The Horses to Watch Out for in 2021
Whether 2021 has been a slow drag or a flyby year for you, there is no denying that we are fast-approaching the final stretch before 2021 takes its place. As a result, the time has once again come when we can really begin to turn our sights on a new herd of highlights ready to make British horse racing history.
From Royal Ascot to the 182nd Grand National, Cheltenham and Epsom, there is already plenty of speculation over the prospective entrants based upon the remarkable performances seen across 2020.
And while it is still early days – and no official line-ups have been announced just yet – there are still plenty of names to keep your eye on over the course of the next few months. Here are the names you need to look out for as we head into the fresh drama of 2021.
Anyone with even a modicum of interest in British horse racing will be well-acquainted with Tiger Roll. With two Grand National wins under his girth – 2018 and 2019 – and now a prime ten years old, he is in a strong position for stealing yet another win at the Grand National 2021.
With a track record that mirrors Red Rum, Tiger Roll’s impact on the sport is far from diminishing. According to his trainer, Gordon Elliott, he has his sights set firmly on a third victory in April of next year.
At just eight years old, The Conditional has already proven his mettle with an impressive win at Cheltenham’s Ultima Handicap Chase earlier this year. While he had some issues Warwick earlier in 2020, age is likely to be on his side more now that a year has passed, but there is no word yet on whether jockey Brendan Powell will be racing with The Conditional again.
A worthy adversary to Tiger Roll in terms of both speed and stamina, Easysland is still new to the scene at only six years old, and has not yet experienced the highs of the Grand National. There is, at this point in time, no word yet on whether or not Easysland will enter into Aintree in 2021, but after an encouraging performance at Cheltenham, his prospects for next year looks bright.
A comfortable third at Cheltenham’s 2020 Ultima stands Discorama in good stead for next year. While he has yet to make any big wins for trainer Paul Nolan, at only seven years old there is plenty left on the horizon for Discorama, and 2021 could well be his year.
By the time the next Grand National comes around, Burrows Saint will be an ideal eight years old, and more than ready to repeat the top performance we witnessed at 2019’s Irish Grand National. Willie Mullins will no doubt be putting Burrows Saint through his paces as the new year dawns, and we get another opportunity to see what this racer can do.
While Ballyoptic has a few hits and a few misses on his record, he has shown plenty of promise this year after an excellent win at Ascot. By 2021, he will be a ripe eleven years old, giving him an excellent shot at yet more success.
Watch This Space
April is fast approaching; in just a few short months, we will finally begin to see the results of another year’s worth of preparations, rigid training, and careful selection as the line ups for 2021 are announced.
No doubt we should prepare ourselves for a few surprise performances along the way from those not featured on this list, but any fan of the racing season should keep a weather eye out for these frontrunners as we head into a new year of tight competition.