (Focusonracing)
Bristol de Mai heads the weights (Focusonracing)

The grey is a class act who has won the Grade One Betfair Chase three times at Haydock (a flat left-hand track like Aintree) plus been placed in a Cheltenham Gold Cup. Trainer seeking his third winner of the race and jockey Daryl Jacob won the 2011 renewal on another grey, Neptune Collonges. Has to concede weight to all his rivals, though, and looks a doubtful stayer.

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies. Two winners from 51 runners in the race. His winners have been Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002).

Jockey: Daryl Jacob. One win from 11 rides in the race. Won by a nose on another grey, Neptune Collonges, in 2012.


2. CHRIS’S DREAM

Rating: 3. Odds: 50-1

Most of his trainer’s horses carried all before them at the Cheltenham Festival but he was an exception, as he was in trouble a long way out in the Ryanair Chase and was pulled up. In truth, he’s not been at his best in any of his four visits to British shores, with his best form in his native Ireland achieved when fresh and in the mud and up to 3m.

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead. No winners from five runners. Never closer than when eighth with Valseur Lido in 2018.

Jockey: Darragh O'Keeffe. First ride in the race.


3. YALA ENKI

Rating: 6. Odds: 40-1

He’s a thorough stayer who has finished a close third in the past two renewals of the Welsh Grand National. The problem is that there’s no wriggle room in his handicap mark and he crashed out at the first when running over the Grand National fences in December under regular jockey Bryony Frost. Bit of a dull effort at Sandown last time and others have stronger claims.

Trainer: Paul Nicholls. The multiple champion has had one winner – Neptune Collonges in 2012 - from 76 runners in the race. 51 have failed to complete.

Jockey: Bryony Frost. No wins from one ride. Fifth on Milansbar in 2018.


4. BALLYOPTIC

Rating: 3. Odds: 80-1

This is how Sam Twiston-Davies warmed up for his ride on Ballyoptic at Aintree on Friday!

He’s got some smart staying form to his name, including when beaten a nose in the Scottish Grand National in 2018. Not easy to get excited about him, though, as he fell in the 2018 Grand National and also exited prematurely in the 2019 renewal. Did manage to complete the course in the Becher later that year but trailed home last. Little to shout about this term, either.

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies. Two winners from 51 runners in the race. His winners have been Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002).

Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies, son of the trainer. No wins from 10 rides. Best finish when fifth on hello Bud in 2010.


5. DEFINITLY RED

Rating: 4. Odds: 40-1

He went off at just 8-1 for the 2017 renewal but had to pull up when his saddle slipped. Has since won four Grade two prizes but the now 12-year-old has not looked the same force this season and was a one-paced fourth to Cloth Cap at Kelso last time. Meets that rival on much worse terms and his window has surely passed.

Trainer: Brian Ellison. 0 winners from 2 runners in the race.

Jockey: Ryan Mania. Picked up the ride on Saturday morning after Henry Brooke was ruled out by injury. Mania is one from two in the race, winning on Auroras Encore in 2013. He retired the following year before returning to riding in 2019.


6. LAKE VIEW LAD

Rating: 4. Odds: 50-1

Trevor Hemmings, the owner of Lake View Lad and Cloth Cap, was a guest on Luck On Sunday at the weekend. The octogenerian has already enjoyed three wins in the race

Lined up for the 2019 renewal in great heart but the grey was never in contention and his jockey eventually threw in the towel. The past two seasons have not brought much joy and he’s not beaten a rival home at either Sandown or Kelso on his past two starts. He's had a breathing operation since he last ran and will wear first-time cheekpieces but it's not difficult to look elsewhere.

Trainer: Nick Alexander. 0 winners from 1 runner.

Jockey: Brian Hughes. Champion jockey. No wins from seven rides. Failed to complete first six attempts (including three falls at the first) before finishing eleventh on Seeyouatmidnight in 2018.


7. BURROWS SAINT

Rating: 8. Odds: 9-1

 Burrows Saint after landing the Irish National (Focusonracing)
Burrows Saint after landing the Irish National (Focusonracing)

Looked every inch an Aintree candidate when an impressive winner of the Irish Grand National in 2019 and he’s had only six races since – only three of them over fences and none in handicaps. Ran a satisfactory trial when splitting Acapella Bourgeois and The Long Mile at Fairyhouse last time and no surprise if he’s a different proposition here on this better ground for his master trainer, who won with Hedgehunter in 2005 and has had other near-misses.

Trainer: Willie Mullins. The serial Irish champion has had one winner – Hedgehunter in 2005 – from 40 runners. Hedgehunter was also second in 2006, as was Pleasant Company in 2018.

Jockey: Patrick Mullins. The son of trainer and leading amateur replaces Paul Townened, who is injured. Mullins completed for the first time, in three attempts, in 2019.


8. MAGIC OF LIGHT

Rating: 6.5. Odds: 18-1

Jessie Harrington told Donn McClean about Magic Of Light and Jett

She ran a blinder to beat all bar Tiger Roll in the 2019 renewal, not least because she all but came down at The Chair. Three subsequent minor wins show that effort has not left a mark but she’s 5lb higher in the weights and was well held in the new Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham last month, for all that the distance of that race was on the sharp side. Needs to find that spark from two years ago.

Trainer: Jessica Harrington. 0 winners from 1. Magic Of Light was runner-up in 2019.

Jockey: Robbie Power. One winner from 12. Won on Silver Birch in 2007.


9. ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS

Rating: 6.5. Odds: 28-1

Landed some good bets when making all in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse for the second successive year at Fairyhouse last time. He gave weight and a beating to his stablemate Burrows Saint that day, yet is a much bigger price that that rival here. That was probably his “Cup Final” for the season, whereas it was a building block for the runner-up. Can still make the odd error.

Trainer: Willie Mullins. The serial Irish champion has had one winner – Hedgehunter in 2005 – from 40 runners. Hedgehunter was also second in 2006, as was Pleasant Company in 2018.

Jockey: Danny Mullins. No wins from 1 ride. Brought down at the first in 2019.

Watch what Pineau De Re is up to in retirement. He won the 2014 Grand National.


10. TALKISCHEAP

Rating: 4. Odds: 50-1

The way he ran away with the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown two years ago, as a novice, suggested he would be a future Grand National contender but he’s been most disappointing since and has had evidently had some issues. He’s again run below-par since the weights were published and is best watched until showing some of his former sparkle.

Trainer: Alan King. No winners from 11 runners. Only two have completed – Call It A Day (sixth in 2000) and Bear On Board (eighth in 2004). This will be his first runner in the race since 2015.

Jockey: Tom Cannon. No wins from one ride. Pulled up late on aboard Wyck Hill in 2015.

Want more big-race clues? Watch Lydia Hislop and Ruby Walsh in The Road To Aintree


11. TOUT EST PERMIS

Rating: 3. Odds: 100-1

It’s been more than two years, and 15 runs, since he last got his head in front and he spurned a good opportunity at Down Royal last time when taking a tumble. Looked to have stamina limitations when well-held in the 2019 running of the Irish Grand National.

Trainer: Noel Meade. No winners from seven runners. Road To Riches was sixth in 2018.

Jockey: Sean Flanagan. No wins from three rides. Sixth on Road To Riches.


12. ANIBALE FLY

Rating: 7. Odds: 25-1

 Ainbale Fly has run well in two previous renewals of the National
Ainbale Fly has run well in two previous renewals of the National

Fourth and fifth in the past two runnings, having run crackers in the Cheltenham Gold Cup just weeks beforehand. This time he arrives with fresher legs and from a reduced mark, but it’s difficult to know how much of his old ability he retains because in the past two years he’s had four runs over fences and not beaten a rival home. Leap of faith required but trainer can ready one for the big day.

Trainer: Tony Martin. No winners from nine runners. Anibale Fly has been his best runner.

Jockey: Denis O'Regan. No wins from 11 rides. Runner-up on Black Apalachi in 2010 and fifth on Bewleys Berry in 2008.


13. MISTER MALARKY

Rating: 8.5. Odds: 25-1

Useful staying novice chaser in the 2018-19 season but he’s been hit and miss since then, proving tricky to predict. Ran well when third at Kempton on his latest start after having his breathing tinkered with, so perhaps he will now become more reliable. Generally a sound jumper and has hinted more than once he will stay long distances, plus he will be equipped with first-time cheekpieces to help him focus. One to consider at big odds for a popular trainer who is soon to hand over licence to his son.

Trainer: Colin Tizzard. No winners from four runners. Joe Lively (tenth) has been his only finisher but his Ultragold won three renewals of the Topham.

Jockey: Jonjo O’Neill Jr. His first ride in the race. His father, also Jonjo, runs Cloth Cap, the favourite. Jonjo Sr was a champion jump jockey but famously never completed in the National.


