Grand National 2021: 90 contenders go forward after first scratchings stage

A total of 90 horses remain engaged in the Randox Grand National following the first scratchings stage, writes Nick Seddon.

The world’s greatest steeplechase takes place over four miles, two furlongs and 74 yards at Aintree on Saturday 10th April and Tom Lacey thinks Kimberlite Candy ticks all the boxes.

Kimberlite Candy has twice finished runner-up over the Grand National fences in the Becher Chase (2019 and 2020) and has been allotted 10st 10lb. The JP McManus-owned nine year old could warm up for Aintree in the Listed Premier Chase at Kelso this Saturday.

Trainer Tom Lacey reported: “Kimberlite Candy seems in really good order and he’s entered at Kelso on Saturday in the Premier Chase. We’ll monitor the ground (before deciding whether to run him).

“He does have a good record fresh, but you mustn’t underestimate the need for match practice, so we’ll take stock and then make a decision in midweek whether to have a prep run or not.

“A host of recent winners have carried between 10-10 and 11-06, and he’s in that range, so statistically he’s got a chance. He’s the right age and has got proven form around there, so he goes there with a big chance.

“The Grand National was always the target from the moment he came back in from his summer break. We’ll be hoping for some April showers, but he’d manage on good to soft. He’s a much stronger animal than he was this time last year.

“I think he’s actually the finished article now whereas last year he was still improving – he hit the line very hard in the Classic Chase and I feel he’s strengthened up even more on the back of another summer.

“I hope he’s got a chance. In the Becher Chase this year he was a bit clumsy over the first, but thereafter his jumping was very accurate.”

Trainer Evan Williams has gone close to success in the Randox Grand National before, with Cappa Bleu taking the runner-up spot in 2013 and State Of Play finishing in the first four on three occasions.

This year he could be represented by Secret Reprieve (10st 1lb), who was last seen claiming the Welsh National at Chepstow on 9th January.                                    

Williams said: “Secret Reprieve is good, and we’re happy with everything. I’ve sort of discussed the National with Mr and Mrs Rucker (owners), and we’re going to leave him in, but we wouldn’t want to fully commit to this race at this stage yet, because obviously the ground and how he is over the coming weeks will be a major factor in whether we decide to have a crack at the race. We’ll see how things develop.

“What we’d like to know is exactly how everything is going to look like come April – we wouldn’t like to start being bold because that would be unfair to the horse. His last run was in the Welsh National so we just want to make sure everything is spot on with him as regards to everything really – his wellbeing, the ground and everything else. We’re taking every week as it comes.

“He wouldn’t be in the race if we didn’t hope he would be the type of horse that wouldn’t be able to excel around there. With these horses like him, it’s always best to take every week as it comes but if he could bring his best form to the table then obviously it looks like there’d be plenty of positives.

“Because he’s very inexperienced or young – rather than being bold and saying ‘this will suit him and that will suit him’, we’d be far happier ticking away and letting him tell us if he’s right.

“We’ll talk about Cheltenham after this week, because he’s due to do a piece of work in the middle of the week and I imagine come the weekend Mr and Mrs Rucker and myself will have a good chat about Cheltenham around this time next week. So let’s deal with the Cheltenham question first and then the Aintree question after.”

Williams has another potential starter in Prime Venture (9st 10lb), although the trainer acknowledges that the nine year old is far from certain to make the line-up on April 10th.

He continued: “He’s a horse that I can say that if he got a run in the Grand National we’d be delighted to take our chance, because he’s the complete opposite to Secret Reprieve.

“He’s proven in those long distance handicaps and has been placed in a Welsh Grand National and a Midlands Grand National and if he got a run we’d be delighted to have a crack at it. Our first preference with him, because he’s got less chance of getting in, would be the Midlands National at Uttoxeter.

“He’s a funny old devil! We’ve kept him fresh especially (in case he was to sneak into the Grand National) and I can say that Aintree would be right up his agenda. Those fences could spark him right up and he could still be going when other boys have had enough.

“He would relish the fences. He would be a big price, but I could see that fella relishing the job. If he gets in, he’ll be running in the Grand National.”

Betway PR Manager, Chad Yeomans, said: “The big talking point is that Tiger Roll will not be taking his chance in the Grand National this year, so a new Grand National hero will be crowned. It’s been a popular market since the launch of the weights a few weeks ago, with both Cloth Cap and Burrows Saint being supported into joint-favourites.

