The Grand National takes place this Saturday at Aintree racecourse, and there’s no denying it’s the biggest race in the National Hunt calendar. It’s the one race that garners interest from all corners of the globe, and it’s likely that even if you don’t have an interest in horseracing, you’ll be placing a wager on your favourite.
That said, it’s rare that the favourite going into the showpiece goes on to win it. The last horse to do so was Tiger Roll in 2019, and prior to that, joint-favourite Don’t Push It in 2010. If you’re looking to bet on Grand National 2022, read on, as we give our picks on outsiders it may be worth having a punt on.
Where else to start but with last year’s winner, who is being sent out at longer odds than then – currently priced at 16/1. The Henry de Bromhead-trained horse is also being asked to carry over a stone in weight in comparison to in 2021 – and will carry the top weight of 11st 10lb. Minella Times has failed to finish in both of his races this season, falling at Punchestown and being pulled up at Leopardstown. However, with the Aintree crowd back and in full voice, the nine-year-old will look to land back-to-back Grand National wins, and it’s likely that Rachael Blackmore will be in the saddle once more.
Trainer Willie Mullins will be sending four entries to Aintree, and Burrows Saint came fourth in last year’s race. He’s around a similar handicap to then, and will be carrying a few pounds more. If Grand National results and trends are anything to go by, his age and weight stand him in good stead – and Burrows Saint certainly has the experience too. While the nine-year-old hasn’t won a race this season, his form certainly shouldn’t cause a worry – despite losing by 42 lengths in the Bobbyjo Chase in February. Often placing, Burrows Saint is a good punt and is Mullins’ best chance of landing the National.
Another of last year’s entries hoping to have another crack. Discorama, trained by Paul Nolan, finished seventh last year and didn’t quite have the legs to mount a challenge. However, he missed his prep run last year, after undergoing wind surgery – and has been able to get a run in this time around. Beaten by a length at Fairyhouse’s Easter Festival in February, Discorama could be better primed. The only potential issue is that he’s been penalised with a few extra pounds and hasn’t raced more than three miles.
While all eyes are on Snow Leopardess to become the first mare in 71 years to win the National, we can’t help but wonder if Gordon Elliott’s Mount Ida will spoil the party. The mare may not have had the most ideal preparation for Aintree – finishing last in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham last month – but she had won three of her four races prior to that, including at Fairyhouse earlier this year. However, she hasn’t run a distance of over three miles since last year’s Cheltenham Festival, so stamina may prove an issue.
Minella Times – 16/1
Burrows Saint – 20/1
Discorama and Mount Ida – 33/1
Odds correct at the time of writing.