Randox Health Grand National – Runners & Profiles

The Randox Health Grand National at Aintree is due off at 5:15pm on Saturday

Alan Marron

PROFILES OF THE RUNNERS FOR THE 2021 RANDOX HEALTH GRAND NATIONAL AT AINTREE

These profiles have been put together by Alan Marron (AM) and Will Reilly (WR).

 

1.BRISTOL DE MAI — Classy individual who will carry top weight here. Last seen at Sandown when second to Native River in the rearranged Cotswold Chase. Would prefer softer ground but Daryl Jacob should get a good spin on him. (AM)

Will Reilly

2.CHRIS’S DREAM — Trained by Henry De Bromhead and has been out of form in recent times. Landed the Troytown at Navan and the Red Mills at Gowran Park back in 2020. Could sneak a place if he takes to the fences. (AM)

3.YALA ENKI — Three times he has finished third in the Welsh National (to Potters Corner in 2019 and Secret Reprieve this year), so clearly retains ability and, of course stays well. Should give Bryony Frost a good spin although others look better handicapped at this stage of the 11yo’s career. (WR)

4.BALLYOPTIC — Fell 4 out in this race back in 2019 and also didn’t take to these fences the year before in the Becher Chase. Would take a monumental performance from an 11-year-old to contend here. (AM)

5. DEFINITLY RED — He’ll be the one for many Liverpool Liverpool and would hold a good chance based on his best 2018/19 form. However, he’s had just three runs in the last 14 months so, with that in mind, it would be some training performance for him to win at 12 years of age. (WR)

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6. LAKE VIEW LAD — Owner Trevor Hemmings knows what it takes to win this race having been successful with Hedgehunter, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds. Champion jockey Brian Hughes will be aboard. Pulled up in this race in 2019 and getting on in years now. Will be having his first run since a wind op and will race in cheek-pieces for the first time. (AM)

 

Don’t forget that we are paying each-way 1/5 the ODDS on 7 PLACES in the GRAND NATIONAL!

7. BURROWS SAINT — The 2019 Irish Grand National winner seemed to have lost his way a little until finishing second to Acapella Bourgeois in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on Feb 27. A number of Aintree National winners have used that race as a prep race for Liverpool. Tout Est Permis finished fourth to him that day and Anibale Fly finished fifth. He’s now 7lbs worse off with Acapella Bourgeois but he’s still only 8 and his master trainer has had this race in mind for some time. (WR)

8. MAGIC OF LIGHT — This mare ran an excellent race to push Tiger Roll all the way in 2019. Trained by Jessica Harrington this mare has been in very good form this season and comes into this as one of the main contenders. If she can reduce the errors from 2019 then she looks a big player. Looking to become the first mare to win the race since Nickel Coin in 1951. (AM)

9. ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS — He bounced back to form with a 4.75-length win in the Bobbyjo Case at Fairyhouse on Feb 27 (see Burrows Saint, who he beat there but finished third to in the 2019 Irish Grand National). He jumped well in the Bobbyjo and he’s well worthy of a place in the field at Aintree, although the better ground on Sat might be more in Burrows Saint’s favour. (WR)

10. TALKISCHEAP — Relatively lightly raced over fences and that may catch him out. Stamina won’t be an issue as he landed a decent pot at Sandown back in April 2019 over 3m 4f. If he could get into rhythm he could stay on into a place. (AM)

11. TOUT EST PERMIS —He finished fourth in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last time behind Acapella Bourgeois and Burrows Saint (he finished 8th in Burrows Saint’s Irish National win) and it’s clearly a while since he burst onto the scene when winning the 2018 Troytown Chase. For all that he’s a big price, the drying ground may actually suit him so a decent run is not a forlorn hope. (WR)

12. ANIBALE FLY — Fifth in this race in 2019 behind Tiger Roll but has been out of form since. Handicap mark has dropped considerably and that might just bring him back into the equation. Fourth in this race in 2018 off 159 and then placed in 2019 off 164. Comes into this race off a mark of 148 and if his advancing years don’t catch up with him he could run a solid race. (AM)

13. MISTER MALARKEY — He has run well in a number of competitive handicaps over the years and ran well on his first run since a wind op at Kempton last time. He is trained by Colin Tizzard, who will be retiring at the end of the season, and will be ridden by Jonjo O’Neill Junior, whose father has the Grand National favourite, Cloth Cap. With a tongue-tie fitted for the first time, I can see him running well. (WR)

