The Grand National is the most significant event in the horse racing season. Millions of viewers around the world will have their eyes on the famous race, while spectators in their thousands will make their way to Aintree Racecourse to see the action live.
The race provides a great boost for the economy in Merseyside, flooding the region with people attending the race. Bars, restaurants and hotels record increases in revenue, while local charities have even benefitted from the influx of additional wallets and purses.
No group of companies anticipates the race more than the bookies. They offer prices on the event throughout the year on the ante-post, while the form guide over the course of the season can dictate where the value can be on potential dark horses for the ultimate prize. We’ll now look at three horses that will be competing for Randox Health Grand National in the second week of April.
The bay gelding is aiming to make history in the 2020 version of the event. Tiger Roll has won the last two Nationals, matching the feat of Red Rum in winning back-to-back races. However, he will now aim to separate himself from that legendary horse by becoming the first competitor in the history of the National to win three successive races. Red Rum still has a place etched in the history of the event with three total victories, which has been well noted. By winning three on the bounce, Tiger Roll would certainly become the greatest horse in the history of the prestigious race.
It will certainly be an event all spectators will want to witness therefore getting there on time will be a necessity on the Saturday afternoon. Tiger Roll should be fresh for the event as he has been spared action this season in the National Hunt to keep him ready for the great challenge ahead. The 10-year-old could feature at Cheltenham Festival where he is also going for a third Cross County Chase crown. That race will give a strong indication on whether he still has the ability to close out another National win.
Magic of Light
The runner-up from last season will have the best chance of knocking off Tiger Roll. She was off the pace last season as a 66/1 outsider, finishing two-and-three-quarter lengths behind the winner. Jessica Harrington’s charge returned to action for the new campaign after a break of seven months in the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan Racecourse. The bay mare ran well in the event, but was not quite good enough when it mattered the most down the stretch. Magic of Light placed in third behind an impressive run from the eventual winner Barcadys and second-place Apple’s Jade, who was the favourite for the race.
The Irish thoroughbred has since proved her class with a fine at Newbury in the Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares’ Chase, winning the event by 99 lengths. She followed that up with a stellar outing at the Warfield Mares’ Hurdle at Ascot to triumph in the race for the second season on the bounce. At 18/1 in the Betway betting odds as of January 25th, Magic of Light has excellent value for the Grand National to defeat the great Tiger Roll.
Walk in the Mill
Robert Walford’s charge punched above his weight in the National last year, placing fourth in the event with a solid run as a 25/1 outsider. He had been in good form leading into the race, including a victory in the Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree. Although Walk In The Mill was not in contention for the victory, he competed well enough to claim fourth place, finishing ahead of Anibale Fly and the 2017 winner One For Arthur. The bay gelding returned to action after seven months of rest in the Badger Beers Silver Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton.
However, he pulled up in the contest two fences from the finish, failing to complete a race for only the second time in his career. The French thoroughbred returned to Aintree to defend his Becher Handicap Chase crown and duly delivered another strong performance in testing conditions. He claimed the victory by two-and-a-half lengths to re-establish himself as a true contender for the National. Given his record at Aintree, he has a good opportunity to join an elite company of horses to have won the race.