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The most famous horse race in the world, the Grand National not only has a first prize of £375,000 but also the chance for horses to write their name into racing folklore.

Minella Times helped Rachel Blackmore become the first female jockey to ride the winner of the Aintree showpiece last year, following on from the star’s superb 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

Now the highlight of the National Hunt season is upon us again,  it's time to solve the puzzle of finding the winner.

McManus seeks back-to-back victories

Last year's victory was a second triumph for the green and gold silks of JP McManus in the Grand National, and if the latest scratching are anything to go by, he’s in a good spot going into the new season.

Minella Times was probably the cherry on top of a dream season for Henry De Bromhead, having landed all four of the Championship races at Cheltenham last term. 

He was fairly lightly raced ahead of his Aintree assignment, with just two handicap seconds over the winter before the Grand National. The 9-year-old been similarly campaigned again this term, but he has failed to complete both of his starts this season. Reported by Henry De Bromhead to be back in good order, Minella Times bids to be the seventh horse to win the Grand National for a second time.

Minella Times

McManus also has the fancied duo of Any Second Now and Enjoy D'allen. The former was third in last year's edition of the race and looked in great order when taking out the Grade Three Bobbyjo Chase. Now a ten-year-old, he goes to post off the same mark as last year in a bid to give trainer Ted Walsh a second victory in the world's most famous race. 

The Ciaran Murphy-trained Enjoy D'allen was bought by the Irish business tycoon on March 1st after Murphy convinced McManus the 8-year-old was the national type. With plenty of eye-catching handicap chase form to boot, the son of Network appears to fit the profile of a Grand National winner.

Form over the National Fences 

On your Grand National shortlist there has to be horses who are familiar with the unique fences on the Merseyside track. 

A winner on the Grand National Course already this term, Snow Leopardess has a heartwarming story married with bundles of jumping ability. An empathic heroin of The Becher Chase in December, she has a clear appetite for iconic obstacles and could break numerous records if she were to prevail.

Irish Dominance

In the 2022 running of the Grand National, Blaklion was the only British trained runner to in the first ten finishers.

After a record number of victories for at the Cheltenham Festival, Irish Champion Trainer Willie Mullins has put himself in a position for the British Trainer's Championship.

Mullins is set to saddle four runners in the Aintree showpiece, including last year's 4th Burrows Saint. Despite his illustrious Cheltenham roll of honour, totting up to 88 winners now, the Irishman has only managed to capture the greatest race of them all once.

In 2005, Mullins teamed up with all-time great jockey Ruby Walsh to partner Hedgehunter to victory for the joint-most winning Grand National owner, the late Trevor Hemmings.

Gordon Elliot is also lining up his usual assault on the handicap with seven runners making the 40 runner cut. The County Meath based trainer first won the race in 2007 with Silver Birch, but most known for the back-to-back triumph's of Tiger Roll in 2018 and 2019.

Any Second Now and Mark Walsh getting up to win the Tote Bobbyjo Chase (Grade 3) from ESCARIA TEN
Fairyhouse Racecourse.

Cheltenham Cross-country Chase hero Delta Work is favoured in the markets with stable mate Escaria Ten well-fancied to run well for the McNeill Family. The latter appears to have been targeted at this one after a high-profile effort in the 2021 National Hunt Chase, with the owners keen on winning the big race.

Tote Betting at the Grand National

Betting with Tote is often fraught with value when it comes to the Grand National. In 2021, 37 of the 40 runners in the race would have paid more betting at or via the Tote app, thanks to Tote+, than at SP.

Victor, Minella Times returned a Tote+ dividend of £13.20 in April, versus an industry SP of 11/1.

Overall, the Tote+ pool showed a 112% market compared to an official bookies overround of 146% - meaning it is clear that the value was there for Tote customers.

Check back throughout the National Hunt season for updates to our Grand National tips and thoughts on other races at Aintree.

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