Forty horses line up for the Randox-sponsored £1million showpiece, ready to tackle 30 fences, many with household names such as Becher’s Brook, The Chair, Valentine’s Brook and the Canal Turn.
These fences aren’t as scary as they once were. Rightly, animal welfare is now a priority. But the historic race, which dates back to 1839, is still an exciting sight.
Last year it was forced behind closed doors by the pandemic, having been completely canceled in 2020. But it is back in all its glory on Saturday (5.15pm) and will be enjoyed by 70,000 people on the course and an audience global television reach of up to 600 million people. You can watch it live on ITV.
It remains the one day of the year when most of us have a flutter, whether it’s a few pounds each way or a sweep at work or our local pub. Bookmakers expect around £200m to be wagered on the big race.
This year’s race promises to be more competitive than ever, even if it misses the presence of the double winner TIGER ROLLwho retired after the Cheltenham Festival last month.
Last year’s race made history when Rachael Blackmore became the first female rider to triumph aboard MINELLA’S TIME. They’re back for more, but the horse was weighed down by the maximum weight and was in poor shape.
Surprisingly, ten of the top 11 places 12 months ago were taken by horses trained in Ireland. Once again, Irish handlers such as Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott are well represented.
So when trying to find the winner, do you study the form or insert a pin? To help you decide, our guide identifies 12 horses likely to have a say in the outcome. A couple of lively underdogs, Mount Ida and Fortescue, just failed to qualify!
Note: the numbers do NOT relate to their order on the race card. And the prices listed were correct at the time of going to press.
MY OPINION – 1 Escaria Ten, 2 Any Second Now, 3 Fiddlerontheroof, 4 De Rasher Counter, 5 Delta Work
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This notice was published: 2022-04-08 21:49:12