14. KIMBERLITE CANDY

 (Focusonracing)
(Focusonracing)

Rating: 7. Odds: 16-1

Has been runner-up in the past two renewals of the Becher Chase (run over the Grand National fences in December) and in between was a runaway winner of the Classic Chase at Warwick. Goes well fresh, so his four-month absence is of no concern, but he ran out of puff in the 2019 Eider (over same trip as the National) and also ran poorly in the Irish National that year.

Trainer: Tom Lacey. First runner in the race.

Jockey: Richie McLernon. No wins from nine. Finished second on Sunnyhillboy in 2012, when beaten a nose, in the colours of JP McManus, the owner of Kimberlite Candy. Has completed on just one other occasion.


15. ANY SECOND NOW

Rating: 10. Odds: 11-1

 Any Second Now ticks plenty of boxes (Focusonracing)
Any Second Now ticks plenty of boxes (Focusonracing)

His past two wins have been achieved over 2m but he didn’t look short of stamina when winning over 3m 2f at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019 and there’s plenty of stamina on the dam’s side of his pedigree. Sound jumper and likely to enjoy getting back on some better going. Trainer knows what is required and looks to have another live player on his hands.

Trainer: Ted Walsh. One winner from 11 runners in the race. Papillon won in 2000 and his Seabass was third in 2012 when ridden by his daughter, Katie, who has assisted in the training on Any Second Now.

Jockey: Mark Walsh. No wins from eight. Completed for the first time in 2019 when fifth on Anibale Fly.


16. BALKO DES FLOS

Rating: 4.5. Odds: 100-1

Upstaged Un De Sceaux, Cue Card and Frodon when winning the Ryanair Chase in 2018 but he’s failed to win since and unshipped his jockey when contesting the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham last time. Vivid imagination required to see him bouncing back with a bang here, although trainer can do little wrong.

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead. No winners from five runners. Never closer than when eighth with Valseur Lido in 2018.

Jockey: Aidan Coleman. No wins from 12 rides. Famously rejected the ride on Mon Mome in 2009 to ride Stan. Mon Mome won at 100-1, with stan a faller at the seventh. Best finish when thirteenth on Pendra in 2016.


17. ALPHA DES OBEAUX

Rating: 5.5. Odds: 80-1

Exited at The Chair when moving powerfully in the 2018 National and showed that experience had not scarred him when third in the 2019 Becher Chase. Little to shout about since then and never been the most prolific (one win in 19 starts since 2018), although did offer a bit more when fourth in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham last time.

Trainer: Denice Foster. First runner in the race. Foster is taking charge of horses trained by Gordon Elliott, while he serves a six-month ban. Elliott has won with three of his 27 runners – Silver Birch (2007) plus Tiger Roll in 2018 and 2019. His Cause Of Causes was also second in 2017.

Jockey: Jody McGarvey. First ride in the race.


18. OK CORRAL

 Henderson's quest for a National winner goes on
Henderson's quest for a National winner goes on

Rating: 5. Odds: 80-1

He’s a lightly-raced 11-year-old whose exploits as a younger horse included finishing runner-up in the 2018 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Took well to fences as a novice and his Sky Bet Chase win last season was a reminder of his abilities. Made no impact on his belated return at Cheltenham last month, though, and likely stamina limitations.

Trainer: Nicky Henderson. No winners from 41 runners. His first runner, Zongalero, was second in 1979 but he’s never gone one better. Classified, The Tsarevich and Brown Windsor have also been placed but the trainer has had nine challengers exit at the first fence. He also rode in the 1976 renewal, finishing unplaced.

Jockey: Derek O’Connor. Seeks to become the first amateur to ride the winner of the National since Marcus Armytage in 1990. Debut ride in the race.


19. TAKINGRISKS

Rating: 7. Odds: 16-1

Fabulous servant for connections whose exploits have included winning the Scottish Grand National and Rehearsal Chase in 2019, plus the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster on his latest start. Had Cloth Cap behind when winning at Ayr and is only 1lb worse off, so the formbook gives him every chance. The fear is that, as a 12-year-old, he may find everything happening a bit quick. Price has tumbled from 50-1 in recent days.

Trainer: Nicky Richards. No winners from five runners. His last runner in the race was Skippers Brig, ninth in 2011. Nicky’s father, Gordon, won with Lucius (1978) and Hallo Dandy (1984).

Jockey: Sean Quinlan. No wins from one ride. Was fifteenth on Midnight Haze in 2012.


