As the 2021 Randox Grand National approaches, the buzz around who will achieve and who will fall at the first hurdle is at fever pitch.
What is it?
The Jockey Club assembled a team of pundits, broadcasters and former jockeys to preview the 173rd Grand National which is set to get underway tomorrow at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool.
Who is it?
Nick Luck, Broadcaster at Racing TV
Ruby Walsh, former jockey and Racing UK Brand Ambassador
Barry Geraghty, former jockey and Cheltenham Racecourse/AtTheRaces Ambassador
Katie Walsh, former jockey and Aintree Racecourse/Betway Ambassador
Josh Stacey, Content Marketing Executive at Racing Post
The Jockey Club was founded in 1750 and is currently the largest commercial horse racing organisation in the UK, and stages sporting occasions including the Randox Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Derby.
What is being said?
After welcoming the prestigious line-up, Luck turned to Walsh to ask if his famous Grand National win 21 years ago felt like yesterday: “It most certainly doesn’t! I wouldn’t mind going back and reliving those three or four days again if you gave me the option.”
“It’ll be strange and it’ll be different but it’s great to be this year having not been there last year.”
Retired Irish Champion jump jockey Geraghty agreed: “The Grand National is the buzz. Going out there just for the ride alone but winning it is brilliant and getting around it is brilliant. It’s the one race of the year you don’t want to miss.”
Sorting through the odds on the Betway Aintree Hurdle, Luck explained: “This is a really tight race. I think there’s seven horses on the same rating in this race on 158 so I think they’re just a tiny bit short of the very best but it’s really competitive. We’ve got Abacadabras who fell in the Champions Hurdle is 7/2 with Mcfabulous. Jason The Militant – will he get the extra distance? He’s 4/1. There may not be a standout champion in here but you’d do well to be dogmatic about who you think is going to win.”
Going against the Song For Someone tide and placing his faith in Geraghty’s former horse, Stacey took the panel by surprise by backing Buveur D’Air: “I thought he came in for some unfair criticism when he was second to Navajo Pass but he can roll back the years. I saw a glimpse of the old engine in there and I think he’ll come on leaps and bounds for that and could shock a few.”
“I’d love to see it!” Geraghty responded. “I think he just has a bit to improve but they’re not the strongest so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. I think he has a good bit to go to get to where he needs to be.”
Why should I watch it?
To get the lowdown on the upcoming Grand National and see how the land lies ahead of this weekend.
Where can I see more?
Source: The Jockey Club YouTube Channel