Runners & Riders – The Grand National 2021

‘The Steeple Times’ examines the tipsters’ selections and offers 4 options for Saturday’s crowded Grand National 2021

The Grand National 2021 will sadly be held behind closed doors this year and as a result the spectacle of ‘classy’ racegoers with electronic tags busting out of their bras whilst brawling over a Boddingtons will be missed.


A National Hunt race of 4 miles and 2½ furlongs held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, the Grand National is the most valuable jump race in Europe and its most famous participant ever was Red Rum, winner in 1973, 1974 and 1977.


Of the 40 runners in this year’s 30 fence race at 5.15pm on Saturday 10th April in which Ladbrokes are paying out 6 places on, after securing 2nd, 4th and 5th in the Irish Grand National last week, we suggest EACH WAY BETS on the following:


Cloth Cap

Odds: 9/2 from 17/4 earlier

Jockey: Tom Scudamore, Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill

Owner: Trevor Hemmings (pictured above)

Tipped by: POSTDATA, At The Races ‘Top Tip’


If Cloth Cap were to come first in the Grand National 2021, 85-year-old Trevor Hemmings will become the most successful owner in the race’s history. Having scored three previous victories with Many Clouds in 2015, Ballabriggs in 2011 and Hedgehunter in 2005, a win for bricklayer-turned-billionaire Hemmings would be a moment for the racing world to celebrate.


Racing Post remarks: “Very well handicapped; stays at least 4m; a very, very bold show looks on its way.”


Greg Wood for the Guardian adds: “His handicap mark for today’s race looked workable even before his emphatic success in the level-weights Premier Chase at Kelso, and his new rating implies the handicapper would give him another stone to carry on Saturday if he could have another go at the weights. The Kelso form has hardly been advertised by the beaten horses, however, and 9-2 is short enough for any horse in this race when one mistake – or even a mistake by an opponent – can be enough to end a runner’s chance. He is the likeliest winner and a worthy favourite, but easy enough to swerve when the sheer unpredictability of the National has not been factored in to his price.”


Minella Times

Odds: 11/1 from 10/1 earlier

Jockey: Rachael Blackmore, Trainer: Henry De Bromhead

Owner: John P. McManus

Tipped by: Daily Mail ‘Robin Goodfellow’


Racing Post remarks: “Good jumper; 2nd in valuable handicaps over 3m (suggesting some stamina reserves) and 2m5f.”


Greg Wood for the Guardian adds: “Rachael Blackmore can move betting markets after her historic efforts at the Cheltenham Festival last month, but the question for backers is whether she has shifted the odds too far. The money was coming for Henry de Bromhead’s gelding long before Blackmore was confirmed for the ride, but while there is plenty in his form to suggest he has a fair chance of making his jockey the first female to win the National, there is little that makes him a legitimate 10-1 shot. Like Cloth Cap, he looks like one to pass over at his current price.”


The Sun adds: “Panicking Paddy Power are staring down the barrel of a £15MILLION payout if Rachael Blackmore wins the Grand National.


“Sweating bookies say the chance of Cheltenham Festival’s top jockey winning the world’s most famous race has given them their biggest headache in nearly a decade.”


“She rides Minella Times, currently around 9-1, in the big one at 5.15pm on Saturday. Blackmore’s horse was first backed for National glory at monster odds of 40-1 in February.”


Yala Enki

Odds: 45/1 from 33/1 earlier

Jockey: Bryony Frost, Trainer: Paul Nicholls

Owner: Hills of Ledbury Ltd.


Racing Post remarks: “Fell at the first here in December; third in the last three Welsh Nationals in the mud.”


Greg Wood for the Guardian adds: “Another of those horses – there’s a growing list – that gets on particularly well with Bryony Frost, and three placed efforts in the mud at the Welsh Grand National, including two with Frost in the saddle, suggest that he won’t lack for stamina at the business end of the race. Faster ground, though, is a big concern, as the younger, quicker horses could already be pulling up after the line by the time he grinds into his highest gear.”


Lord Du Mensil

Odds: 35/1 from 33/1 earlier

Jockey: Nick Schofield, Trainer: Richard Hobson

Owners: Paul Porter and Mike and Mandy Smith


Racing Post remarks: “Redoubtable stayer (extra distance will suit) but all his notable form is in the mud.”


Greg Wood for the Guardian adds: “Won the Grand National Trial over three-and-a-half at Haydock Park in February and has a chance on that form, but seems to need bottomless ground to produce his best (and put a spoke in the wheels of his quicker rivals). One to bear in mind in the unlikely event that Aintree get a month’s-worth of rain between now and Saturday afternoon.”


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Pictured top: Cloth Cap. Our favoured option to win the Grand National 2021 at Aintree.


Runners & Riders – The Grand National 2021 – Sadly (or sadly not), the annual bunfight that is the Grand National won’t feature such sights as these this year.
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


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