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There are few sporting events which cause most of Britain to grind to a halt. The FA Cup final has lost some of its appeal, the popularity of the Wimbledon finals are dependent on the competitors and even the Olympics aren’t universally popular among sport fans. The Grand National is a little different.
The 40-runner handicap steeplechase is not just the biggest, most widely watched race of the National Hunt calendar, it’s among the most popular sporting events of the entire year. Millions of people will tune in to watch the drama unfold over four miles, two and a half furlongs at Aintree Racecourse and many of them will have had a bet.
The Grand National is a notoriously difficult race to predict. The size of the field, the monster trip and the incredibly demanding fences mean that almost anything can happen. The Aintree crowd have seen their fair share of winners at big odds but it’s far from impossible to make some profit from the bookies with your Grand National betting.
To try and help you in your quest for a winning bet, we’ve picked out three tempting options for you below.
Total Recall 10/1 (Betfred)
Anibale Fly 11/1 (Bet365)
Blaklion 12/1 (Paddy Power)
Tiger Roll 12/1 (Totesport)
Baie Des Iles 16/1 (Ladbrokes)
Seeyouatmidnight 16/1 (William Hill)
(Please note all odds shown are correct at time of article publishing)
The length of the Grand National has always demanded huge reserves of stamina from the winning horse. Traditionally, jumping ability was always considered to be of equal importance to stamina given the challenge posed by fences like Becher’s Brook and the Chair. However, the organisers have had to scale back the fences in more recent years due to safety concerns.
The drive to improve horse welfare has had an impact on the profile of a typical Grand National winner. It’s obviously vital to be able to get around the course without falling but as jumping ability becomes less important, the Grand National is increasingly won by the best stayer in the field. When it comes to the 2018 renewal, that best stayer could well be Tiger Roll.
The Gigginstown owned eight-year-old showed just what a warrior he is when winning the Glenfarclas Chase on soft ground at the recent Cheltenham Festival. Despite being small in stature, there is absolutely no quit in Tiger Roll who just continued to look stronger the longer the race went on. That race prompted Michael O’Leary of Gigginstown to claim that no trip is too long for the 12/1 shot with Totesport.
The four-mile National Hunt Challenge Cup is among the races that Tiger Roll has won and he looks set to get an even longer trip at Aintree, even if the rain comes and the going moves away from good-to-soft. Gordon Elliott trained his first Irish Grand National win on Easter Monday and may just follow that up with another huge win on Saturday.
The Last Samuri 18/1 (888Sport)
Minella Rocco 20/1 (William Hill)
Captain Redbeard 28/1 (Bet365)
Shantou Flyer 40/1 (William Hill)
Vintage Clouds 40/1 (Ladbrokes)
Vicente 40/1 (888Sport)
Backing a single horse to win the Grand National is very bold move. Most punters will go to war with the bookies armed with a couple of each-way options for Saturday’s race and you can make a good case for all of those quoted above. The ones that really stand out though are Captain Redbeard (28/1 with Bet365) and Vintage Clouds (40/1 with Ladbrokes).
Captain Redbeard may not jump out as a Grand National horse on first glance but it is all about the going for Stuart Coltherd’s nine-year-old. He is one of those horses who loves nothing more than racing on heavy ground and it’s no surprise that the best performances of his career to date have come at Haydock.
We saw at the recent Cheltenham Festival just how much the conditions underfoot can upset even the classiest horses and punters are flocking towards horses who are proven when there’s an extra cut in the ground as the rain continues to fall on the Grand National Course at Aintree. Captain Redbeard ticks that box and is in good form so looks a good each-way option.
Vintage Clouds is another horse who relishes softer conditions. After winning on good to soft ground at Aintree in October, he’s remained competitive on heavy ground throughout the winter. Sue Smith’s eight-year-old has shown an aptitude for jumping and for kicking on in the closing stages which suggest a place is by no means out of the question.
Tiger Roll to win at 12/1 with Totesport
Captain Redbeard each-way at 28/1 with Bet365
Vintage Clouds each-way at 40/1 with Ladbrokes