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Grand National at Aintree: the five sub plots surrounding it

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Can Clouds strike again?

History suggests there's more chance of finding Shergar alive in a field in Connemara than there is of Many Clouds winning back-to-back Nationals. Red Rum was the last to do it back in 1974, but he was Red Rum, a National legend, who went on to finish second twice before claiming his historic third win in 1977. But that said, Many Clouds looks bullet proof and has peaked at just the right time.

Foto:Jon Super

Out of retirement, into the record books?

Disenchanted with his day job, Leighton Aspell retired in 2007. Two years later he was back riding. On Saturday, he has a shot at rewriting the record books as the first jockey to win the National three years on the trot after Pineau De Re (2014) and Many

Bookies braced

Once a year punters and betting shop regulars have their betting slips poised to plunge on Many Clouds with British bookies fearing 'Black Saturday' a fortnight after the hammering they took at the Cheltenham Festival. Reports suggest bookies lost up to £

Foto:Andrew YatesREUTERS

Master Mullins closing on Nicholls

The last time an overseas trainer won the British jump trainer title Marilyn Monroe was married to Joe DiMaggio, Rock Around The Clock made an appearance at Number 1, Roger Bannister ran his sub four minute mile and Switzerland held the world Cup. The yea

BBC commentator

Anyone tuning in to listen to the great race on BBC Radio 5 will hear the voice of Gary O'Brien, one of the station's four-strong team. If there is added tension and excitement in O'Brien's voice it is due to his shared ownership of one of the 40-runners,