Grand National Festival 2021: live racing updates from day one at Aintree

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  • Grand National 2021 runners and riders: our horse by horse verdict
  • Grand National 2021 tips: best bets, predictions and five horses to watch
  • Grand National 2021 sweepstake kit: How to download and print yours
  • ‘Tiger Roll’s Grand National omission robs us of chance to watch an icon become an immortal’

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Reaction from winning jockey Harry Cobden

And he has some serious praise for Monmiral:

He travels really well, jumps great…he’s top class.He’s as good a juvenile as I’ve ever sat on.


Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle result

  1. Monmiral
  2. Adagio

Monmiral jumps the last

in front but his closest rival Adagio clatters it! Monmiral saunters to a win by seven lengths or so.

Paul Nicholls is on the board for the festival. Another win for Sir Alex Ferguson and co! 


Two out

Monmiral joins Fiveandtwenty, Adagio closing


Sixth hurdle

Fiveandtwenty breezing along and has a three-length advantage over Paros


Fourth hurdle

Fiveandtwenty still leads, Paros in second and Monmiral third



Is pretty keen and leads over the first hurdle


They’re off

in the second race.


Sir Alex Ferguson with a win on Merseyside!

The former Man United boss is a co-owner of first race winner Protekorat – and second race favourite Monmiral.


Second race betting

With a couple of minutes to go:

Monmiral 5/6

Adagio 13/8

Fiveandtwenty 12/1

John Locke 16/1

Paros 28/1

Carlos Felix 125/1


Our Grand National verdict

If you’re already thinking about the big race on Saturday then it’s worth a look at our racing correspondent Marcus Armytage’s horse-by-horse verdict – including the runners, riders and reserves as it stands.


The next race

Is the Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at 2.20pm.

It’s another Grade One and there are six horses in the mix – with Monmiral the 10/11 favourite as it stands.


Fantastic finish

From Harry Skelton and Protektorat. They rallied well heading into the last to join Hitman and The Shunter, jumped it tidily enough and then looked really strong in the run-in. 

Protektorat (left) jumps the last in the SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices' Chase

Protektorat (left) jumps the last in the SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices’ Chase



Manifesto Novices’ Chase result

  1. Protektorat
  2. The Shunter
  3. Hitman

Three horses jumped the last together

But Proketorat finished strongly for the Skeltons and won by about three lengths


Last fence

Protektorat joins Hitman and The Shunter and goes clear on landing!


Two out

Lovely jump from Hitman and he extends his advantage to three lengths


Fourth from home

Hitman over safely with The Shunter looking fairly ominous in second


Fusil Raffles is pulled up

Hitman has the lead from The Shunter with Eldorado Allen in third


Fusil Raffles gives the ninth

A whack and Hitman takes the lead


They’re all over the eighth fence safely

Fusil Raffles joined by Hitman with The Shunter a couple of lengths back


Fifth fence

Fusil Raffles very tidy, extends his lead on landing


Fusil Raffles straight into the lead

Ahead of Hitman and The Shunter


And they’re off 

In the Manifesto Novices’ Chase


The horses are at the start for the first

They’ll get going any time.

Current betting: Fusil Raffles 5/2, Hitman 7/2 and The Shunter 7/2


Grand National 2021: All you need to know 

We’ve answered all your questions in one place – including when Saturday’s big race starts, how you can watch it and what are the latest odds.

Cloth Cap is the favourite for the 2021 Grand National

Cloth Cap is the favourite for this year’s Grand National



Marlborough’s Aintree tips for today

Our champion tipster Marlborough offers up his selections for all races on a daily basis.

Here’s what he fancies at Aintree:

1.45 Eldorado Allen

2.20 Adagio

2.50 Clan Des Obeaux

3.25 Buzz NAP

4.05 Billaway

4.40 Grey Diamond

5.15 Eileendover


Betting for the first race

At the moment there are three 11/4 co-favourites for the Manifesto Novices’ Chase which is due off at 1.45pm.

The bookies cannot split Nicky Henderson’s Fusil Raffles, Paul Nicholls’ Hitman and Emmet Mullins’ The Shunter.

The latter was an impressive winner at the Cheltenham Festival last month, claiming the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase in fine style.

It is his first time stepping into Grade One company today and will be interesting to see how he goes.

The Shunter clears the last on the way to victory in the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase

The Shunter clears the last on the way to victory in the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase



Feel like a responsible flutter? 

If you’d like to get involved with a free bet today at Aintree, there are more than a few offers available to you with just a click.


Grand National horse-by-horse verdict

Following this morning’s declarations, Bristol De Mai heads a maximum field of 40 for Saturday’s Grand National — but the strongly-fancied Secret Reprieve is only a second reserve at this stage.

The field will be confirmed at 1pm on Friday.

Read our verdict on all the runners and riders here.


Get your Grand National sweepstake kit here

It’s two days away, but the 40 runners and riders for this year’s Grand National (plus the four reserves) were confirmed this morning. 

And if you want to set up a (socially-distanced) sweepstake with friends and family then we’ve got just the thing for you – click here to access Telegraph Sport’s sweepstake kit.


Walsh and Geraghty’s Betway Bowl predictions


Good afternoon!

Welcome to our coverage of day one of the 2021 Grand National Festival at Aintree. There are some big names on show today, including dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air and 2018 Gold Cup champ Native River – but the star attraction is undoubtedly two-time Grand National hero Tiger Roll.

Unfortunately for racing fans he won’t be going for a tilt at an historic third National title on Saturday, instead taking on the Betway Bowl at 2.50pm today – but it is always a joy to see the living legend in action.

Tiger Roll comes into today’s race after an outstanding fifth Cheltenham Festival triumph, in the Cross Country Chase, which cemented his status as the most popular horse in training.

After that success, our chief sports writer Oliver Brown shared his disappointment at the news the Tiger won’t be given a chance to win his third National, writing “we cannot overstate the significance that Tiger Roll’s matching of Red Rum would have both within racing and beyond”.

He added: “The regret at Tiger Roll’s National omission is perfectly simple. It is that we have been denied the chance of watching an icon become an immortal.”

Gigginstown Stud race manager Eddie O’Leary has played down Tiger Roll’s chances of success in the Betway Bowl, saying he has “no chance whatsoever” of winning – making the decision to swerve the National seem even more difficult to understand.

Kevin Blake made his thoughts clear on ITV Racing’s Opening Show this morning, saying it was “a shame” the horse is running today rather than Saturday – and there’s no doubt most racing fans will feel the same.

Native River also goes in the Betway Bowl, with Clan Des Obeaux the current favourite at 5/2 for that race.

Buveur D’Air has not been the force of old in recent times, and faces an uphill battle against 10 rivals including Abacadabras and Brewin’upastorm in the Aintree Hurdle at 3.25pm.

There are seven races on today’s card – including four Grade Ones – with the first race off at 1.45pm. The going is currently good to soft.