By HRI Foreign Staff — Missing out on 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Grand National was a big loss to the horse racing calendar, but 2021 is determined to be different and will sure pack an extra punch for all involved.
Covid-19 is still ravaging, but more is known about the harbinger of death and the government is doing all it can to get it under control as vaccines and more effective treatments continue to roll out.
So too, have the BHA put their most performant foot forward to make sure their events run smoothly at the cost of fans who are terribly missed in the stands and racecourse corridors. 2019 is how far back we have to go for the last Randox Health Grand National and the LIVERPOOL’S NHS Day.
For punters, revisiting the past races and taking note of the early season performances is as good as getting the best tips for the Grand National for free, and so in that spirit, we look back at the last opening day of the event and trip down memory lane when fans were still a part of live sports.
The LIVERPOOL’S NHS DAY is the opening day of the Randox Health Grand National and is never short of excitement. In 2019, the Goffs UK NICKEL COIN MARES’ STANDARD OPEN NATIONAL HUNT was on the card per usual, with 20 mares of four-six years took to the starting line for a 2m 209y run and a 25,000 GBP prizemoney at the finish.
The finish seemed destined to be an all Irish affair before Daylight Katie (France) crashed the party with a third-place finish. The favourite, Minella Melody (6/4) was surprised by Alan King’s The Glancing Queen (5/1), holding out well in the final 120 yards to keep all challengers at bay. Farne (20/1) and Shantewe (33/1) made up the top five, with an Irish quintuple soured by the presence of Daylight Katie.
Eleven stones was the magic weight, as lighter horses struggled to make any pus in the final stretch, while five-year-olds seemed to have had a better time of it than the four and six-year-olds. Tracking the leaders and then making late push was the most successful strategy, working especially well for the top two finishers.
2021 should have a bit more to it and expect the energy to shoot right through the roof as jockeys and horses look to feed off the layoff from last year. Official times and entries still to be announced, we can only assume that the race will take its usual seventh start of the day like in 2019.