“JP McManus looks to have a very strong hand again this year and both Kimberlite Candy, who has been crying out for the Grand National trip, and Any Second Now for trainer Grand National winning trainer Ted Walsh, have both been popular with the Betway punters.”

Betway is the official betting partner of the Randox Grand National Festival.

RANDOX GRAND NATIONAL (Grade 3)

Easysland (FR) 7    11 10 Mr John P. McManus D. Cottin 

Santini (GB) 9    11 10 Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes Nicky Henderson 

Bristol de Mai (FR) 10    11 10 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nigel Twiston-Davies 

The Storyteller (IRE) 10    11 8 Mrs Pat Sloan Gordon Elliott 

Chris’s Dream (IRE) 9    11 7 Robcour Henry de Bromhead 

Yala Enki (FR) 11    11 3 Hills of Ledbury Ltd Paul Nicholls 

Ballyoptic (IRE) 11    11 1 Mills & Mason Partnership Nigel Twiston-Davies 

Definitly Red (IRE) 12    11 1 Phil & Julie Martin Brian Ellison 

Lake View Lad (IRE) 11    11 0 Mr Trevor Hemmings N. W. Alexander 

Burrows Saint (FR) 8    10 13 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins 

Ajas (FR) 7    10 13 Mr Ulf Sjoberg D. Cottin 

Magic of Light (IRE) 10    10 13 Ann & Alan Potts Limited Mrs J. Harrington 

Acapella Bourgeois (FR) 11    10 12 Slaneyville Syndicate W. P. Mullins 

Talkischeap (IRE) 9    10 12 Mr Charles Dingwall Alan King 

Tout Est Permis (FR) 8    10 12 Gigginstown House Stud Noel Meade 

Anibale Fly (FR) 11    10 12 Mr John P. McManus A. J. Martin 

Mister Malarky (GB) 8    10 12 Wendy & Malcolm Hezel Colin Tizzard 

Kimberlite Candy (IRE) 9    10 10 Mr John P. McManus Tom Lacey 

Beware The Bear (IRE) 11    10 10 Mr G. B. Barlow Nicky Henderson 

Pym (IRE) 8    10 10 Mrs Patricia Pugh Nicky Henderson 

Bellshill (IRE) 11    10 10 D & D Armstrong Ltd & Mr L Westwood Sandy Thomson 

Any Second Now (IRE) 9    10 9 Mr John P. McManus T. M. Walsh 

Balko des Flos (FR) 10    10 9 Gigginstown House Stud Henry de Bromhead 

Alpha des Obeaux (FR) 11    10 9 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott 

Brahma Bull (IRE) 10    10 8 Mrs S. Ricci W. P. Mullins 

Ok Corral (IRE) 11    10 8 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson 

Articulum (IRE) 11    10 7 Martin McDonagh/Paul G Murphy/M J Nixon Terence O’Brien 

Takingrisks (IRE) 12    10 7 Mr Frank Bird Nicky Richards 

Shattered Love (IRE) 10    10 7 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott 

Jett (IRE) 10    10 7 Mr Robert Waley-Cohen Mrs J. Harrington 

The Jam Man (IRE) 8    10 7 Ronan M. P. McNally Ronan M. P. McNally 

Lord du Mesnil (FR) 8    10 6 Mr Paul Porter & Mike & Mandy Smith Richard Hobson 

Potters Corner (IRE) 11    10 6 All Stars Sports Racing & J Davies Christian Williams 

Class Conti (FR) 9    10 6 Mr Simon Munir/Mr Isaac Souede W. P. Mullins 

Milan Native (IRE) 8    10 6 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott 

Discorama (FR) 8    10 6 Thomas Friel/Andrew Gemmell Paul Nolan 

Vieux Lion Rouge (FR) 12    10 5 Prof Caroline Tisdall & Mr John Gent David Pipe 

Cloth Cap (IRE) 9    10 5 Mr Trevor Hemmings Jonjo O’Neill 

Cabaret Queen (GB) 9    10 5 Syndicates.Racing W. P. Mullins 

Minellacelebration (IRE) 11    10 5 Mr Nick Elliott Katy Price 

Glen Forsa (IRE) 9    10 4 Mr T. P. Radford Mick Channon 

Canelo (IRE) 8    10 4 Mr John P. McManus Alan King 

The Long Mile (GB) 7    10 4 Mr John P. McManus J.P.Dempsey 

Give Me A Copper (IRE) 11    10 4 Done, Ferguson, Mason, Nicholls & Wood Paul Nicholls 

