In 2015, Many Clouds stayed on to win the National and this year’s top weight could secure back-to-back victories with heavy rain predicted at Aintree throughout the week. And with the reliable Leighton Aspell, who has ridden the last two winners of this prestigious race, could write his name into the history books with a third consecutive victory.
It won’t be easy. The National is a lottery but providing Many Clouds jumps well, he should stay on and may pip his nearest rivals to the finishing line. As of April 3rd, Many Clouds is 7/1 in Coral’s Grand National betting markets and he could well go off as one of the shortest priced favourites in recent years – especially if the public back Aspell once again.
Aspell’s exploits over the last two races will attract plenty of attention in the betting ring, especially from the general public. However, previous success doesn’t exactly guarantee future victories in the race. In fact, Aspell was the first jockey to win back-to-back Grand Nationals for over 40 years and with a star-studded field, it will be tough this year.
Many Clouds’ connections believe that he can do it and on his day, it would take a brave man to back against him. The handicapper hasn’t been too kind but that was expected after his impressive victory last year but with a bit of luck, he’s certainly capable. Paul Nicholls, who is 10/1 with Coral to train this year’s winner, has a number of potential challengers – none more so than the dangerous Silviniaco Conti.
Silviniaco Conti loves it at Aintree. While the 10-year-old isn’t getting any younger, he remains a class horse and this may be his final chance to win the big one. In addition, this year’s race is also the last for one of the National’s leading sponsors. Crabbies sponsors the Grand National event in 2016 but as of next year, the colossal 30-fence test will be sponsored by Randox Health.
And with that in mind, the stage could be set for one of the true fairytale stories. Perhaps Silviniaco Conti and Many Clouds will battle it out in the final straight after putting each other to the test over four miles or one of the lesser fancied horses could pip these two supreme thoroughbreds to the title. Either way, one thing’s for sure: it’s going to be a thrilling spectacle – it always is.