The Aintree Grand National 2020

There is no bigger horse race in the world than the Aintree Grand National, and the betting for the historic handicap is equally mammoth in the lead up. The odds for the 2020 renewal are up, and unsurprisingly, Tiger Roll is already a single-figure price to win the race for the third year running. After initial doubts, he seems likely to take his place next year, so it is no surprise that he is a commanding favourite, while the 2019 Irish National winner Burrows Saint is the second favourite at the time of writing. 

Grand National 2020 Runners

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Tiger Roll

  • Form: - /
  • Weight: - /
  • Age: 10 /
  • Jockey: - /
  • Trainer: G Elliott /

Created history when becoming the first horse to win back-to-back renewals of the race since the great Red Rum in 1974. Like a fine wine, he seems to be getting better with age, and has seemingly been given the green light to go in pursuit of a third straight win in the race in 2020. He's still only be a ten-year-old, and although his injury setback is a far from ideal preparation, he will arrive with a favourite's chance - though if he's punished particularly heavily by the handicapper (had a mark of 159 last year), he could be vulnerable. 

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Magic Of Light

  • Form: - /
  • Weight: - /
  • Age: 9 /
  • Jockey: - /
  • Trainer: Mrs J Harrington /

Likeable mare, who ran a screamer when finishing second on her first try in the race as a 66/1 shot in the 2019 renewal. She looked a natural over the National fences, and having returned to winning ways in a listed mares' chase at Newbury in December, she can't be discounted here - though her mark will likely be higher and her price will be much shorter this time around.

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Kimberlite Candy

  • Form: - /
  • Weight: - /
  • Age: 8 /
  • Jockey: - /
  • Trainer: Tom Lacey /

Improving chaser who's progressing at a rate of knots, building on a fine effort to finish second in the Becher Chase on his first try over these fences in December by winning the Classic Chase at Warwick last time - a key indicator for this race (won by One For Arthur in 2017). There's plenty to like about him and everything points to a big run considering he's got stamina in abundance and is already proven over the unique fences. 

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Burrows Saint

  • Form: - /
  • Weight: - /
  • Age: 7 /
  • Jockey: - /
  • Trainer: W P Mullins /

Rapidly progressed as a novice chaser last season, culminating in victory in the Irish National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday. He looks a Grade 1 chaser in the making, catching the eye when fifth on his first try at that level at Auteuil in May, and the way he's been campaigned so far this season suggests he's very much building up to something. Indeed, he's made two starts over inadequate trips so far - winning a race over hurdles which included Sizing John last time out - and he'll arrive at Aintree with every chance, though it's worth noting that seven-year-olds have a poor record in this. 

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Walk In The Mill

  • Form: - /
  • Weight: - /
  • Age: 10 /
  • Jockey: - /
  • Trainer: R Walford /

Building up the profile of a bona fide specialist over the Grand National fences, becoming the first horse in history to win back-to-back renewals of the Becher Chase back in December. Sandwiched between those two wins was a fine effort to finish fourth in last year's renewal, and although he'll be on a higher mark this time around, he'll surely be on the premises once again.

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Native River

  • Form: - /
  • Weight: - /
  • Age: 10 /
  • Jockey: - /
  • Trainer: C L Tizzard /

A class act, whose career successes have included the 2016 Welsh Grand National and the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup. He will have to shoulder a huge weight if taking his chance, but he's shown he's more than capable of doing that, and was an excellent winner of the Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase over conventional fences here in December.

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Le Breuil

  • Form: - /
  • Weight: - /
  • Age: 8 /
  • Jockey: - /
  • Trainer: B Pauling /

Marked himself out as a contender for this when winning a gruelling renewal of the four-miler at last year's Cheltenham Festival. He hasn't got his nose in front in three starts since, but you get the feeling that he's very much building up to something, considering he made his reappearance over hurdles back in November. He's since shaped well when seventh on his first try over the National fences in the Becher Chase, and his effort to finish fifth in the Classic Chase last time out was promising. He's on the right kind of mark, and it wouldn't be a surprise if we haven't seen the best of him just yet this term.

silk

Sizing John

  • Form: - /
  • Weight: - /
  • Age: 10 /
  • Jockey: - /
  • Trainer: Mrs J Harrington /

The reigning 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, who's been off the track for two years with injury. He fell on return over hurdles at Punchestown in December, but that was an encouraging reappearance, as he was going well when departing. There's reasons to think he could cope with the mammoth trip, and he'd be one to take very seriously if the handicapper decides to give this multiple Grade 1 winner a chance at the weights.

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Elegant Escape

  • Form: - /
  • Weight: - /
  • Age: 8 /
  • Jockey: - /
  • Trainer: C L Tizzard /

Enjoyed a fantastic breakthrough season last term, winning the Welsh Grand National and establishing his position at the top table of staying chasers. He perhaps doesn't quite have the quality for a Cheltenham Gold Cup - finishing sixth in 2019 - and may find the going here to be a little quick, but he's put up three outstanding efforts under big weights in valuable handicaps so far this campaign, and he'll likely give this a good go off an eye-watering mark.

