Grand National 2021 odds: betting tips and horses to watch at Aintree race - from Cloth Cap to Minella Times

The Grand National returns today, and punters are set to splash hundreds of millions of pounds in bets on the year's most popular horse race, which first took place back in 1839.

Grand National betting odds and tips (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Due to the Covid pandemic, the 2020 edition never took place, but the race is set to go ahead this afternoon at Aintree Racecourse, albeit without spectators in attendance on this occasion.

Over 500 million people are set to tune into the three-day racing festival, which is rounded off with the most famous steeplechase in the world, which comprises of 16 fences - 14 are jumped twice - including familiar names such as 'Becher’s Brook', and Canal Turn, and the infamous, 5ft high 'The Chair'.

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The last time the race was run, back in 2019, the bookies took an absolute battering as 4/1 favourite Tiger Roll, ridden by Davy Russell, cantered to a second consecutive victory - becoming the first horse since Red Rum in the 1970s to win back-to-back Grand Nationals.

Still, with Bet365 join chief executive Denise Coates bringing in a cool £469m salary, we're not suggesting a Crowdfund whip-round at this stage!

The big news ahead of the weekend was that the aforementioned Tiger Roll won’t have the opportunity to challenge for a third victory on the trot, with and “unfair weight burden” meaning the horse can't take part.

The fans’ favourite ran in Thursday’s Betway Bowl instead, but finished well off in the place in fourth place, as Clan Des Obeaux, owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, stormed to victory.

Owner Trevor Hemmings will be looking for a record fourth win in his green, yellow and white colours, with Cloth Cap, who is trained by Jonjo O’Neill.

Meanwhile, Rachael Blackmore, who will be riding Minella Times, will be aiming to become the first female Grand National champion, after making history by becoming the first woman at Cheltenham to be a leading jockey.

Bryony Frost and Tabitha Worsley, riding Yala Enki and Sub Lieutenant respectively, are two other women looking to become history makers at Aintree.

Here's a look at how bookmaker Sky Bet currently rate the runners and riders taking part in the Grand National this year, ahead of today’s eagerly-anticipated race.

They range from 7/2 favourite Cloth Cap out to rank outsider Sub Lieutenant at 100/1:

Cloth Cap: 4/1.

Minella Times: 9/1.

Burrows Saint: 9/1.

Any Second Now: 10/1.

Kimberlite Candy: 12/1.

Secret Reprieve: 14/1.

Discorma: 16/1.

Santini: 16/1.

Magic of Light: 18/1.

Potters Corner: 20/1.

Farclas: 20/1.

Mister Malarky: 22/1.

Takingrisks: 22/1.

Anibale Fly: 25/1.

Bristol de Mai: 25/1.

Milan Native: 28/1.

Acapella Bourgeois: 28/1.

Lake View Lad: 33/1.

Lord du Mesnil: 33/1.

Some Neck: 33/1.

Canelo: 40/1.

Yala Enki: 40/1.

Talkischeap: 40/1.

Chris's Dream: 40/1.

Class Conti: 40/1.

Shattered Love: 40/1.

The Long Mile: 40/1.

Vieux Lion Rouge: 40/1.

Alpha Des Obeaux: 50/1.

Balko des Flos: 50/1.

Definitly Red: 50/1.

Double Shuffle: 50/1.

Give me a Copper: 50/1.

Hogans Height: 50/1.

Ok Corral: 50/1.

Blaklion: 66/1.

Cabaret Queen: 66/1.

Jett: 66/1.

Minellacelebration: 66/1.

Tout Est Permis: 66/1.

Ballyoptic: 80/1.

Ami Desbois: 100/1.

Fagan: 100/1.

Kauto Riko: 100/1.

Sub Lieutenant: 100/1.