The Grand National Runners: A Guide To All 40 Horses

A guide to all 40 runners running in the 2021 Grand National
A guide to all 40 runners running in the 2021 Grand National

We take an in-depth look at the 40 runners lining up in the 2021 Grand National at Aintree on Saturday...

1. Bristol De Mai

Multiple Grade 1 winner, who has racked up three Betfair Chase wins during his star-studded career. Chased home Native River in the Cotswold Chase at Sandown Park on his last start, but bypassed the Cheltenham Gold Cup in favour of a crack at this. Carries top weight, but is the class horse of the race.

2. Chris's Dream

Landed a notable handicap victory in the 2019 Troytown, but has since struggled to gain any sort of consistency. Just touched off by The Storyteller in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase, but was a distant fifth in the John Durkan and was then pulled up in the Ryanair Chase. Has major stamina doubts.

3. Yala Enki

Has been placed in three Welsh Grand Nationals, and won well at Taunton over a marathon distance earlier in the season. Fell at the first fence in the Becher Chase back in December, and warmed up for this with a fourth placed finish in the Cotswold Chase at Sandown.

4. Ballyoptic

Former winner of the Charlie Hall Chase, who has failed to land a blow this season. Fell on his previous effort in the Grand National back in 2019, and having been well beaten by Cloth Cap in the Ladbrokes Trophy earlier this season, looks to face an uphill task to figure here.

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Grand National Tips

5. Definitly Red

Pulled up in the 2017 Grand National, this veteran performer has found life tough this season, and was last seen finishing fourth of five at Kelso behind Cloth Cap. Classy on his day, but will struggle to land a blow in the twilight of his career.

6. Lake View Lad

Pulled up when sent off 14/1 for the 2019 Grand National, but showed his class when winning the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree. However, failed to follow up on his next two starts, and was a well beaten fifth behind Cloth Cap at Kelso in March.

7. Burrows Saint

Hugely impressive when winning the Irish Grand National two years ago, and has been talked about as an Aintree contender ever since. Warmed up for a crack at this year’s race with a second placed finish in the Bobbyjo Chase, and looks to stand a terrific chance, if taking to the unique test.

8. Magic Of Light

Jessica Harrington’s star mare was a gallant runner-up to Tiger Roll in the 2019 Grand National, and has got her head in front three times since that run at Aintree. Failed to land a blow when eighth in the Mares’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but will relish a return to Merseyside on Saturday, and has to be respected.

Grand National Odds

9. Acapella Bourgeois

A Grade 2-winning novice hurdler and novice chaser, who has blossomed in staying chasers. Notched up his second win in the Bobbyjo Chase in late February, so if he can kick on from that success should be one of the premier Irish challengers.

10. Talkischeap

A strong stayer, who ended his 2019 campaign with a fine win in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park. Only notable form line this season saw him finish down the field at Kempton, but the test of a Grand National should play to his strengths, and he could be a lively each-way player.

11. Tout Est Permis

Former Troytown winner, who has failed to land any sort of blow this season. Well beaten in the Thyestes Chase and Bobbyjo Chase, and nothing suggests that he can bounce back to form here.

12. Anibale Fly

A fine record in this race (4th in 2018, 5th in 2019) and this former Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up looks to be on an attractive mark. 9lb lower than his 2019 mark, Tony Martin’s 11-year-old will need to bounce back from a disappointing run in the Bobbyjo Chase, but is a classy performer on his day.

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13. Mister Malarky

A really smart novice chaser, who was an excellent fourth in the 2019 RSA Chase. Bagged a valuable pot when winning the Silver Cup at Ascot earlier in the season, and ran a decent race when third at Kempton last time out. Worth a second look.

14. Kimberlite Candy

A regular in staying handicap chases, who chased home Walk In The Mill in the 2019 Becher Chase. Followed that up with a superb win in the Classic Chase at Warwick, before he finished second again in the 2020 Becher Chase. With experience over the National fences sure to aid his chance, he could be a primary contender for glory.

15. Any Second Now

Won the Kim Muir at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, and this has been the target ever since. Mixed hurdling and chasing in recent seasons, and while he pulled up in the Thyestes Chase, he landed a confidence-boosting win in a Grade 2 at Navan last month over two miles, but a step up in trip will see him improve further, and he has to be on the shortlist.

16. Balko Des Flos

A top class youngster, who bounded to victory in the 2018 Ryanair Chase, but has failed to kick on in recent years. Hasn’t tasted success since that win, and was last seen unseating in the Cross Country at Cheltenham last month.

Grand National Runners

17. Alpha Des Obeaux

Has competed at the top level for several seasons, with the odd victory in Graded company the shining lights. But, was a faller in the 2018 National, and has failed to sparkle in recent outings, and was last seen finishing a distant fourth in the Cross Country at Cheltenham.

18. OK Corral

Lightly-raced 11-year-old, who finished runner-up in the 2018 Albert Bartlett. Has blossomed into a very smart chaser, who was a fine winner of the 2020 Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster. Failed to figure when pulled up in the Ultima last month, but should improve for that first run of the season.

19. Takingrisks

A fine winner of the 2019 Scottish Grand National, who has excelled over marathon trips. The 12-year-old rolled back the years in January by claiming a fine win in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster, and heads to Liverpool with an outside chance, despite his veteran status.

20. Shattered Love

 Looked a future star chaser when landing the 2018 JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but has struggled to kick on. Finished a creditable third in the Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham last month, however, has major stamina concerns for this test.

