As Tiger Roll stormed through the field to take the 2018 Grand National by a nose from Pleasant Company in the glorious Aintree sun, we were reminded of everything that is good about one of the most anticipated days in the racing calendar.
As the enormous field takes on two laps of the historic course this year, fans will be laying their eyes on the 172nd edition of the steeplechase event, and there will be numerous horses, jockeys, trainers and owners with scores to settle over the 4 mile, 514 yard epic that is sure to captivate the nation.
Let’s start with Pleasant Company. The Willie Mullins product had been having a torrid season before last year’s race and came out of the blue to push Tiger Roll all the way to the post. If the race had been five yards longer, we would have been heralding the 11-year-old as the owner of one of the best-timed runs in the race’s history.
How about that winner, though? Davy Russell piloted the Gordon Elliott-trained nine-year-old to victory, and things have only got better for the Gigginstown horse since then. Victory at Navan was followed up with victory at the Cheltenham Festival, and there’s strong chance Tiger Roll could be the first horse since Red Rum to win the National in consecutive years. No pressure, then…
Anibale Fly is one of the hottest commodities in the racing world right now and is being fancied right among the very best to go and claim victory at the Grand National in April. Fourth in the race a year ago, a second-placed finish in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham has firmly planted the nine-year-old in the national consciousness. The JP McManus-trained star will be at the business end of the race, and is sure to be amongst the favourites when the tape comes down!
As one of the favourites, a lot of money will likely be placed on Anibale Fly in the lead up to Aintree. The performance at the Gold Cup will rightly whet the appetite of a lot of racing fans, who could benefit greatly by using these Grand National free bets 2019. The McManus-trained horse currently has odds of around 12/1 to win the famous race but that number will likely come in as punters were bound to have been impressed by what they saw at Cheltenham. The top 7 horses for the Grand National 2019 are:
Rathvinden 16/1 (Coral)
Tiger Roll 22/1 (Bet365)
Elegant Escape 20/1 (Bet365)
Vintage Clouds 25/1 (Betway)
General Principle 25/1 (Betfair)
Rock the Kasbah 25/1 (Betfred)
Bellshill 66/1 (Betvictor)
Bar a poor result in the Welsh Grand National just after Christmas, Vintage Clouds has enjoyed a strong season to this point. A terrific second-placed finish in the Ultima Handicap Chase saw the nine-year-old finish just one length behind winner Beware the Bear. Sue Smith will have to find a way to get her horse to compete once again at Aintree, with an extra mile the big challenge – not to mention those giant fences.
Rathvinden will be making his Aintree debut if he takes to the hallowed turf this Spring, but has an impressive CV. A string of impressive victories in the last few years at Cheltenham, Fairyhouse, and Tipperary indicate the eleven-year-old could have success on Merseyside. The key win? Besting a field of 16 over 4 miles at Cheltenham last year is sure to be in the forefront of punters’ minds when they come to place money on the race come next month.
Welsh Grand National champion Elegant Escape showed great form when galloping to victory earlier this season, but failed to capitalize on that result in a pair of races at Cheltenham since then. Regardless, Colin Tizzard’s chances of securing a first National winner will seldom be better.
Popular nine-year-old Lake View Lad has spent much of his career to this point flying over jumps in shorter races, and the National this year will be his first time going over 4 miles. A good performance in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham saw him place third, and a win at Aintree would mark owner Trevor Hemmings’ second win after his 2005 victory with Hedgehunter.
A treat for racing fans across the globe, sets of invested eyes are sure to be glued to the April 6th classic.