Will it be a Right Malarky in the Grand National?

Will it be a Right Malarkey in the Grand National?

Saturday 10 April sees the 2021 Grand National take place. No fans in attendance but millions around the world will be watching and hoping their tip wins the race. Could it be another big day for gambler Paul Dean?

He won almost half a million pounds at the recent Cheltenham Festival. Now he has his sights set on a big win in the Grand National. He doesn’t do many each-way bets but strongly fancies Mister Malarky. From the moment he tweeted that, the odds on this runner have been constantly dropping. It was around 50/1, even as high as 66/1 but is now just 20/1 at Paddy Power.

Why is Paul so keen on Mister Malarky? His view is that the Colin Tizzard runner likes decent ground and “loves to be up with the pace.” He was impressed with his most recent win and believes there will be improvement to come over this longer trip. Let’s have a look at the form of Mister Malarky.

Three of the last four horses to win the Grand National were eight years old. That’s the age of Mister Malarky, so one plus there. This runner has been given a weight of 10 stone 12 lbs to carry around Aintree. His last seven races have seen him carry more than 11 stone. A race at Doncaster this January saw him race off 11 stone 12 lbs, a stone more than he has for the Grand National. Of the last seven winners, five have been given a weight under 11 stone.

Mister Malarky has had five races this season, winning one of them. That victory came at Ascot last December in a Listed race at odds of 16/1. It was a big step up on his previous two races, one seeing him unseat his rider in a race won by the Grand National favourite, Cloth Cap.

The stewards wanted a reason why Mister Malarky had improved so much since finishing 25 lengths behind the winner in October. The reason given was a 325 day absence from racing. His last race was on February 27 at Kempton in a Grade 3 race, finishing third.

Mister Malarky has won six races in his career. Of those wins, three have come on good to soft ground and two on good, so he’ll appreciate the conditions at Aintree this weekend.

A major worry for a lot of runners in the Grand National is whether they will last out the four miles and two and a half furlongs. Mister Malarky has never raced over more than three miles and two furlongs. Looking at his dam and sire, neither have bred winners over this marathon distance, so that is a concern, but it is for others too.

Look at all the prices at the many bookmakers that are available. Also, try to bet at a bookmakers that offers many places, ideal for each-way betting. For example, Boylesports are paying out on seven places.

Other horses that have a good chance of winning?

Well, the favourite is Cloth Cap, who is 5/1 at Betfair at the time of writing this article on Friday afternoon. With two class 1 wins in his last two races, he has a good chance but again worries over the distance. He’s trained by Jonjo O’Neill who is the father of Jonjo O’Neill Jr, the jockey for Mister Malarkey.

Willie Mullins trained the winner of this race in 2005. The Irish trainer can get another one with Burrows Saint. Eight years of age, 10 stone 13 lbs to carry and a former Irish National winner. The drying ground is good news as is the fact this runner has raced over three miles, six furlongs in the past, so could well be effective over this distance. You can get odds of 10/1 at Bet365.