We might not have had the office-wide sweepstake or thousands of punters in attendance, but the 2021 Grand National was certainly one to remember with Rachael Blackmore romping home on Minella Times to make history as the first female jockey to win the biggest race of all. It was an outstanding ride as she and her mount fought off 100/1 punt Balko Des Flos in second and Any Second Now in third.
It wasn’t all just about the Grand National today though, as we saw Shishkin get the job done in the Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase and Thyme Hill just about overhaul Roksana in a thrilling the Ryanair Stayers Hurdle.
A truly incredible day with a fairytale outcome. Cheers to you, Rachael. So, put the kettle on and relive the 2021 Grand National with us here. And if you’re really that impatient, you can scroll to the bottom of the page to see the Grand National 2021 result.
Hometown Boy lead this 22-strong field early on with Barnaviddaun taking up the mantle on the back straight of the first circuit. The former then retook the lead as Barnaviddaun faded badly with a mile to go from a well-bunched pack. J’ai Froid put the pressure on Hometown Boy a mile out but the winner broke clear before making a big mistake at the final hurdle. He recovered superbly, though, and held on to fend off J’Ai Froid, Tea Clipper, Ashtown Lad and Whirling Dervish in that order.
Llandinabo Lad led them along in the early stages and maintained his position until 4 fences out where he went into reverse. Ballyadam and My Drogo arrived into menacing positions with two to go but it was the latter who powered ahead in some style. Minella Drama tried to challenge but My Drogo looked a class above and extended away with Minella Drama a long way back in front of Guard Your Dreams and Ballyadam.
Gumball tried to make the early running but Shishkin soon galloped into the lead. It wasn’t the most fluent jumping display from the 1/8 favourite, who toyed with the field and even had a little wonder in-between the second last and final fence, but Shishkin did enough to win from Funambule Sivola by 3 1/2 lengths.
Vinndication and Emitom bolted into an early lead with the Kim Bailey charge stretching away over the first half-dozen hurdles. The rest of the field held their nerve and by the time we had four to jump Emitom had been swallowed up with Vinndication soon to follow suit.
Roksana popped out over the second from home and Thyme Hill came careering forward after the last. The pair were engaged in a thrilling charge for the line with Thyme Hill finding just enough inside the final 100 yards to overhaul Roksana on the line with Thomas Darby and Decor Irlandais following them home at very healthy prices.
Paisley Park was a disappointment again after a poor Cheltenham showing and was pulled up but didn’t show any obvious ill effects in the immediate aftermath of the race.
Kilfilum Cross was in the driving seat at the half-way stage but he gave way with four to go and Johnbb hit the front. There were plenty of chances over the second last but by the time we got to the final hurdle Happygolucky had it in the bag. He cruised home ahead of Johnbb, Spiritofthegames and Calipso Collonges.
Jett cantered along in the early stages with Lord Du Mesnil and the favourite Cloth Cap in hot pursuit. At the half-way stage Jett looked very tidy and was pulling away from the rest, building up a healthy eight-length lead over the 17th fence.
Cloth Cap continued to lurk at the front of the chasing pack at that stage but Jessica Harrington’s horse was still looking good until the 28th when finally reeled in. That fence also saw the end of Cloth Cap’s challenge as things started to heat up.
All of a sudden we were left with three as the 100/1 punt Balko Des Flos powered forward with Any Second Now as Rachael Blackmore and Minella Times burst onto the scene up the inside. Once in front there was no stopping Blackmore as she became first woman to win a Grand National in outstanding style.
Balko Des Flos and Any Second Now tried hard on the long drive home but Blackmore and Minella Times weren’t to be denied, charging home by five lengths from Balko Des Flos, Any Second Now, Burrows Saint and Farclas.
Finally we had a National Hunt Flat race to round of an incredible Aintree Grand National Festival for 2021. Fine Casting and Mot A Mot set the pace for the first half but the former faded to be replaced by Super Six as they approached the last 1/2 mile.
It was Knappers Hill and Stage Star who emerged clear of the rest in the home straight. The pair did battle before Knappers Hill got the upper hand. Stage Star eventually faded to third in the face of a late charge from Peking Rose who took second and might have won over another 50 yards.
Aintree Grand National Festival 2021 Results
13:45 EFT Systems Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 3m 149y
1: 17. Hometown Boy 6/1F
2: 5. J’ai Froid 11/1
3: 6. Tea Clipper 8/1
4: 21. Ashtown Lad 14/1
5: 16. Whirling Dervish 12/1
14:25 Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f
1: 10. My Drogo 5/4F
2: 9. Minella Drama 12/1
3: 5. Guard Your Dreams 28/1
4: 2. Ballyadam 11/4
15:00 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 176y
1: 5. Shishkin 1/8F
2. 2. Funambule Sivola 14/1
15:35 Ryanair Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m 149y
1: 11. Thyme Hill 5/2F
2: 15. Roksana 7/2
3: 10. Thomas Darby 28/1
4: 2. Decor Irlandais 50/1
16:15 Betway Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 210y
1: 5. Happygolucky 11/4 F
2: 13. Johnbb 9/1
3: 6. Spiritofthegames 7/1
4: 15. Calipso Collonges 22/1
17:15 Randox Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 4m 2f 74y
1: 35. Minella Times 11/1
2: 16. Balco Des Flos 100/1
3: 15. Any Second Now 15/2
4: 7. Burrows Saint 9/1
5: 34. Farclas 16/1
18:20 Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Standard Open NH Flat Race (Grade 2) 2m 209y
1: 10. Knappers Hill 8/1
2: 14. Peking Rose 50/1
3: 16. Stage Star 22/1
4: 11. Luttrell Lad 16/1
Read More on the Grand National 2021
- Grand National 2021 runners and latest betting
- Grand National 2021 digital sweepstake
- Grand National 2021 race information including date and start time
- Grand National trends to note when picking your horse
- Grand National punters flock to support Cloth Cap