Sunday 3 March 2019

How Is Betting on the Grand National Different to Other Races?

In the coming weeks, you will start to hear more about the Grand National. It starts with a whisper but grows day by day until 5:15 pm 6th April when when it becomes a roar. 

The Grand National isn't like any ordinary race. It has a history, reputation and story that's literally embroidered into the heart of horse racing. Say the name: ''Red Rum'' and someone will tell you a story of a horse that won the Grand National three times in the 1970s, trained by Ginger McCain. Then, you will hear a personal story about betting on Red Rum, perhaps themselves, a Dad, uncle, grandparent, the spouse. Stories passed on from generation to generation. Remember when... 

There can't be many people who don't have something to say with pride. 

The Grand National is one of those races where anything is possible. Or, perhaps, we should say, almost anything is possible. There have been five 100/1 winners in the history including Foiavon 1967, who is one of the most famous winner simply because he is a winner that shouldn't, perhaps, have won. 

As with so many aspects in life, circumstance ruled the day and the most unlikely of horses won. Whether a horse price over 100/1 will ever happen, only time will tell. I guess it is possible. Certainly the favourite don't have the best record. The number of the jolly, old favourite who fall at the first fence is unknown to me but I get a feeling it has been a bad starting point for many. 

Horses priced around the 14/1 mark always reminded me of a fair betting guide. Something with a bit of a price, a fighting chance, and often a horse with experience or strong credentials. It will be interesting to see how this year's race pans out. 

The race doesn't seem to capture the sparkle of yesteryear but it is a lot safer than the old days which just isn't acceptable this day. 

Will I be betting on the race? 


I don't know anything about National Hunt horses and I don't like betting for ''fun''. I find losing money frustrating at the best of times and I would rather spend it wisely on a two-year-old race which I understand and appreciate. 

There will be plenty of punters betting for their lives and even more having a flutter for the first time. It is the type of race where you can get lucky. It's strange how often first-bettors have a bit of luck. As with most bets, I would rather a have my ounce of favour with a big priced selection than a 6/4. Not that we are going to see a horse priced one and a half to one in the Grand National. You have to go back to 1960 for a horse to be priced 13/2 favourite. Merryman II took the honours from trainer Neville Crump. 

From what I can see, the shortest priced horse to ever win the National is Poethlyn who was priced 11/4. It would take something exceptional to have such a short priced horse theses day. So in conclusion, there is every chance a big winner could take the Grand National this year. Whether a huge price or a favourite, have a small bet and just hope it is your lucky day.