The Grand National is an iconic steeplechase known as “a race that stops a nation,” in reference to avid fan attention in Great Britain. With 40 horses in the field, the race draws interest from dedicated bettors to non-fans who just pick a name they like, and office sweepstakes are popular.

The 2020 edition of the Grand National is scheduled for Saturday, April 4 at Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool, England.

Aintree Racecourse

Over the years, there have been some eye-catching performances and many fairy-tale stories: from victorious longshots to trainers and jockeys winning for the first time.  In 2020, the back-to-back winner in 2018 and 2019 Tiger Roll is looking for an unprecedented threepeat. 

Tiger Roll, owned by Ireland-based Gigginstown House Stud and trained by Gordon Elliott, is the ultimate stayer over jumps and he makes it look so easy.  In 2018, Tiger Roll delivered a superb display winning the Cross Country chase at Cheltenham over 3 miles and then a month later, followed up with a masterful performance in the Grand National—prevailing under a savvy ride by Davy Russell.  The Cheltenham Festival–Grand National double nicely rewarded the bettors who backed the horse in both races.

In 2019, Elliott had Tiger Roll in prime order to have a go at defending the Cross Country race at Cheltenham Festival, which the horse easily won by 22 lengths.  This set the stage for the Grand National at Aintree.

Tiger Roll was well backed into a short favorite of +400 in the Grand National and bettors were right.  He cruised around the difficult course to be in an ideal position to pounce when he was a few fences out.  As in 2018, Tiger Roll got to the front and went on to win by 2 ¾ lengths.  Magic of Light finished second and is likely to have another run in the race this year.

Can Tiger Roll win a third Grand National in a row?  Bettors say “yes.”  At +600 in Bovada (bet $100 to win $600), Tiger Roll is the clear favorite.  However, he will face stiff opposition from a number of talented horses.

Walk In The Mill is one of the challengers.  The Robert Walford-trained horse has twice won over the tough Aintree fences, notably winning a Grand National trial called the Beecher Chase in December 2018 and 2019.

The Beecher Chase requires horses to jump over the Grand National fences, so they have first-hand experience on the Grand National course.  Thus Walk In The Mill could very well dethrone Tiger Roll.  The principal difference between the Grand National and the Beecher Chase is that the former typically has over twice the number of starters.

Grand National

Second in the 2019 Beecher Chase was Kimberlite Candy, who ran well and is +2000 to win the Grand National this year.  The Beecher Chase performance gave the gelding’s backers a reason to believe he has a live shot in the Grand National.

A few veteran horses have also been entered in this year’s Grand National.  For example, One for Arthur and Anibale Fly (runner up in the Gold Cup) can be backed at +3300.

Tiger Roll has a formidable task ahead to win the Grand National a third time.  Walk In The Mill looks to be the horse to beat him; his two wins over the Aintree fences indicate that he is capable of winning a 4-mile race at +2000.