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Handicapper advises punters on their ante-post Grand National bets

| 23.03.2011

74 horses are left in the Grand National field following Tuesday’s declaration field and as the big race draws ever nearer, betting on the National is intensifying.

Currently Character Building is the 40th horse on the Grand National race card but handicapper Phil Smith believes Arbor Supreme – five spots lower than Character Building – will be the cut-off point for the forty runners.

That leaves the chances of horses like 14/1 shot Junior – the Cheltenham Festival winner – Skippers Brig (33/1) and Merigo (33/1) running in the Grand National looking slim and punters should avoid these three horses who are unlikely to run.

Punters should be concentrating on the horses who are weighted 10st 3lb or heavier and one horse who looks great in the weights is State Of Play who is 5lb lower than when he finished third here last year and looks a great bet at 25/1.

Two Grand National runs and two placings means the horse takes to the difficult Aintree fences, and many believe that Evan Williams’ decision to not run this horse this year and target him at the National is a masterstroke.

Another chance in the race at a big price is Ballytrim who, weighted 2lb lower, finished three lengths behind 10/1 Grand National favourite The Midnight Club two starts ago at Gowran Park.

The Willie Mullins-trained ten-year-old has 5lb in hand on Midnight Chase in the National and while his form has been erratic, there are wins in there which suggest he will take to the Aintree fences and love the good ground and at 25/1 to win offers plenty of each-way value.

It will be the biggest betting event of the year and ante-post Grand National betting offers punters a chance to get a big price before the horse gets heavily supported on the day.

A £20 stake on State Of Play winning the National would return £520. New customers can sign up here to get up to £60 in free bets.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.