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Tuesday 13 March 2018

Grand National Riding Tips

The Grand National is the top and most exciting steeplechase events on the calendar and is considered the ultimate test for horses and riders. Held at the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, entrants will race over 4 miles and 514 yards, and jump a total of 30 large fences over two laps. With a prize fund of over £1 million and 40 entries from the finest trainers and owners in the land, the Grand National is always one to watch. This year, the event is on April 14th.

It’s not only the riders that get excited. The Grand National also happens to be one of the top sports betting dates. Those who usually do not bet will try their chances, whether by studying the favourites or by guessing on the names that they like.

There were 105 initial entries revealed in January, and since then, not much has changed in the markets, though odds have risen and fallen slightly based on recent results. Last year’s winner One For Arthur is out with an injury and not on the list, but there are plenty of others to choose.

Remember, at this stage, all betting is ante-post. So, you will not receive a refund if your horse doesn’t run. You are betting on whether a horse will make the final cut, as well as whether they will overcome their handicap to win the event.

A word on handicaps. Each horse is given a weight to carry based on their rating, form and other statistics. This is supposed to level the playing field and give every horse a chance to win, but, some competitors will be more likely to overcome the weight and win than others. Keep in mind that you are betting based on whether a horse can win despite their handicap.
Blaklion is the favourite to win the Grand National this year, with 10/1 odds on BetStars. The Nigel Twinston-Davies entry was one of the favs last year, too, but fell short and eventually faded to a 4th place finish.

The nine-year-old has gone from strength-to-strength since then, including a nine-length win at the Becher Chase at Aintree. Blaklion has proven he has the stamina to pull off a Grand National win this year and the experience, jumping the extraordinarily large fences at Aintree.

Total Recall has cemented his place as the second favourite to win the Grand National, with 14/1 odds as it stands. The horse has made significant improvements since joining Irish trainer Willie Mullins last summer and has since had success in the Munster National, Ladbrokes Trophy and most recently, at the Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Another runner that is potentially good for a bit of an outside bet is Definitly Red, one of the few horses recommended on the Grand National website. He was a big favourite in 2017 but was put out of action following a missed leap on the infamous Becher’s Brook. A Grade 2 win at Aintree in December proved that Definitly Red still has what it takes, and a more recent victory in the Cheltenham Cotswold Chase saw Red’s odds tighten up a bit. It would have been better to get in for a bet when Definitly Red had 20/1, but as it stands now, he is touching on the second favourite with 14/1 odds.

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