By Andrew Atkinson
The 2019 £1m Randox Health Grand National on Saturday sees Leader tip Tiger Roll aiming to repeat last year’s success and in doing so thwarting Trevor Hemmings bid of winning it for the fourth time.
“Aintree is class. Known worldwide and unbelievable,” Hemmings, 83, told me.
Preston North End players will have had a wager on club owner Hemmings’ two National runners, Vintage Clouds and Lake View Lad.
The gruelling marathon 4 miles and 2 furlongs 172nd running of the National will see the Gordon Elliott trained Tiger Roll go to post as the favourite.
Punters wage £150m in bets on the National – watched by 600 million people worldwide (6.15pm Spain).
Anibale Fly (12-1) Rathvinden (14-1) Vintage Clouds (12-1) and Lake View Lad (14-1) are Leader each way selections, with some bookies paying out five places.
Former bricklayer Hemmings’ horses Hedgehunter (2005) Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015) have won the National.
Sue Smith trains Vintage Clouds, who finished third in the 2018 Scottish Grand National, and Lake View Lad is trained by Nick Alexander.
I’ve been in Hemmings company – both at the races and at football. I recall him seeing me come out of the Press Room at Deepdale as he was making his way to the Directors box and spoke to me – about horses!
Another occasion was at Chester racecourse. He told me he had received four copies of my racing book “Racing Into The Millennium” (published 2000) for his birthday!
Fred Rimell and Ginger McCain have saddled a record-equalling four winners – and Hemmings will be eyeing a parity.
“Aintree and The Grand National – I’m passionate about it,” said Hemmings.
2019 Aintree Grand National betting: Tiger Roll 7/2, Rathvinden 10/1, Vintage Clouds 12/1, Anibale Fly 12/1, Lake View Lad 14/1, Joe Farrell 18/1, Pleasant Company 20/1, Mall Dini 20/1, Rock The Kasbah 20/1, Jury Duty 20/1, Pairofbrowneyes 25/1, Ramses De Teillee 25/1, Step Back 20/1, Walk In The Mill 25/1, One For Arthur 25/1. 33-1 bar.
Aintree selections: 1.45 Sire Du Berlais, Burrows Park (ew). 2.25 Angels Breath. 3.00 Us And Them. 3.40 Apple’s Jade, If The Cap Fits (ew). 4.20 Touch Kick (ew). 5.15 Tiger Roll, Rathvinden (ew) Vintage Clouds (ew) Lake View Lad (ew) Anibale Fly (ew). 6.20 Lord Yeats.
Lingfield selections: 2.00 Chica De La Noche. 2.35 Mawsool. 3.10 Saryshagann. 3.45 El Ghazwani. 4.15 Mercers. 4.50 Chikoko Trail (ew). 5.45 Damon Runyon.
Newcastle selections: 1.30 Man Mate Bob. 2.05 Expresstime. 2.40 Enfin Phil. 3.20 No No Mac. 3.55 Keyboard Gangster. 4.30 Lord Wishes. 5.00 Don’tdelay.
Chepstow selections: 2.15 Sea Of Mystery. 2.50 Hugo’s Reflection. 3.30 Khage. 4.05 Barbrook Star. 4.40 Cilaos Glace. 5.35 Church Hall. 6.05 Eros.
Wolverhampton selections: 6.00 Al Daayen. 6.30 Ebury. 7.00 Fantasy Justifier. 7.30 Technological. 8.00 Zapper Class. 8.30 Glorious Emaraty.