Grand National preview and prediction: Cloth Cap bids to cap fine season with Aintree glory

The £750,000 Randox Health Grand National, one of the most famous races in the world, takes centre stage at Aintree on Saturday.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 1:19 pm
Action from Thursday's meeting at Aintree. Photo: PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Action from Thursday's meeting at Aintree. Photo: PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Live on ITV1 at 5.15pm, 40 horses will tackle 30 fences and four and a quarter-miles in a fascinating spectacle.

With Red Rum and Tiger Roll among the roll of honour, one horse will bid to cement their place in sporting folklore with glory in Saturday’s highlight.

We’ve previewed the race with stats and analysis.

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Cloth Cap is the 4/1 favourite for this year’s renewal as he bids to provide owner Trevor Hemmings with a record fourth win in the famous chase. Trained by Jonjo O’Neill, Cloth Cap was an easy winner of the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in November, before scoring in impressive fashion at Kelso last time out. He looks well-treated for this assignment and is an obvious player.

Burrows Saint (8/1) is a former Irish Grand National winner and returned to form when an eye-catching second in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last time out. He looks sure to stay the four and a quarter-mile trip, is a sound jumper and will look to provide Willie Mullins with a second win in the race.

Any Second Now looks to provide Ted Walsh with a second Grand National success 21 years after Papillon’s Liverpool win. The nine-year-old was an easy winner at Navan on his latest start and also boasts Cheltenham Festival winning form when capturing the Kim Muir Handicap Chase back in 2019.

Minella Times and Rachael Blackmore could make history in Saturday’s contest with Blackmore seeking to become the first female rider to win the race. Trained by Henry de Bromhead, Minella Times (10/1) has shaped with promise in two runs this term in handicap company and is another to consider, along with Kimberlite Candy (11/1) who has proven form over the fences, having finished second in the last two renewals of the Becher Chase.

The subject of a big gamble this week, Discorama (14/1) represents Irish trainer Paul Nolan and boasts plenty of smart form in his back catalogue which includes a third at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival in the Ultima Handicap Chase.

2019 Welsh Grand National winner Potters Corner (25/1) is aiming to provide Wales with a second victory in the race and is interesting based on his Chepstow exploits.

Denise Foster’s team are led by Farclas (18/1) who ran a race full of promise when second in Graded company at the Cheltenham Festival and former Cheltenham Festival scorer Milan Native (25/1).

2019 Grand National second Magic Of Light (18/1) and multiple Grade One winner Bristol De Mai (20/1), who will have to carry top-weight, are others who warrant a mention.

Yala Enki (33/1) and Sub Lieutenant (66/1) bid to give Bryony Frost and Tabitha Worsley their first victories in the race, whilst at bigger prices, Minellacelebration (100/1), former Grand National fourth Blaklion (40/1) and Mister Malarky (33/1) are others to note in a fascinating renewal of the 2021 Grand National.

Grand National verdict

1 Any Second Now (10/1), 2 Cloth Cap (4/1), 3 Farclas (20/1), 4 Burrows Saint (8/1)

Any Second Now needs to prove that this four and a quarter-mile event will suit, however he looks to hold the right attributes to go close.

A former Cheltenham Festival winner, he looks to have the perfect blend of speed and stamina which should see him go close.

Betway ambassador Katie Walsh, who is closing associated with the yard, said: “Any Second Now is a horse who has been trained for the race and we’ve worked backwards from the Grand National.”

Cloth Cap is well-handicapped and should go close along with the unexposed Farclas and former Irish Grand National winner Burrows Saint in the 2021 running of 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; 18/1 Farclas, Magic Of Light; 20/1 Bristol De Mai, Potters Corner; 25/1 Milan Native; 28/1 Bar