The 2021 Grand National is under starter's orders. Cancelled last year owing to covid-19, the prestigious (and extremely unpredictable) National Hunt steeplechase returns to Aintree in style today. The race starts at 5.15pm (ITV), so there's plenty of time to place your bets. Make sure you know how to watch a 2021 Grand National live stream for free from anywhere in the world. Grand National start time and even a few tips below.
Think of the Grand National and you think of Red Rum, fallers at Becher's Brook and ruddy-faced bookmakers shouting the odds. Of course, the 2021 Randox Grand National will welcome a limited crowd but it remains the jewel in racing's crown.
Cloth Cap, trained by Jonjo O'Neill and ridden by Tom Scudamore, is currently the 4-1 favourite and looks like it could give owner Trevor Hemmings a record fourth win. Tiger Roll, who won back-to-back Nationals in 2018 and 2019, has been withdrawn due to a row over the handicapping system. The Storyteller has also dropped out of the 40-strong field.
Expect plenty of twists and turns in the run up to the big race but Burrows Saint, Any Second Now, Kimberlite Candy, Discorama and Minella Times are proving popular with punters. Prefer to stick your pin in a rank outsider? At the time of writing Sub Lieutenant was 100-1.
Ready to see the world's finest nags battle it out over 4 miles and 514 yards, 30 fences and two grueling laps of Aintree? The race starts at 5.15pm, BST, today. Here's how to how to get a free Grand National live stream from anywhere in the world.
2021 Grand National free live stream
Good news – the 2021 Grand National is being shown live on free-to-air channel ITV Racing. Those with a TV license can also stream the action completely free on ITV Hub.
ITV's 2021 Grand National coverage kicks off at 2pm BST on Saturday, 10th April. The big race gets underway at 5.15pm. ITV Racing is on Sky Channel 103 and Virgin Media Channel 103. You can see the full racing schedule on the ITV website.
ITV's Ed Chamberlin and Francesca Cumani (above) will be joined by Grand National-winning jockeys Sir Anthony McCoy, Mick Fitzgerald and Ruby Walsh. The Bafta-winning production team will use "innovative visual and audio technology" to talk to horse owners and jockeys remotely.
How to watch the 2021 Grand National abroad using a VPN
Even if you have subscribed to the relevant 2021 Grand National rights holders, you won't be able to use them when outside your own country. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service such as ExpressVPN which offers a 100 per cent risk-free money back guarantee. If you're not happy with the service any time within the first 30-days, then you can cancel with no penalties at all.
Australia: 2021 Grand National live stream
Aussie racing fans will need to subscribe to premium TV provider Foxtel to get their Grand National fix. The race will be shown on Sky Thoroughbred Central (possibly the best name for a TV channel ever).
Sadly, Kayo Sports does not currently carry Sky Thoroughbred Central and there's still no confirmation as to when it might arrive on the popular over-the-top streaming service.
Brits abroad with a TV license can stream the Grand National for free, from anywhere in the world, including Australia, using a VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN as it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Coverage starts at 11pm AEST down under, with the main race due to get underway at 2.15am in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Ireland: 2021 Grand National live stream
Horse racing fans in the Republic of Ireland should canter over to Virgin Media One to watch live coverage of the 2021 Grand National. The channel will also provide a free live stream via the Virgin Media Player.
Coverage starts at 2pm IST, with the big race set for 5.15pm.
2021 Grand National racecard
2.25pm – Betway Mersey Novices' Hurdle
3.00pm – Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Steeple Chase
3.40pm – Ryanair Stayers Hurdle
4.20pm – Betway Handicap Steeple Chase
5.15pm – Randox Grand National (followed by a full replay with analysis).
Grand National 2021 runners and riders
1 Bristol De Mai (Daryl Jacob)
2 Chris's Dream (Darragh O'Keeffe)
3 Yala Enki (Bryony Frost)
4 Ballyoptic (Sam Twiston-Davies)
5 Definitly Red (Henry Brooke)
6 Lake View Lad (Brian Hughes)
7 Burrows Saint (Patrick Mullins)
8 Magic Of Light (Robbie Power)
9 Acapella Bourgeois (Danny Mullins)
10 Talkischeap (Tom Cannon)
11 Tout Est Permis (Sean Flanagan)
12 Anibale Fly (Denis O'Regan)
13 Mister Malarky (Jonjo O'Neill Jr)
14 Kimberlite Candy (Richie McLernon)
15 Any Second Now (Mark Walsh)
16 Balko Des Flos (Aidan Coleman)
17 Alpha Des Obeaux (Jody McGarvey)
18 OK Corral (Derek O'Connor)
19 Takingrisks (Sean Quinlan)
20 Shattered Love (Kevin Sexton)
21 Jett (Sam Waley-Cohen)
22 Lord Du Mesnil (Nick Scholfield)
23 Potters Corner (Jack Tudor)
24 Class Conti (Brian Hayes)
25 Milan Native (Jamie Codd)
26 Discorama (Bryan Cooper)
27 Vieux Lion Rouge (Conor O'Farrell)
28 Cloth Cap (Tom Scudamore)
29 Cabaret Queen (Sean O'Keeffe)
30 Minellacelebration (Ben Poste)
31 Canelo (Tom Bellamy)
32 The Long Mile (Luke Dempsey)
33 Give Me A Copper (Harry Cobden)
34 Farclas (Jack Kennedy)
35 Minella Times (Rachael Blackmore)
36 Sub Lieutenant (Tabitha Worsley)
37 Hogan's Height (Gavin Sheehan)
38 Double Shuffle (Jonathan Burke)
39 Ami Desbois (Kielan Woods)
40 Blaklion (Harry Skelton)
41 Some Neck (Simon Torrens)
42 Secret Reprieve (James Bowen)
43 Kauto Riko (TBC)
44 Fagan (Harry Bannister)
Grand National facts
In February 1839, the appropriately-named Lottery became the first winner of the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, which later become known as the Grand National. Horses had to jump a stone wall and cross a stretch of ploughed land.
It's been over 40 years since Red Rum recorded the first of the three victories in the Grand National that earned him pride of place in the record books. He remains the only horse to have won the Grand National three times.
The 2014 Grand National boasted a seven-figure prize fund for the first time.
The virtual Grand National has been run every year since 2017 and has raised over £3m for the NHS. This year's virtual version of the famous race takes place at 12.45pm BST on Saturday.
Over 600 million people tune in from all over the world to watch the Grand National on TV.
An estimated £300 million will be wagered on this year's Grand National. But before you reach for your wallet, remember that, on average, just 60 per cent of the field complete the course.