Tom Lacey, trainer of Kimberlite Candy

14. KIMBERLITE CANDY — One of the leading fancies for this race in the ante-post market trained by Tom Lacey and due to be ridden by Richie McLernon. Landed the Warwick Classic Chase in impressive fashion over 3m 5f and was then second over these fences in the Becher Chase behind Vieux Lion Rouge. This looks to have been his target and will be hard to keep out of the frame. (AM)

15. ANY SECOND NOW —Trainer Ted Walsh trained the winner in 2000 (Papillon) and the third 2012 (Seabass) so knows what it takes to get a horse ready for the National. Any Second Now bounced back to form with a win at Navan last time, is coming to the boil at the right time and is certainly one to give plenty of thought to. (WR)

16. BALKO DES FLOS — Was well-backed for the Cross Country at Cheltenham back in March before unseating rider. Was recently sold at Goffs for 110k to a new racehorse syndicate, who this will give a massive buzz to ahead of the greatest jumps race in the world. Will need to improve his jumping to contend here. (AM)

17. ALPHA DES OBEAUX —He finished third in the 2019 Becher Chase but had been out of form for a while before finishing a fair fourth to Tiger Roll in the Cross-Country Chase at Cheltenham last time. That should have prepped his nicely for this although he’d be hard to nominate as the winner. (WR)

18. OK CORRAL — Pulled up at Cheltenham when last seen and that doesn’t heighten enthusiasm for this. Finished second in an Albert Bartlett over hurdles but has been very in and out over fences. Would likely need a career best here to win. (AM)

19. TAKINGRISKS —He’s just 4lbs higher than for his valuable Doncaster win last time on what was his second run since a wind op. He’s been a marvellous servant to connections but Doncaster may have been this year’s day in the sun for him, although he certainly stays well (won the 2019 Scottish National). (WR)

20. SHATTERED LOVE — Another mare who could go well in this race if she gets into a good jumping rhythm. Has plenty of class and ran well at Cheltenham when third to Colreevy and Elimay. That form has got a boost since with Elimay winning at Fairyhouse. She could surprise quite a few here at a big price. (AM)

21. JETT — He was very useful back in 2019 and early 2020 but would be hard to fancy based on his last six runs. On the upside, his rider Sam Waley-Cohen has an enviable record over the National fences. (WR)

22. LORD DU MESNIL — Very strong stayer on soft ground and got the better of Achille in a dour finish to the Grand National Trial at Haydock. Could go well for a long way but will likely need softer ground. It could all happen a bit too quickly for him. (AM)

23. POTTERS CORNER — He won the 2019 Welsh Grand National from just a 4lb-lower mark than today but was then off the track for almost a year. He has been carefully prepared for this race of late and, even though his last two runs (both over hurdles) have been inauspicious, first-time blinkers could perk him up on the big day on Saturday. (WR)

24. CLASS CONTI — One of the bigger-priced Willie Mullins-trained runners and could have the type of profile needed to go well in this race. Placed in the last two renewals of the Thyestes at Gowran Park and, while he needs softer ground, he could be one to sneak into a place at a big price. (AM)

25. MILAN NATIVE —He wn the 2020 Fulke Walwyn/Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020 from a rating of 141. He’s had only four runs since then, his latest coming in the Ultima Handicap Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival where he attracted money before finishing ninth. However, he lost a shoe in the race on what was his first run since a wind op. He’s lightly raced (just 17 runs) and with Jamie Codd booked to ride, I can see him running well (now rated 149). (WR)

26. DISCORAMA — This horse trained by Paul Nolan has been subject of quite a market move in recent days and his third-placed finish behind the ill-fated The Conditional back at Cheltenham in 2020 looks a decent bit of form coming into this. He was also second in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in 2019 behind Le Breuil. He looks to have been laid out for this race, will be racing for the first time since a wind op and could go close. (AM)

27. VIEUX LION ROUGE —His record in the Grand National is 7th, 9th, 6th and 15th but he last won a race in 2019 and his form since then does not inspire confidence of victory for a horse that is now 12 years old. (WR)

28. CLOTH CAP — The ante-post favourite for this race since winning in impressive fashion at Kelso. Based on handicap marks, he is a stone well in. He finished third behind Takingrisks in the Scottish Grand National back in 2019. Likes to be prominent in his races, having made all the last twice. Should go close here. (AM)

