2021 Grand National tips – 6 horses to follow next season

Kimberlite Candy Warwick racesKimberlite Candy Warwick races

2021 Grand National tips. We pick out six horses for punters to follow closely, as they could challenge at Aintree in 2021.

Tiger Roll’s quest to join the pantheon of three-time Grand National winners will have to wait for another year. The global coronavirus pandemic has put paid to his chances of becoming the only back-to-back-to-back winner ever, but the Tiger would still be regarded as a hat-trick hero if he were to retain his crown in 2021.

As you would expect, Tiger Roll is the favourite across most of the boards to win the 2021 Grand National. There are, however, plenty of capable rivals stacked up behind him in the ante-post betting. I’ve taken a look through the current betting and picked out six names – three British and three Irish – who would have the 2021 Grand National as their end-of-season goal next season.

2021 Grand National tips – British Contenders

Kimberlite Candy

Since starting out over fences at the age of five, Kimberlite Candy has progressed into one of the top staying handicappers in the land. Tom Lacey’s charge has only been out twice this season. First, following Walk In The Mill home in the Becher Chase, before beating two subsequent high-profile winners with ease in the Classic Chase at Warwick.

Kimberlite Candy jumped the Grand National fences brilliantly on his only start over them thus far, and I’m sure Lacy will point his charge at Aintree when he returns to action in the Spring. I expect another light campaign, as Lacy won’t want Kimberlite Candy’s handicap mark to drift further beyond it’s current 150-mark. He looks tailor-made for a challenge like the National.

Definitly Red

Definitly Red was an eight-year-old when he has his first crack at the Grand National. Brian Ellison’s charge had found a nice early rhythm, but was badly hampered by a faller at Bechers, and his race came to an end soon after that. Ellison has campaigned his chaser at the highest level since then. He’s watched Definitly Red collect four Grade Two prizes, and place sixth behind Native River in the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Although he’s now classed as a teenager, Definitly Red proved he still retained all of his ability during the 19.20 campaign. Ellison’s charge stayed on gamely to place in both the Becher and the Peter Marsh – carrying 11-10 on both occasions – before sauntering to an easy victory in the Premier Chase at Kelso. Eleven and twelve-year-olds have run well in the Grand National on plenty of occasions in the last decade, so I see no reason why this classy chaser couldn’t mount a serious challenge in 2021.

Definitely Red Wetherby Charlie Hall

Definitly Red powers to victory in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

Elegant Escape

Elegant Escape is a stayer I hold in very high regard. So, it’s been painful to see how his form has tailed off during 2020. Colin Tizzard’s charge attempted to retain his Welsh Grand National title under top-weight just after Christmas, but simply couldn’t match better-handicapped rivals as they sprinted for the line down the home straight. As dismal effort followed under another welter burden in the National Trial at Haydock, before Elegant Escape faded from the front to eventually finish last on his second crack at the Gold Cup.

While I don’t think Elegant Escape is a Gold Cup-quality horse, I’m hoping Tizzard runs him in the best three-mile races next season. A few plucky defeats would hopefully see the handicapper loosen his stranglehold over this sturdy eight-year-old, allowing him to come into his first National carrying a workable mark. I think the Aintree Grand National would be perfect for Elegant Escape, and I’d love to see him take part in the 2021 edition.

2021 Grand National tips – Irish Challengers

Burrows Saint

I’m surprised to see Burrows Saint sitting so far adrift of Tiger Roll at the head of the market. Considering his close proximity to the favourite in the betting for the 2020 Grand National, before it was called off. As a novice, Willie Mullins’ charge rounded off a busy campaign with a fine triumph in the Irish Grand National, holding off three of his stablemates Mullins’ runner occupied four of the top five places.

Burrows Saint’s season had been tailored around a trip to Aintree in 19/20. I’m sure Willie and Rich Ricci will be keen to follow suit next season. Burrows’ Saint has plenty of experience for a horse of his age, and has shown on a number of occasions he has both speed and stamina in abundance. He could be Ireland’s leading contender in the 2021 Grand National.

Ravenhill National Hunt Chase Cheltenham Festival

Ravenhill and Jamie Codd win the National Hunt at the Cheltenham Festival.

Ravenhill

A few eyebrows were raised when Gordon Elliott announced Ravenhill would be his main arrow in the 2020 National Hunt Chase. Elliott’s ten-year-old had won well a couple of times over fences during the summer, but hadn’t been seen since taking a crashing fall in November’s Troytown Handicap.

With the weapon that is Jamie Codd in the saddle, Ravenhill proved any doubters wrong at Cheltenham. Elliott’s charge cruised through the race, picking off long-time leader Lord Du Mesnil after the last to secure a fairly comfortable Grade Two triumph. That was certainly the performance of a National horse and I’m sure Gordon Elliott’s thoughts would have already turned to Aintree. I would be shocked if Ravenhill didn’t accompany Tiger Roll to Aintree in 12 months’ time.

Discorama

Paul Nolan can count himself extremely unlucky not to have landed a big prize with Discorama. Nolan’s seven-year-old has hit the frame at the last three Cheltenham Festival, finishing second in the Martin Pipe and in the National Hunt Chase, as well as a narrow third in the Ultima Handicap at this year’s Festival.

Even though he’s only won once in eight starts over fences, Discorama has progressed to a rating of 150, and you get the feeling there’s even more improvement to come over the next year or so. Nolan’s stable star saw out four-miles well when losing out agonisingly to Le Breuil at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, and he could travel to Aintree as a leading Grand National contender in 2021.