It's been an exciting few days, with a certain famous steeplechase race taking place last weekend in the UK, but we suspect most eyes are on the far bigger prize: the 2021 Grand (Inter)National to enjoy foreign holidays. The good news is that the Chief Steward, one Boris Johnson, has declared the going (away) good to firm, so the next question is: where to place your bets?
Our combination of industry intel and access to the latest racing stable gossip means we've got the inside track on which 2021 holiday destinations will be on the green list, that hallowed roll call of countries that won't require quarantine on return to the UK. Even better, thanks to our Flexibility Promise you can place a bet and change your mind nearer the time. Try pulling a stunt like that at your local bookies.
So, without further ado, it's time to introduce the runners and riders for the big one, the 2021 Grand (Inter)National, under starters orders from the 17th of May.
Odds (of being on Green List): 2-1 on (Favourite)
Trainer George Kefallinos says: 'President Biden announced this week that every adult in the States will be eligible for their first jab by April the 19th. That makes this continent-wide country the hot favourite to feature on the Green List, with California, the national parks, New England, Hawaii et al all perfect in our summer.'
The Israel Deal
Odds (of being on the Green List): Evens (Second Favourite)
Trainer Lucy Bailey says: 'Their vaccination programme has been the envy of the world, but we would have been banging the drum for this extraordinary destination anyway. The combination of buzzing Tel Aviv and fascinating Jerusalem, plus - if time - the Dead Sea and the Negev Desert is incredible. Best left until Autumn, though, as summer can be seriously hot.'
Odds (of being on Green list): 3-1
Trainer Harriet Harford says: 'Over half of the population will have been vaccinated by May 17th so we think this island idyll will be open for business this summer. Wander the shady streets of the Baroque gem Valetta, or enjoy the Med's best diving on neighbouring Gozo.'
She Sells Seychelles
Odds (of being on Green List): 2-1
Trainer Matt Shock says: 'The Seychelles might currently be on the red list because of its association with South Africa, but with two-thirds of the population already having had their first vaccine dose we're confident these dreamy islands will be back in action very soon.'
Odds (of being on the Green List): 4-1
Trainer Oliver Rodwell says: 'Several Caribbean countries have kept covid infections low and have impressive vaccination programmes. We predict Barbados, Grenada, Antigua, Anguilla and the Bahamas (although not technically in the Caribbean) will be on the Green List, and don't forget that the school summer holidays can be glorious in the West Indies.'
That’s My Portugal
Odds (of being on the Green List): 5-1
Trainer Kate Little says: 'Portugal's current vaccination and infection trajectory gives us cause for optimism, and while the likes of France, Spain and Italy will almost certainly be back in play from July onwards, we think Portugal is likely to be a goer right from May 17th, ideal for summer half term, holidays and surf trips.'
She’s Gone to Iceland
Odds (of being on the Green List): 5-1
Trainer Arran O'Kane says: 'Iceland has a low infection rate and a tiny population (350,000!), a quarter of whom have already been vaccinated, so they are well placed to make the Green List. It's also a perfect summer destination for anyone into adventure, road trips or getting truly away for it all.'
Sri Lanka the Banker
Odds (of being on the Green List): 6-1
Trainer Frances Mavor says: 'Sri Lanka is one of our all-time favourite destinations, and it's currently open to UK passport holders, has tight restrictions on internal travel and low infection rates, so it's all looking promising. And because of the complex double monsoon, it's also somewhere that works just as well in our summer as at other times of year, especially for the glorious east coast beaches.'