Should I back Easysland to win the 2021 Grand National?
If you put your faith in what statistics say, the simple answer is no, you shouldn’t. No seven-year-old has won the Grand National since World War II so, notwithstanding the fact that French-bred horses, for reasons of nature and nurture, typically mature faster than their British or Irish counterparts, Easysland will need to buck a major trend if he is to win the 2021 Grand National.
That said, Easysland has run up a sequence of seven consecutive wins in cross-country steeplechases, including the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase and the Glenfarclas Chase at Cheltenham, and makes no little appeal, especially at the 25/1 generally available ante post, in the 2021 Grand National. Indeed, he was snapped up by leading owner John Patrick ‘J.P.’ McManus in February, 2020, and rewarded the investment with an impressive, 17-length victory over dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll in the Glenfarclas Chase at the Cheltenham Festival the following month. Tiger Roll, in turn, finished 18 lengths ahead of the third horse home, Out Sam, which suggests the form is reliable enough.
According to winning trainer David Cotton, the slow going at Cheltenham was in his favour, so Easysland may need underfoot conditions to come up unseasonably soft at Aintree to be seen to best effect. Of course, he also has no experience over the Grand National fences but, as a well-balanced horse who has been schooled over a variety of idiosyncratic obstacles, victory in the celebrated steeplechase would not be a complete surprise.