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Top Ville Ben

  • Form: - /
  • Weight: - /
  • Age: 8 /
  • Jockey: - /
  • Trainer: P A Kirby /

Enjoyed an excellent season as a novice chaser last term, culminating in a fine effort to finish third behind Lostintranslation and Topofthegame at the Mildmay Novices' Chase at this meeting. Questions about his stamina were asked when he was collared late on in the Rehearsal Chase over three miles at Newcastle in November, but the key to him seems to be settling in his races, and he was an emphatic winner of the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase over the same trip at Wetherby last time. His ambitious connections are also eyeing up the Gold Cup, and if he runs here he'll certainly be worth his place.

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What is the Aintree Grand National?

The most famous horse race on the planet, the Grand National is the single biggest day of the season at Aintree Racecourse in Merseyside. 

Run over a mammoth trip of four miles, two furlongs and 110 yards, and run over the unique National course, the National is the ultimate test of a racehorse, and a maximum field of 40-runners head to post each season. 

The race has undergone several changes in the last few years, both to boost the prize money and to improve the safety of the race for the participants - both equine and human. Indeed, with a prize fund of £1 million on offer since 2017, the race is becoming more and more attractive to the very best staying chasers in training - something shown by the fact that Tiger Roll became the first horse since the great Red Rum in 1974 to win back-to-back renewals of the Aintree spectacular. 

Grand National day is the one true day of the year where the Sport of Kings hits the mainstream, and everyone from devoted sports fans to your grandparents take a vested interest in the race. Keep your eyes peeled on HorseRacing.net for news, views, pointers and tips in the run-up to the 2020 National at Aintree. 

What happened in the 2019 Grand National?

The 2019 renewal of the National will never be forgotten, as Tiger Roll made history by becoming the first horse since the great Red Rum in 1974 to win the race twice. 

Tiger Roll took his chance off a mark that was 9 lb higher than for his win the previous year, but he arrived at Aintree in the form of his live, having taken apart the field in the previous month's Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Stalking the front-running Rathvinden, Tiger Roll made smooth progress into the race, before moving into the lead ahead of the mare Magic of Light at the final flight, and pulling clear to seal an historic success. Still only a 10-year-old in 2020, Tiger Roll will have outstanding claims of sealing a third straight National win, and earning his place alongside Red Rum as the greatest ever. 

The history of the Aintree Grand National

No race in the world can match the Grand National for history and prestige, and the roll of honour for the Aintree spectacular is a special one. Recent winners of the National include Mon Mome, who memorably cause a 100/1 shock in 2009, and Don't Push It, who gave AP McCoy his first and only win in the race 12 months later.

First run all the way back in 1839, the National has grown not only into a huge sporting event, but also a part of the culture in both the UK and around the world, with a huge TV audience sitting down to watch the race each spring.

The most famous renewal of the race, though, is perhaps from 1967, when the shock of all shocks occurred. A huge pile-up at the 23rd fence ended the chances of a huge majority of the field, and only the tailed-off outsider Foinavon was able to navigate the obstacle at the first attempt. Foinavon was able to build up a huge lead as a consequence, and although several runners remounted and began a pursuit - including the favourite Honey End - their chase was in vein, and Foinavon completed an almighty upset, returning home as a 100/1 winner. 

There have been some memorable moments in recent years, too, including the race that never was in 1993, when a number of runners completed the entire race without realising that a false start was called. That was followed by the Monday National in 1997 after an IRA bomb scare cancelled the original race on the Saturday, while there was only four finishers in a particularly attritional 2001 renewal.

Who is the most iconic winner of the Aintree Grand National?

We have already mentioned Tiger Roll on this page, and he deserves another mention here, but there is no doubt that, for now at least, Red Rum is the clear winner of the category.

The Ginger McCain-trained horse dominated the National in the 1970s - when the race was arguably much tougher to win in terms of the size of the fences and the test on offer - and "Rummy" made the race his own. In five consecutive years between 1973 and 1977 we saw Red Rum win the race three times and finish second in the other two - a remarkable run of form which saw him enter Liverpool folklore. Red Rum is buried at Aintree, and rightly so.

Are there any trials for the Grand National?

There is a tried and tested route to the National, and we will be featuring all the main contenders right here on the way to Liverpool.

In terms of trials, there are two main races in the UK which serve that defined purpose - the Becher Chase at Aintree in early December, and the Grand National Trial at Haydock every February. Other races to note include the Welsh National at Chepstow, the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster and the Eider Chase at Newcastle. Over in Ireland, the Bobbyjo Chase tends to be a target for National runners.  

Who is the most successful jockey in the Grand National?

We have to go back to the 19th century for the leading jockey, with George Stevens claiming the National five times in a relatively short period. Stevens claimed success on Freetrader (1856), Emblem (1863), Emblematic (1864) and the Colonel (1869 and 1870) in the world's most famous steeplechase.

Who is the most successful trainer in the Grand National?

There are three trainers with four wins in the National; George Dockeray, Fred Rimell and Ginger McCain top of the winners table. McCain saw Amberleigh House win in 2004 to add to his three victories with Red Rum (1973, 1974 and 1977), and that was a day that will live long in the memory. 

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