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2021 Grand National News – Five names to note after initial entries

  • The initial entries for the 2021 Aintree Grand National were revealed on Wednesday
  • Tiger Roll will attempt to win this historic race for a third year in a row
  • Bristol De Mai and Presenting Percy look like being the top-rated runners in this year’s race
  • Burrows Saint and Kimberlite Candy are our ante-post Grand National tips
Tiger Roll
Tiger Roll will try to defend his Grand National crown for a second time in 2021. (Getty)

Excitement swept through the horse racing world on Wednesday, when the initial entries for the 2021 Grand National were revealed. Covid-19 meant the 2020 renewal could not take place, so punters will be itching to sink their teeth into a Grand National field as early as possible.

We’ve taken a look through the long list of entries, picking out three important names and two ante-post tips.

2021 Grand National Entries


Tiger Roll


Tiger Roll2021 Aintree Grand National FavouriteGET 20/1 HERE
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For a while this season, it seemed Tiger Roll may have run his final race. Gordon Elliott’s stable star was pulled up after just two fences on his return to Cheltenham in the Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham, and Elliott intimated his charge could be retired if he didn’t rediscover his old spark.

In a recent interview, Keith Donoghue – who’s ridden Tiger Roll to victory at the Cheltenham Festival twice – said his favourite mount felt “like the Tiger Roll of two years ago” and it seems it’s all systems go for the Cross Country. 

On current ratings, Tiger Roll is nine-pounds higher than when he beat Magic Of Light to win his second National in 2019. It would be a huge ask for an eleven-year-old to win off a mark of 168, having been soundly beaten on both his starts this term. But, if anyone can, it’s Tiger Roll.

Bristol De Mai and Presenting Percy


Bristol De Mai2021 Aintree Grand National Top-WeightGET 40/1 HERE
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Santini and Delta Work are the two highest-rated entrants on the 106-strong list of possible runners. Both are due to run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and I can’t see either getting turned out again so quickly. 

Next on the list we find Bristol De Mai, who’s rated 169. Following his third win in the Betfair Chase, rider Daryl Jacob suggested it was the team's intention to go to the Grand National, and he could skip a third outing in the Cheltenham Gold Cup to prepare for Aintree.

Presenting Percy2021 Aintree Grand National Second Top-WeightGET 33/1 HERE
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As could Presenting Percy, who also sits on a lofty rating of 168. Having made the switch from Pat Kelly's stable, Gordon Elliott said the Grand National at Aintree would be an ideal race for his recruit, and there've been signs that Presenting Percy is returning to the top of his form this term.

If both were to run, Bristol De Mai would carry a top-weight of 11-10, with Presenting Percy shouldering 11-9. Currently, there's more than 40 horses rated between 168 and 150 entered in the 2021 Grand National, which would make it the highest-quality renewal ever staged. Some of those are bound to drop out of course, but I’d still be surprised if anyone rated lower than 147 even made it into the race.

You’re going to find some classy horses rated in the low-to-mid 150s carrying as little as 10-07 in this year’s Grand National. 

kimberlite candy
Richie McLernon riding Kimberlite Candy to victory in the Classic Chase at Warwick in 2020. (Getty)

2021 Grand National Tips


Burrows Saint


Burrows Saint E/W2021 Aintree Grand National Ante-Post Tip 1GET 33/1 HERE
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Burrows Saint was a six-year-old novice when he won the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in 2019, where he was backed into favouritism before the off and looked much the classiest horse in the race. In a bid to keep his chasing mark down, Willie Mullins has been running his star predominantly over hurdles since then, with Burrows Saint finishing sixth in the Galmoy Hurdle on his second run this term.

Mullins has handed his eight-year-old an entry in the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he’s unlikely to take that up. In 2019, Burrows Saint ran three times in six weeks before going to Fairyhouse, so we could see him run a couple of times in the next two months before he makes the trip to Aintree.

Burrows Saint is a really solid jumper, a confirmed stayer, and should be really competitive with a weight around 10-12. He’ll be my first ante-post 2021 Grand National tip.

Kimberlite Candy


Kimberlite Candy E/W2021 Aintree Grand National Ante-Post Tip 2GET 28/1 HERE
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Kimberlite Candy has finished second in the last two runnings of the Becher Chase at Aintree. Tom Lacey’s chaser was beaten by that year’s Grand National fourth, Walk In The Mill on his first run over the National fences. This season, Kimberlite Candy tried to win the Becher with 11-6 on his back, but was well-beaten behind Aintree specialist, Vieux Lion Rouge.

In-between those runs, Lacey’s stable star announced himself as one of Britain’s leading Grand National contenders with a superb victory in the Classic Chase at Warwick. Having chosen not to go back to Warwick this season, I’ll be expecting Kimberlite Candy to run at least once between now and the National, with an outing in the Ultima at Cheltenham not beyond the realms of possibility.

Ritchie McLernon has formed a strong partnership with Kimberlite Candy, and he has plenty of Grand National experience to draw from. Lacey’s nine-year-old may only have 10-9 to carry, and should be very competitive with that sort of weight on his back.
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