WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and an each-way selection for the 2.15 at Naas on Sunday 17th October.
2021 Grand National
|Alpha Des Obeaux||80/1||E/W
2021 Grand National
|Anibale Fly||40/1||Ante Post
2021 Grand National
|Le Breuil||40/1||Ante Post
2021 Grand National
Date of Tips: 05/02/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (13:24 05/02/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
For the UK-based trainers, Aintree has been like that horror movie sequel that you know you don’t want to watch, so kneel shivering behind the sofa. But every now and then, peek out from beneath your intertwined fingers to see if it is all over!
The strike rate of Irish runners to winners in the first two days at Aintree has even surpassed the Cheltenham Festival viking-like raid. Especially given the lesser numbers that have travelled, the Irish contingent are still proving comfortably a cut above.
So, despite the UK having potentially one of the most ‘well-in’ favourites ever to run in the Randox Grand National at 5.15 tomorrow, (which I think is an absurd bit of handicapping for Cloth Cap’s Kelso win), it still will surely pay to concentrate on the Irish marauders.
Having recommended Anibale Fly at a tasty 40/1 back in February, to provide a fitting culmination to his Grand National love affair, and given that we have the money in the bank from the ballot elimination of Le Breuil, we can surely have another couple of cracks at the most famous of all horse races.
Without a shadow of doubt, the main selection now has to be Minella Times – there are too many ducks lining up quacking like good’uns for it not to be. Henry De Bromhead-trained, Rachael Blackmore-ridden, JP McManus-owned and representing two of the strongest pieces of handicap chase form run anywhere this season, there is simply no way Minella Times shouldn’t be on your list of Randox Grand National fancies.
At 9/1 each-way with 888Sport, you’d be hard pushed to suggest that it is a brilliant price, but given all the looming portents, it wouldn’t be a shock if Minella Times vied for favouritism come the off time tomorrow.
Livelovelaugh bolting up in the Topham Chase on Friday is surely the final piece of the jigsaw in what could be one of the great public gambles in the race. I’m not just getting all gooey-eyed at the prospect, I assure you his form chance is there in black and white too, and I’d hate to miss this particular boat – all aboard the ‘good ship Rachael Blackmore.’
What a story if she could be the first female jockey to win the race after the amazing season she has already had!
Gigginstown House Stud and the O’Leary’s will be looking on at this week with about as mixed a bunch of feelings, as a group of angst-ridden, hormone-fuelled teenagers, given all the one-upmanship games being played out over dear little Tiger Roll.
But they might just have the last laugh, as I quietly fancy their Alpha Des Obeaux could run a massive race at very generous odds of 80/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral, who are also 6 places for each-way bets at this stage.
Alpha Des Obeaux was being prepped for the race last year, like so many, and his running-on fourth in the Cross Country at the Cheltenham Festival suggested he was hitting form at the right time. For this inherently very classy sort, a handicap mark of 152 is not the full picture of his ability, and he has always shaped like the dourest of stayers. At 80/1, he is well worth adding to any list of Grand National picks.
However, I feel I’ll probably not be alone at about 5.25pm tomorrow, in shouting at the top of my voice…. ‘Come on Rachael!’
The following content was published on 5th February 2021
With the entries closing earlier this week for the 2021 Randox Grand National, run in just over two months’ time, now is a great time to have a perusal of the market for the big race.
Check out our guide to the Best Bookies for the Grand National here .
The next few clues for the famous race will be laid out over the course of the next few weeks, as connections look to finalise preparations and fulfil certain qualification criteria that now exists for the Grand National. Then, on Tuesday 16th February, the handicapper will unveil the weights structure, and many an ante-post bet will be struck then.
However, I think now could be the time to back two horses that are surely going to be aimed at the race, and indeed, it seems as if for both, their whole season could revolve around it. So why now you ask? Well, they are both due to run over next few days, and I think could well land on the radar of punters and layers aplenty.
The first has been placed 4th and 5th in the last two renewals of the race in 2018 and 2019, when having placed 3rd and 2nd in that season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup prior. With that record, Anibale Fly, on his day, is as classy a stayer as there is in training – and at 40/1 each-way with William Hill, or 33/1 each-way with a number of other firms who are offering five places, he has to be backed.
Tony Martin has given him an entry at Fairyhouse next Wednesday over fences, which would tick the now relevant box of having run in a race over fences this season. While a quick glance at his handicap mark over fences shows him to be on 152. That may be re-assessed upwards slightly by the handicapper a week on Tuesday, on account of his record over the niche fences, but it still represents a pale insignificance of the inherent ability level that exists within Anibale Fly.
The two seasons in which he finished in the shake-up in the Grand National, the Gold Cup had been the priority. However, for the subsequently cancelled 2020 running of the race, Anibale Fly was clearly being teed up for the Grand National itself.
Plans were obviously put on hold, but it is pleasing to see him not only entered in the 2021 Randox Grand National, but also, on account of his Fairyhouse entry, he is ready to run. Don’t expect any fireworks on Wednesday, as it clearly isn’t the day that matters.
But he will enter the conscious thoughts of many again, and so taking the wild prices each-way now, 40/1 with William Hill most notably, seems a very wise move.
The other one to back now is Le Breuil, Ben Pauling’s impressive staying chaser and winner of the most stamina-sapping renewal of the National Hunt Chase in 2019, copper-bottoming his stamina in the process.
It took Le Breuil the best part of 18 months to get over that race, but this season, three runs and a wind operation have shown himself to be back in great form. He has twice winged round the National course in the Becher Chase, and was a running on third in the Classic Chase at Warwick three weeks ago.
Le Breuil is due to run tomorrow in the Edinburgh National over 4m, and his trainer will be hoping desperately for a very bold showing, as his current handicap mark of 140 would give connections a nervous wait to see if he got in at the bottom of the weights for the Grand National. A win at Musselburgh would surely guarantee him a go at Aintree, as the bottom weights of the last 10 runnings of the Grand National have been rated: 142, 142, 143, 145, 139, 138, 131, 137, 138, 139.
Even if Le Breuil didn’t elevate his mark with a big run tomorrow, he will still surely be aimed at the National, and being balloted out would guarantee a refund on ante-post bets, so there is no panic about doing your money this far out.