Grand National 2021 Pinstickers runner guide for Aintree feature

Grand National day is nearly here, an event which attracts sporting fans in their droves to the nearest TV.

And we have you covered with your ultimate pinstickers guide to all 40 runners and riders for the world's most famous horse race.

We have all of the knowledge that you need to help pick a winner for Saturday afternoon's contest, which is run at 5.15pm.

Cloth Cap is the race favourite and seeks a record fourth win for owner Trevor Hemmings.

Willie Mullins' Burrows Saint, Any Second Now and Minella Times are also prominent in the betting.

All three have been trained in Ireland for the race, which takes place several weeks after the raiding party ruled supreme at the Cheltenham Festival.

Tiger Roll, the winner for the last two years, as the 2020 event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, is not competing, because connections felt his weight was too high.

Here's the definitive verdict from Mirror Sport's resident tipster Newsboy, including his star ratings for each runner, ahead of the main event..

FULL LIST OF RUNNERS AND RIDERS

1. Bristol De Mai 33-1

TRAINER:  Nigel Twiston-Davies

JOCKEY: Daryl Jacob

NEWSBOY SAYS: Top-class chaser has been aimed at the National by trainer who has won with Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002) and sound jumper can give a good account despite having to give the weight away.

STAR RATING: ***

 

2. Chris's Dream 66-1

TRAINER: Henry de Bromhead

JOCKEY: Darragh O'Keeffe

NEWSBOY SAYS: High-class chaser at his best but couldn’t continue his trainer’s impressive form when jumping poorly at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, and will need to respect the National fences if he’s to play a role.

STAR RATING: **

 

3. Yala Enki 50-1

TRAINER: Paul Nicholls

JOCKEY: Bryony Frost

NEWSBOY SAYS: Has formed a potent partnership with Bryony Frost, seeking to become the first woman jockey to win the National, but fell at the first fence of the Becher Chase her in December and needs plenty of rain.

STAR RATING: **

 

4. Ballyoptic 100-1

TRAINER: Nigel Twiston-Davies

JOCKEY: Sam Twiston-Davies

NEWSBOY SAYS: Capable at his best but has been below par in four starts this season, and two falls and a heavy defeat from three attempts over the Grand National fences make it easy to look elsewhere.  

STAR RATING: *

 

5. Definitly Red 50-1

TRAINER: Brian Ellison

JOCKEY: Henry Brooke

NEWSBOY SAYS: Had excuses (badly hampered) when pulled up behind One For Arthur in the 2017 National, but form this term, including behind today’s favourite Cloth Cap at Kelso last time, suggest the years are catching up with him.

STAR RATING: ***

 

6. Lake View Lad 66-1

TRAINER: Nick Alexander

JOCKEY: Brian Hughes

NEWSBOY SAYS: Won over Aintree’s Mildmay course in December but didn’t take to the National obstacles when pulled up behind Tiger Roll two years ago – was in form at the time – and overlooked on that score. 

STAR RATING: **

 

7. Burrows Saint 9-1

TRAINER: Willie Mullins

JOCKEY: Patrick Mullins

NEWSBOY SAYS: Had only Tiger Roll ahead of him in the betting when last year’s National was cancelled, and not hard to see 2019 Irish National hero – stable won this with Hedgehunter in 2005 – mounting a bold bid.

STAR RATING: ****

 

8. Magic Of Light 20-1

TRAINER: Jessica Harrington

JOCKEY: Robbie Power

NEWSBOY SAYS: Ignored by punters at 66-1 in 2019 but ran a fine second to Tiger Roll and, having held her form well in the meantime, mare looks capable of showing to the fore once again.

STAR RATING: ***

 

9. Acapella Bourgeois 33-1

TRAINER: Willie Mullins

JOCKEY: Danny Mullins

NEWSBOY SAYS: Wears his heart on his sleeve and win from stablemate Burrows Saint at Fairyhouse last time showed he’s at the top of his game, but front-running tactics hard to pull off in the National.     

STAR RATING: ***

 

10. Talkischeap 66-1

TRAINER: Alan King

JOCKEY: Tom Cannon

NEWSBOY SAYS: Looked a stayer on the way up when landing bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park two years ago but has suffered breathing problems since, and well beaten on his return to fences at Kempton Park last time.

STAR RATING: **

 

11. Tout Est Permis 125-1

TRAINER: Noel Meade

JOCKEY: Sean Flanagan

NEWSBOY SAYS: Started the season well in the autumn but his jumping went to pieces at Down Royal last month and didn’t get home behind Burrows Saint in Irish National two years ago, so percentage call to oppose.

STAR RATING: **

 

12. Anibale Fly 28-1

TRAINER: Tony Martin

JOCKEY: Denis O'Regan

NEWSBOY SAYS: A horse for the big day – twice a podium finisher in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and fourth and fifth to Tiger Roll in the past two Nationals – but 11-year-old looks vulnerable to younger legs.

