The anticipation for the Grand National is slowly rising, with the field slowly beginning to take shape. All eyes will be on Tiger Roll, as he attempts to become the first horse to win three consecutive Nationals and become only the second horse to win three of the famous races.
It looks to be one of the most competitive fields in recent years, with a lot of different narratives to keep an eye out for. But, can anybody realistically challenge the legendary ten-year-old?
Tiger Roll Not A Certainty
The news that no horse racing fan wanted to hear was revealed this week, as it was announced by connections that Tiger Roll may not choose to even compete in this year’s event. The news comes after the Gordon Elliott trained horse was given top weight for the race, and that immediately saw his odds with Betway rise to 11/2 to win the National.
Of course, there is a case to be made that connections are just overplaying the weight categorisation because as Matt Chapman stated, it would be a disaster if Tiger Roll didn’t go for the record. There would be something very special if Tiger Roll could take top weight and win the race, as he would be the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win off that.
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that he will need to carry top weight as he has won two previous Nationals, but that announcement could open the door for another previous winner.
One More For One For Arthur?
One runner that has been given a great chance after the announcement is One For Arthur. He has been given a very favourable weight for the National, but his chances of a success will likely be fairly assessed after the Grand National Trial at Haydock. There he will come up against a host of other leading contenders. However, his success in this race back in 2017 means that he should be a contender as he is a renowned stayer.
His form since that success at Aintree hasn’t been the best. He ran in last years event and produced a brilliant performance. He finished sixth, but that was 26-lengths behind Tiger Roll. It could be a case of his best days being behind him, but it’s impossible to rule him out; especially if he has a strong showing at Haydock in the trial.
Native River’s Shot At History?
No horse has won the Grand National-Gold Cup double since Golden Miller in 1934. It was an unprecedented achievement, but one that we could possibly see matched this year. Native River’s price for the Grand National has been plummeting every day over recent weeks, and his success in the Denman at Newbury is the reason for that.
He was ridden home by Jonjo O’Neil Jr on that day, and he beat Secret Investor by nearly three lengths. That success combined with his Aintree win over Black Corton in December means that this could be the year that we finally see that record broken. However, punters will still be anxious to back it. The Gold Cup will take an awful lot out of the ten-year-old, which means, if he wins the Cheltenham showpiece, then his conditioning over the next three weeks will be essential to his chances.
First Women’s Success
Bryony Frost has the Grand National in her blood. Her father, Jimmy Frost, won the 1989 National, and many punters will be keeping an eye out for who she will be riding on the big day. The narrative for Frost writes itself, and she is already smashing down the glass ceilings that had been in horse racing for so long. Last year she became the first woman to ride a Grade One winner over obstacles at the Cheltenham Festival, but a success in the National would surpass that.
It has been revealed that Yala Enki will likely be her ride for the race at Aintree, and that is a horse that Frost has already had success on. She rode him to success at Taunton from Rock The Kasbah, and he is given a good each-way of 25/1 by Betway for the Grand National. Yala Enki will come up against One For Arthur at Haydock, and punters will know a lot more after that.
Who Wins The 2020 Grand National?
Tiger Roll is always the horse to beat. If the Elliott horse is involved, then he will take some beating because there is just a feeling that destiny is waiting for the legend to become immortalised forever. However, there is a real fear that he may not be involved, and that’s when the field opens up.
Native River’s Grand National credentials aren’t as strong as some of the others in the race, while Potters Corner is a considerably high price for a horse that won the Welsh Grand National before the New Year. Punters will learn a lot more after Haydock, but a big win for Yala Enki in the trail will see him become a popular pick for punters, and we wouldn’t back against it.