The 2021 Grand National – all you need to know

The £750,000 Randox Health Grand National is the highlight at Aintree on Saturday, with the 180th running of the famous chase.

The Grand National - back after a blank year, albeit in front of empty stands
The Grand National - back after a blank year, albeit in front of empty stands

Won by the likes of Red Rum and Tiger Roll throughout its illustrious history, a new name will bid to etch their name into sporting folklore with success in Saturday’s event live on ITV1 at 5.15pm.

A test like no other, 40 horses will take on 30 fences and four and a quarter-miles in what promises to be a fascinating spectacle like no other. We have previewed this year’s renewal with stats and analysis.

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The horse on everyone’s lips for this year’s renewal is Cloth Cap. The 4/1 favourite for the Aintree showpiece, Cloth Cap, who is trained by Jonjo O’Neill has oozed class with two easy victories at Newbury in the Ladbrokes Trophy and then at Kelso last time out. His jumping is a huge asset and he also looks extremely well-handicapped given his effort at Kelso. Connections are hopeful he will stay the four and a quarter-mile trip and he will bid to give owner Trevor Hemmings a record fourth winner in the race.

The dangers are headed by former Irish Grand National winner Burrows Saint (8/1) who looked back to somewhere near his best when second in a Graded event at Fairyhouse last time out. He would prefer cut in the ground, but looks sure to relish this stamina-laden test as he bids to provide Willie Mullins with a second winner in the race after Hedgehunter back in 2005.

Ted Walsh is another trainer who is no stranger to success in the iconic contest, having saddle Papillon to glory, ridden by his son Ruby, in 2000. He trains the progressive Any Second Now (10/1) who has been laid out for this race all season. A former Cheltenham Festival winner, he easily landed a Graded event at Navan last time out and is a real danger if staying the trip.

Rachael Blackmore is one of three female riders looking to make history in this year’s renewal. She bids to become the first female jockey to win the Grand national and is aboard Minella Times (10/1) for Henry de Bromhead who has finished second in two competitive handicaps at Leopardstown this term. Bryony Frost on 33/1 chance Yala Enki and Tabitha Worsley on 66/1 shot Sub Lieutenant are the other two women riders seeking to land this year’s running.

Kimberlite Candy (11/1) is a fascinating runner given his form over the Grand National fences. He has finished second in the last two runnings of the Becher Chase at the track and is a live threat if handling better ground.

There has been one Welsh-trained winner of the Grand National and Christian Williams is hopeful his former Weslh Grand National hero Potters Corner (25/1) can take the prize back across the border on Saturday.

Denise Foster is chasing a first Grand National success and has a number of good chances, headed by recent Cheltenham second Farclas (18/1) and former Festival winner Milan Native (25/1).

Bristol De Mai is a multiple Grade One winner and the 20/1 chance will have to carry top-weight in his quest to add a Grand National success to his CV, whilst 2019 Grand National second Magic Of Light (18/1), the unexposed Discorama (14/1) and Canelo (28/1) are others who warrant a mention

Grand National selection: Any Second Now (10/1)

He looks to hold the right attributes to go close in this event. A former Cheltenham Festival winner, he jumps, travels and stays which look the key credentials for this unique test. His trainer Ted Walsh won this event back in 2000 and Betway ambassador Katie Walsh, who is heavily involved in the yard, is also hopeful of a big run stating: “Any Second Now is a horse who has been trained for the race and we’ve worked backwards from the Grand National.”

Latest Grand National betting from Betway:

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