Monday, 28 June 2021
Saturday, 1 May 2021
Monday, 5 April 2021
Just my opinion of course, but last years 'Virtual Grand National' was virtually unwatchable. There is something about actually watching the cream of the crop of racing, and all of the emotion and effort that's poured into that one moment, that is missing from a parade of pixels. Even in this age of gaming, I'm not convinced that many thought that it in any way compared to the real thing.
This year we have an especially short favourite, the Jonjo O'Neill trained Cloth Cap. It makes for an interesting scenario as the racing public appear to have gone 'all in' in a race that can throw up more surprises than just about any other. Still, it's interesting to have these 'narratives' writing themselves as it creates quite the story no matter the outcome.
As with all Grand Nationals, millions will be tuning in at home, but sadly on this occasion crowds will be absent. We can only hope that next year more normality has returned, while simultaneously counting our blessings for how far we've come this year. In preparation for the Grand National Betway present a short, yet absorbing segment on women jockeys trials and tribulations in the race.
Sunday, 28 March 2021
One For Arthur had demonstrated his Grand National credentials when staying on well to finish fifth, beaten just 3 lengths, in the valuable Becher Chase, over 3 miles 2 furlongs, on his first attempt over National fences the previous December. He subsequently won the Classic Chase, over 3 miles 5 furlongs, at Warwick in January in taking style and headed to Aintree at the top of his game.
Despite being 11lb higher in the weights than at Warwick, One For Arthur was sent off 14/1 fourth favourite for the National, behind Blaklion, Definitly Red and Vieux Lion Rouge. Under a confident ride from jockey Derek Fox, who was making his debut in the race, he was held up in rear, as he had been at Warwick, but made steady headway throughout the second circuit.
Favourite Blaklion took a clear lead as the field crossed the Melling Road for the final time, but One For Arthur, who had travelled and jumped well throughout, moved upsides at the second-last fence and soon quickened into the lead. On run-in, recent Cheltenham Festival winner Cause Of Causes appeared as his main challenger, but he was not to be denied and stayed on strongly to win by 4½ lengths.