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Leading Contenders For The Grand National 2021

The Grand National remains the biggest race of the National Hunt season from a fan's perspective.

However, this year’s race has already started with disappointment, as Tiger Roll’s bid for history will not be happening at Aintree, as the two-time National winner was pulled out by connections after they indicated that they believed the handicapper was too harsh on the eleven-year-old.

Fans were even more disappointed regarding the decision after watching the Tiger waltz home in the Cross Country at the Cheltenham Festival.

Still, the decision is final, which means that the race now looks more competitive than it has done for a number of years. But, which horses stand the best chance of winning the illustrious race?

Cloth Cap

Jonjo O’Neill last trained the winner of the Grand National in 2010, as AP McCoy rode Don’t Push It home for glory. His leading chance in the race this year is Cloth Cap, who has emerged as a heavy favourite in the betting.

Connections have already indicated that they believe he is ‘well in’ with regards to the handicap. His most recent showing at Kelso was exceptional, as he won by seven and a half lengths from Aso, which was a perfect prep run for the National in April.

However, his price is too short for some. To put into context, his odds of winning the National are the same as Tiger Roll when he was bidding for a second success in 2019.

Cloth Cap certainly has the ability, but some would look at the price and consider his chances far more unlikely than the second victory for Tiger Roll was two years ago. The nine-year-old has an excellent chance, but unless you got an ante-post price on Cloth Cap, then it may be worth looking at other selections.


Minella Times

Rachel Blackmore has made a habit out of creating history, and she will be full of confidence after landing the top jockey award at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The Irish star’s likely ride in the National will be on board Minella Times, as she looks to create history and become the first female jockey to win the illustrious race. Minella Indo has shown signs of promise so far this season, and has twice finished second.

The first of those runner-up finishes came over three miles at Leopardstown, as the eight-year-old finished four and a half lengths behind Castlebawn West. His most recent showing was far more promising, as he finished half a length behind Off You Go at Leopardstown.

Nonetheless, the fact that the most recent run was over two and a half miles may be enough to put some gamblers off, considering that the National will be run over four miles.


The Irish cleaned up at the Cheltenham Festival, and their dominance could continue at Aintree in April. A leading each-way chance for the National comes in the form of Discorama, who will be carrying 10 st 6 lb. Valued at 20/1 at most sportsbooks, there is definite value for an each-way place, especially since most bookmakers will be paying up to seven or eight places.

Discorama has had an extended break away from the track in the build-up to the race, as the eight-year was last seen at Cheltenham when finishing fifth over three miles and nearly four furlongs.

Staying will not be an issue for the Paul Nolan-trained horse, and his two most recent runs have seen him finished in third and second, respectively.

There may be a question mark revolving around whether he has the pace to win the Grand National, but he will certainly be there or thereabouts when it comes to the places at Aintree.  

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