It was a dire four days for those rooting for the British-trained horses at the Cheltenham Festival. In the end, the Brits were well beaten to the sought-after Prestbury Cup, with the Irish racking up 23 victories compared to Britain’s mere five. In the end, top jockey Rachael Blackmore boasted more victories (six) than all of Britain combined.

With the Grand National just a matter of weeks away, it presents the perfect opportunity for the Brits to regain some of their pride. Of course, with the likes of Cloth Cap, Any Second Now and Burrows Saint, who are all Irish-trained, leading the way in the 2021 Grand National best odds, the British horses will certainly have their work cut out.

The Grand National is an incredibly difficult race to predict and any horse can go on to win, it doesn’t always tend to go in the favourite’s favour. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at Britain’s best chances of winning the Aintree spectacle.


Given Santini’s recent performance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, we would be surprised to see the Nicky Henderson-trained horse head to Aintree for the Grand National. However, as it stands, he’s still in the running and he’s leading the way for the British contingent at 14/1. After pulling up in the Festival showpiece, it has now been five races since the nine-year-old landed a victory, and despite a close call at Aintree in December, where he was beaten by only a length by Lake View Lad in the Many Clouds Chase, it’s hard to picture Santini winning the Grand National on April 10th.

Secret Reprieve

It’s incredibly likely that Secret Reprieve will be more heavily backed at 14/1 than Santini. The seven-year-old is in fine form having won the Welsh Grand National Trial Handicap Chase at Chepstow in December before romping to victory in the Welsh Grand National at the same course the following month. The horse’s trainer Evan Williams is no stranger to the Aintree showpiece either, with Cappa Bleu finishing second to Auroras Encore in 2013, whilst State Of Play landed a respectable three placings on the spin between 2009 and 2011. So, the Welsh trainer will be hoping that Secret Reprieve can go one better.

Kimberlite Candy

J.P. McManus always has his fair share of entries in the Grand National and this year is no different, with Irish-trained Any Second Now (Ted Walsh) and Minella Times (Henry De Bromhead) set to line up alongside Kimberlite Candy (16/1), who is trained in Herefordshire by Tom Lacey. What the nine-year-old has over his Irish counterparts, however, is a recent run at Aintree, where he was second to Vieux Lion Rouge in the Becher Handicap Chase. Traditionally a run at Aintree and an outing over three miles put a horse in good stead ahead of the National and Kimberlite Candy is certainly one to watch for that reason.

Bristol De Mai

Nigel Twiston-Davies will be hoping that Bristol De Mai (20/1) can end his lengthy wait for a third victory in the Grand National this year. The 63-year-old trained Earth Summit in 1998 and Bindaree in 2002 but has been seeking a third victory since. Bristol De Mai was disappointing in last year’s Gold Cup, finishing ninth as Al Boum Photo landed his second victory. He bounced back with a victory at Haydock in November but was well beaten again by Native River at Sandown in February.