The Grand National is the most watched horse race of the year. In fact, it is one of the most-watched sporting events on the planet. Around 600 million people around the world watched the 2017 renewal.Even those who do not gamble for the rest of the year are likely to have a flutter on the National.
Thousands of speculative punters make their selections based on the name of the horse, the colours of the jockey’s silks, their favourite number and other factors.
Check out the people form
Checking on the form of the horses is the first thing most experienced bettors will do, but on Grand National day, check on the form of the people involved too. Look for repeat winners among the jockeys and especially the trainers.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, for example, has had two winners in the Grand National in the past 20 years and over a thousand winners of National Hunt races since 1982. Jockey Leighton Aspell has ridden the winning horse in two of the previous four years.
Look for hidden trends
Statistics can help work out how likely it is that certain horses will win or place in the upcoming Grand National. Identifying trends and using these to make your selections might just give you that edge. Here are a few of the statistics to date:
- 21 of the last 27 Grand National winners carried 10-12kg or less!
- 9 of the last 10 winners had won or placed in at least one race already that season
- 9 and 10-year old horses win more Grand Nationals than any other age group
- Since 1952, 68% of the winners were priced at 20/1 or less
- However, over the same time period only 11% of winners were priced as the favourite
- 26 of the last 27 Grand National winners have officially rated at 137 or higher
- The last 10 winners had previously won a race over 3 miles
It used to be thought that weight was a crucial factor, with very few winning horses weighted at 11.0 or more, but in recent years this trend has turned. 6 of the last 11 winners have been weighted at 11.0 or more, with the change being attributed to the race attracting a better standard of horse.
Applying these statistics to a bet won’t give you any guarantees, but it will give you a good chance of ensuring your bet is sound and your horse has a good chance. Get to grips with these numbers, and you can enjoy picking the horse that you think will emerge victorious.
2018 Grand National favourites
So, after all that, who’s going to win this year’s Grand National?
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Blaklion is the current favourite once again having started the 2017 race at the head of the betting.The nine-year-old star lead last year’s race with two fences to jump but faded and finished fourth. Can he justify favouritism this time around?
Native River, Cause of Causes, Total Recall, and The Last Samuri are also well-fancied among a field of over 30 Grand National Runners.
Cause of Causes was second in last year’s renewal, finishing a reasonably close second to One For Arthur.Gordon Elliott’s 10-year-old certainly has the pedigree and could come into contention once again.
Of the horses lower down the betting, Whisper looks an interesting prospect. Nicky Henderson’s 10-year-old ticks a lot of the trend boxes and has had a good season to date.
Don’t miss out on what should be one of the most exciting sporting spectacles in the world this April.
And don’t forget, you can get all your Grand National odds at Ladbrokes – saddle up!