STAR RATING: ***

 

 

13. Mister Malarky 25-1

TRAINER: Colin Tizzard

JOCKEY: Jonjo O'Neill junior

NEWSBOY SAYS: Has some smart form over fences in the book, including when scoring at Ascot before Christmas, and not out of the question the National’s marathon distance can see him in his best light yet.

STAR RATING: ***

 

14. Kimberlite Candy 16-1

TRAINER: Tom Lacey

JOCKEY: Richie McLernon

NEWSBOY SAYS: No problem with the National fences when second in the last two runnings of the Becher Chase and, while there’s a question mark against his stamina, decent run on the cards if he lasts home.

STAR RATING: ***

 

15. Any Second Now 11-1

TRAINER: Ted Walsh

JOCKEY: Mark Walsh

NEWSBOY SAYS: Cheltenham Festival winner of 2019 sprang back to form over two miles at Navan last month and, while staying power taken on trust, 3lb well in for stable that lifted the National with Papillon in 2000.      

STAR RATING: ****

 

16. Balko Des Flos 100-1

TRAINER: Henry de Bromhead

JOCKEY: Aidan Coleman

NEWSBOY SAYS: Went from strength to strength with high-profile successes at Galway and Cheltenham three seasons ago but out with the washing on his last two completed runs over fences and comes here with plenty to prove.

STAR RATING: *

 

17. Alpha Des Obeaux 80-1

TRAINER: Denise Foster

JOCKEY: Jody McGarvey

NEWSBOY SAYS: Fell at the Chair (15th) three years ago and, while he completed the Becher Chase in December 2019 for stable successful with Silver Birch (2007) and Tiger Roll (2018 & 2019), unlikely to be the alpha male today.

STAR RATING: *

 

18. OK Corral 80-1

TRAINER: Nicky Henderson

JOCKEY: Derek O'Connor

NEWSBOY SAYS: Trainer has won every big National Hunt prize bar the National and the wait set to go on if latest run – pulled up at the Cheltenham Festival after absence of 416 – is any guide.  

STAR RATING: **

 

19. Takingrisks 25-1

TRAINER: Nicky Richards

JOCKEY: Sean Quinlan

NEWSBOY SAYS: High enough in the weights but captured the Scottish Grand National in 2019 and 40-1 return to form in big-money event at Doncaster in January show there’s still plenty of life in the old boy. 

STAR RATING: ***

 

20. Shattered Love 50-1

TRAINER: Denise Foster

JOCKEY: Kevin Sexton

NEWSBOY SAYS: Struggled after showing top-class form as a novice three seasons ago – including Cheltenham Festival win – and, while the current campaign has seen a resurgence, hard to see her getting home over four and a quarter miles.

STAR RATING: **

 

21. Jett 80-1

TRAINER: Jessica Harrington

JOCKEY: Sam Waley-Cohen

NEWSBOY SAYS: His amateur jockey has an excellent record over the National fences but form more ‘miss’ than ‘hit’ this season, including a well-beaten eighth in the Becher Chase, so looks up against it here.

STAR RATING: **

 

22. Lord Du Mesnil 40-1

TRAINER: Richard Hobson

JOCKEY: Nick Scholfield

NEWSBOY SAYS: Strong stayer ground it out in Haydock Park’s Grand National Trial in February and is 5lb well in on that account, but at his best in hock-deep mud, and unlikely to get his favoured conditions.

STAR RATING: ***

 

23. Potters Corner 25-1

TRAINER: Christian Williams

JOCKEY: Jack Tudor

NEWSBOY SAYS: Winner of the Welsh Grand National last season – and the Virtual Grand National 12 months ago – but has suffered heavy recent defeats over hurdles and needs the application of first-time blinkers to reignite the spark. 

STAR RATING: **

 

24. Class Conti 40-1

TRAINER: Willie Mullins

JOCKEY: Brian Hayes

NEWSBOY SAYS: Has posted some respectable efforts in big-field handicap chases since moving to Ireland from France, but probably at home on softer terrain and gives the impression three miles is as far as he wants to go.

STAR RATING: **

 

25. Milan Native 33-1

TRAINER: Denise Foster

JOCKEY: Jamie Codd

NEWSBOY SAYS: Scored at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020 but so-so look to form this season and went out like a light when trying three miles and five furlongs at Fairyhouse in November, so stamina could be an issue.

STAR RATING: **

 

26. Discorama 18-1

TRAINER: Paul Nolan

JOCKEY: Bryan Cooper

NEWSBOY SAYS: Out of luck since his chase debut in November 2018 but has hit the frame on six occasions and recent market support suggests he’ll be ready to fire on his first start since November.  

