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Your full 2021 Grand National form guide: who will you pick as the winner? *H&H Plus*


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  • The top 40 horses in this list can run in Saturday’s Randox Grand National. Up to four reserves could get a run if any drop out before 1pm on Friday. Carl Evans looks at all the hopefuls

    CHRIS’S DREAM


    9yo, 11st 7lb
    Form: 110-25P
    Owner: Robcour
    Trainer: Henry de Bromhead
    CLASSY performer in Ireland, as proved when just a neck behind The Storyteller at Down
    Royal in October. In four runs in Britain has yet to excel, including when pulled up in last month’s Ryanair Chase, and no evidence to show he yearns for a long-distance test of stamina, but for now the dream lives on.

    DEFINITLY RED


    12yo, 11st 1lb
    Form: 21-8F4
    Owners: Phil & Julie Martin
    Trainer: Brian Ellison
    CONSISTENT veteran, 15 wins and eight places in 37 starts, but well beaten by Cloth Cap, the bookies’ favourite for the race, when they met at Kelso, and now carries 10lb more than that rival. Unlucky in 2017 National when saddle slipped, but it is hard to envisage his misspelled name appearing on the winner’s trophy.

    BRISTOL DE MAI


    10yo, 11st 10lb
    Form: 229-12
    Owners: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
    Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies
    Jockey: Daryl Jacob
    IMPRESSIVE-looking grey with ability to match. Won a third Grade One Betfair Chase in November and then fine second to a Gold Cup winner at Sandown in February. This has been the aim since, copes with any ground, jockey and trainer are past National winners.

    YALA ENKI


    11yo, 11st 3lb
    Form: 313-2F314
    Owner: Hills of Ledbury
    Trainer: Paul Nicholls
    Jockey: Bryony Frost
    A SEASONED and successful campaigner in long-distance chases and forged a good relationship with Bryony Frost. Fell in December’s Becher Chase over these fences, and revels in deep mud, which is unlikely on Saturday. Races prominently, and owner’s colours (yellow, blue spots) hard to miss.

    LAKE VIEW LAD


    11yo, 11st
    Form: 33-155
    Owner: Trevor Hemmings
    Trainer: Nick Alexander
    Jockey: Henry Brooke
    ACHIEVED a career high in December when landing a Grade Two chase at Aintree, but well beaten in two subsequent races, and his sole National effort resulted in a pulled-up in 2019. Ground not soft enough on that occasion and similar position likely on Saturday. Last of five behind Cloth Cap latest.

    BALLYOPTIC


    11yo, 11st 1lb
    Form: 401-P067
    Owner: Mills & Mason Partnership
    Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies
    WAS running well in the 2019 National until falling four out, but roared back with three wins the following season. Interspersed those good efforts with a very moderate run in the Becher Chase and his performances this season have been below par. For that reason this optic is bally well best watched.

    BURROWS SAINT


    8yo, 10st 13lb
    Form: 31-262
    Owner: Susannah Ricci
    Trainer: Willie Mullins
    Jockey: Paul Townend
    WILLIE MULLINS, who won the National in 2005 with Hedgehunter, enjoyed a superb Cheltenham Festival and has a strong hand in this race. Not one of his stable’s front-line stars, but he won the Irish Grand National as a six-year-old and has not fallen in 20 races. Won’t mind drying ground. Good chance.

    TALKISCHEAP


    9yo, 10st 12lb
    Form: 51/3P-30
    Owner: Charles Dingwall
    Trainer: Alan King
    WON Sandown’s Bet365 Gold Cup two years ago, but gained a sharp rise in the handicap for that victory which has not really helped him add to his tally of wins. He was well beaten under top weight at Kempton on latest start and yet to run at Aintree or sample the fences, although has not fallen in 20 races.

    MISTER MALARKY


    8yo, 10st 12lb
    Form: P1P-6U173
    Owner: Wendy & Malcolm Hezel
    Trainer: Colin Tizzard
    HAD an operation to improve his breathing then ran a fine race when third in a 17-runner handicap chase at Kempton. Go back two years and he was second at Aintree in an 18-runner chase, but that was over the smaller Mildmay fences. There’ll be no malarky-ing around in this test.

