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Grand National 2022 – Three Welsh-trained Hopefuls
The race that grips the whole country is now under three months away with Aintree Racecourse gearing itself up for a return of spectators to the world’s most famous steeplechase for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
History was made in the 2021 Randox Grand National as Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey ever to win the contest when finishing first past the post on Henry de Bromhead-trained Minella Times and we’re promised a thrilling spectacle in the 2022 renewal on 9th April.
Welsh horse-racing fans will be hopeful that 2022 could be the year in which the country claims victory in this most famous of all National Hunt races. There hasn’t been a Welsh-trained winner since Kirkland triumphed in 1905, however there may be three great chances for that wait to come to an end in eleven weeks’ time.
Iwilldoit – 20/1
There aren’t many runners more exciting in Welsh racing than this one. Winner of the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow a few weeks ago by an impressive 9 lengths, Iwilldoit has enjoyed a perfect season thus far with two wins from two. Stamina almost won’t be an issue for this Sam Thomas-trained nine-year-old and while the handicap will clearly be pivotal with regard to his chances in the big race, there is every chance that he will put in a strong bid.
Secret Reprieve – 25/1
This is another runner that was involved in the Welsh Grand National a few weeks ago although he was somewhat underwhelming in that contest, finishing some 44 lengths behind winner Iwilldoit. Nevertheless it’s hard to ignore the form that the eight-year-old showed in December and January last season when he triumphed in the Welsh Grand National trial by 12-lengths ahead of The Two Amigos before winning the Welsh National by three lengths ahead of the same rival. He didn’t enjoy a good trip around Chepstow in the 2021 renewal of the Welsh National and he was the last horse home on that occasion, however he is still of interest for the Randox Grand National given his experience around Aintree.
Potters Corner – 50/1
Potters Corner was fancied for the 2020 Grand National which was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19 and while he ‘won’ the Virtual National that year, this will have been no consolation whatsoever for handler Christian Williams. At the tender age of twelve, there’s still life in the old dog yet and he demonstrated this in his decent showings around Cheltenham this season. He finished second by a nose behind Diesel D’Allier in the Cross Country last month and there’s little evidence to suggest that his best days are behind him just yet. Just as he was in the Randox Grand National last year, he was pulled up in the Welsh National a few weeks ago but he is nevertheless worthy of attention in the big race at Aintree in eleven weeks’ time.