The Grand National took a break last year when it got replaced with a virtual event due to the rise of the ongoing global pandemic. In 2020, horse racing enthusiasts and sports bettors got deprived out of that year’s instalment of the world’s most famous handicap steeplechase, a race everyone has a cheeky bet on. However, this time around, there will be no CGI equestrians running for the title, as the actual event will take place on April 10 at its mandatory location, the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool.
As it has been the tradition since 2017, Randox Health is again the race’s and festival’s sponsor. The 2021 Grand National will be the 173rd edition of Brittan’s top horse race, which also boasts the largest prize pool in all of Europe, £1,000,000.
In early February, officials announced 106 entries. Among these was Tiger Roll, the winner of the 2018 and 2019 races. Most sportsbooks put him as the favourite to triumph at this year’s event as well. Though once news broke that Tiger Roll had withdrawn before the first scratching stage, citing excessive weight allocation, operators began reshuffling their decks, injecting a new sense of excitement into the event.
Some key numbers you may be interested in that we pulled from this infographic on freebetoffers.org.uk
- Over £300 million is expected to be bet on the National this year
- Over 140 countries tune in to the event
- 1 in 3 bettors on the national is female
- £1,000,000 prize money for the winner
Multiple Worthy Contenders Will Vie for the Crown
Due to Tiger Roll’s absence, most bookmakers now have Cloth Cap as the favourite to take home the top spot. That is mainly due to its impressive showing in November when he landed the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury. Cloth Cap also triumphed in Kelso at Premier Chase in March, cementing his place as the ante-post favourite.
Regarding which horse is second-most-likeliest to win, gambling operators cannot make up their minds between Ted Walsh’s Any Second Now and Willie Mullins’ Burrows Saint. You can find both available at 10-1 odds. That said, most operators slightly favour Any Second Now. It is a horse in prime condition, with 17 chase runs under it, and is at the right age for this race. Kimberlite Candy and Minella Times are two other competitors that no one is counting out. Most sites list 11-1 odds on the first and 12-1 concerning the latter. None of the five mentioned horses have run in the Grand National before.
Underdogs Lurk in the Shadows
The Grand National is no stranger to underdog wins. Most horse racing fans vividly remember 2013’s upset, Auroras Encore, the little-known trainer and jockey duo of Sue Smith and Ryan Mania winning at 66-1 odds. Historians often reminisce about Tipperary Tom’s 1928 victory and Gregalach’s follow-up win, as well as Caughoo’s spectacular 1947 domination.
For the 2021 race, make sure that you keep an eye on the Welsh Grand National winner, Secret Reprieve, and Jessica Harrington’s runner, Magic of Light. These two are just behind the list of the top-five most-likeliest winners. Discorama, The Storyteller, Santini, Potters Corner, Bristol De Mai, and Lord du Mesnil are also worth a gander.