20. SHATTERED LOVE

Rating: 5.5. Odds: 50-1

She became the first mare in 23 years to win a novice chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2018 but she’s won only two of her subsequent 18 races – both times against three rivals against her own sex at Clonmel. Nothing wrong with her close third in the Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham last time but all her best form has been over 2m4f and the trip looks a big stumbling block.

Trainer: Denise Foster. First runner in the race. (See Alpha Des Obeaux)

Jockey: Kevin Sexton. First ride in the race.


21. JETT

Rating: 3. Odds: 80-1

Jessie Harrington told Donn McClean about Jett and Magic Of Light

He’s been a fun horse for connections, running regularly (43 races) and mixing wins with good runs in top company. The downside is that he has become increasingly hard to place and he has looked in decline over the past year. Jumped okay but well-held when running in the Becher Chase in December.

Trainer: Jessica Harrington. 0 winners from 1. Magic Of Light was runner-up in 2019.

Jockey: Sam Waley-Cohen. No wins from eight rides, but he has a fine overall record over the big fences and was runner-up on Oscar Time in 2011. Like Derek O’Connor, he attempts to become the first amateur to ride the winner of the National since 1990.


22. LORD DU MESNIL

Rating: 6.5. Odds: 40-1

Enhanced his already excellent record at Haydock when winning the Grand National in determined style in February. Is able to race off the same mark (5lb well-in) and stamina is his strong suit, but a suspicion he needs soft or heavy ground to show his best. Also, did not shine over the Grand National fences in December, albeit over a trip on the short side for him.

Trainer: Richard Hobson. His one previous runner, Shantou Flyer, was pulled up at the 26th.

Jockey: Nick Scholfield. No wins from eight rides. Third on Teaforthree in 2013.


23. POTTERS CORNER

Rating: 7. Odds: 22-1

Meet Potters Corner and the fabulous surroundings where he is trained

Won the Midlands National and Welsh National in 2019, so no need to question his reserves of stamina. Has offered little over hurdles on his past two starts but they merely they look outings to keep him ticking over, although not ideal he missed an intended prep at Cheltenham after suffering a minor setback. He’s all about staying power, so the more juice in the ground the better. First-time blinkers may also add an edge.

Trainer: Christian Williams. First runner in the race. As a jockey, his exploits included finishing second on Royal Auclair in 2005.

Jockey: Jack Tudor. First ride in the race.


24. CLASS CONTI

Rating: 6.5. Odds: 40-1

One win since the summer of 2016 is off-putting but, in his defence, he’s not had much racing for present connections. Placed in the past two runnings of the Thyestes Chase, in the process going a long way to proving he can mix it in big-field, competitive staying chases. Not disgraced when fourth in the Leinster National latest and, at 9, is the right age. Wears cheekpieces.

Trainer: Willie Mullins. The serial Irish champion has had one winner – Hedgehunter in 2005 – from 40 runners. Hedgehunter was also second in 2006, as was Pleasant Company in 2018.

Jockey: Brian Hayes. First ride in the race.


25. MILAN NATIVE

Rating: 7. Odds: 28-1

Plenty to like about the way he won the Kim Muir as a novice last season and picked up from where he left off by beating Discorama on his return at Galway in October. Things have not gone to script since then, but could be folly to write him off. This will be his second run after a wind op and there’s been a suggestion he might be tried in headgear.

Trainer: Denise Foster. First runner in the race. (See Alpha Des Obeaux)

Jockey: Jamie Codd. The superb amateur was runner-up on Cause Of Causes in 2017. Pulled up at the 29th on Mala Beach in 2019.


26. DISCORAMA

Rating: 9. Odds: 18-1

Placed at the Cheltenham Festival on three occasions, and is only 1lb higher than when third in the Ultima Chase last season. The previous year he had been touched off in the National Hunt Chase over 4m, going a long way to proving he has the courage and stamina for a tilt at this race. He’s been off since mid-November, but that looks a deliberate ploy as his record fresh is also attractive. Has been cut in betting in recent days and rates a big player.

Trainer: Paul Nolan. No winners from three runners. His three previous runners have all been pulled up.

Jockey: Bryan Cooper. No wins from four rides. Fifth on Rare Bob in 2013.


