Despite unprecedented global circumstances, the folks at Aintree Racecourse outdid themselves with the 2021 Grand National festival. We may not have seen the usual thousands of fans in the stands on April 10th 2021, but that didn’t dim the light of the National.
Giving credit where it’s due, ITV did a fantastic job covering the event as 40 horses and jockeys lined-up in what was to be another great race.
Cloth Cap from Jonjo O’Neill went off as the race favourite on odds of 11/2 with jockey Tom Scudamore on board. But it was not to be as the duo pulled up at fence 28.
History Making Blackmore
So with the favourite out of contention, it was all to race for. And boy did we get the thrill of a lifetime as Rachael Blackmore took the race by the reins and led the field from two fences out, for what would a history-making victory.
On board Minella Times for trainer Henry De Bromhead and owner JP McManus, Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Grand National as fans of National Hunt racing rejoiced around the country and the world.
It was the crowning glory to what had already been an exceptional year for the young Irish jockey. She had already won the Cheltenham Festival jockey title with six wins and the National simply solidified her credentials as one of the finest jockeys riding today.
Rest Of The Field
For the rest of the 39 Grand National runners, it was a mixed bag of results. Unfortunately for all involved, and in particular the connections, The Long Mile suffered an injury while running on a flat portion of the race and had to be euthanised after the race.
The first fence was the undoing of Lake View Lad. A firm favourite, the grey was well fancied but fell and was unharmed. It was the fourth fence before Magic Of Light, second in the 2019 race, unseated her jockey, Robbie Power.
Minellacelebration was next to unseat as Ben Poste hit the ground at fence 11. There were a couple of more fallers – Double Shuffle at fence 12, Canelo at fence 15, and Vieux Lion Rouge at fence 20.
However, the vast majority of the non-finishers simply pulled-up. On the second-last fence, there were really only five horses still left in contention. They included Minella Times, Any Second Now, Discorama, Burrows Saint and Balko Des Flos.
Minella Times took the lead two out and maintained it to the finish. Stablemate, the 100/1 Balko Des Flos finished in second place, giving trainer Henry De Bromhead a one-two in the race.
Prize money was reduced in 2021 due to the lack of ticket sales, so the whole race was worth just £750,000 as opposed to the usual £1 million.
In the end, only 15 runners and riders finished the 2021 Grand National. The Finishing Order is below:
|1||Minella Times||8||10-03||11/1||Rachael Blackmore||Henry De Bromhead|
|2||Balko De Flos||10||10-09||100/1||Aidan Coleman||Henry De Bromhead|
|3||Any Second Now||9||10-09||15/2||Mark Walsh||Ted Walsh|
|4||Burrows Saint||8||10-13||9/1||Patrick Mullins||Willie Mullins|
|5||Farclas||7||10-03||16/1||Jack Kennedy||Denise Foster|
|6||Blaklion||12||10-02||50/1||Harry Skelton||Dan Skelton|
|7||Discorama||8||10-06||16/1||Bryan Cooper||Paul Nolan|
|8||Jett||10||10-07||80/1||Sam Waley-Cohen||Jessica Harrington|
|9||Cabaret Queen||9||10-05||80/1||Sean O’Keeffe||Willie Mullins|
|10||Shattered Love||10||10-07||33/1||Kevin Sexton||Denise Foster|
|11||Alpha Des Obeaux||11||10-09||80/1||Jody McGarvey||Denise Foster|
|12||Hogans Height||10||10-03||100/1||Gavin Sheehan||Jamie Snowden|
|13||Acapella Bourgeois||11||10-12||20/1||Danny Mullins||Willie Mullins|
|14||Sub Lieutenant||12||10-03||50/1||Tabitha Worsley||Georgia Howell|
|15||Class Conti||9||10-06||66/1||Brian Hayes||Willie Mullins|
Non Finishers Order
Below is the finishing order for those runners and riders that didn’t manage to make it around in 2021.
|1||Lake View Lad||Brian Hughes||50/1||Fell|
|4||Magic Of Light||Robbie Power||14/1||Unseated Rider|
|11||Minellacelebration||Ben Poste||80/1||Unseated Rider|
|12||Double Shuffle||Jonathan Burke||66/1||Fell|
|13||Anibale Fly||Denis O’Regan||28/1||Pulled Up|
|15||Ami Desbois||Kielan Woods||100/1||Brought Down|
|17||Takingrisks||Sean Quinlan||14/1||Pulled Up|
|17||Mister Malarky||Jonjo O’Neill Jnr||12/1||Pulled Up|
|20||Yala Enki||Bryony Frost||40/1||Unseated Rider|
|20||Vieux Lion Rouge||Conor O’Farrell||66/1||Fell|
|21||OK Corral||Derek O’Connor||80/1||Pulled Up|
|21||Lord Du Mesnil||Nick Scholfield||50/1||Pulled Up|
|22||Bristol De Mai||Daryl Jacob||25/1||Pulled Up|
|22||Potters Corner||Jack Tudor||22/1||Pulled Up|
|23||The Long Mile||Luke Dempsey||50/1||Pulled Up|
|26||Talkischeap||Tom Cannon||33/1||Pulled Up|
|27||Chris’s Dream||D O’Keeffe||40/1||Unseated Rider|
|28||Cloth Cap||Tom Scudamore||11/2f||Pulled Up|
|29||Kimberlite Candy||Richie McLernon||20/1||Pulled Up|
|29||Give Me A Copper||Sean Bowen||33/1||Pulled Up|
|29||Definitly Red||Ryan Mania||28/1||Pulled Up|
|29||Tout Est Permis||Sean Flanagan||100/1||Pulled Up|
|29||Milan Native||Jamie Codd||50/1||Pulled Up|
So there you have the finishing order for the race. The Grand National in 2021 was thrilling. This writer shed a few tears watching Rachael Blackmore making history in what was, despite all of the adverse conditions, a simply spectacular race.
So roll on the Grand National 2022 when we get to do it all over again!