The Grand National is back for its 173rd running but, incredibly, just three grey horses have won the world’s greatest steeplechase. The Lamb was the first to claim victory in 1868 before repeating the feat three years later. Fast forward 90 years to 1961 when the Irish-bred Nicolaus Silver defied odds of 28/1 to become the second grey to do the business. And fans of grey horses had to wait just another 51 years for the next success when Neptune Collonges edged out Sunnyhillboy in a photo finish in 2012.
Can 2021 be the year another glorious grey gallops to glory? Paddy Power News takes a look at the four entries set to tackle the iconic Grand National fences at Aintree Racecourse in 2021.
It’s fair to say a key historic trend is not in favour of the multiple Grade 1 winner as Bristol De Mai would need to become the first horse since Red Rum in the 1970s to carry top weight to victory. But if there’s one man who knows how to steer a grey to victory in the race it’s jockey Daryl Jacob, who rode Neptune Collonges to victory. Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has also tasted success in the Grand National having saddled Earth Summit and Bindaree in 1998 and 2002 respectively.
Owner Trevor Hemmings has won the Grand National with Hedgehunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015) but Lake View Lad‘s only experience in the race ended early in 2019 when pulling up. The 11-year-old kicked off this season with a win in the Many Clouds Chase on the Mildmay course at Aintree but has disappointed on his last two starts.
The eight-year-old is winless since January 2019 although did claim third place in the hotly-run Pertemps Network Final at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. Tout Est Permis fell on his last start when fancied and was fourth of five runners in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February behind Acapella Bourgeois.
A seven-year-old has not won the Grand National since before World War II when Bogskar triumphed in 1940, although Farclas heads to Aintree off the back of a promising 3l defeat to The Shunter in the Paddy Power Plate at the Cheltenham Festival. Jack Kennedy is booked for the ride fresh off winning the Gold Cup on Minella Indo.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change
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