Few owners have had as much success in the sport of horse racing as Irish businessman J. P. McManus.
He’s won pretty much everything there is to win in the sport, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National, and his iconic green and gold hooped silks have become synonymous with winners’ enclosures up and down the nation.
That is why it’s difficult for many punters to look beyond those owned by the billionaire when they are examining the Grand National odds 2021, and of course this year, that will be no different. If you have already checked the April 10th racecard, you’ve have noticed that McManus has a few horses at the forefront of the betting market as he looks to land his first victory in the race since his sole triumph with Don’t Push It in 2010.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the Irish owner’s horses to keep an eye out for in the Aintree showpiece.
Any Second Now – 12/1
After three poor outings, which included finishing ninth twice and pulling up in the other, Any Second Now’s odds of winning the Grand National were shortened from around 18/1 to 12/1 following a recent victory at Navan in Ireland. The nine-year-old, trained by former National winner Ted Walsh, was the 3/1 second favourite in the Grade 2 Webster Cup Chase last month. However, with Mark Walsh in the saddle, he went on win the race, beating the market leader by some 10 lengths. Having won the Kim Muir Challenge Cup at Cheltenham in 2019, which is over three miles long, Any Second Now has proved he can compete over long distances and he’s certainly one to watch out for.
Kimberlite Candy – 16/1
After the Irish-trained dominance at the recent Cheltenham Festival, where the British racked up just five victories in the 28 races, the Brits will be hoping to restore some pride with a victory in the Grand National and Kimberlite Candy has a great chance of doing just that. Trained out of Hertfordshire by Tom Lacey, the 16/1 shot laid down the foundations for a good crack at the National last year, before it was cancelled, with an emphatic victory at Warwick. However, his only outing since then was in the Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree back in December, where he was 24 lengths behind winner Vieux Lion Rouge. Still, that was his second time finishing runner-up in the race and he has certainly gotten to know Aintree well as a result.
Minella Times – 16/1
After Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore’s recent exploits at the Cheltenham Festival, where the former became the first trainer to win the Champion Hurdle, the Champion Chase and the Gold Cup in the same meeting, whilst Blackmore landed an impressive six-winning rides, there’s no doubt that Minella Times will be well backed at 16/1 to win the Grand National. The 31-year-old jockey has been in the eight-year-old’s saddle for the last three outings, winning at Listowel back in September before finishing runner-up twice on the spin at Leopardstown. Given the duo’s form, you’d expect Minella Times to be there or thereabouts when the horses race towards the finish come April 10th.
With 2020 Cheltenham Cross Country champion Easysland withdrawn, Anibale Fly, who was fourth in 2018, Canelo and Ok Corral are next in line for McManus at 33/1.