    BALKO DES FLOS10yo, 10st 9lb
    Form: 44-4764U
    Owner: RacehorseClub
    Trainer: Henry de Bromhead
    IN 2018 this class act won Cheltenham’s Ryanair Chase. Ran well in defeat on couple of occasions the following season, but form has tailed off and he unseated in recent chase at Cheltenham. Now carries a winnable weight and recently sold for £110,000 at an online auction. The Aintree dream has quite a pull.

    OK CORRAL


    11yo, 10st 8lb
    Form: 091-P
    Owner: JP McManus
    Trainer: Nicky Henderson
    Jockey: Derek O’Connor
    PULLED up on latest start at the Cheltenham Festival, but he carries an attractive weight, and has never fallen. Is ridden by a top Irish amateur, but trainer has saddled 39 National runners since 1979 and has yet to win the race. On balance this is one gunfight he won’t be winning.

    MAGIC OF LIGHT


    10yo, 10st 13lb
    Form: 8-4128
    Owner: Ann & Alan Potts Limited
    Trainer: Jessie Harrington
    Jockey: Robbie Power
    THIS mare is magic in hurdle races and chases against her own sex, but career highlight came when second to Tiger Roll in the 2019 National. Failed to shine on latest start when unplaced in mares’ chase at Cheltenham, but 2½ miles was too short. This test will show her in a better light.

    TOUT EST PERMIS


    8yo, 10st 12lb
    Form: 53-2359P4F
    Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
    Trainer: Noel Meade
    CARRIES the same colours as Tiger Roll, and a capable performer in his own right. Has faced some tough assignments while being kept busy over the past couple of seasons, picking up prize money when being placed, but has not won since January 2019. Unlikely to regain winning thread in this race.

    KIMBERLITE CANDY


    9yo, 10st 10lb
    Form: P/21-2
    Owner: JP McManus
    Trainer: Tom Lacey
    Jockey: Richie McLernon
    SOUND jumper – not fallen in 20 races – and for past two years finished second over National fences in the Becher Chase. This is a longer test, but victory in the 2020 Classic Chase at Warwick suggests stamina is unlikely to be an issue. Easy to be sweet on Candy, but soft ground would help.

    TAKINGRISKS


    12yo, 10st 7lb
    Form: 65-P41
    Owner: Frank Bird
    Trainer: Nicky Richards
    THIS wonderful veteran was a 25/1 winner of the Scottish National over four miles in 2019, and after a run of less-good efforts raced back to form for a 40/1 victory at Doncaster on latest start. Those who back him are taking no risks on stamina, but he has yet to face Aintree’s fences. More pertinently, will younger legs outrun him?

    ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS


    11yo, 10st 12lb
    Form: 261-251
    Owner: Slaneyville Syndicate
    Trainer: Willie Mullins
    Jockey: Danny Mullins
    CONCEDED 6lb to stablemate Burrows Saint when beating him in February’s Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse, revenging a defeat by that rival when they were first and third in the 2019 Irish Grand National. Has shown he is good on a faster surface. A leading chance.

    ANIBALE FLY


    11yo, 10st 12lb
    Form: 9883-5
    Owner: JP McManus
    Trainer: Tony Martin
    Jockey: Mark Walsh
    HAS finished fourth and fifth in this race (Tiger Roll won both times) and now carries a good bit less weight after being well beaten at other tracks, albeit in top-class races. Finished last behind Acapella Bourgeois on latest start, but a sound jumper (one fall in 29 races) and could put up another good show.

    ANY SECOND NOW


    9yo, 10st 9lb
    Form: 1-99P1
    Owner: JP McManus
    Trainer: Ted Walsh
    WON a handicap chase over 3¼ miles at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019, then fell when fancied to land the Irish Grand National a few weeks later. Has not been asked to race over a marathon trip since, and latest win was over two miles. Trained by Ruby Walsh’s father Ted, who saddled the 2000 National winner Papillon.

