The world’s most prestigious horse race returns to our screens on Saturday night as the highly anticipated Grand National takes place in Aintree.
With the cancellation of last year’s race due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been two full years since race fans watched the most anticipated race of the year.
Last year it was the virtual Grand Prix that took place of the more traditional gathering. And while the official format has returned this year, there is still a virtual race, taking place on Friday night.
The big news for racing fans is that Tiger Roll, who won the Grand National in back-to-back races in 2018 and 2019, won’t be competing for a hat-trick this year with his owners pulling him out of the race field. because of complaints about the disability system.
With that in mind, it’s the cloth cap that comes into the race this year as a favorite, although there are some strong competitors and plenty of twists to play out.
With the race fast approaching, Sportsmail takes you through the all-important details.
The Grand National takes place on Saturday April 10, on day three of the Festival in Aintree
When is the Grand National?
The Grand National takes place on day three of the Festival in Aintree, which started on Thursday, April 8 and will run until Saturday, April 10.
The big race starts at 5.15 pm, behind closed doors Aintree, where the race has been organized since 1839.
How to view the Grand National
As will be the case on all three race days, it is ITV that broadcasts the Grand National on Saturday night.
Coverage starts at 2:00 PM on Saturday afternoon and runs until 6:15 PM, with the race at 5:15 PM, as noted above.
ITV 4 will also preview the upcoming day on The Opening Show, which will take place on Saturday mornings from 9.30am to 11am.
Those with a TV license can also stream the action live on the ITV Hub website and app, while Racing TV subscribers can also watch the race at no extra cost.
In the meantime, BBC Radio 5Live will provide radio broadcasts of the big race, with programming starting at noon.
Who is running and what is the handicap system?
Tiger Roll won’t be competing for a famous hat-trick of Grand National wins this year
The handicapping system that prevails at the Grand National is designed to make the race as fair as possible.
Each horse is assigned a weight by the British Horse Racing Authority Head of Handicapping, which is determined by how highly they are rated.
A horse is first given a handicap if it has won a race or participated three times. The handicap is actually the reason why Tiger Roll is not competing this year.
The famous horse carried 10st 13lb in his 2018 win and 11st 5lb the following year. Two years later, with Tiger Roll now 11 years old, the BHA added another seven pounds to his handicap, with owner Michael O’Leary and brother Eddie deciding to take him out.
They insisted that Tiger Roll be judged by its reputation, rather than its form. However, that was before he won for the fifth time at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
In the absence of Tiger Roll, a full list of those taking part is provided below, with the riders in the brackets.
Grand National Odds
Cloth hat 9/2
Burrows Saint 8/1
Minella Times 9/1
Every second now 10/1
Kimberlite Candy 10/1
Secret Procrastination – 12/1
Magic of Light – 1/16
Acapella Bourgeois – 20/1
Farclas – 20/1
* Odds according to Betfair and correct at time of publication
1 Bristol De Mai (Daryl Jacob)
2 Chris’s Dream (Darragh O’Keeffe)
3 Yala Enki (Bryony Frost)
4 Ballyoptic (Sam Twiston Davies)
5 Absolute red (Henry Brooke)
6 Lake View Lad (Brian Hughes)
7 Burrows Saint (Patrick Mullins)
8 Magic Of Light (Robbie Power)
9 Acapella Bourgeois (Danny Mullins)
10 Talkischeap (Tom Cannon)
11 Everything Goes (Sean Flanagan)
12 Anibale Fly (Denis O’Regan)
13 Mr. Malarky (Jonjo O’Neill Jr)
14 Kimberlite Candy (Richie McLernon)
15 Any Second Now (Mark Walsh)
16 Balko Des Flos (Aidan Coleman)
17 Alpha Des Obeaux (Jody McGarvey)
18 OK Corral (Derek O’Connor)
19 Takingrisks (Sean Quinlan)
20 Shattered Love (Kevin Sexton)
21 Jett (Sam Waley-Cohen)
22 Lord Du Mesnil (Nick Scholfield)
23 Potters Corner (Jack Tudor)
24 Class Conti (Brian Hayes)
25 Milan Native (Jamie Codd)
26 Discorama (Bryan Cooper)
27 Old Red Lion (Conor O’Farrell)
28 cloth cap (Tom Scudamore)
29th Cabaret Queen (Sean O’Keeffe)
30 Minella Celebration (Ben Poste)
31 Canelo (Tom Bellamy)
32 The Long Mile (Luke Dempsey)
33 Give Me A Copper (Harry Cobden)
34 Farclas (Jack Kennedy)
35 Minella Times (Rachael Blackmore)
36th Second Lieutenant (Tabitha Worsley)
37 Hogan’s Height (Gavin Sheehan)
38 double shuffle (Jonathan Burke)
39 Ami Desbois (Kielan Woods)
40 Blaklion (Harry Skelton)
41 Some Neck (Simon Torrens)
42 Secret Reprieve (James Bowen)
43 Kauto Rico (TBC)
44 Fagan (Harry Bannister)
Schedule for major national days
14:25 The Betway Mersey obstacle race for beginners
3:00 pm The Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Steeple Chase
3:35 PM The Ryanair Stayers Hurdle Race (registered as the Liverpool Hurdle Race)
4:15 PM The Betway Handicap Steeple Chase
5:15 pm The Randox Grand National Handicap Steeple Chase
When is the virtual Grand National?
As mentioned above, there will still be a Virtual Grand National this year, which has raised remarkably more than £ 3 million for the NHS since 2017.
It will take place on Friday, April 9, with the race starting at 8pm and repeating again on Saturday at 1pm, ahead of the big one.
The race will be broadcast live on ITV 4 on Friday, before the replay can be seen on ITV 1 on Saturday.