Jake Wood Eastenders Grand National
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Former Eastender Jake Wood talks horse racing and Grand National tip

| 08.04.2021

I’ve always been a fan of horse racing and it stems from my family, who have always had bets on the big races throughout the year. Cheltenham and the Grand National being the main two.

Growing up we were always putting bets on those big meetings and over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to go to the races quite a lot. I have friends who take us to Ascot every year, and I love the Boxing Day meeting at Kempton.

I grew up in Islington so it wasn’t like I was surrounded by racecourses locally. I probably went to Ascot once or twice when I was growing up. That was a real treat for us as kids.

I can remember my family betting on Red Rum back in the day, that’s definitely my earliest memory of horse racing, my Grandad always backed him.

I’ve won a few Grand Nationals over the years, I just can’t remember with which horses! I’m not an expert by any stretch but it’s a great occasion to get involved in.

You feel on top of the world when you win the Grand National; it doesn’t matter how much you win.

This year I’m backing Canelo to win the Grand National because of the boxing connection.

That’s how I pick my horse for the National; I never want to pick anything too short and it’s rare the short-priced favourites actually go on and win. If my horse comes in I want a bit of a pay day, so anything around 33/1 or 40/1 and I’m interested.

I’ll generally pick something from the middle of the field, sometimes I’ll look at the jockey and the trainer but more often than not there’s a name which stands out to you for some reason, and this year it’s Canelo, because of my love of boxing.

We’re out in Hertfordshire and there’s so much space out here, which means we’re able to have a horse which has been keeping us busy through lockdown. We’ve always had horses on and off but we’ve had this one for about six months.

To be honest, it’s what’s kept us going, it’s my daughter’s, so we’ve been able to get out and about a lot more. I can’t imagine what the last 12 months have been like for people stuck in flats but we’re fortunate to be able to get out and about into the countryside.

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