27. VIEUX LION ROUGE

Rating: 7. Odds: 66-1

Meet the team behind Vieux Lion Rouge. Video courtesy of Great British Racing

Course specialist who has completed in four Grand Nationals, and twice won the Becher – winning the latest renewal by 24 lengths from Kimberlite Candy. Stamina has looked an issue in the big race but a combination of him being fresher than in the past, the ground being less testing and more patient tactics, like those deployed in December, may help him get home. He’s not going to be getting any quicker at the age of 12 but is a massive price given his prowess at the track.

Trainer: David Pipe. One winner from 34 runners. Comply Or Die won in 2008, and was also runner-up a year later.

Jockey: Conor O’Farrell. No wins from five rides in the race. Completed three years in succession on Swing Bill (2012-14).


28. CLOTH CAP

Rating: 8.5. Odds: 5-1

Jonjo O'Neill tells Tom Bull more about Cloth Cap

Third in the Scottish National two years ago when much lower in the weights but has taken form to a new level equipped with cheekpieces on his past two starts, winning in great style at Newbury and Kelso. Jumps and stays well, plus is 14lb well-in as he’s shown improvement since the weights were framed. Little wonder he is favourite, but remains to be seen if he needs to dominate and his odds are on the skinny side.

Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill. One winner from 32 runners in the race. Don’t Push It won for him in 2010, while Clan Royal (2004) and Sunnyhillboy (2012) were both second.

Jockey: Tom Scudamore. No wins from 18 rides. After Richard Johnson’s retirement at the weekend, no current jockey has ridden more in the National than Scudamore. His best finish has been on Vieux Lion Rouge, sixth in 2017. He has completed on ten occasions.


29. CABARET QUEEN

Rating: 4. Odds: 80-1

She’s given the syndicate who own her several memorable days, including when winning the Kerry National over 3m at Listowel in September. Her three runs this year have all been lacklustre, though, and she ran lamentably at Cheltenham last time. Unproven beyond 3m.

Trainer: Willie Mullins. The serial Irish champion has had one winner – Hedgehunter in 2005 – from 40 runners. Hedgehunter was also second in 2006, as was Pleasant Company in 2018.

Jockey: Sean O'Keeffe. First ride in the race.


30. MINELLACELEBRATION

Rating: 8.5. Odds: 80-1

Has not enjoyed the rub of the green in recent starts, but his record at Aintree, at least on the Mildmay course, warrants a second look and his three-month absence is a positive as he goes well fresh. Will be racing over a mile further than he has previously ever done but there’s some stamina in his pedigree, plus he's had a breathing operation since we last saw him in action. He’s interesting, for each-way purposes, at a huge price with some bookmakers offering seven places.

Trainer: Katy Price. First runner in the race.

Jockey: Ben Poste. First ride in the race.


31. CANELO

Rating: 5.5. Odds: 40-1

Likeable type who has been in good heart this season, chalking up wins at Aintree and Wetherby along the way. However, the handicapper now looks in charge and his best efforts have been up to 3m. Also, he is generally held up and so he will be a hostage to fortune. His owner, JP McManus, looks to have stronger contenders in the line-up.

Trainer: Alan King. No winners from 11 runners. Only two have completed – Call It A Day (sixth in 2000) and Bear On Board (eighth in 2004). This will be his first runner in the race since 2015.

Jockey: Tom Bellamy. No wins from two rides. Yet to complete.


32. THE LONG MILE

Rating: 6. Odds: 80-1

He’s won half of his past eight races and progressed well, given that the first of those wins was achieved off a humble rating of 104. Ran as well as he has ever done when third behind Acapella Bourgeois and Burrows Saint at Fairyhouse last time, and he’s much better off with that pair at the weights. The bare form of that five-runner contest may be misleading, though, and whether this extreme trip will show him to best advantage is also doubtful.

Trainer: Philip Dempsey. First runner in the race.

Jockey: Luke Dempsey. No wins from one rides in the race. Seventeenth on Folsom Blue in 2019.


33. GIVE ME A COPPER

Rating: 4. Odds: 40-1

He’s more fragile than most and not been the easiest to train. As a consequence, the 11-year-old, part-owned by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, has run just 13 times. All his best efforts have been when very fresh after a break. Pulled up at Doncaster at the end of January and will need to be transformed if he is to figure here.

Trainer: Paul Nicholls. The multiple champion has had one winner – Neptune Collonges in 2012 - from 76 runners in the race. 51 have failed to complete.

Jockey: Harry Cobden. No wins from three rides. Best finish when fourteenth on Just A Par in 2017.