Hogan’s Height (IRE) 10    10 3 Foxtrot Racing: Hogan’s Height Jamie Snowden 

Minella Times (IRE) 8    10 3 Mr John P. McManus Henry de Bromhead 

Farclas (FR) 7    10 3 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott 

Agusta Gold (IRE) 8    10 3 Dr S.P. Fitzgerald W. P. Mullins

Sub Lieutenant (IRE) 12    10 3 Ms G. Howell Georgie Howell 

Double Shuffle (IRE) 11    10 2 Crossed Fingers Partnership Tom George 

Blaklion (GB) 12    10 2 Darren & Annaley Yates Dan Skelton 

Ami Desbois (FR) 11    10 2 The Reserved Judgment Partnership Graeme McPherson 

Gold Present (IRE) 11    10 2 Mr and Mrs J. D. Cotton Nicky Henderson 

Keeper Hill (IRE) 10    10 2 McNeill Family Warren Greatrex 

Death Duty (IRE) 10    10 1 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott 

Secret Reprieve (IRE) 7    10 1 Mr & Mrs William Rucker Evan Williams 

Some Neck (FR) 10    10 1 Some Neck Partnership John McConnell 

Deise Aba (IRE) 8    9 13 Mr Trevor Hemmings Philip Hobbs 

Jerrysback (IRE) 9    9 13 Mr John P. McManus Philip Hobbs 

Kauto Riko (FR) 10    9 13 Mr and Mrs J.Dale and Partners Tom Gretton 

Saturnas (FR) 10    9 13 Mr Nick Peacock W. P. Mullins 

Storm Control (IRE) 8    9 13 Mr Will Roseff Kerry Lee 

Fagan (GB) 11    9 13 Mr Ben Brackenbury Alex Hales 

Valtor (FR) 12    9 13 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson 

Golan Fortune (IRE) 9    9 13 P Middleton, M Lowther Phil Middleton 

Captain Drake (IRE) 8    9 11 Gary Stevens and Brian and Sandy Lambert Harry Fry 

Run Wild Fred (IRE) 7    9 11 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott 

The Hollow Ginge (IRE) 8    9 11 The Ginge Army Nigel Twiston-Davies 

Crievehill (IRE) 9    9 11 Highclere T’Bred Racing- Crievehill Nigel Twiston-Davies 

Another Venture (IRE) 10    9 11 Racing For Maggie’s Partnership Kim Bailey 

Flying Angel (IRE) 10    9 10 Mr R. J. Rexton Nigel Twiston-Davies 

Fitzhenry (IRE) 9    9 10 Mr John P. McManus Paul Nolan 

Prime Venture (IRE) 10    9 10 Mrs Janet Davies Evan Williams 

Le Breuil (FR) 9    9 10 Mrs Emma Palmer Ben Pauling 

Achille (FR) 11    9 9 Mrs Vida Bingham Venetia Williams 

Plan of Attack (IRE) 8    9 9 Mr A. Halsall Henry de Bromhead 

Roaring Bull (IRE) 8    9 9 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott 

Hold The Note (IRE) 7    9 9 Mr T. P. Radford Mick Channon 

Dounikos (FR) 10    9 9 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott 

Treacysenniscorthy (IRE) 9    9 8 Paula Widger Robert Widger 

Soupy Soups (IRE) 10    9 8 Equi ex Incertis Partners Neil Mulholland 

Musical Slave (IRE) 8    9 8 Mr John P. McManus Philip Hobbs 

Shantou Flyer (IRE) 11    9 7 David Maxwell Racing Limited Paul Nicholls 

Hear No Evil (IRE) 9    9 7 Mr Patrick Joseph McCartan Noel C. Kelly 

Beau Bay (FR) 10    9 7 Mr Peter Green & Dr RDP Newland Dr Richard Newland 

Monbeg Notorious (IRE) 10    9 6 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott 

Aforementioned (FR) 8    9 5 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott 

Fingerontheswitch (IRE) 11    9 3 Cahill, Atwell & Crofts Neil Mulholland 

One Style (FR) 11    9 3 The Four Bosses Venetia Williams 

Bellow Mome (FR) 10    9 2 Mrs Audrey Turley W. P. Mullins 

 

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