The 2022 Grand National takes place at Aintree on Saturday, April 9. Last week saw the weights were confirmed for the 2022 Grand National race; however, this announcement didn’t please everyone. Let’s examine how the announcement has impacted the ante-post betting on this race.
The Grand National is, without doubt, the country’s favorite racing event of the year. The race grabs everyone’s attention, and you can guarantee there will be hundreds of thousands of spectators perched in front of the TV cheering on their chosen runner. It’s that one time of the year when everyone has a cheeky bet on the Grand National, even those who don’t normally bet on other sporting events.
Tiger Roll has won this race twice in the past. However, the handicapper gave this Gordon Elliott-trained runner a weight of 11st 4lbs (158 lbs). Elliott seemed happy with that decision. However, the owner Michael O’Leary was not. O’Leary felt the weight was “absurd” and decided not to run Tiger Roll this year.
With Tiger Roll’s absence, there is a new favorite
The favorite to win this year is the Irish-trained runner and top-weight Galvin. At odds of 14/1 at most bookmakers, you can see just how open a Grand National race is. Galvin is a top-class horse trained by Gordon Elliott. This runner is also strongly fancied to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. However, one major concern is that Galvin has never raced over four miles and two furlongs. The class may well be present but is the stamina?
The other top weight with 11st 10lbs (164lbs) is Conflated, another Gordon Elliott contender. Earlier this month, Conflated won the Irish Gold Cup and will be trying to win the Cheltenham version in March. The concern is that this runner has never raced over a distance further than three miles and half a furlong.
Minella Times won last year for Henry de Bromhead, with Rachael Blackmore in the saddle. 14lbs more has to be carried this year, and the form is not that of a Grand National winner. Since winning the 2021 Grand National, two races have seen Minella Times fail to complete the course.
The favorite last year was Cloth Cap, who went off at 11/2. All was not well, though, and the runner was pulled up and subsequently had to have wind surgery. His odds are as high as 33/1 for the 2022 Grand National. Look at the weight, though, a pound less than last year and only 10st 4lbs (144lbs) to carry. That’s well over a stone less than carried at Ascot last time out. A definite each-way shot.
More new contenders emerge
Snow Leopardess is another strongly fancied runner and has won its last three races. Last December, one of those successes was at Aintree over the Grand National fences. Again, this is a trip into the unknown when traveling over this distance.
That concern doesn’t apply to Any Time Now. This challenger finished third in the 2021 Grand National. A better result may have been achieved if not hampered early in the race. The weights for the 2022 Grand National have seen a rise of seven pounds from the weight carried last year. Two runs this season haven’t been too impressive, but a return to Aintree may well see improvement.
Escaria Ten is an interesting runner for Gordon Elliott. Last year, Escaria Ten finished three lengths behind Galvin at the Cheltenham Festival off-level weights. If they both line up for the Grand National, Galvin will be conceding 15lbs at Aintree.
Burrows Saint is trained by Willie Mullins and around 20/1 to win the Grand National. Last year saw this runner finish fourth in the race. A good second behind double Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo last time out bodes well for Aintree. Burrows Saint has been given the same weight as in 2021. If he doesn’t go off too fast, getting placed again looks like a possibility at decent odds in a very open race.
Featured Photo by Philippe Oursel on Unsplash