The most iconic event of the horse racing calendar – the Grand National – takes place at Aintree on Saturday, and former BBC racing pundit John Parrott has selected his best bet.
The 173rd annual running of the Grand National features many of the world’s top jump racers competing over four miles and two and a half furlongs.
Fences including Becher’s Brook, The Chair and the Canal Turn have become famous in their own right, and combined with the distance of the event, create what has been called “the ultimate test of horse and rider”.
Parrott, who hails from the nearby city of Liverpool, was a regular contributor to the BBC’s horse racing coverage in recent years and has been passionate about the sport from a young age.
We caught up with the 1991 World Champion to get his top pick for this year’s Randox Grand National.
“It’s a very unoriginal thought, but I’ve been hugely impressed with Cloth Cap,” said Parrott. “It’s a race his owner has won before and absolutely loves to win, and always targets.
“Trevor Hemmings had a big dispersal sale last year, but he didn’t sell Cloth Cap.
“If you’ve seen the way he’s been winning and improving lately. And there’s no better trainer than Jonjo O’Neill for that race; he gets them absolutely peaked to perfection.
“Those long staying chases – the way he’s improving, he’s the one they’ve all got to beat.”