Grand National 2021: Runner-by-runner guide to the Aintree race

Malik Ouzia
·6-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

A field of 40 are set to line up in this year’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday afternoon, all looking to join an illustrious roll of winners of the most famous steeplechase on the planet.

Here is a quick guide to each of the runners...

28. Cloth Cap

Ladbrokes Trophy winner is officially a stone well-in at the weights and is bidding to give owner Trevor Hemmings a record fourth win in the race.

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Getty Images

7. Burrows Saint

Aimed at this race ever since winning Irish National in 2019 and appears to still be the Willie Mullins first string despite year-long Covid delay.

35. Minella Times

Ridden by star of the moment Rachael Blackmore, looking to add Grand National victory to her Cheltenham heroics.

15. Any Second Now

Another for whom this has been the long-term plan for trainer Ted Walsh. Prepped with Grade 2 victory over two miles last month.

14. Kimberlite Candy

Runner-up in the Becher Chase at Aintree over the National fences in each of the past two seasons.

26. Discorama

Plenty of historical form in good races, including third in last season’s Ultima at Cheltenham, though not seen since November. Well-backed in recent days.

8. Magic Of Light

Runner-up to Tiger Roll two years ago, looking to become first mare to win since 1951.

PA
PA

9. Acapella Bourgeois

Beat stablemate Burrows Saint in Grade 3 contest on most recent outing after finishing second to dual Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo at Tramore earlier in season.

34. Farclas

Triumph Hurdle winner has impressed in high-class handicap chases this season, including second to The Shunter at Cheltenham.

13. Mister Malarky

Bidding to give trainer Colin Tizzard a fairytale success in his final season before handing reigns to son Joe.

23. Potters Corner

Welsh National winner last season but pulled up over hurdles on most recent start and missed Cheltenham after being found lame.

12. Anibale Fly

High-class chaser who has finished fourth and fifth in last two Nationals and twice placed in Gold Cup. Has not shown that level of form in some time.

1. Bristol De Mai

Three-time Betfair Chase winner well established in Grade 1 staying chases. Carries top weight.

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Getty Images

19. Takingrisks

Scottish National winner in 2019, now a 12-year-old but rolled back the years with return to form to beat Aye Right at Doncaster in January.

25. Milan Native

Winner of the Kim Muir at Cheltenham in 2019, finished ninth on return to Festival last month after wind-op. Partnered by leading amateur Jamie Codd.

6. Lake View Lad

Winner at Aintree, albeit on Mildmay course, in Grade 2 company in December but disappointed twice since. Wind-op since last run.

22. Lord Du Mesnil

Winner of Grand National Trial at Haydock in February but almost all best form has come at that track on testing ground.

3. Yala Enki

Third in this season’s Welsh National but Paul Nicholls’ charge is another who prefers softer ground.

31. Canelo

Strong form in several good handicaps during busy campaign, including Grade 3 win at Wetherby. One of seven runners for owner JP McManus.

2. Chris’s Dream

Only beaten a neck in Grade 1 company over three miles in October but disappointing since, including pulled up on last start in Ryanair at Cheltenham.

38. Double Shuffle

Seasoned campaigner who was once second in a King George, returned to winning ways for first time in four years at favourite track, Kempton, in January.

18. Ok Corral

Well-regarded by connections but has endured stop-start career over fences. Pulled up on sole outing this season after 400+ day layoff.

20. Shattered Love

Cheltenham Festival winner but without a win outside mares-only races since 2018 and trip a huge concern.

32. The Long Mile

Progressive type giving trainer Philip Dempsey his first runner in the race. Third behind Acapella Bourgeois and Burrows Saints last time out.

16. Balko Des Flos

Winner of the Ryanair in 2018 but has not got his head in front since and unseated when switched to Cross Country discipline at Cheltenham last month.

24. Class Conti

Fourth in the Leinster National last month and his the frame in each of the last two Thyestes’ but without a win in two years.

27. Vieux Lion Rouge

Impeccable course jumping record, having completed nine times out of time over Aintree fences, including two wins in the Becher. Stamina concerns over extended trip.

5. Definitly Red

12-year-old has four Grade 2 wins on his CV but last of those came in 2018 and is surely well past his best.

17. Alpha Des Obeaux

Third in last season’s Becher but fourth in Cross Country at Cheltenham last month came after a nightmare run of two last-placed finishes and two pulled-ups.

4. Ballyoptic

Failed to complete in each of the last two renewals and well short of his best form this season.

33. Give Me A Copper

Won last season’s Badger Beers at Wincanton and ran well on seasonal reappearance this year, too, but has often struggled to back up and pulled up last time out.

37. Hogan’s Height

Winner over the National fences in the 2019 Grand Sefton but hasn’t come close to that form in just three starts since.

21. Jett

Looked past his best on each of six starts this season, finishing now better than sixth, though booking of Sam Waley-Cohen is a plus.

30. Minellacelebration

Won a veteran’s chase on the Mildmay course in October but unseated over the National fences in the Becher.

10. Talkischeap

Bolted up in the Bet365 Gold Cup as a novice in 2019 but has shown nothing like that ability since.

11. Tout Est Permis

Began season with two encouraging runs behind The Storyteller but has regressed since, falling as even money favourite at Down Royal last time.

40. Blaklion

Was once top class, winning the RSA in 2016 and finishing fourth in in 2017 Grand National. Gets in at the bottom of the weights after The Storyteller’s withdrawal.

39. Ami Desbois

Rank outsider with concerns over trip having run below form on few occasions when tried beyond three miles.

29. Cabaret Queen

Winner of the Kerry National in September but beaten a long way on two starts in January and pulled-up in the Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham.

36. Sub Lieutenant

Plenty of good form in the back catalogue but at 12 is on the downgrade. Gives Tabitha Worsley her first ride in the race.

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