two horses race side by side

Big weekend for the north west as the Grand National takes place

It is set to be a huge weekend of sport in the north west, with the Grand National taking centre stage at Aintree Racecourse.

Many horse racing fans from Manchester will be making the short trip across to Liverpool for the world’s greatest steeplechase.

Here is a look at some of the big storylines that could play out in the race this year.

Corach Rambler chasing history

Only seven horses in history have been able to win the Grand National more than once, but defending champion Corach Rambler has an excellent chance of joining that list following the 2024 renewal.

Lucinda Russell’s runner is the 7/1 favourite in the latest Paddy Power Grand National odds.

He tops the betting ahead of former Irish Grand National winner I Am Maximus who is 15/2, whilst Meetingofthewaters and last year’s runner-up Vanillier can both be backed at 9/1.

Corach Rambler has once again been one of the popular Grand National betting tips this year, as many experts believe he has all the right attributes for a repeat success.

He goes into the race on the back of finishing third in the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

Queen Blackmore on board former Gold Cup winner

Rachael Blackmore grabbed all the headlines in 2021 when she became the first female jockey to win the Grand National with Minella Times.

She will partner with former Gold Cup winner Minella Indo in this year’s race.

The 11-year-old chaser won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2021.

He then finished runner-up in the same race 12 months later.

Henry De Bromhead’s runner was set to feature in the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month, but that contest was abandoned due to a waterlogged track.

Blackmore was named the RTE Sports Person of the Year following her Aintree triumph.

A second Grand National victory would help her scoop some of the leading sports awards at the end of 2024.

The leading Irish rider is not the only female jockey set to feature in the Aintree showpiece event.

Gina Andrews will be on board former Foxhunters’ Chase winner Latenightpass, Lucy Turner has been booked on Chambard, while Jody McGarvery has a first ride in the race with Janidil.

Ireland has the majority of the entries

Ireland dominated the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year, winning the Prestbury Cup once again, and with 26 entries in the Grand National, there is a strong chance the Aintree trophy will head across the Irish Sea.

Trainer Gordon Elliott won the race in 2006, 2018 and 2019 and will saddle eight horses this year, including two-time Cross Country Chase winner Delta Work.

The chaser was travelling well in the race 12 months ago before he unseated his rider on the second circuit.

Willie Mullins also has a strong hand in the race this year as he is bidding for British Trainers’ Championship success.

The Irishman trails Dan Skelton and Paul Nicholls’ in the standings, but if he can land the top prize of £500,000 in the race, it could shoot him to the top of the prize money standings this season.

The race takes place at 16:00 on Saturday afternoon, and millions are expected to tune in to see who will win the 176th renewal of the great north west event.

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