Grand National 2021: what time does it start and how to watch TV coverage

Friday, 9th April 2021, 11:49 am
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 2:22 pm

The Grand National Festival 2021 is under way with the nation’s favourite race taking place on Saturday.

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about the Grand National.

When is the Grand National 2021? Will spectators be allowed in?

In 2021, the Grand National Festival will take place between Thursday 8 April and Saturday 10 April, with the national race scheduled for the final day on 10 April at 5.15pm.

Organisers had considered, and spoken to stakeholders, about moving the festival following the government’s roadmap out of a third national lockdown amid the Covid pandemic, but decided to keep it as planned.

Under the government’s roadmap, sports venues are not currently permitted to allow spectators into watch live events - but this restriction eases from the 17 May.

From this date sports venues can let a limited number of spectators through the gates, meaning the 2021 Grand National at Aintree Racecourse will take place behind closed doors.

Non-essential shops, such as bookies, won’t open until 12 April at the earliest - the Monday after the festival has concluded - under government plans.

How can I watch the 2021 Grand National?

The festival leads up to the Grand National race on Saturday 10 April. The start time of the race is scheduled for 5.15pm. Viewers can tune into live coverage of the National on ITV1 or through the ITV Hub.

ITV have coverage of all three days of the Grand National meeting, which runs from Thursday, April 8 to Saturday, April 10.

On Thursday and Friday, coverage runs from 2pm to 5pm, while on Saturday the programme starts at 2pm and runs all the way through to 6:15pm.

In addition, ITV4 will also have The Opening Show each morning at 9.30am to preview the day’s racing.

However, the only TV channel where you can watch all seven races on the card live is Racing TV. The subscription channel has  build-up, analysis and reaction on all four days and offers deals for day passes as well as monthly and annual subscriptions.

And what about streaming? Well, both ITV’s main coverage and The Opening Show will be streamed live on the ITV Hub website and app, meaning TV licence holders can watch the action on desktop, tablet and mobile.

Similarly, Racing TV offers a streaming service online for its subscribers at no additional cost.

If you prefer to listen to the Grand National on the radio, BBC Radio 5Live will have coverage from Aintree starting at 12pm on Saturday, including full commentary of the Grand National at 5.15pm.

Who are the runners and riders? The final 40 runners and reserves

The final 40 horses in the field for Saturday’s race were announced on Thursday. Coral Welsh Grand National hero Secret Reprieve has missed the cut and must rely on two of the 40 declared runners being withdrawn before 1pm on Friday to get in as first reserve.

The Randox Grand National runners and riders are:

1 Bristol De Mai (Daryl Jacob)

2 Chris's Dream (Darragh O'Keeffe)

3 Yala Enki (Bryony Frost)

4 Ballyoptic (Sam Twiston-Davies)

5 Definitly Red (Henry Brooke)

6 Lake View Lad (Brian Hughes)

7 Burrows Saint (Patrick Mullins)

8 Magic Of Light (Robbie Power)

9 Acapella Bourgeois (Danny Mullins)

10 Talkischeap (Tom Cannon)

11 Tout Est Permis (Sean Flanagan)

12 Anibale Fly (Denis O'Regan)

13 Mister Malarky (Jonjo O'Neill Jr)

14 Kimberlite Candy (Richie McLernon)

15 Any Second Now (Mark Walsh)

16 Balko Des Flos (Aidan Coleman)

17 Alpha Des Obeaux (Jody McGarvey)

18 OK Corral (Derek O'Connor)

19 Takingrisks (Sean Quinlan)

20 Shattered Love (Kevin Sexton)

21 Jett (Sam Waley-Cohen)

22 Lord Du Mesnil (Nick Scholfield)

23 Potters Corner (Jack Tudor)

24 Class Conti (Brian Hayes)

25 Milan Native (Jamie Codd)

26 Discorama (Bryan Cooper)

27 Vieux Lion Rouge (Conor O'Farrell)

28 Cloth Cap (Tom Scudamore)

29 Cabaret Queen (Sean O'Keeffe)

30 Minellacelebration (Ben Poste)

31 Canelo (Tom Bellamy)

32 The Long Mile (Luke Dempsey)

33 Give Me A Copper (Harry Cobden)

34 Farclas (Jack Kennedy)

35 Minella Times (Rachael Blackmore)

36 Sub Lieutenant (Tabitha Worsley)

37 Hogan's Height (Gavin Sheehan)

38 Double Shuffle (Jonathan Burke)

39 Ami Desbois (Kielan Woods)

40 Blaklion (Harry Skelton)

Reserves

41 Some Neck (Simon Torrens)

42 Secret Reprieve (James Bowen)

43 Kauto Riko (TBC)

44 Fagan (Harry Bannister)

Who is the favourite to win the 2021 Grand National?

Cloth Cap is currently favourite to win the national at 4/1 with many online bookies such as Bet365, UniBet, and BetFred.

Any Second Now, Burrows Saint, Minella Times, Kimberlite Candy and Magic of Light are also highly-fancied.

You can find the latest odds and betting tips here.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s horse, Give Me Copper, is a 50/1 shot. Ferguson, who enjoyed getting one over Liverpool in his days as Manchester United manager, celebrated a hat-trick of success on the first day of this year’s festival on his return to Merseyside.