    ALPHA DES OBEAUX


    11yo, 10st 9lb
    Form: 595PP4
    Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
    Trainer: Denise Foster
    CLASS act in his youth, and just one fall in 43 races, the tumble coming at the Chair when running well in the 2018 National. Later third in the Becher Chase over the big fences. On the downgrade, but ran OK when fourth in Cheltenham’s cross-country chase. Not Tiger Roll, but from same stable.

    SHATTERED LOVE


    10yo, 10st 7lb
    Form: 26-31023
    Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
    Trainer: Denise Foster
    THIS mare is one of several National hopefuls for trainer Denise “Sneezy” Foster. Has completed all but one of 33 races (pulled up in Irish National on sole attempt at staying race) and ran well when third in mares’ chase at Cheltenham Festival, but those who back her likely to be heartbroken.

    JETT


    10yo, 10st 7lb
    Form: P78P06
    Owner: Robert Waley-Cohen
    Trainer: Jessie Harrington
    Jockey: Sam Waley-Cohen
    GAINED experience of the Grand National fences when running in December’s Becher Chase (won by Vieux Lion Rouge), but after making much of the running he finished last of eight runners who completed. Has faded tamely in a couple of races since, and while his jockey is mustard at Aintree the National requires a jet finish.

    POTTERS CORNER


    11yo, 10st 6lb
    Form: P011-37P
    Owner: RacehorseClub
    Trainer: Christian Williams
    Jockey: Jack Tudor
    THIS Welsh contender won the Welsh National at Chepstow in December 2019, an incomparable moment for his owners, trainer and teenage rider. Third in a cross-country race in November was followed by two hurdle runs that have primed him for another big effort, but soft ground would help.

    MILAN NATIVE


    8yo, 10st 6lb
    Form: 1-12P09
    Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
    Trainer: Denise Foster
    WON the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year, and when returning for that meeting last month ran OK but finished unplaced in a handicap chase (lost shoe may have accounted for sticky jumping). Right age, nice weight, but another contender who has yet to prove he’ll relish this test.

    VIEUX LION ROUGE


    12yo, 10st 5lb
    Form: 97-510
    Owners: Prof Caroline Tisdall & John Gent
    Trainer: David Pipe
    VIEUX (old) has become an appropriate name for this grand horse, who showed no signs of ageing with a victory in November’s Becher Chase over these fences (also won in 2016). This is his fifth attempt on the National, but while he completes the course he has been well beaten.

    MINELLACELEBRATION


    11yo, 10st 5lb
    Form: 2-11UU7
    Owner: Nick Elliott
    Trainer: Katy Price
    Jockey: Ben Poste
    FROM yard in Welsh Borders, this horse has fallen once in 37 races and his two unseats this season have been pure bad luck (jockey lost stirrup and unseated on Flat, then hampered by rival next time out). Well beaten when completing in 2019 Becher Chase. Unlikely to be cause of celebrations.

    LORD DU MESNIL


    8yo, 10st 6lb
    Form: 22-4991
    Owners: Paul Porter & Mike & Mandy Smith
    Trainer: Richard Hobson
    Jockey: Paul O’Brien
    STAYED on dourly for victory in Haydock Park’s Grand National Trial over 3½ miles in February, but soft ground was a vital factor and that is unlikely on Saturday. Had a look at Aintree’s fences when unplaced in December’s Sefton Chase and well beaten in January’s Welsh National.

    CLASS CONTI


    9yo, 10st 6lb
    Form: F2-P034
    Owners: Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
    Trainer: Willie Mullins
    EX-FRENCH horse who showed talent when successful as a youngster in his homeland, and has paid his way since arriving in Ireland. Good efforts in well-known Irish handicap chases – the Thyestes Chase and Leinster National – on his two most recent starts, but his stamina for 4½ miles is unproven.

