After being cancelled in 2020, we’re finally treated to the world’s famous steeplechase on Saturday after a two-year wait. 40 runners will tackle the 4m 2f 74y test, with 30 fences to be jumped in what is perhaps the ultimate test of a racehorse.
We’ll have Aintree tips for all of Saturday’s action, including the feature Grand National. I, however, have the easy task of picking out the tricast of this year’s National. There are three horses who stand out to me in this year’s renewal and my reasoning can be found below! Don’t forget, you can also check out our runner-by-runner guide to get the lowdown on all of this year’s candidates.
1st – Burrows Saint
The one I fancy for win purposes is Willie Mullins’ Burrows Saint, who has the perfect profile for this year’s contest. He won the 2019 Irish Grand National off a mark of 144, travelling with exuberance over the 3m 5f distance. That run didn’t suggest he’d have stamina issues over this extra distance and he’s been campaigned extremely well since.
He’s been tuned up perfectly by his master trainer this season, despite having to run on ground far too soft for him to show his best. All three of his chasing successes have come on good or soft ground, so today’s surface should be perfect. The way he jumps and travels suggests he’ll relish this test and although he’s relatively short in terms of a National price, he edges out Cloth Cap for me.
2nd – Takingrisks
This horse holds a special place in my heart, given that he helped land my monster double earlier this year. He’s not picked for sentimentality, however, as Takingrisks was the 2019 Scottish Grand National winner on similar ground to this.
He returned to form at Doncaster in January, winning at 40/1 in a Listed contest off a mark of 146. That run proved he was still competitively handicapped towards a mark of 150 and this sort of test will suit him perfectly. Although he’s mainly raced around three miles, his sole marathon test saw him winning that aforementioned race at Ayr.
The ground is in his favour and despite his age, he’s still unexposed as a marathon stayer. He likes to race prominently, which is a tick in the right box, and if he gets into a rhythm, he’s entitled to go very close.
3rd – Minellacelebration
Many will scratch their heads at this one, but Minellacelebration shouldn’t be a 100/1 shot in this field. He loves Aintree, with form figures of 1211 on the Mildmay course. The National course is a different beast, but he’s yet to have his conditions on this course.
Running in the 2019 Becher, the ground was too soft for him and in the 2020 renewal of it, he unseated on the flat after his jockey lost his irons. The ground has come into his favour on this occasion and at present, he’s on a workable rating. There’s a small stamina doubt, as he’s yet to go beyond 3m 2f, but those comments can apply to many who are a third of his price with worse claims.
This is his best chance of getting a marathon trip and with his prominent style a benefit in this contest, he doesn’t deserve to be the price he is for Katy Price.
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