How to Choose the Right Horse to Bet On in The Grand National

The Grand National is a sporting occasion like no other and the drama of the world’s biggest and most popular horse race makes for a truly exciting spectacle. With such huge expectations on the race, how do you go about choosing a horse in the Grand National? Here are a few things to consider before picking a winner.


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    Appreciate the difficulty of the course. There are many reasons why the Grand National is a race like no other, but a brief glimpse at the Aintree course gives you a good idea why it is considered the ultimate test of jockey and horse alike. Not only is the race a gruelling four miles and four furlongs, equivalent to two circuits of the Aintree track, but runners and riders must successfully negotiate thirty difficult fences. These are not just any obstacles, but in fact fences which have become a by-word for difficulty. Beecher’s Brook for example is a 5 feet (1.5 m) high fence with an even steeper drop on its landing side. Meanwhile, The Chair is even higher and is preceded by a 6 feet (1.8 m) wide ditch too. The Canal Turn may sound harmless enough, but it has confused many a horse down the years. It is no wonder that the winner of the Grand National is regarded as a true champion.
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    Understand the grand history. Picking a winning horse means selecting a future legend. The Grand National is a race which has seen famous names etching themselves into racing history. Although the race’s first winner, The Duke has largely faded into obscurity, past winners include the 1967 victor Foinavon, who triumphed as a 100-1 outsider after an unlikely victory which saw the favourites fall in a dramatic fence pile up. That same fence is affectionately known today simply as ‘Foinavon.’ Red Rum became the darling of Aintree in the 1970s with three wins and two second placed finishes. However, perhaps the most famous winner of all is jockey Bob Champion, who rode Aldaniti to victory in 1981, having been diagnosed with a serious cancer just two years earlier.
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    Follow in the footsteps of recent years. If this year’s race is half as good as some in recent years, then the Grand National will be a real treat. In probably the closest finish of all time, Daryl Jacob rode Neptune Collonges home, finishing ahead of Sunnyhillboy by the slimmest of margins decided by a photo finish in 2012. That year, too, Neptune Collonges became only the third grey horse in history to win the Grand National. Meanwhile, Katie Walsh scored the best ever finish for a female jockey, riding Seabass to third place.
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    Spot the runners and riders to look out for. The Grand National is one of the most difficult races to predict. The field is notoriously wide open and the fact that most of the starters fail to finish the race gives you a good indication as to why. Nonetheless, there are some horses that will definitely be fancied this year. Much of the talk will be about Teaforthree, who is among the favourites. With a third place finish in 2013, Teaforthree’s chances may have been propelled by the retirement Auroras Encore who won in 2013. another attractive horse may be the 2012 Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude. He is owned partially by the English rugby star Mike Tindall, adding a sportsy spin to it all. Tidal Bay is another name to take a look at. Whoever you decide to back, sit back and enjoy the action unfold.
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    Make a bet online. Even non-racing fans love to have a flutter on the Grand National. Thanks to online betting sites such as William Hill, it has never been easier. In addition to simply picking a winner, online sites also provide a range of betting options, such as how many horses will finish the race. Having a punt is just a click away.


  • Choosing a horse to cheer for (and bet on) is fun, whether you go with a well-thought-out plan or just select a horse with a name you like.
  • Get into the Grand spirit; have a party with friends and watch the races live on television, with refreshments that match the April festivities.

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Categories: Horse Showing and Competition