The biggest horse race of the year, the Grand National is set to be the biggest yet with book makers expecting over £150 million in bets, with many likely to back hot favourite and last years winner Tiger Roll.
Tiger Roll will again be ridden by jockey Davy Russell as the pair look to emulate the legendry Red Rum and become the first horse to win back to back nationals in 45 years.
12 months ago, when Russell became the oldest jockey to win the National at the age of 39, the pair successfully negotiating obstacles such as Bechers Brook and the Chair on the way to glory with Russell paying tribute to his ride when interviewed later on.
“He's one in a million really, he just have his own way of doing things. You just set the radar on where you are going, and he perks up. Tiger Roll is a bit of a rock star,” said Russell.
With Tiger Roll currently averaging around (7-2) to win again, he is the hottest favourite since Poethlyn stormed to victory over a hundred years ago at odds of (11- 4)and with their main rivals for the title considered to be Rathvinden, Anibale Fly, Vintage Clouds and last year runner up Pleasant company to name a few all ranging from (10-1) up to (25-1), a little bit of racing history could be made today.
Other news from the National runners is Irish trainer Gordon Elliot having a stunning eleven runners, which if they all take the field will be a race record, while owner Trevor Hemmings is looking to become the first to own four National winners. He has won the race three times previously with Hedge Hunter (2005), Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015) and has three running today with Lake View Lad, vintage Cloud and (125-1) long shot Warriors Tale.
The three day event has already hit the news with two more horse being but to sleep yesterday, Forest Des Aigles who sadly broke his leg during the Topham Chase, while Crucial Role suffered a tragic fall in the Mildmay Novices Chase. However since the race has been shortened and steps taken to ensure softer ground and flexible fences their has not been a serious equine injury during the race since 2012.