GRAND NATIONAL - RACE GUIDE AND STATS
Race 6 (17:15) – Randox Grand National Handicap Chase - 4 miles 2 furlongs 74 yards
(2) Cloth Cap
(3) Kimberlite Candy
RUNNERS TO WATCH:
- Cloth Cap (9 year old, J.O’Neill) – A progressive type won jumped for fun from the front in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase in November and looked even better when thrashing 4 rivals at Kelso in his recent prep run. Owned by Trevor Hemmings who always tries to buy horses likely to be suited to this race, which includes past winners Hedgehunter, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds. He showed he stays well when 3rd in the Scottish National as a 7 year old and looks to be a worthy favourite. Soft ground may be the only concern.
- Kimberlite Candy (9 year old, T.Lacey) – He would have been one of the favourites for the race last year and looks to have been saved for this big day again this season. He has jumped superbly around the course twice now when finishing 2nd in the last 2 running’s of the Becher Chase over 3 miles and 1 furlong, shaping as if he would improve for this marathon trip. Owned by legendary National Hunt owner JP McManus who has tasted success in this race before with Don’t Push It.
- Any Second Now (9 year old, T.Walsh) – Another interesting runner for owner JP McManus, trained in Ireland by Ted Walsh. He had an unorthodox prep run by winning a 2 mile Grade 2 chase at Navan last time, so has stamina to prove – although he has won over 3 ¼ miles before.
- Burrows Saint (8 year old, W.Mullins) – He looks the leading contender from the powerful Willie Mullins yard in Ireland. He was a leading contender for the aborted race in 2020 after winning the Irish Grand National in 2019. Looks to have been laid out for this race for nearly 2 years, although is arguably a tad light on experience with only 7 previous chase starts.
- Minella Times (8 year old, H.De Bromhead) – Another Irish raider and another owned by JP McManus. Sure to be popular in the betting as he looks likely to be partnered by leading female jockey Rachael Blackmore, fresh from being the leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival in March. An improving sort with strong form this season in big field handicap chases in Ireland, although he is yet to race beyond 3 miles.
- Potters Corner (11 year old, C.Williams) – Interestingly this horse was chosen by the computer algorithm to win the ‘virtual grand national’ in 2020. He looks to have solid each way claims this year in the real thing as a previous Welsh National winner who stays well. Soft ground would aid his cause.
- Magic of Light (10 year old, J.Harrington) – This likeable mare jumped superbly when 2nd in this race in 2019 behind Tiger Roll. Another who has had her season mapped out around this race, she could reward each way support again this time around.
- Discorama (8 year old, P.Nolan) – Has long appealed as the sort for long distance chases since finishing 2nd at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019 over 4 miles on testing ground. He has been brought along steadily since then and looks to have been laid out for this race by his shrewd Irish trainer, Paul Nolan. Any rain would boost his chances.
LAST 5 WINNERS:
2019 – Tiger Roll 4/1 Fav Age 9 Trainer: G.Elliott
2018 – Tiger Roll 10/1 Age 8 Trainer: G.Elliott
2017 – One For Arthur 14/1 Age 8 Trainer: L.Russell
2016 – Rule The World 33/1 Age 9 Trainer: M.Morris
2015 – Many Clouds 25/1 Age 8 Trainer: O.Sherwood
A modest record for favourites – In the past 20 running’s, the clear favourite has only won twice, with victory also going to 2 joint favourites.
Outsiders can surprise. However 7 winners in this period have been returned at odds of 25/1 or bigger with the longest price winner being Auroras Encore (66-1) in 2013.
8 to 11 year olds are best – For 19 out of the last 20 running’s the winner has been aged between 8 and 11. There may be some 7 year olds this year, who historically have struggled perhaps through a lack of experience. Equally, there may also be some 12 and 13 year olds who may lack the necessary speed and zest required.
FOLLOW THE FORM:
Experience is vital – All of the past 20 winners of this race had raced at least 10 times over fences, showing that experience in chases was important. This year that could be an issue for Burrows Saint.
Midweights rule – For 17 out of the last 20 running’s the horse has carried a weight in the range of 10 stone 6lbs to 11 stone 6lbs. This year this could be an issue for leading contenders Bristol De Mai (11 stone 10 lbs) and Minella Times (10 stone 3 lbs).
FOLLOW THE FAVOURITE?
A modest record for favourites – In the past 20 running’s, the clear favourite has only won twice, with victory also going to two joint favourites.
Outsiders can surprise. However, seven winners in this period have been returned at odds of 25/1 or bigger with the longest price winner being Auroras Encore (66-1) in 2013.
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