Camilla Swift Camilla Swift

The Grand National 2014: Could the ‘Royal Dude’ triumph?

Channel 4 have gone all out with their coverage of today’s Grand National (sponsored, for the first time, by Crabbie’s). As well as the race itself, the channel boasts of having devoted 20 hours of related programming. This included Jockey School – an insight into the Northern Racing College in Doncaster, and what they describe as the ‘troubled teens’ aiming to be the next AP McCoy – and How to win the Grand National, an insight into the breeding and science of race horses. And for those who complain that the National is cruel, it’s worthwhile bearing in mind that it was presented by a vet, Mark Evans.

Peta have already been calling for an end to the race, recommending that instead of calling for people to eat horsemeat, Princess Anne ‘campaign for an end to events such as the Grand National’. But, as Robin Oakley points out, changes to the race have reshaped it; last year’s race saw what he describes as ‘only two actual fallers’.

Robin Oakley also wrote back in February that his ‘three for glory’ would be:

‘Triolo D’Alene, Rebecca Curtis’s Teaforthree, who led approaching the last fence last year, and Monbeg Dude… [who] like Tidal Bay, has a Welsh National under his belt already’.

Teaforthree is, of course, this year’s favourite; here are some other tips, just in case you’re still unsure:

Freddy Gray, who writes our Speculator column:

‘I’m going for Long Run. He’s let me down before, but I’m keeping the faith.’

Polly Portwin, racing editor at Horse and Hound:

‘My heart seems to be overruling my head at the moment and I would just love Hunt Ball or Tidal Bay to win.

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