By Tom Lee

Grand National Tips: Tom Lee's Grand National Tipping Preview

By Tom Lee
Grand National Tips: Kimberlite Candy looks a major each way player
Grand National Tips: Kimberlite Candy looks a major each way player

Tom Lee gives us his two tips for the 2021 Grand National at Aintree, and he selects two each way contenders in Saturday's showpiece...

Tom Lee's Grand National Tips

Grand National - Kimberlite Candy each way at 12/1 with bet365

Grand National - Yala Enki each way at 40/1 with William Hill

Longer, lighter, brighter days are here, pub beer gardens are gearing up for next week's grand reopening, Liverpool 'keeper Alisson has taken his sport's 'draught excluder' trend to a whole new level, the sun is even making more than the occasional fleeting appearance. 

What more could you want out of life?!

Well, the Grand National winner would be nice, so here goes and bombs away with a couple of each way contenders to trouble the judge in British racing's most famous contest. 

As ever, a sincere hope all 40 runners and riders return home safe applies in this unique and brilliant spectacle, due off at 5.15pm on Saturday.

Covid of course cocked it up 12 months ago, but last time the National was run we had a winning favourite, as the remarkable Tiger Roll obliged at odds of 4/1.

With him shopping elsewhere this time around it's Cloth Cap who bears the spotlight of favouritism, coming here with a wet sail after slick victories at Newbury and Kelso. 

Good luck to him, and indeed to anyone compared to back at cramped odds in a 40-runner handicap chase. 

The case for the jolly is crystal clear and he may indeed deliver another victory here for Jonjo O'Neill, but a National wager needs to be a cocktail of value, experience, potential, improvement and promise, and with the following two runners I'd argue you get more than a bit of both, and therefore plenty for your money if you allow your Aintree hopes to rest with one or the other:

Grand National Tips

First up, a lightly-raced, lightly-weighted, rock-solid stayer, one who has proven not once but twice he positively thrives over the big National fences.

Step forward the Tom Lacey-trained Kimberlite Candy

On 32 successes for the campaign, Lacey's Herefordshire-based talent production factory is well versed in producing winners, this animal being zero exception.

Trawl back to April 2016 and you'll find a four-year-old Kimberlite Candy winning a Point-to-Point at Woodford in Staffordshire under the guidance of Lacey's wife Sophie. 

Exactly the kind of nursery education as befits a future Aintree hero.

Since then, he has spent all 19 runs under rules competing under the watchful gaze of his current trainer, a spell which has yielded six victories so far for this now nine-year-old son of Flemensfirth.

What exactly pinpoints him as a potential winner of the big one?

Drill down to his last three runs. 

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Kimberlite Candy has only been sighted on a racecourse three times in the last 16 months, but what a trio of runs they've been, laden with proof of his relish for the job of getting airborne and jumping the special Liverpool obstacles, allied with cast iron stamina and an ability to run well fresh.

Kimberlite Candy began his 2019/20 campaign at Aintree over the National fences, finishing an excellent second and staying on well to be beaten less than three lengths in the three and a quarter mile Becher Chase. 

So far, so good.  

What followed was even better, as a month later in January 2020 this horse produced a dour but emphatic display in Warwick's marathon Classic Chase, coming home 10 lengths to the good in the same trial used by 2017 National victor One For Arthur.

Looking promising, but...

Rather than going to last year's National, he then vanished, not being sighted again until....you've guessed it....the Becher Chase of December 2020, in which despite losing his right fore shoe mid-race, he again toughed it out and finished second.

Left on the same rating of 153 after that performance, the fact he hasn't run since strongly suggests he's being saved for one day only.

He loves it here, stays longer than the mother-in-law, jumps like a buck, and has seemingly long been aimed at the race. While others are waving an expertly ironed white flag, he'll be powering on relentlessly.

A drop of rain surely wouldn't hurt, but in his younger days he did triumph in both a Point and a maiden hurdle on ground given as Good to Soft.

At something like three times the odds of the favourite, Kimberlite Candy looks a super each way bet for the 2021 Grand National.

Tom Lee Grand National Tip
Kimberlite Candy silk

Kimberlite Candy (EW)

Pulled Up
Grand National Runners

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Next up, the kind of individuals who wear an anorak in 30 degree heat will readily bend your ear about the trends, stats, facts and figures, suggesting a National winner needs to be aged between eight and 10, be Irish-bred and once have been to Lapland on their holidays. 

If so, my second selection will horrify them, but don't give up hope just yet...

Paul Nicholls famously won this prize with 33/1 shot Neptune Collonges back in 2012, in doing so having the audacity to win it with a French-bred equine OAP.

Lo and behold, nine years on, his hopes rest with another 11-year-old reared across the channel, Yala Enki.

A horse whom if you chopped him in half like a stick of rock, you'd almost certainly discover his insides were made of granite rather than flesh and blood, this grand old boy is something special. 

Third in the last three runnings of the Welsh Grand National, his jumping is on occasion truly spectacular, bordering on the realms of a puissance horse.

The irony of his first fence capsize in the Becher Chase (in which Kimberlite Candy was second) is lost on no-one, but he has since bounced back with three excellent outings.

Back-to-back triumphs in Taunton's Portman Cup have been achieved since making the switch from Venetia Williams to Nicholls in the summer of 2019, and for anyone screeching about his fondness for deep ground, stick his Bangor success in the coveted Anne Duchess Of Westminster Chase on Good to Soft in your pipe and smoke it. 

Just the 11 wins, six seconds and eight thirds to show for his 45 starts so far, and his trainer is in rattling good form too. 

Is he vulnerable to younger legs? Probably, but an 11-year-old won this great race in 2012, '13 and '14, and he will give Bryony Frost a great spin on the big stage. 

With sensible bookies paying an extra place or three, don't say no-one told you if he sneaks into the frame at 33/1 or 40/1. 

So there you have it, Kimberlite Candy and Yala Enki each way. Enjoy.

Tom Lee Grand National Tip
Yala Enki silk

Yala Enki (EW)

Unseated
Grand National Odds

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