It’s been quite a while since we saw any real horse racing action, though thankfully it has now resumed, albeit behind closed doors. After the highs of seeing Tiger Roll romp home to win the 2019 Grand National, we were all eagerly anticipating a third tilt at the greatest steeplechase in the world in 2020.
However, with no real choices left, the BHA had to cancel the event. Instead, we got a fairly decent substitute in the form of the Virtual Grand National. With millions watching from home the computer simulation proved to be quite exciting, though perhaps not on the same scale as the real Grand National.
Potters Corner won the virtual race and who knows if he would have been able to replicate that in real life.
But instead of wondering what might have been for 2020 we now look ahead to the 2021 Grand National. Can Tiger Roll come back and win another title? Will we see Glenfarclas Chase winner, Easysland, give him a run for his money? Will we see history being made with a female jockey taking the honours?
Grand National 2021 Date Announcement
It may a way off but the BHA and Jockey Club have already set a date for the 2021 Grand National. It will be held at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, April 10th 2021 at 5.15pm.
Tickets are not yet on sale for the event but you can sign up for priority access. That means as soon as they become available, you will get 48hrs before everybody else to bag a couple for the big day.
One major change for the Festival in 2021 is the name change to the opening day. It will now be called ‘Liverpool’s NHS Day‘ to honour all the hardworking NHS staff across the Merseyside region. The Jockey Club has earmarked 10,000 free tickets for staff which will be distributed in January 2021.
Further details on those tickets will be announced at the end of the year.
Ante Post Odds For The Grand National 2021
Of course, as with any major event, the bookies are already offering ante-post odds on who they think will run a good race in 2021. Don’t expect to get a comprehensive list as we are so far from the actual race date.
Tiger Roll is still in top position and has the shortest odds, on a general 12/1. Despite his epic win at Cheltenham, Easysland is only on 25/1. That could be down to the fact that he is still only 6-years-old and very unlikely to go to Aintree next season.
Potential runners that were prominent in the betting earlier this year are back again. Any Second Now and Burrows Saint are both on relatively short odds of around 20/1.
We do see a few new names on the ante-post odds market including Gold Cup runner Santini. Largely though the list is compiled from runners who were almost certain to run in 2020.
As the season gets underway in the Autumn and trainers start picking their festival targets, we should see the odds market evolve more.
The full list of entries will be published at the end of January 2021. So until then, it is a guessing game as to which horses will get entered.