29. CABARET QUEEN —Her runs at Galway and Listowel (where she won when rated 142) last year are encouraging (she is now rated 148) but recent runs less so. (WR)

30. MINELLACELEBRATION — Has some form over the fences when down the field in the Becher back in 2019. Has been out of form this season and has a couple of unseats to his name. Is prone to making the odd mistake and that could be his undoing over these fences. (AM)

31. CANELO — He’s not finished out of the first four in his last five runs (winning twice) and his Grade 3 Rowland Meyrick win at Wetherby in December was a solid performance for a horse that should still have improvement in him and, until that win, had seemed better at distances short of 3 miles. A good run wouldn’t be a surprise. (WR)

32. THE LONG MILE — Another JP McManus-owned runner for the combination of Philip and Luke Dempsey. Was impressive in the Tim Duggan Memorial in Limerick back in December and then ran a creditable race to finish third in the Bobbyjo Chase behind Acapella Bourgeois and Burrows Saint. There should be a little bit more to come from this seven-year-old and he could surprise quite a few at decent odds. (AM)

33. GIVE ME A COPPER —He’s 11 now but has had just 13 runs and the best of his form places him on a reasonable rating. His owners, who include Sir AlexFerguson, had a fine opening day to this meeting with two Grade 1 wins. A National win would top the lot. A good run is not a forlorn proposition. (WR)

34. FARCLAS — Has some very decent form in competitive handicaps, most notably when second behind The Shunter at Cheltenham. Ran well at Leopardstown over Christmas when his stamina was tested. He may struggle to see out the trip here but his form is just short of that elusive victory. Fifth, Fourth, Third and Second in his last four runs. If he can get into a rhythm he could go close. (AM)

Rachael Blackmore will ride Minella Times on Saturday

35. MINELLA TIMES — Will be popular with punters as he will be ridden by Rachael Blackmore and is trained by Henry de Bromhead and you can build a good case for a good run for this fairly lightly-raced eight-year-old who was just beaten in a competitive chase at the Dublin Racing Festival last time from a 5lb-lower mark than today. He should still have more to come. (WR)

36. SUB LIEUTENANT — A grand old servant who will likely give Tabitha Worsley a very good spin as he has form over these fences when second in the Topham as a ten-year-old. He is two years older now and will have his work cut out to get involved. Could get around, though. (AM)

37. HOGAN’S HEIGHT — He won at Aintree in Dec 2019 from a rating of 134 but has had just three runs since then so it would be a huge performance to win on Saturday based on that preparation from what is a near-career high rating of 142. (WR)

38. DOUBLE SHUFFLE — Trained by Tom George, this horse has always threatened to land a big pot. He finished 12th in the Topham back in 2019 and is now 13lb lower in the ratings. Won nicely at Kempton in January but his record of 3-29 over fences tempers enthusiasm. (AM)

39. AMI DESBOIS — He has finished second in six of his last 10 races, which have come over a period of two years and two months, but his last win came in 2017 so he looks up against it here. (WR)

40. BLAKLION — This horse was first reserve but has got into the race. Brought down at the first in 2018 and looks to have fallen out of love with the game in recent times. Would take a very big performance to see him getting involved here for the Skelton team. (AM)

 

RESERVES:

  1. SOME NECK — He won over the Cross-Country fences at Cheltenham in December and then finished third in the Cross-Country race won by Tiger Roll at the Cheltenham Festival. He should give his rider a good spin if getting into the race. (WR)
  2. SECRET REPRIEVE — The Welsh National winner from this season who is third reserve and may struggle to get a run. Looks the ideal type for this race as he jumps well and has stamina in abundance. Is very lightly raced over fences and this would only be his seventh chase start. If he is lucky enough to get into the race then he will be one to keep a close eye on. (AM)
  3. KAUTO RIKO
  4. FAGAN

 

SELECTIONS (1-2-3-4)

Alan Marron

1st – MINELLA TIMES

2nd – MAGIC OF LIGHT

3rd – MILAN NATIVE

4th – MISTER MALARKEY

 

Will Reilly

1st – CLOTH CAP

2nd – MINELLA TIMES

3rd – MILAN NATIVE

4th – ANY SECOND NOW

 



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