The British horse racing season is about to pick up pace over the coming months.
First, the Cheltenham Festival takes place in mid-March with the top prize of £625,000. And that’s just a warmup for April’s main event as the 2021 Grand National takes place at Aintree between 8-10 April.
The world’s most famous steeplechase will see 40 runners jump 30 fences as they compete over the four-and-a-half miles. Last year’s event didn’t take place meaning Tiger Roll is still the defending champion, and actually going for three-in-a-row having also won the 2018 showdown.
After a poor finish to 2020 followed up with a sixth-place finish in a six-horse race at Navan recently, Gordon Elliott’s horse is currently out at 20/1 to win this year’s Grand National. Though some will that be great value given the horse’s record on this track. Retirement talks have also been dismissed ahead of the big event.
And with betting shops not set to reopen until 12 April in the United Kingdom, anyone wanting to back Tiger Roll or any horse for that matter will be looking to place a bet online this year.
With lots of racing action to take place between now and the second weekend of April you can expect those odds to move up and down for each of the entrants. For anyone wanting to back a winner they should look at reliable horse racing tips closer to the day itself.
There is still more than a month to go until the race itself, and Trevor Hemmings’ Cloth Cap is the current 14/1 favourite. The Irish horse finished 2020 with a win by 10 lengths at Newbury.
Cloth Cap is closely followed by Burrows Saint and Secret Reprieve, both at 16/1 with the bookmakers. Any of this trio could start the race as favourite on the day. In fact, it’s a very close field, with three other horses sharing the 20/1 price with Tiger Roll.
A recent win at Punchestown for Burrows Saint has certainly boosted his credentials and lowered the odds lately. The 8-year-old is at a good age to put in a serious challenge for the title.
Victory at the Welsh Grand National is January explains Secret Reprieve’s odds dropping and being considered one of the favourites at this year’s Aintree Festival. Trainer Evan Williams does have his eye on Cheltenham before the Grand National though.
There had been talk of the event being pushed back but the previously mentioned dates have been confirmed, with the 2021 Grand National to take place with no spectators in attendance.
This is expected to cost the Betting & Gaming Council £1 million in revenue usually generated over the course of the three days from attendees, with CEO Michael Dugher commenting:
“Whilst we of course respect the decision of the Jockey Club, this news is nonetheless a disappointing blow. Briefly delaying the race could have provided a much-needed boost to racing, to the high street and to millions of punters who support this great sport.
“Races are routinely rescheduled, including most recently because of bad weather. Of course, there is always a risk with any decision, but I regret that a ‘can do’ approach did not prevail in this instance.
“This decision will also surprise many people who understand the challenging financial climate racing currently faces.”
The Grand National main event is scheduled for Saturday 10 April 2021 at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool.
Jack Timms is an independent writer with 8 years experience in writing sports articles for various magazines and newspapers. Most of his work is on horse racing or football, and he has written for magazines such as Thoroughbred Racing and Luxuria Lifestyle. Jack lives in York with his dog, Poppins.