STAR RATING: ****

 

27. Vieux Lion Rouge 66-1

TRAINER: David Pipe

JOCKEY: Conor O'Farrell

NEWSBOY SAYS: Stable victorious with Comply Or Die in 2007 and two-time Becher Chase hero should get round – he’s completed each of his nine attempts here – but four hefty National defeats suggest the distance is beyond him.

STAR RATING: **

 

28. Cloth Cap 11-2

TRAINER: Jonjo O'Neill

JOCKEY: Tom Scudamore

NEWSBOY SAYS: Trainer won with Don’t Push It in 2010 and ticks all the boxes after two victories that leave him a stone well in, but odds too short in a race where chance plays a leading role.   

STAR RATING: ****

 

29. Cabaret Queen 125-1

TRAINER: Willie Mullins

JOCKEY: Sean O'Keeffe

NEWSBOY SAYS: Mare loves it when stamina is an issue and captured two Nationals – the Munster alternative at Limerick (October 2019) and the Kerry version at Listowel (September 2020) – but has paid for those efforts with the handicapper.   

STAR RATING: **

 

30. Minellacelebration 100-1

TRAINER: Katy Price

JOCKEY: Ben Poste

NEWSBOY SAYS: Record over the Mildmay course at Aintree – three wins and a second from four tries – speaks for itself, but hasn’t had the same success in two attempts over the National obstacles, so hard to fancy.

STAR RATING: **

 

31. Canelo 50-1

TRAINER: Alan King

JOCKEY: Tom Bellamy

NEWSBOY SAYS: At the top of his game in mid-winter with wins on the Mildmay course here and at Wetherby, but fuel light came on upped to three and a quarter miles at Doncaster latest and stamina under suspicion. 

STAR RATING: **

 

32. The Long Mile 80-1

TRAINER: J Dempsey

JOCKEY: L Dempsey

NEWSBOY SAYS: Has gone from strength to strength over fences at shorter trips during the past 18 months but the last seven-year-old National winner was Bogskar in 1940, and is another who needs the Heavens to open. 

STAR RATING: **

 

33. Give Me A Copper 66-1

TRAINER: Paul Nicholls

JOCKEY: Harry Cobden

NEWSBOY SAYS: Stable won with Neptune Collonges (2012) and carries the colours of ex-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, but has spent too much time on the treatment table and no sleepless nights in taking him on.  

STAR RATING: **

 

34. Farclas 20-1

TRAINER: Denise Foster

JOCKEY: Jack Kennedy

NEWSBOY SAYS: In credit with the handicapper and plenty in common with Tiger Roll – same stable and owner, and lifted Cheltenham’s Triumph Hurdle earlier in his career – but age and staying power giving rise to concerns.      

STAR RATING: ***

 

35. Minella Times 10-1

TRAINER: Henry de Bromhead

JOCKEY: Rachael Blackmore

NEWSBOY SAYS: Yet to race at beyond three miles but has posted seconds in ultra-tough handicap chases at Leopardstown in December and February and rates a major player for jockey riding the crest of a wave.

STAR RATING: *****

 

36. Sub Lieutenant 66-1

TRAINER: Georgie Howell

JOCKEY: Tabitha Worsley

NEWSBOY SAYS: The best story of the 2021 National – jockey Tabitha Worsley triumphed over the fences 17 months after breaking her back in a fall – and far from impossible that this one-time high-class chaser will outrun his odds.

STAR RATING: ***

 

37. Hogan's Height 100-1

TRAINER: Jamie Snowden

JOCKEY: Gavin Sheehan

NEWSBOY SAYS: Looked to the manor born over the National fences with 16-length Grand Sefton Chase score in December, but well held in three starts since and has additional mile and five furlongs to worry about here.

STAR RATING: **

 

38. Double Shuffle 125-1

TRAINER: Tom George

JOCKEY: Jonathan Burke

NEWSBOY SAYS: Loves it round Kempton Park – was in winning form there in January – but has a pulled up and a 45-length thumping to show for two forays over the National fences and so hard to fancy.

STAR RATING: **

 

39. Ami Desbois 125-1

TRAINER: Graeme McPherson

JOCKEY:  Kielan Woods

NEWSBOY SAYS: Trainer leads a double life as a barrister and, while he’s taken home plenty of place money in his time, hard to convince the jury he’s about to end a losing run going back to December 2017.

STAR RATING: **

 

40. Blaklion 66-1

TRAINER: Dan Skelton

JOCKEY: Harry Skelton

NEWSBOY SAYS: Finished fourth as the 8-1 National favourite in 2017, returning to lift the Becher Chase in Decmber, but loss of form since makes those glory days seem a world away for a ‘lion’ who has lost his roar.

STAR RATING: *

 

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