*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
Let’s not beat about the Aintree spruce here, it’s pretty rare for a Grand National winner to retain their title. Tiger Roll and Red Rum are the only horses since World War II to pull off the improbable feat… so can last year’s winner join the elusive club?
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Minella Times romped to glory in the Grand National 2021 as Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey in history to win the race. It also capped off a brilliant few weeks for trainer Henry de Bromhead after saddling winners in the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
If he’s to defend his crown, the nine-year-old has to contend with a 15lbs rise in the ratings from his winning mark last year, despite failing to finish on his two starts this season at Punchestown and Leopardstown, and the task of carrying top weight. The last horse to win carrying the heaviest load? The legendary Red Rum back in 1974!
The race 12 months ago was almost too good to be true for De Bromhead as the yard’s other runner, Balko Des Flos, was 6½l behind in second but last year’s runner-up will not be back for more after suffering a season-ending injury in the winter.
Any Second Now was a further 1¾l behind in third and Ted Walsh’s charge is vying for favouritism this time round after an impressive victory in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February.
The trio pulled a long way clear of the next group of finishers as Burrows Saint was 27¼l behind the winner in fourth. The 2019 Irish National winner has failed to win from three starts this term and was a beaten favourite when finishing 42l behind Any Second Now last time out.
Gordon Elliott’s Farclas was a further 2l back to ensure the top-five spots were locked out by the Irish. The eight-year-old was due to carry 5lbs more in this year’s renewal but was scratched at the final-declaration stage.
The veteran Blaklion was the best of the British in sixth place as Dan Skelton’s charge came home alone a further 7½l behind. The 13-year-old is set for his fourth spin over the Aintree fences, having also finished fourth in 2017.
Grand National 2021 Result
1 – Minella Times
2 – Balko Des Flos
3 – Any Second Now
4 – Burrows Saint
5 – Farclas
6 – Blaklion
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