AINTREE 2019 REVISITED
The official entries and jockeys for the 2021 Randox Health Grand National are not yet released and we still have two full months to go before the day is upon us but the excitement is building already and reading much into the early season races will not be such a bad idea as well, as riders and trainers fine-tune and clean up up their preparations ahead of the early April spectacle. 2020 was a gap year for one of the biggest and most anticipated events on the calendar, due to the surging of the coronavirus and all the changes that had to be made in daily life habits and events around the UK and the world. 2019 is our most recent point of reference therefore for the Grand National, and if it was anything to go by then expect nothing short of jam-packed action and exhilaration for this year’s outing. The day may still be far from happening but for punters, it is never too early to pick up some bonuses for the Grand National and stay in the know, and what better way than to keep up with sites that provide constant updates and insights that could inform choices.
In 2019, the race was not the most beautiful and pristine as about half of the horses at the starting grid did not count in the final standings courtesy of losing the rider or just not making it past the high fences. For the Grand National, fences are slightly more elevated than the usual, just to give horses and jockeys that little bit of extra challenge and it does play its part in separating the best from the rest. 21 horses bit the dust in 2019, either coming in unseated, after falling or pulling up. Joe Farrell (14-1), Dounikos (16-1), Lake View Lad (14-1), and Vintage Clouds (11-1) are some of the notable names that fell short of expectations. The winner in 2019 was the favourite of the race, Tiger Roll, who was ridden by Davy Russel, at odds of 4-1, with Magic of Light (66-1) and Rathvinden (8-1) rounding up the top three. Mark Walsh’s Anibale Fly (10-1) was expected higher but could only finish fifth. The race was packed with twists and turns, except for Tiger Roll, who asserted itself as the clear cut favourite and did not falter in delivering one of its most memorable performances of the year.
As we look forward to the entries for this year, hindsight and perspective is never a bad thing because some of these horses will be on the cards once again, looking to finish what they started last time, atone for poor performances, or repeat their glory.