Grand National 2022: Key Runners & Where to Watch on TV
Get ready for horse racing again, because the Grand National has returned in 2022. And this time? Spectators are allowed in the Liverpool venue.
The 2021 Grand National was held behind closed doors and only televised due to the pandemic, but fans will be glad to know that they can cheer on their bets from the stands in real life this year.
Despite the race atmosphere being a bit odd, the Grand National in 2021 was won by Minella Times and ridden by Rachael Blackmore, who was the first female jockey to ever win the horseracing event. The favourite, Cloth Cap, didn’t complete the race after pulling up four fences from the finish line.
Date, Time & Venue
As you might already know, the Grand National is arguably the most famous horse race in the world, with 40 runners taking on the 30 fences over an intense 4.5-mile distance.
It’s a gruelling, long race that many horses don’t even finish, but the renown and excitement around the event is palpable, especially since 2020 was called off and 2021 was only televised. The world is ready for the Grand National after a long wait.
The Grand National in 2022 takes place, as always, at the Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, with the big steeplechase race happening on Saturday, April 9th at 5:15pm GMT. The beautiful location has hosted the celebrated horse race since 1839.
Running favourites going into the Grand National 2022
Out of the 40 contenders to be the Grand National champion, there are naturally a few names that are starting to stand out as favourites to win. These are:
- Snow Leopardess
- Delta Work
- Any Second Now
- Minella Times
- Escaria Ten
- Enjoy D’allen
- Longhouse Poet
- Noble Yeats
1. Snow Leopardess
- Age: 10
- Jockey: Aidan Coleman
People just won’t stop talking about Snow Leopardess in the build-up to the Grand National in 2022. There’s good reason, however, as this is a powerful grey mare that has won its last three races, one of those being the Becher Chase in December that was also run on the Aintree course.
Snow Leopardess is a strong jumper and is easily the betting favourite right now. If it did cross the finish line in the lead, it would be the first mare to win since 1951. It’s clear that Snow Leopardess is getting better in every race but still saving something special for a big event like the Grand National. In fact, only three grey horses have won the GN before, so Snow Leopardess is looking to become something of a rarity.
2. Delta Work
- Age: 9
- Jockey: Jack Kennedy
Delta Work has been far more interesting as a GN selection ever since it won the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year in March. This was not an unsubtle victory by any means, as Delta Work pipped the favourite, Tiger Roll, right at the finish line.
There are some doubts that Delta Work is too heavy, but previous races indicate that the fences won’t pose a problem and that it has the stamina to keep it interesting until the very end. Not a bad choice at all if you want to avoid the favourite, Snow Leopardess.
3. Any Second Now
- Age: 10
- Jockey: Mark Walsh
There’s a lot to like about Any Second Now, especially as it finished third at the Grand National last year. Despite one year older and a little bit heavier than 2021, Any Second Now loves fence racing and tends to reserve that little bit of power for the final push.
ASO picked up the victory at the Bobbyjo Chase in February, but the form is absolutely on-point right now and coming so close last year is a good indication that it can do better in 2022.
4. Minella Times
- Age: 10
- Jockey: Rachael Blackmore
The defending champion is back and ready to uphold its title with honour. Minella Times isn’t proving super successful with the bookies, but that didn’t prevent it from winning last time, either. The weight could be an issue, as the horse is 15lbs heavier than in 2021.
Still, with Blackmore in the saddle and a familiarity with the track, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Minella Times wins again. It seems unlikely to happen, but we wouldn’t rule it out completely.
5. Escaria Ten
- Age: 8
- Jockey: A.P. Heskin
An interesting pick simply for being a younger, livelier horse in the race, Escaria Ten is one of the best jumpers on the list and a good amount of buzz is growing around it now. Escaria Ten came second in the Bobbyjo Chase and all reports suggest it is fit and ready for the Grand National, so certainly an outside pick with a good chance.
6. Enjoy D’allen
- Age: 8
- Jockey: Connor Orr
Enjoy D’allen has been one of the best-kept secrets of horse racing… until now. Finishing third in the 2021 Irish National, here’s a horse that looks like it’ll do some damage during the GN and perhaps even surprise itself during the run. The weight is good and it’s a great sprinter, but there’s a slight worry about the number of fences. Still, no one would raise their eyebrows if you told them about this pick.
7. Longhouse Poet
- Age: 8
- Jockey: Darragh O’Keeffe
Longhouse Poet won the Thyestes Chase back in January, and is well known for fence jumping, but there is not an awful lot of race experience. It’s said that it will probably run better in wet and rainy conditions, which it will likely be, so a long-shot candidate to emerge out of the pack.
8. Noble Yeats
- Age: 7
- Jockey: Sam Waley-Cohen
A young horse with plenty of stamina, can Noble Yeats shrug off inexperience and instead jump out to an early lead? Certainly potential there and the horse is getting better and stronger with every race before the Grand National. The last time a youthful horse won the GN was back in 1940, so the stats aren’t good, but not the worst selection.
Schedule for the UK
More than 150,000 fans are expected to fill the Aintree Racecourse, but live television coverage can be viewed on either ITV or Racing TV. Rain is forecasted in the lead up to the horse race, but the weather on Saturday itself should be cloudy with a bit of sun. Get excited for the race around 5:15pm on Saturday, 9th April.
Which horse will win?
There are so many variables in a steeplechase race like the Grand National, but there’s every reason to take Snow Leopardess as the fastest, strongest horse in this prestigious meeting. It’s got the looks, the reputation, and a fantastic name, so Snow Leopardess should win the 2022 Grand National.
Still, if you do make a bet, many experts simply recommend going with your heart and not your head. The favourites are likely to win, but if there’s a horse with a name that simply calls out to you and the odds are decent, then go for it. You may well pick up a great prize while everyone else went with the standard selections.
Author: Joe Garland