Snow Leopardess can end 71-year hoodoo

Thirteen mares have won the Grand National, but that number has remained the same since 1951.

A few have gone close since – most recently Jessica Harrington’s Magic Of Light who finished runner-up behind the legendary Tiger Roll in 2019 – but the fact is it’s been just over 70 years since a mare has won the famous race.

I’m hoping this is the year that trend is bucked, as I’m quite keen on the chances of SNOW LEOPARDESS – a 9/1 (NRNB) shot at Betfred for the Aintree showpiece.

Grand National Betting Odds

Charlie Longsdon’s popular grey has been better than ever this season, winning a handicap chase at Bangor and a Listed mares’ chase at Exeter either side of a game win in the G3 Becher Chase at Aintree in December.

It’s a huge positive that she’s already jumped these unique fences, which she clearly enjoyed doing. Many won’t cope with them on the day, but you can bet that shouldn’t be her issue.

You can poke holes in the form, but for me she proved that it was no fluke by bolting up by about 12 lengths at Exeter next time out. She’s been left on the sidelines since, with this race very much a long-term target.

As is the case for pretty much the majority of the field, the trip is a big question mark. However, she ran a very creditable race in what I believe to be the best ever renewal of the National Hunt Chase – over 3m6f – at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, which offers plenty of optimism that she’ll get this trip.

Of the others in the field, Delta Work (8/1f) has to be feared after his brilliant win in the Cross Country Chase at the Festival last month. This Irish Gold Cup winner has come to life since being switched to these fences, and if he’s come out of Cheltenham well I expect him to be bang there.

Escaria Ten (11/1), another of the Gordon Elliott brigade, is another danger to selection. If you’re the type to have a saver in a race like this, he would be the suggestion.

He’s got a lovely racing weight of 11-1 and has been improving with every run this season. He’ll be primed for this, and should run a big race.

Don’t let the age put you off, either. Eight-year-olds may not have the best record in this race when looking all the way through the history books, but four of the last six winners were eight, suggesting that it’s a much different test now than it ever was.

It’s incredibly difficult picking the winner of a Grand National, and admittedly I could make a case for over half the field – but as a 10-year-old in the form of her life, carrying just 10-9, she fits the bill and has to have a big chance.

Horse Racing Betting Odds