    DISCORAMA


    8yo, 10st 6lb
    Form: 833-25
    Owners: Thomas Friel & Andrew Gemmell
    Trainer: Paul Nolan
    LIGHTLY raced in recent seasons, but showed he was not short of stamina when runner-up over nearly four miles in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in 2019. Coped with the hurly-burly of a 23-runner field when third in a handicap chase there last year, and could make a few of these rivals dance to his tune.

    CLOTH CAP


    9yo, 10st 5lb
    Form: 4328-311
    Owner: Trevor Hemmings
    Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill
    Jockey: Tom Scudamore
    OWNER Trevor Hemmings has won three Nationals, always wearing a cloth cap, hence the name of this horse, who gives him a chance of win number four. Eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore never won the National, but son Tom rides a horse on a rising curve. Kelso and Newbury victories, and now favourite.

    CANELO


    8yo, 10st 4lb
    Form: 1-012143
    Owner: JP McManus
    Trainer: Alan King
    Jockey: Tom Cannon
    CONSISTENT former British point-to-pointer who has improved plenty since winning at Aintree (not over the National fences) in November when fitted with cheekpieces. Won decent prize at Wetherby on Boxing Day and good third on recent start, but yet to face these fences or tackle such an extreme journey.

    CABARET QUEEN


    9yo, 10st 5lb
    Form: 0-31238P
    Owner: Syndicates Racing
    Trainer: Willie Mullins
    WON Ireland’s Kerry National (by the smallest of margins) in September, and chased home Shattered Love at Clonmel the following month. But limitations exposed when well-beaten third in mares’ chase at Fairyhouse in January and was pulled up at halfway in similar race at Cheltenham last month. Won’t be the ruling monarch here.

    THE LONG MILE


    7yo, 10st 4lb
    Form: 1-F103
    Owner: JP McManus
    Trainer: Philip Dempsey
    Jockey: Jody McGarvey
    NO seven-year-old has won the National since Bogskar in 1940, and while this is a progressive young horse he is unlikely to match that feat. Became a National candidate when winning a 15-runner handicap chase at Limerick in December. That was over 2½ miles, this is 4½ miles. The final mile will feel very long.

    GIVE ME A COPPER


    11yo, 10st 4lb
    Form: 17-2P
    Owners: Done, Ferguson, Mason, Nicholls & Wood
    Trainer: Paul Nicholls
    Jockey: Harry Cobden
    THIS lightly raced horse has given his owners (including former football manager Sir Alex Ferguson) some fun days out, not least with his most recent win in a Listed chase at Wincanton in November 2019. Was fourth that year in big race at Sandown, but unlikely to be in the money here.

    SUB LIEUTENANT


    12yo, 10st 3lb
    Form: 4-0244
    Owner/trainer: Georgie Howell
    Jockey: Tabitha Worsley
    FROM a small string of horses trained by Georgie Howell and ridden by daughter Tabitha Worsley, who won Foxhunters’ Chase over National fences in 2019. Bought in September for £50,000, a reflection of his talent when younger. Had two fair runs, and this year’s number one fairy tale.

    AMI DESBOIS


    11yo, 10st 2lb
    Form: 62P-22
    Owner: Reserved Judgment Partnership
    Trainer: Graeme McPherson
    Jockey: Kielan Woods
    TRAINED by a barrister, was a smart novice hurdler who has become a reliable handicap chaser. Wins prize money, if not the race, but rarely been asked to race beyond three miles and yet to try the Aintree fences. Little weight to carry, could run well at big price.

    SECRET REPRIEVE


    7yo, 10st 1lb
    Form: 22-F11
    Owners: William & Angela Rucker
    Trainer: Evan Williams
    Jockey: Adam Wedge
    NOT certain to get a run, and would need soft ground to show his best, but an interesting contender who fulfilled an ambition for his trainer when landing the Welsh National in January. Only seven, and could have a bigger chance next year, but definitely one to note.

    FARCLAS


    7yo, 10st 3lb
    Form: 11-5342
    Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
    Trainer: Denise Foster
    Jockey: Jack Kennedy
    COMES alive when the ground starts to dry, and ran a super race at the Cheltenham Festival when second in a handicap chase. Put in good effort when third of 22 in Leopardstown handicap chase at Christmas. Enters the unknown on stamina and at seven could be one for a future National.

