Having tipped the winner of the Aintree Grand National in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, my glorious run came to an end in 2021. Not because I didn’t like the eventual winner Minella Times. I very much did. Had the race been over three miles I likely would have selected Minella Times as an each way bet at odds of 11/1. But I doubted the horse would have the stamina to race over 4 miles 2 furlongs.
I didn’t doubt the jockey. Who would? Not after Rachael Blackmore had ridden the most winners at the Cheltenham Festival in March. I’ve watched her career in the saddle from an early stage. I’ve witnessed how hard she works, the manner in which she connects with horses and I have seen her career blossom. One of my each way bets coming fourth on Saturday was fine, but if my four year record of finding the winner was to be brought to an end, I could not have wished for a better outcome. I have been a fan of Rachael Blackmore for a few years. Trainer Henry de Bromhead took her on when certain other trainers didn’t want to know because of her sex. Jockey and trainer have an excellent working relationship and their collective patience has paid off.
There was joy in my household when she won and I was cheering her on from the elbow to the post. Not as much as my wife who insisted on backing Minella Times because of Rachael. So I guess I could say my household found the winner once again!
Watch the 2021 Grand National in full here