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GRAND NATIONAL: Aintree showpiece returns for 2021

 

After a year away, the Grand National is back!

The Coronavirus pandemic put the event on hold last year but the runners and riders will return to Aintree Racecourse on Saturday for the 174th running of the world’s most famous steeplechase.

Due to current government guidance, the race will take place behind closed doors, with owners and trainers the only people who will be allowed entry to the racecourse.

Last year’s Virtual Grand National raised more than £2.6 million for NHS Charities Together as Potters Corner “won” the computer-simulated event.

However, now the horses are back on track, many are wondering who will take the crown this year?

 

Cloth Cap

 

The favourite for this year’s showpiece event is the Jonjo O’Neill trained Cloth Cap, who looks well handicapped based on his recent form.

Tom Scudamore will take the reigns as he seeks a first victory in the race on the short price favourite.

There are questions marks surrounding Cloth Cap however, as the horse has never tackled the famous ‘Aintree fences’.

Another issue is that the horse likes to make the running out front on his own, but given that the Grand National will see him take on 39 other rivals, it’s unlikely he will get an easy lead.

 

The Old Guard

 

Experience is often key when running in a race as unpredictable as the Grand National, and there are plenty of horses involved who know their way around the course.

Magic of Light was a brilliant second to Tiger Roll in 2019 and will be looking to go one better this time around.

Of all those with experience however, Vieux Lion Rogue is the one to keep a very close eye on.

The David Pipe trained 12-year-old has completed all nine outings over these fences and is set to run in his fifth Grand National.


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