Grand National Jockeys – Who to Watch

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We take a look at five of the leading 2021 Grand National jockeys that are set to ride some of the well-fancied runners. We’ll also highlight the main jockey performances for the 2020/21 season as we draw ever nearer to the race.

Davy Russell Grand National 2018

Grand National Festival – Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, Britain – April 14, 2018 Davy Russell celebrates with a trophy after winning the 17:15 Randox Health Grand National Handicap Chase Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs @SCANPIX

Grand National Who to Bet On?

If you think it’s already time to think about who to bet on Grand National next year, we couldn’t agree more. Here we’ll discuss the jockeys to bet on Grand National.

The next Grand National will be held from April, 10th 2021. If you’re not certain who to bet on the Grand National, hopefully, this will help you decide. We will mention some of the currently most successful jockeys and you might discover the best horse to bet on Grand National.

Who to bet on for Grand National – The Jockeys

The first one on our “Who to bet on in Grand National” list is the reigning champion, Davy Russell. He has won two years in a row, and we will have the opportunity to see whether he will become the first-ever jockey to win three times in a row.

Other names that might make your decision on who to bet on in the Grand National easier include:

  • Daryl Jacob – won the Grand National once, he is one of the front-runners and has found his place in our selection of jockeys who to bet for Grand National.
  • Leighton Aspell – even though he is among the older jockeys, he is still a strong contender with his two titles as the Grand National Champion.
  • Barry Geraghty – being the most popular jockey for the Irish owner JP McManus, he has good odds at winning his second Grand National title.
  • Richard Johnson – a jockey that still hasn’t won this title is the last on our list because of his overall performance.

In our opinion, these are the favourites and we think some of them should be on your “who to bet on for the Grand National” list.


  • Grand National Wins: 2, 2018 & 2019

Aged 40, Davy Russell is another of the older statesman in the jumps jockeys weighing room. Based in Ireland, Russell have ridden many big winners over the years – mainly for the powerful Gigginstown Stud House owners.

He was also one of the older jockeys that this race was eluding – until last year (2018). Russell finally got a Grand National win on his CV after steering home the Gordon Elliott-trained Tiger Roll to victory in the 2018 running. At 38 that year, Russell was the oldest jockey in the race – it was his 14th ride in the Grand National.

After spending ages trying to win the race, Russell added to his Grand National tally straight away as he steered home Tiger Roll in the 2019 Grand National too. Those two quick wins have catapulted Russell as a household name with racing fans over the world and there is every chance he can win the race for a third consecutive year – as far as we can see, no jockey has won the Grand National three times in a row.


  • Grand National Wins: 1, 2012

Rides mainly freelance these days, but is retained to ride for top owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

Jacob has his moment in the sun, when it comes to the Grand National, after winning the race in 2012 with the popular grey horse Neptune Collonges. Trained-by Paul Nicholls, this 11 year-old, that had previously been placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, provides the Nicholls yard with their first (and only to date) win in the Grand National.

The jockey became only the fourth to ride a grey horse to victory – with The Lamb (1868 & 1871) and Nicolaus Silver (1961) the other winning grey horses.

Jacob rode a horse called Ucello Conti in the 2017 Grand National, but unseated him with four fences to go, when still in with a shout. Jacob then finished 18th in the 2018 running of the Grand National on a horse called Valtor. The horse is owned his retained owners – Munir and Souede – too, so any runners for the 2021 Grand National in their famous green silks will more than likely be partnered by Daryl Jacob again.


  • Grand National Wins: None

Top UK-based jockey – Richard Johnson – is yet to land the Grand National. So, with time running out on his long career he’ll be keen to do what his pal AP McCoy did and land the big race before he retires. There has been no talk of Johnson retiring from the saddle just yet, but at 40 years old he can’t have many Nationals left. Having been runner-up as champion jockey 16 times, he was finally crowned champion jockey in 2016, 2017 and 2018 His Grand National record so far reads as follows – UR, F, F, PU, F, 2nd, 10th, BD, PU, PU, R, F, F, 9th, PU, 12th, 15th, 2nd, F, PU. Therefore, from 20 rides in the race, he’s actually failed to complete in 14!

Two seconds in 2004 (What’s Up Boys) and 2014 (Balthazar King) have seen him go close. There is probably no other Grand National jockeys still riding that deserves to win the Grand National more. At this stage, it’s hard to know what he’ll ride and it’s hard to believe he didn’t have a ride in the 2018 running. In 2019, Johnson rode the Philip Hobbs-trained Rock The Kasbah, but was brought-down at the 18th fence.


  • Grand National Wins: 2, 2014 & 2015

At 42, Leighton Aspell is one of the older statesmen in the jump weighing room. But with two recent Grand National wins under his belt, when he does hang-up his riding boots – he’ll retire a happy man. Pineau De Re (2014) was the first of those victories as he steered home the Dr Richard Newland-trained 11-year-old in 2014. While he became the first jockey since Brian Fletcher on Red Rum in 1973 & 1974 to win back-to-back Grand Nationals in 2015 when he won on Many Clouds the following year.

That winner gave popular owner – Trevor Hemmings – his third win in the race too as he also owned the 2005 & 2011 winners Hedgehunter & Ballabriggs. Aspell completed again in 2017 when riding the former Gold Cup winner – Lord Windermere – to be seventh in the race. He also rode Many Clouds to be 16th in the 2016 running. So, having completed in four of the last five Nationals he’s sure to be in popular demand when the trainers start to look for Grand National jockeys to ride their horses.

He’s another that missed the 2018 running of the race due to injury but is back riding and barring any incidents will have his sights set on another win in this famous race. His experience and winning form in the race are sure to attract many trainers, but he mainly rides for the Oliver Sherwood camp.


  • Grand National Wins: 1, 2003

Aged 39, Barry Geraghty is another of the older Grand National jockeys still riding that will be popular for punters. His record in the race reads 6th, F, UR, 1st, 4th, 16th, 6th, 3rd, 4th, F, 4th, F, 9TH, UR, PU, 9th, PU, 4th. So, he has completed in 11 of his 18 starts to date, plus ridden one winner – Monty’s Pass (2003). He’s ridden three times without success in the race for trainer Nicky Henderson in recent years, but in 2018 steered the 8-year-old Anibale Fly to a fine fourth in the race.

Being the number one jockey for popular Irish owner JP McManus, Geragthy will have plenty of options ahead of the race. McManus won the Grand National for the only time in 2010 with Don’t Push It but is sure to fire a few arrows at the race again in 2019. At this stage, last year’s fourth – Anibale Fly – could easily return for another tilt at the race and with another year on his back and the experience of the fences then he looks sure to be a big player again if having a trouble-free season.

Take a punt on the world’s most famous race and bet on the 2021 Grand National! For a few extra tips and best odds, have a look at our

Grand National Ante post betting tips.

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