Held annually at the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England, the Grand National is one of the longest-running handicap steeplechase races in the world, stretching over 4 miles and 514 yards and boasting 30 horse jumps over two laps. Though 110 horses have been entered and assigned a weight, the final field for the 2017 Grand National will be announced on April 7, a day shy of Saturday’s race.
Odds for this year’s race fall in favor of The Last Samuri, jockeyed by Kim Bailey. According to The Telegraph, The Last Samuri has had an “excellent second a year ago and looks even better this year,” after earning runner-up 12 months ago at last year’s Grand National race. However, Saphir Du Rheu, jockeyed by Paul Nicholls, has not fallen since 2014 and, as The Telegraph pointed out, is “in good form this season” for a title shakeup. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ horse, Blaklion, also may make a bid for the gold this year at the Grand National, doing his best work on fast ground. However, all the hype for other horses may be for naught if Vieux Lion Rouge runs the race his jockey David Pipe knows he’s capable of.
Though the 40-horse race does promise all the anticipated excitement of years that have come before, BBC Sport’s Frank Keogh believes that if it’s anyone’s race to win, the odds are squarely in The Young Master’s favor. Trained by Neil Mulholland and jockeyed by Sam Waley-Cohen, The Young Master took home the gold in the Bet365 race in April. According to Keogh, Waley-Cohen, though fairly new to the racing circuit, has an “excellent record over the National fences, winning six other races on the famous course.”
The Grand National takes place on Saturday, April 8 in England at 5:15 p.m. ET. Airing for the first time on ITV, the race will also be available online through streaming services.