Grand National 2022: Spectators to return at Aintree as meeting starts

Eclair Surf and Fortescue have made the cut for Saturday’s Grand National after it was announced Caribean Boy and Farclas will not run.

Caribean Boy, trained by Nicky Henderson, has pulled a hamstring while last year’s fifth-placed horse Farclas was withdrawn by Gordon Elliott.

A field of 40 horses, and four reserves, was named on Thursday.

Rachael Blackmore made history as the first female jockey to win last year and again partners Minella Times.Minella Times, trained by Henry de Bromhead, is the top weight in the race this time.

Snow Leopardess is one of the leading British contenders with her story attracting punters – a mare who returned to racing after giving birth to a foal and the first mother on record to run in the National.

Irish-trained horses dominate the top of the betting with last year’s third horse Any Second Now and fourth Burrows Saint both returning.

Delta Work and Escaria Ten are among seven runners for Gordon Elliott.

Four reserves have been named – Commodore, School Boy Hours, Romain De Senam and Roi Mage.

They can run in the race if any other horses pull out before 13:00 BST on Friday.

Grand National 2022 – approximate odds: 8-1 Snow Leopardess, Delta Work; 10-1 Any Second Now, Escaria Ten; 12-1 Enjoy D’Allen, Eclair Surf; 14-1 Minella Times, Fiddlerontheroof; 16-1Longhouse Poet, 20-1 Burrows Saint, Run Wild Fred; 25-1 Bar


Tickets for NHS workers


Spectators return to the Grand National meeting for the first time since 2019 as the fixture begins on Thursday.

Around 150,000 racegoers are expected over three days at Aintree after the 2020 meeting was called off and crowds were banned last year because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Previous winners Clan Des Obeaux and Kemboy are among runners in the Betway Bowl, the feature race on day one.

Aintree has donated 10,000 tickets to NHS workers for the first day in recognition of their work during the pandemic.

Clan Des Obeaux completed a notable hat-trick for former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in Liverpool 12 months ago, with victory the third Grade One win of the day for Ferguson and his co-owners.

Opponents this time include Irish Gold Cup winner Conflated, alongside Protektorat, Eldorado Allen and Royale Pagaille.

Epatante and Zanahiyr renew rivalry in the Aintree Hurdle after coming second and third in last month’s Champion Hurdle.

Jett, a long-time leader before finishing eighth in last year’s National, is a leading contender in the Foxhunters’ Chase over the big fences.

Original article published 07.04.2022 on The BBC Sport website.

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