This weekend marks the 2016 Grand National, the biggest event in UK horse racing, and with so much at stake, it’s sure to be a nerve-whacking experience for both the jockeys involved, as well as those placing money on their preferred runner. For one horse and his trainer, however, it’s an opportunity to make history on the biggest stage of them all.
2015’s winner, Many Clouds, will be aiming to join the elite list of only eight horses in history that have won the famous steeplechase twice, and only the fifth to win in consecutive seasons – the last of which was the legendary Red Rum in 1973 and 1974.
Not only is Many Clouds looking to secure their place in the pantheon of great mounts, but owner Trevor Hemmings is also aiming to become the first owner to win the race four times, after previous success with Hedgehunter in 2005, Ballabriggs in 2011 and Many Clouds last year. Even more impressively, jockey Leighton Aspell would be the first to win the race three years in a row if Many Clouds takes first in 2016.
"You don't want to tempt fate, but I'm on a good horse, the top weight, who's favourite and deserves to be favourite on everything he's done,” said Aspell, “I'm just hoping for a bit of luck - a horse can fall left or fall right, or a loose horse can turn up out of anywhere, and completely ruin your race in a flash - but hopefully I can get a good passage round. That's the main thing."
As well as Many Clouds, 39 other horses will be vying for the £1m prize on Saturday – for all the best tips in the trade, grab a subscription to Racing Ahead, now with 16% off.
Instagram Images from @aintreeracecourse