The Grand National is the most famous steeplechase in National Hunt racing. In April, a field of 40 runners will take part in the latest renewal of the marathon contest at the Aintree racecourse in Liverpool.
Unfortunately for racing fans, the field will not include two-time winner Tiger Roll, as he has been ruled out of the race by his connections. Here is a look at some of the leading contenders this year.
History was made in the 2021 Grand National when Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey in the race’s history to prevail as she partnered Minella Times to success. The Irish horse is +1600 in the online odds on horse racing to come out on top this year.
Only two horses in modern history have been able to defend their title in the Grand National. Red Rum managed the feat in 1974, while more recently, Tiger Roll won for the second consecutive year in 2019.
Minella Times will have a much stiffer challenger this time around. The handicapper has given him a weight allocation that is 15lb higher than when he lined up at the Merseyside course last April.
Henry De Bromhead’s runner has had two appearances so far this season, but he has failed to finish in both of those starts, so his form will need to improve considerably at Aintree.
Snow Leopardess has established herself as the favorite for the 2022 Grand National following an impressive performance at Exeter where she scored in a Listed contest by 12 lengths.
That victory in Devon was her third success of the season. One of her victories in the campaign came over the Grand National fences at Aintree as she won the Becher Chase back in December.
Charlie Longsdon’s mare was fourth in the National Hunt Challenge Cup at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival. Since then, she has proved she has the stamina for the marathon trips. With just nine appearances over fences, she also remains open to improvement.
The 10-year-old is currently outside of the 40 runners in the weights for the Grand National, so if she does make the final field, she will have one of the lowest allocations.
Gordon Elliott could be represented in the Grand National this year by Galvin. He is the joint-highest rated runner in the field, which means he will need to carry top weight if he lines up.
Galvin has an entry in the Cheltenham Gold Cup before Aintree, so his rating could jump much higher if he prevails in the feature race of the Cheltenham Festival. Whatever happens in that race, his weight will not be impacted for the Grand National.
It has been an excellent year on the track for the eight-year-old. He won the Grade One Savills Chase at Leopardstown on his last start. The Irish horse is considered one of the best chasers in training in the UK and Ireland at the moment.
This year’s Grand National renewal will be the 174th running of the steeplechase. It is set to take place on April 9 at 17:15.