- ‘I think he’ll win it – my gut feeling is that he’s got a great chance – but God only knows what can happen in a National’ – trainer Jonjo O’Neill
By Andrew Atkinson
The 2021 Randox Health Aintree Grand National three-days meeting gets underway on April 8 – with the National on April 10 where Jonjo O’Neill trained Cloth Cap (4-1) bids for a fourth win of the prestigious race for owner Trevor Hemmings.
“It’s crackers for the Grand National! There’s no value in it,” said O’Neill, on Cloth Cap’s short odds.
“We’re talking about the National. I think he’ll win it – my gut feeling is that he’s got a great chance – but God only knows what can happen in a National.
“You’ve got to see how the horse arrives on the day. He’s got it all in his favour, the weight, he jumps, he stays. I want good ground and it’ll be right for him,” added O’Neill.
Out to spoil the party of Cloth Cap are leading contenders Any Second Now, Burrows Saint and Minella Times.
The Aintree meeting features four Grade One races on the opening day Thursday, underlined with the Foxhunters’ Chase.
The Aintree Hurdle entries includes former dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air, McFabulous, Abacadabras and Song For Someone.
Clan Des Obeaux goes to post in the Betway Bowl, with entries Native River, Tiger Roll and Waiting Patiently.
The Manifesto Novices’ Chase; the Anniversary Juvenile Hurdle and the Foxhunters’ chase culminate day one.
Ladies Day on Friday will be without the Turf’s best dressed women on show, on day two of the Grand National meeting, due to the coronavirus, being behind closed doors.
Featured are Grade One races The Randox Topham Chase; The Marsh Chase, with 2018 winner Politologue going to post. The Top Novices’ Hurdle; the Mildmay Novices’ Chase and the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.
Saturday’s Randox Health Aintree Grand National (5.15) sees fromthehorsesmouth.info Ladbrokes Trophy winner tip Cloth Cap go to post as 4-1 favourite, slashed from 14s after the Ladbrokes win.
Trainer O’Neill reports the horse well and having every chance of victory.
Owner JP McManus, successful when Don’t Push It won the National in 2010, has a three-card hand in Kimberlite Candy, Any Second Now and Minella Times. Trainer Willie Mullins saddles 2019 Irish Grand National winner Burrows Saint.
Also featured on Saturday is the Grade 1 Ryanair Stayers Hurdle, with Paisley Park entered; Shiskin is entered in the Maghull Novices’ Chase, the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle also features.