14 Apr 2021
25 Mar 2021
If you could see into the future, ten minutes would be just enough time.
You'd have been at Aintree, Liverpool, the home of the Grand National, and mysteriously know the name of the winning horse.
You'd have been disappointed back in 2001 as Red Marauder completed the greatest steeplechase in the world with a winning time of 11m 0.1s. Even worse, you'd have missed out on the odds at 33/1.
All recent winners have been right on time.
You would have been laughing all the way to the bank.
Highlights would be Mon Mone winning at 100/1 in 2009. A very pleasing 9m 32.9s.
To be honest, if you knew the outcome of a race before it started a mighty odds-on would be tempting.
A brazen smile as you placed your bet. We're talking suitcases.
This year's Grand National takes place on the 10th April. To give the race its full title: The Randox Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) 7yo+
The winner gets prize money worth £375,000.
For many, the accolade of winning is worth even more.
Which of the 2021 horses and jockeys will prevail? There will be a maximum of 40 runners. At present there are 77 entrants.
Until the horses have been selected it is difficult to know which jockeys will be riding which mounts.
However, you can guaranteed certain owners and trainers will have their pilot waiting ready for the off.
In recent years, Tiger Roll has been the talking horse, winning consecutive races in 2018 - 2019. Sadly, he couldn't try and emulate the third success of the legendary Red Rum, beaten by an impossible opponent in Coronavirus.
It is disappointing to hear that Tiger Roll won't take his chance this year and heads to the Irish Grand National which takes place at Fairyhouse on the 5th April.
This time round, we have a strongly fancied favourite in Cloth Cap, trained by Jonjo O'Neill who won the National back in 2010, giving Tony McCoy his only success in the race and putting a smile on the face of many including owner J. P. McManus.
Cloth Cap has been well supported at 9/2 and may be one of the shortest priced favourites for over a century
Trevor Hemmings is the owner of Cloth Cap. This billionaire businessman is no stranger to success as he has won the Grand National three times since 2005 when Hedgehunter landed the odds at 7/1 in a time of 9m 20.8s.
That wasn't the best kept secret.
The Grand National is a race full of stories. This April, another story will be told. Perhaps it will be a winning favourite. It could possibly be a horse at odds of 100/1. Wouldn't it be something if this year saw the first female jockey win this biggest prize.
You'll have to wait until after the race because I'm keeping this secret under my hat.
This year has been a little all over the place. I'm sure most people have felt they have been jumping mighty fences from last April to this.
However, this time we will be seeing thoroughbred racehorses chomping at the bit rather than last year's disappointment of the Grand National being abandoned due to Coronavirus. It was an unfortunate thing to happen because it really should have taken place. Instead, we had the virtual Grand National to enjoy. It lacked any heart and so far removed from real horse racing that is was, for me, a disappointment.
4:15 Aintree, Liverpool.
The Grand National. The greatest steeplechase in the world. I am struggling to keep up with proceedings and this moment looked at the Grand National betting. I'm a furlong behind those punters with their finger on the pulse as I was half imaging Tiger Roll would be favourite after winning at Cheltenham. Sadly, he was withdrawn from the entries and it looks like he will be heading to the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse which is to take place on the 5th April.
If Tiger Roll wins, punters may be questioning that he should have gone to Aintree. It looks as though connections wish a less testing trip of 3m 5f for the Irish National compared with 4m 2 1/2f.
After a rather disappointing start to the season and pulling up at Cheltenham, with thoughts of retirement, you have to question whether this will be a hard task for the eleven-year-old who has been a shining example of brilliant throughout his career.
Looking at the betting for the Aintree Randox Grand National Handicap Chase it looks like we may a relatively short-price favourite with Cloth Cap, trained by Jonjo O'Neill in the familiar of green, yellow and white of Trevor Hemmings. In fact, most bookmakers have this nine-year-old bay gelding priced at odds of 9/2. He's won his last two races and it looks like he will enjoy a trip. Considering he ran over a distance of 2m 7 1/2f last time out at Kelso punters will be hoping he stays on strongly at the line.
Jonjo O'Neill trained the 2010 winner Don't Push It, who gave Tony McCoy his only win in the race.
Trevor Hemmings as done well in this race over the years. Race fans will remember he last tasted victory in this tough race in 2015 when Many Clouds won at odds of 25/1, trained by Oliver Sherwood, ridden by Leighton Aspell.
A memorable victory for many reason.
Hemmings has had other wins including: Ballabriggs (2011) & Hedgehunter (2005).
The billionaire British businessman loves this race and if returning at odds of less than 4/1, would be one of the shortest priced winners in the history if the race. In fact, you would have to go back to 1919 when Poethlyn won at odds of 11/4, ridden by Ernie Piggott, and trained by Harry Escott for owner Gwladys Peel.
Tiger Roll was one of the strongest fancies when winning in 2019 at 4/1.
Even without Tiger Roll not quite living up to the mighty Red Rum, which was as much to do with the Coronavirus as anything, we still have much to look forward to with the both Grand Nationals.
Tiger Roll will head to the Irish Grand National and battle for a historic win. While Cloth Cap could be one of the shortest-priced favourites in over a centruy and may well be a horse to emulate those successes of his owner.
Good luck to all.
15 Mar 2021
It's finally here!
We've had to wait a long year to get to the starting point. However, this is what we have been waiting for and Prestbury Park will come alive on Tuesday. Betway are ahead of the field when it comes to promoting the greatest National Hunt meeting of them all. Added to mix we have Richard Hoiles and the West Ham team at their most entertaining with their very own Prestbury Cup!
It really is quite hilarious.
Whatever you're betting at the Cheltenham Festival this is your banker.
8 Mar 2021
1 Mar 2021
In truth, there are so many horses who have made this iconic race meeting the pinnacle of their career. Name a National Hunt favourite - I bet it won at Prestbury Park.
As the saying goes: ''Time flies.'' But let's face it, for most readers who placed a winning bet on this special day it's as fresh as yesterday.
Even after so many years, I wonder what odds you would give when asking this question.
Name a grey horse?
Time may fly but nostalgia lives long in the heart and mind. Think back to the days of Desert Orchid. In 1989 ''Dessie'' achieved the ultimate goal when winning the Gold Cup to the voice of a legend in his own right, Sir Peter O'Sullivan.
His most famous words: