When the decision was taken to withdraw Tiger Roll from this year's Grand National, there was widespread disappointment, particularly from the admirers of fairytales who wanted the horse to reach three victories in the famous Aintree race. That disappointment would have turned to frustration as Tiger Roll oozed class during his win at the Cheltenham Festival two weeks later, but his absence has been met by bookmakers fearing the ability of Cloth Cap, the Jonjo O'Neill horse currently priced no higher than 9/2. Despite storming to victory by at least seven-and-a-half lengths on his last two starts, the triumph at Kelso came over less than three miles, giving reason for punters to look elsewhere if they want value for their money.
Given Rachael Blackmore's success at Cheltenham, her chosen horse will inevitably be backed into shorter Grand National odds in the lead up to the race, so it makes sense for punters to consider backing Minella Times. A final decision has not been made over whether the Henry de Bromhead horse will race at Aintree or in the Irish National, but it will be backed into significantly shorter than the 14/1 on offer if the Grand National is chosen over the equivalent across the English Channel. In four races on board Minella Times, Blackmore is yet to finish lower than second position, making this eight-year-old a perfect option for win and each-way backers.
Punters should visit the Grand National Guide for the very best Grand National betting odds until raceday on April 10, but some of the runners from Cheltenham will already be fresh in their memory. Nevertheless, there is a feeling that Santini, now down as low as 50/1 with some bookmakers, is one to avoid after being pulled up in the Gold Cup. While his previous successes should not be totally dismissed, the performance came just six weeks after being beaten by 17 lengths by Native River at Sandown. The Grand National latest odds also suggest that Milan Native will prove to be a popular each-way bet at somewhere between 25/1 and 50/1, but the form book says that finishing 19 lengths behind a resurgent Vintage Clouds in the Handicap Chase was more than just another blip.
With Grand National betting, names can be everything when it comes to punters making their selections, and they will not be short of options for this year's race. Boxing fans are instantly going to be attracted by seeing Canelo on the card, and betting odds of 40/1 will ensure that they do not require much thinking time when placing an each-way bet. However, with five successive appearances in the top four since November, there is every indication that this JP McManus horse could have the same stamina and strength as his namesake.
Switching from boxing to the WWE and film world, the Brahma Bull is also due to feature next month. All things considered, this horse's popularity could equal that of The Rock on the morning of April 10, but his current odds of 40/1 do not reflect his current form. In his two appearances during 2021, he has been pulled up and unseated jockey David Mullins, hinting that this 10-year-old's best days could be behind him.
With last year's race being cancelled, there will be those who will be taking a look at the finishing order from the 2019 race. With Tiger Roll taking the limelight, it has been forgotten in some quarters that Magic of Light finished within two-and-a-half lengths of the winner, and punters will not need much encouragement to take the 20/1 which is currently on offer. This horse faded badly after making the pace in the Power Mares' Chase at Cheltenham, but she should be better suited to the longer distance.