Pick Your Grand National Winner for 2017
Millions of people across the world, will be glued to the 2017 Grand National on Saturday 8 April. Not only is it one of the most watched and richest horse races in the world, but it is also one of the most wagered sporting events in the calendar. Even those who don’t really like horse racing are liable to have a flutter on the Grand National.
What makes it such a special race? For a start, it is one of the most unpredictable horse races out there. The course is considered to be one of the toughest in the world. Consisting of two circuits of the Aintree track, runners and riders must negotiate 30 fences. Some of these are famous in their own right for their difficulty, such as The Chair and Beecher’s Brook. All of which means that as much as half the starting field may not finish the race. And so, the Grand National is the perfect race for unpredictability and perhaps a lucrative upset.
So who will write their name into Grand National folklore this year? Which horse and jockey will etch their name into sporting history? Last year, 33/1 shot Rule The World lived up to his name, finishing at the head of the 39-horse field, giving jockey David Mullins and owner Mouse Morris a day they will never forget.
You may well ask. Well here is a rundown of some of this year’s fancied contenders
- Vieux Lion Rouge: Topping the list of favourites this year is Vieux Lion Rouge. Ridden by top jockey Tom Scudamore, this 8-year-old has come on leaps and bounds over the past year or so. Having finished a creditable at last year’s Grand National, he has since won the Grand National Trial at Haydock and the Becher Chase, which tests horses over the Aintree course.
- Blaklion: Another 8-year-old with an excellent chance to make an impact at Aintree. Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has been gearing Blaklion up for this race all season. And he has paired him with an excellent jockey in Noel Fehily. Blaklion came second to Vieux Lion Rouge at the Grand National trial, but weighs in slightly heavier, which could give Blaklion the crucial extra strength needed on the gruelling Aintree course.
- Definitely Red: Here is a horse running bang into form at just the right time. An impressive recent winner at Doncaster to take the Grimthorpe Chase, Definitely Red has also notched up impressive victories at Wetherby and Carlisle in the past several months. Jockey Danny Cook will be delighted to be riding this horse, especially as odds have plummeted in recent weeks.
- Cause of Causes: Well here’s a horse with plenty of experience and an excellent trainer in Gordon Elliott. Cause of Causes did extremely well in the early part of his career, but things seemed to tail off until this year’s Cheltenham Festival. He came back with a bang, riding to victory in the Cross Country Chase. Cause of Causes gave the Grand National a miss last year. This year could just be a dramatic return.