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Victory in the Grand National offers horses, jockeys and trainers a place in sporting history – and also a massive financial sum for connections. As the most famous horse race in the world, it’s only fitting that the mega event boasts a prodigious prize pot.
The Grand National is an epic slog over 4m 2½f at Aintree Racecourse as the 40 runners and riders attempt to navigate the 30 fences including iconic obstacles such as The Chair, the Canal Turn and Becher’s Brook.
Tiger Roll came out on top in 2018 and 2019 to become the first horse since the legendary Red Rum in the 1970s to win back-to-back renewals. The public favourite was denied the opportunity to make it an unprecedented hat-trick in 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak forced organisers to cancel. Sadly, owners Gigginstown House Stud opted to withdraw the Tiger from this year’s Grand National due to concerns over the handicapper’s decision to issue a weight of 11st 9lb.
It certainly shook up the betting market and Cloth Cap emerged as the favourite with Paddy Power for today’s race. Jonjo O’Neill’s nine-year-old has won on his last two starts – November’s Trophy Chase at Newbury and last month’s Premier Chase at Kelso – and is low in the weights with 10st 5lb.
With 40 runners and riders there are plenty to choose from and Burrows Saint, Kimberlite Candy, Any Second Now and Minella Times have all attracted plenty of support in the build up to the race. There’ll be reason to cheer if you have a winning bet but it’ll be nothing like the smile on the faces of the winning connections.
The 2021 Cheltenham Festival was dominated by Irish-trained horses and many pundits claimed the favourable prize money on the Emerald Isle was key. The Grand National, however, is the most valuable National Hunt race on the calendar. The 2021 renewal has a prize pot worth £750,000. Obviously that sum doesn’t just go to the winner but whichever horse is first past the post will bag connections a cool £375,000. The rest of the money is split between connections of the next nine finishers.
While those six-figure sums are impressive, they represent a 25 per cent drop from the £1,000,000 prize pot on offer in 2019. It’s still worth more than the Cheltenham Gold Cup when Minella Indo earned £263,765.62 in prize money.
The Grand National‘s pot is dwarfed by one race in Great Britain – the Derby at Epsom Racecourse in June. The winner of the 1m 4f flat contest will bag £637,988 for connections.
So which horse is going to have their owner popping open the champagne bottles come 5.30pm?
Paddy Power’s resident jockey-turned-pundit Ruby Walsh believes BURROWS SAINT “ticks a lot of the right boxes”. The dual Grand National winner also likes the look of CLASS CONTI at a price as he’s “sure to stay”.
Paddy Power trader Frank Hickey is hot on DISCORAMA and thinks the Paul Nolan-trained eight-year-old has a “massive chance” despite notching one win in 10 chase starts. Our man also likes the look of TALKISCHEAP at a big price because of the likely decent ground.
Read More on the Grand National 2021
- Grand National 2021 runners, weights and latest betting
- Grand National 2021 date and start time
- Grand National trends to note when picking your horse
- Grand National punters flock to support Cloth Cap