34. FARCLAS

Rating: 6. Odds: 18-1

The 2018 Triumph Hurdle winner bids to emulate Tiger Roll, who also won that 2m juvenile championship race en route to Grand National glory for owners Gigginstown House Stud. Farclas has done little wrong over fences in the past two years and again ran well at Cheltenham last time, but his best form has been over distances of around 2m4f and others are much more obvious stayers.

Trainer: Denise Foster. First runner in the race. (See Alpha Des Obeaux)

Jockey: Jack Kennedy. No wins from three rides. Seeks to win the Gold Cup and Grand National in the same year. Third on Bless The Wings in 2018.


35. MINELLA TIMES

  Blackmore was crowned leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival last month with six winners (Photo: Focusonracing)
Blackmore was crowned leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival last month with six winners (Photo: Focusonracing)

Rating: 8. Odds: 9-1

Three wins from 17 starts masks the fact that he’s been a steady improver, with his past two near-misses in competitive big-field handicaps at Leopardstown having plenty of substance to them. His trainer (Henry de Bromhead) and likely jockey (Rachael Blackmore) took the Cheltenham Festival by storm last month and he’s a likely market mover. The trip is an unknown but there’s stamina on both sides of his pedigree.

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead. No winners from five runners. Never closer than when eighth with Valseur Lido in 2018.

Jockey: Rachael Blackmore. No wins from two rides in the race. Fell at The Chair in 2018; tenth on Valseur Lido a year later. Blackmore was top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival last month with six wins and is in the running to be champion in Ireland this season.


36. SUB LIEUTENANT

Rating: 5. Odds: 40-1

Tabitha Worsley spoke to Nick Luck on Sunday about her ride on Sub Lieutenant

He’s a half-brother to Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere and took to the big fences when runner-up in the Topham in 2019. His back catalogue also includes second places in the Ryanair Chase and Melling Chase in 2017. Not surprising that, at 12, he’s not the force he was, although that is reflected by his handicap mark. He should give Tabitha Worsley, who boasts a win over the big fences, a good spin without being good enough.

Trainer: Georgie Howell. First runner in the race.

Jockey: Tabitha Worsley. First ride in the race. Unable to claim her 5lb allowance but has won over the big fences.


37. HOGAN’S HEIGHT

Rating: 4. Odds: 66-1

He was a decisive winner of the Grand Sefton over the Grand National fences in December 2019 but he’s run only three times since and offered little, including when a remote sixth in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham last time. Even if revived, the trip may well be beyond him.

Trainer: Jamie Snowden. First runner in the race.

Jockey: Gavin Sheehan. No wins from two rides in the race. Best finish when seventh on Tranquil Sea in 2015.


38. DOUBLE SHUFFLE

Rating: 3.5. Odds: 80-1

He’s been a grand campaigner for connections, beating all bar Might Bite in the 2017 King George VI Chase. He had palpably failed to stay when tackling this race earlier in the year, though, and he also made little impact when running over the big fences over shorter in 2019. Sound jumper likely to get round in his own time.

Trainer: Tom George. No winners from 10 runners in the race. Saint Are was second in 2015 and third two years later.

Jockey: Jonathan Burke. No wins from three rides in the race. Best finish when fifth on Goonyella in 2016.


39. AMI DESBOIS

Rating: 4. Odds: 100-1

Has returned from almost a year on the sidelines in good heart but his last win was at the end of 2017 and yet he’s on a career-high mark. Unproven beyond 3m and easy enough to overlook.

Trainer: Graeme McPherson. First runner in the race.

Jockey: Kielan Woods. First ride in the race.


40. BLAKLION

Rating: 3. Odds: 50-1

The 2016 RSA Chase winner was a fine fourth in the 2017 Grand National, before landing a gamble in the Becher Chase later in the year. He’s not won since, though, and simply does not look the horse he once was. Difficult to see him making an impact despite tumbling in the weights.

Trainer: Dan Skelton. No winners from one runner in the race. Virgilio fell at the sixth (Becher’s Brook) in 2018.

Jockey: Harry Skelton. No wins from five rides. Fifth on Niche Market in 2011.


More Grand National reading

Facts, figures, trends and past replays

Lydia Hislop's big-race guide

Dave Nevison's best bets for the big day

Tom Scudamore and Cloth Cap feature

Ruby and Katie Walsh feature

Test your Randox Grand National knowledge by taking out ultimate Grand National quiz! There's four Racing TV Goody Bags up for grabs - good luck!

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