Grand National fever will hit the nation on Saturday when the world’s most famous race takes place at Aintree, writes JEFF GARLICK. Everyone is champing at the bit to hit the pubs on Monday, so wouldn’t it be good to be able to brag about having backed the National winner.
Cloth Cap heads the market and despite his skinny price deserves close attention. But, for a horse who is yet to tackle the unique Aintree fences, he is much too short for me.
Irish horses routed the English at the Cheltenham Festival last month, so I am heading to the Emerald Isle in search of the 2021 National winner. It could be a female-dominated finish with Magic of Light hoping to become the first mare to emerge victorious in 70 years and Rachel Blackmore (Minella Times) the first lady jockey to win the race.
Magic of Light gave Tiger Roll a scare when second in 2019 and she just edges it for me. I also expect the fifth horse that year, Anibale Fly, to run well, while I also have Discorama on my (long) short list. All four are Irish-trained.
On Saturday’s undercard I strongly fancy Thyme Hill in the Stayers Hurdle. He missed having a tough race at Cheltenham due to a minor injury and that could prove to be a blessing in disguise.
But Saturday is all about the Grand National. I will be cheering on my girls, but get your pin out – pick two or three horses to follow and sit back and enjoy the spectacle.
Then, hopefully, you can spend your winnings having a socially-distanced pint in a beer garden on Monday.
Good luck everyone.
Garlick’s ‘Aintree’ Goodies
3:35 – Thyme Hill
5:15 – 1. Magic Of Light; 2. Minella Times; 3. Anibale Fly; 4. Discorama