Grand National tips: Ruby Walsh’s antepost best bets for 2021 Aintree race

Ruby has marked your card for Saturday’s feature race at 5.15pm

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*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing/Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason, you will lose your stake under traditional antepost rules

Ruby Walsh has named his top selections for the Grand National ahead of the 2021 renewal of the world’s most famous steeplechase.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, our resident jockey-turned-pundit named his best bet and another contender who could go well at a price on Merseyside.

BURROWS SAINT is in pretty similar form to how he was last year. He hasn’t won a race since he won the Irish National in 2019, but we’re very happy with him. He’s improved a good bit since his run in the Bobbyjo Chase when he was second to Acapella Bourgeois.

The big thing with him is the ground, and he is a much better horse on good ground. He’s been racing through the winter on heavy ground and his first run behind Mary Frances was pretty poor while he ran ordinarily in a hurdle race at Gowran Park. He was a lot better in the Bobbyjo, although he did hang right on really testing ground. But I think on dry ground he is a different horse and his style of jumping is ideal for the race. He’s an ex-French chaser so he is very low and very accurate, he’s a strong traveller and he’s won over 3m5f so he’ll hopefully get the extra couple of furlongs. He’s go a lot of things going for him.

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His current rating is a hefty enough penalty for the margin which he won the Irish National by, but I wouldn’t say he’s a horse that is ever going to win a race by too far. The manner which he travelled through the Irish National tells you more about him than anything else. I’m sure people might be questioning his form, as Acapella Bourgeois was third in that Irish National and he’s a good bit better off than him now for the defeat but Burrows Saint ticks a lot of the right boxes. He’s had three runs this year, which you also need to have had to win an English National.

BurrowsSaintMay19a

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ANY SECOND NOW has won three chases and two of them were over 2m, although the third was 3m2f. That is more to do with the standard of races he was running in, because when you get away from the Grade 1 2m chasers in Ireland the standard is not massively strong at Grade 2 and Grade 3 level. He therefore has the pace to win those races.

I do think his better form is on slower ground though, and while he didn’t handle the really heavy ground in the Thyestes he does like to get his toe into the ground. He was good in Navan when he won the Webster Cup and he was very good in the Kim Muir when Derek O’Connor rode him over 3¼m.

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I don’t see stamina being an issue for him and I think he’s a really nice weight at 10st9lbs. He’s in really good form but he would just like a drop of rain and that would be my only worry for him.

When Commanche Court got beaten in the Gold Cup his prep run was over 2m, and when he won the Irish National that was off the back of running in the Arkle. My dad always likes to run horses short before they go long, just to put a bit of speed into them and get them into a position where they are able to travel and it makes them an easier ride for the jockeys.

Any Second Now Derek O'Connor Kilfilum Cross Kim Muir March 14, 2019

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Stamina is a question mark for a lot of horses, and you just don’t know until you try, but MINELLA TIMES is by Oscar out of an Anshan mare so there is enough stamina in his pedigree to suggest he would get the trip. However, that is only a suggestion but I do think he kept going well in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas. At the last fence is looked like Farclas had the beating of him but he outstayed his opponent.

Even if you look at Minella Times’ run in Listowel over 2m6f, Beyond The Law was going clear and he needed every yard of that trip to get up and win. To win again off this mark, it’s going to be brought about by improvement from going up in trip. But then if he doesn’t stay, he’s goosed.

Prior to the changes to the course, I used to prefer riding horses that hadn’t been to the National before (although Hedgehunter was different because he was a pure National horse). When they changed the fences and made them that bit softer, horses with a bit of experience now have a better chance going back again than they used to have.

ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS is 11-years-old and having no crowd will be a huge factor for him because he gets quite hot. He has been involved in a few false starts and an empty aintree will definitely benefit his cause. He jumps, he stays, he ran really well in the 2019 Irish National and he’s been in good form this year. He chased home Al Boum Photo at Tramore, he was fifth in the Thyestes and he pulled out quick then won the Bobbyjo. I would say he is probably overpriced.

Everyone also wants one in the National at a price, and I think CLASS CONTI could be overlooked. He was third in Thyestes, fourth in the Leinster National and I think better ground will suit him a bit. He’s ex-French, so jumps low and accurate, he only has 10st6lbs on his back, he’s a nine-year-old and he’s sure to stay.

*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing/Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason, you will lose your stake under traditional antepost rules

Ruby Walsh’s Grand National tips – Saturday, April 10

Burrows Saint
Class Conti

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