    HOGAN’S HEIGHT


    10yo, 10st 3lb
    Form: 715-P6
    Owner: Foxtrot Racing
    Trainer: Jamie Snowden
    PULLED clear for easy win in the 2019 Sefton Chase over the National fences, but missed chance to run in last year’s National when it was abandoned. Two runs in hurdle races plus the recent cross-country chase at Cheltenham, in which he was last of six to finish, suggest Hogan’s is unlikely to hit the heights.

    BLAKLION


    12yo, 10st 2lb
    Form: 85/074
    Owners: Darren & Annaley Yates
    Trainer: Dan Skelton
    SENT off the 8/1 favourite for the 2017 National, and going like the winner until bumped and the petrol tank emptied after the penultimate fence. Looked better the following season when easy winner of the Becher Chase, but brought down at the first in 2018 race and has shown little in three runs this season.

    KAUTO RIKO


    10yo, 10st
    Form: 2520-4
    Owner: Mr & Mrs J Dale and Partners
    Trainer: Tom Gretton
    Produced a career best when second in the Grade Two Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon in December 2019 and subsequently served up a good performance when second to Definitly Red at Kelso. Has completed the course in all but one (pulled up) of 21 races, but has yet to race over three miles, let alone this marathon trip.

    MINELLA TIMES


    8yo, 10st 3lb
    Form: 20-122
    Owner: JP McManus
    Trainer: Henry de Bromhead
    Jockey: Rachael Blackmore
    ALTHOUGH beaten in his two most recent starts he has finished ahead of no fewer than 40 rivals (second in a pair of 22-runner handicap chases). Fell on his debut in a point-to-point, but has jumped well and stayed on his feet in 17 further races. Progressive and has a featherweight in the National, but stamina unproven.

    DOUBLE SHUFFLE


    11yo, 10st 2lb
    Form: 7-9316
    Owner: Crossed Fingers Partnership
    Trainer: Tom George
    GOOD jumper (one fall in 33 races) who reached the second-last fence in the 2017 National before pulling up (now has 9lb less on his back which will help in this test). Also completed the course when 12th in the 2019 Topham Trophy over the National fences, and has been running well this season.

    SOME NECK


    10yo, 10st 1lb
    Form: F-63103
    Owner: Some Neck Partnership
    Trainer: John McConnell
    THIRD to an invincible Tiger Roll in Cheltenham’s recent cross-country race (beaten 20 lengths by the winner), and was a narrow winner of a similar race at the track in December. Those efforts proved he could handle unusual fences and has the stamina, but you’d be sticking your neck out to suggest he can win a National.

    FAGAN


    11yo, 10st
    Form: 70-631
    Owner: Brackenbury
    Trainer: Alex Hales
    A useful hurdler and chaser when trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott. Just one attempt at a marathon race when pulled up in four-mile Scottish National in 2018, then absent for two years before joining current stable in Oxfordshire. Steady progress since, and won well at Newbury in January. An unlikely twist in his tale is possible.

    Talking points

    COULD POTTERS CORNER MAKE IT A REALITY?

    THE Christian Williams-trained Potters Corner won last year’s “Virtual Grand National” which was run in place of the real thing in aid of NHS charities. “He’s in good form and did a lovely piece of work last week,” says Williams. “His season has been geared towards the Grand National, so fingers crossed.”

    BIDDING TO MAKE HISTORY

    AMONG the female jockeys bidding to become the first to win the Randox Grand National in its 182-year history is Bryony Frost, who gets the leg up on Yala Enki. “I’ve just got to get him out there galloping and at the end of the day a race like that is all about luck,” she says.

    HENDERSON IS OUT TO MAKE AMENDS

    LEADING trainer Nicky Henderson turned 70 recently and hopes OK Corral can give him a first victory in the race after failing to win in more than 40 years of trying. “The clock is ticking,” he says.

    This feature is also available to read in this Thursday’s H&H magazine (8 April, 2021)

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