2022 Randox Grand National Weights Revealed

The weights for this year’s Randox Grand National were announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Here we take a look at the impact the handicapper may have had on the outcome of the great race which is set to take place on Saturday 9th April, along with a couple of long-range ante-post fancies.

A match made in heaven ?

History-maker Rachael Blackmore and Minella Times - 2021 @randoxofficial Grand National winners.

— Aintree Racecourse (@AintreeRaces) January 31, 2022

Elliott Gold Cup Hopefuls Head the Grand National Weights

The Gordon Elliott-trained pair of leading Cheltenham Gold Cup contenders, Conflated and Galvin head the weights for the 2022 Randox Grand National on 11st 10lb. Both horses must be considered doubtful for the great race at this early stage, resulting in the strong possibility of the weights rising by 5lb or 6lb, which could mean last year’s historic winner Minella Times and jockey Rachael Blackmore topping the handicap.

Despite having fallen and being pulled up in his two races this season, the Henry De Bromhead-trained nine-year-old faces a stiff task off a mark some 15lb higher than 12 months ago. Last year’s third, Any Second Now, is another who has been penalised for a tremendous effort in 2021, with a 7lb rise to a rating of 159.

If recent renewals are anything to go by, a horse will need to be rated in the region of 144 or 145 to make the final field of 40, almost certainly ruling out fancied contenders such as Secret Reprieve, Eclair Surf, Mister Fogpatches and School Boy Hours. Three horses currently head the betting for the world’s most famous steeplechase on Saturday 9th April, Any Second Now, Escaria Ten and Snow Leopardess, all priced at 16/1 with Paddy Power, William Hill and Coral.

Great Horses Don’t Always Get the Owner they Deserve

The most controversial fallout from the publication of the weights for the 2022 Randox Grand National is undoubtedly the decision of Gigginstown House Stud boss Michael O’Leary not to run his dual winner Tiger Roll, one of the most popular horses of recent years, after describing the gelding’s mark of 161 as a “ridiculous handicap rating.”

Michael O’Leary has said Tiger Roll WON'T run in this year's Grand National, and the Cross Country will be his final race before retirement.

A decision that is estimated to change at least 11 times until the race itself...

— FreeBets Racing ? (@FreeBetsDotCom) February 15, 2022

While it is possible to be sympathetic with O’Leary, due to the handicapper rating the veteran 12-year-old 2lb higher than when winning the race in 2019, BHA jump handicappers’ team leader Martin Greenwood has a job to do and justified his decision by saying: “ Some people would argue he’s not the force of old but you can’t forget that Cheltenham annihilation less than 12 months ago and he put up one of the best performances in modern National history in 2019.

A third Grand National victory for Tiger Roll would have equalled that achieved by Red Rum in 1973, 1974 and 1977. Possibly the most famous horse the sport has ever produced carried 10st 5lb in 1973, 12st in 1974, 12st in 1975, 11st 10lb in 1976 and 11st 8lb in 1977. Owner Noel Le Mare never once complained about the unfair treatment dished out to his horse by the handicapper.

Tiger Roll may be owned by Gigginstown House Stud and it’s boss Michael O’Leary, but a horse which boasts a fan base of millions around the world is in reality public property and not a company asset. Unfortunately, great horses don’t always get the owner they deserve.

? April 6 @AintreeRaces - the Tiger made history & entered sporting folklore

? 2019 Grand National
? 2018 Grand National

Tiger Roll emulated Red Rum by winning successive renewals of the Aintree showpiece for @gelliott_racing & @_Davy_Russel_ #RacingTVHighlightsOfTheYear

— Racing TV (@RacingTV) December 31, 2019

Two Early Ante-Post Fancies

CLOTH CAP – 40/1 with bet365

Sent off the 11/2 favourite for last year’s race following his runaway victory in Newbury’s Ladbrokes Trophy, Jonjo O’Neill’s charge was running a big race until having to be pulled-up late on due to a breathing problem.

? Jumping for fun! ?

Cloth Cap produces a fabulous leap four out on his way to a memorable success in the Ladbrokes Trophy under Tom Scudamore at Newbury.

Who is the best jumper of a fence you have ever seen?

— Racing TV (@RacingTV) November 29, 2020

The 10-year-old has been running consistently well this season without winning and following wind surgery last year, no recurrence of breathing issues have surfaced. Now racing off a mark 1lb lower than 12 months ago, Cloth Cap is due to meet last year’s first and third on 16lb and 8lb better terms respectively. This thorough stayer (third in the 2019 Scottish Grand National on just his fourth start over fences) looks way overpriced at current odds of 40/1.

DISCORAMA – 40/1 with Coral

This Irish contender has some excellent form in staying chases, including when runner-up in the 2019 National Hunt Chase over almost 4m at the Cheltenham Festival and when finishing a close third at the 2020 festival in the Ultima Handicap Chase.

The Paul Nolan-trained gelding had his first taste of Aintree in last year’s National, finishing seventh after holding every chance until weakening late on. The nine-year-old has the profile of a horse being trained specifically with this race in mind (first run this season over hurdles before finishing a close second over fences at Fairyhouse last week) and with last year’s course experience under his belt is fancied to improve upon his position of 12 months ago.