As the dust settles on Cheltenham for another year, the eyes of the racing world are moving their focus towards Aintree for the most famous horse race of them all. This year’s Grand National will take place on 06 April and while there is one horse whose name is on everyone’s lips, history has shown that this is a race in which nothing can be taken for granted. After all, the favourite has only won three times in the past 20 years. So let’s take a look at a handful of the main contenders – any one of them is more than capable of scooping the most prestigious prize of all.
After all these years, Red Rum is the only horse to have won back to back grand nationals, in 1973 and 1974. But a quick glance at any one of the sportsbetting sites will tell you that the bookmakers fancy 2018’s winner, Tiger Roll, to match the achievement this year. Any question marks over the nine-year-old’s stamina were laid to rest after a stunning performance at Cheltenham that saw him blow away the opposition in the Cross Country Chase on Ladies Day. At early odds of 4/1, the bookmakers are in agreement that he is the horse to beat.
While nobody is doubting Tiger Rolls’ form, the history of the Grand National itself is likely to deter many punters at those short odds. So where else will they be putting their money? At 10/1, Anibale Fly is a compelling choice. He came in fourth last year, but looks fitter and stronger for 2019 and is flying high on the back of a creditable second place in Cheltenham Gold Cup. He looks to be hitting his peak at exactly the right moment.
Lake View Lad
Here’s a horse with all the makings of a grade one chaser, and he attracted attention at Cheltenham with a solid third in the Ultima Handicap Chase. Of course, he doesn’t have the Grand National experience of Tiger Roll or Anibale Fly, but with some bookmakers offering odds as long as 25/1, he looks highly tempting for an each way bet at the very least.
This Willie Mullins-trained eleven year old won the National Hunt Chase in 2018, but has spent the past few months out of action. He returned to action in winning style at Fairyhouse last month, on the strength of which the bookmakers prompted some raised eyebrows by slashing his odds from 25/1 to 10/1, making him the joint second favourite alongside Anibale Fly.
If you are looking for a dark horse, look no further. Vintage Clouds might not have raced in the Grand National before, but he has nevertheless tasted success at Aintree, romping home in the Interactive Chase back in 2017. Since then he has quietly impressed, with a win at Haydock and placing in the Ultima Chase at Cheltenham, where he came in ahead of Lake View Lad. Some bookmakers are offering odds as long as 16/1, so grab them while you can.