Grand National Free Bets

21. Jett

Finished eighth in the Becher Chase back in December, so should improve for the experience over the National fences, but has struggled for any sort of form this campaign and will be one of the outsiders.

22. Lord Du Mesnil

Racked up a trio of fine chasing wins at the end of 2019, and has since finished second in the National Hunt Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. Prepared for this with a fine victory in the Grand National Trial at Haydock, so has to be considered a lively contender at double-figured odds.

23. Potters Corner

A dour stayer, who built on a win in the 2019 Midlands Grand National by winning the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow the same year. Has been held back for this test, as has had two spins over hurdles, but a return to fences should see him at his best.

24. Class Conti

A regular in staying handicap chases in Ireland, and showed promise when third in the Thyestes Chase, before he followed that up with a creditable fourth in the Leinster National. Needs more to play a part here, but stamina shouldn’t be an issue.

25. Milan Native

Former winner of the Kim Muir Handicap Chase, who was touted as a lively outsider when the weights were released. Failed to land any sort of blow when ninth in the Ultima, and his jumping let him down here. A player, if recapturing his best form.

26. Discorama

Well supported in recent weeks, and showed his talents in competitive handicap chases when third in the 2020 Ultima. Hasn’t been seen on the track since finishing fifth at Cheltenham in November, but off an attractive racing weight looks interesting.

27. Vieux Lion Rouge

Lining up for his fifth run in the Grand National, but has failed to finish any better than seventh. Showed the fire still burns bright when he won the 2020 Becher Chase, but David Pipe’s veteran will find it hard to play a notable role having found life tough in the Welsh National earlier in the season.

28. Cloth Cap

Red-hot favourite, who was a barnstorming winner of the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury earlier in the season, before he followed that up with an impressive win in the Premier Chase at Kelso. Officially 14lb well-in at the weights and has to be the one they all have to beat, but is awfully short in the betting.

29. Cabaret Queen

Won the Kerry National at Listowel back in September, but has failed to build on that success. An eighth placed finish in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park was followed by a dismal run in the Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham, where she pulled up, so has to recapture her form to play her part here.

30. Minellacelebration

Veteran performer, who notched up two taking wins at Uttoxeter and Ascot in July and October, respectively. However, unseated on his next two starts - including in the Becher Chase - while he could only finish seventh in his last outing, so appears to be in the handicapper’s grip now.

31. Canelo

Was an eye-catching winner at Aintree in November, and then claimed another notable win in the Rowland Meyrick on Boxing Day. Has continued his good form with a fourth placed finish in the Sky Bet Chase, and was last seen finishing third in the Grimthorpe Chase. Each-way claims.

32. The Long Mile

Progressive chaser, who has excelled over shorter distances. A win at Limerick in December was his season highlight, but he was no match for Acapella Bourgeois in the Bobbyjo Chase. Major stamina worries.

33. Give Me A Copper

Former winner of the Badger Beers Chase at Wincanton back in 2019, and two starts ago was a creditable second at Doncaster. Last seen pulling up in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster, so needs to bounce back, but could be one that takes to the unique test of a National.

34. Farclas

A fine winner of the 2018 Triumph Hurdle, who has turned into a quality staying chaser. Was a gallant runner-up in the Paddy Power Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, following on from some fine placed efforts in staying handicap chases in Ireland. Not certain to stay, but is of interest from the lower echelons of the handicap.

35. Minella Times

Kicked off his season with a win at Listowel, and then followed up with two fine second place finishes in competitive handicap chases at Leopardstown. Open to more improvement, and has to be considered a leading contender from the bottom of the weights for the red-hot team of Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.

36. Sub Lieutenant

Was a smart chaser in his younger days - with a second placed finish in the 2017 Ryanair Chase the highlight - but hasn’t got his head in front since October 2018, and this looks to be beyond his capabilities, with the distance a huge worry.

37. Hogan's Height

Excelled over the National fences when winning the 2019 Grand Sefton, but has found life tough since. Was last seen finishing miles behind Tiger Roll in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham, and while he may run well for a circuit, it’s hard to see him challenging at the business end.

38. Double Shuffle

Pulled up on his sole Grand National start back in 2017, and while he has competed in a host of top notch races, he has often failed to land any sort of blow. Showed his best form when winning at Kempton in January, but failed to back that up at the same venue the following month when finishing sixth. Huge stamina worries.

39. Ami Desbois

Not tasted victory since his novice chase campaign back in 2017, but has been a real model of consistency this season. Was second at Kempton in January, while followed that up with another second placed finish at Doncaster the following month. A huge price to land this event, but could outrun his lofty odds, if keeping his form together.

40. Blaklion

A top class novice chaser, who bounded to glory in the 2016 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. Took a real liking to the Grand Natiional fences when finishing fourth in the 2017 Grand National, while he tasted victory over the National fences in the 2017 Becher. Now 12 years old, looks to have his best days behind him, but could enjoy a return to Merseyside, and could well complete the course once again.

41. Some Neck - Reserve 1

A Grade 2-winning novice chaser that bagged a win in a Cross Country race at Cheltenham in December. Returned to Prestbury Park in March and was a creditable third behind Tiger Roll in the Cross Country. First Reserve.

42. Secret Reprieve - Reserve 2

Hugely progressive staying handicap chaser, who showed his class when winning the Welsh Grand National Trial at Chepstow in December. Returned to the Welsh venue a few weeks later and bounded to glory in the Welsh Grand National, and looks to havea lot more improvement. A key player if sneaking in as a reserve. Second Reserve.

The Grand National

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