Welsh Grand National winner and former favourite Native River will miss out on this year’s Grand National at Aintree, with the Colin Tizzard trained seven-year-old expected to instead focus upon the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. Following the death of Many Clouds, the list of potential runners for April’s race is currently 16 shorter than the 126 named for the 2016 race, with a maximum of 40 horses able to line-up in Liverpool.
As a result of such news, Betway sports have installed Native River as the second favourite for the Gold Cup behind stablemate Thistlecrack, with the duo offered respective odds of 6/1 and 2/1. Despite Tizzard being without Native River for the National, French import Alary has been pencilled in for the world’s most famous race, with 110 entries to date.
Elsewhere, owner JP McManus has eight potential runners, with Carlingford Lough, Minella Rocco, Cause Of Causes and More Of That all well-backed in the horse racing betting odds with Betway. Meanwhile, last year’s runner-up The Last Samuri has again been entered by trainer Kim Bailey, with the eight-year-old hoping to finally win this most prestigious of races.
Gordon Elliott’s Don Poli has also been installed as one of the favourites for the National, with the seven-year-old having won twice at the Cheltenham Festival for previous trainer Willie Mullins, before finishing third in the Gold Cup last year.
Meanwhile, having defeated Thistlecrack in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham Festival Trials Day, it has been revealed that 2015 Grand National winner Many Clouds passed away from bleeding on the lung. The 10-year-old collapsed following the win, with no underlying health problems found after a post mortem. Having been heavily backed to become the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to successfully defend his Grand National title, Oliver Sherwood’s prized asset failed to live up to expectations.