Today marked the second scratching stage for the Grand National 2021. Historically this is often a pretty quiet stage as connections weigh up options after Cheltenham.
As the Festival only ended a few days ago, trainers have barely caught their breath before having to make some big decisions about Aintree.
That said, 12 have been withdrawn, the biggest among them being Easysland, who is one of three on top weight. That still leaves Santini and Bristol De Mai as the remaining top-weighted potential runners.
Next on the list, is Ajas, interesting as he is the stablemate of Easysland, both of whom are trained by David Cottin. They were also the only two French-trained entries this year.
Of the top 40 that are currently in the running to start the race, only one other was withdrawn. That was Articulum from trainer Terence O’Brien.
That means only three horses move up into the top 40. They are Canelo, The Long Mile and Give Me A Copper as Glen Forsa, currently number 41, has also been withdrawn.
Here are the twelve horses that have been withdrawn from the Grand National 2021 today:
- Glen Forsa
- Agusta Gold
- Death Duty
- Storm Control
- One Style
As we know from yesterday, Easysland has gone on his summer break after his performance in the Cross Country at Cheltenham. Trainer David Cottin has also decided to aim Ajas for the Grand Steeplechase De Paris instead.
Agusta Gold, Death Duty, Jerrysback, Saturnas, and Fitzhenry have all been entered into the 2021 Irish Grand National. That takes place on Monday, April 5th, just five days before the Aintree National.
Sadly for connections, the wonderful Bellshill sustained a fatal injury on the gallops earlier in the month.
Grand National Odds
With so few of the top 40 getting withdrawn at this stage, the odds haven’t changed very much.
Cloth Cap still leads the betting market on odds as short as 4/1. He is followed by Any Second Now and Burrows Saint.
However, both of them are also entered into the Irish National at Fairyhouse and no decision has been made as to which race they will ultimately run in.
On similar odds of 14/1 is Santini. Despite top weight and being pulled-up in the Gold Cup, he is still on for Aintree – for the moment.
Minella Times has moved into the top 10 in the betting. He is one of three Henry De Bromhead trained horses set to run.
Of those three, Rachael Blackmore could partner him making him a more attractive prospect following her historic trip to Cheltenham last week.
Otherwise, the odds haven’t changed much over the last week.
Next Declaration Stages
What will be interesting this year is that the next declaration stage for the Grand National 2021 is April 5th.
It is the five-day confirmation stage and also the same day as the Irish Grand National. There are at least 20 runners with entries in both but as there only five days between them, it has to be one or the other.
We should know in five or six days which race the majority have opted for.
After that, we have the final declaration stage on 8th April. And then, of course, we have the big day itself – Grand National Day on Saturday, April 10th 2021 at 5.15pm.