The 2015 Grand National winner, Many Clouds is heading back to Aintree to retain his crown in a bid to become the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back Grand Nationals.
Defying all the stats and trends that usually ear mark a National winner, Many Clouds was only eight years old and carried 11-09 around the course before narrowly beating out Saint Are by just under two lengths.
Trained by Oliver Sherwood, it his first Grand National win but a second consecutive win for jockey Leighton Aspell, who won in 2014 on Pineau De Re.
It was the third win for owner Trevor Hemmings, who won with Donald McCain and Ballabriggs in 2011 and Hedgehunter in Willie Mullins in 2005.
Already the ante-post favourite as as short as 10/1 with some UK bookmakers, Many Clouds has been to Aintree six times racking up the National win plus two second place finishes including the Betfred Lotto Chase on December 5th 2015.
He went into the Grand National 2015 as one the highest ranked horses and nothing suggests that it will be any different for the 2016 renewal. Undoubtedly he will be given 11-10 to carry but that extra one pound of weight is unlikely to slow him down.
He will be ridden by Grand National winning jockey Leighton Aspell as he has done for every race of his career (the horse’s that is) and if anyone knows how to get him to the winning post it’s that man!
While he has been entered into the Cheltenham Gold Cup, it’s far more likely that he will go to Aintree.