The Grand National’s grueling marathon trip of 4m2f can test even the strongest of stayers, so it’s essential to find and tip on a horse that will get every yard of the trip. Only two of the previous ten winners had not run beyond 3m3f previously, so the obvious place to start would be contenders who have experience over extreme distances. It’s also worth paying close attention to form in other regional Grand Nationals, such as the Midlands, Welsh and Scottish. Horses who have gone well in these races tend to put up a bold show in the Aintree Grand National, using their regional equivalent as a trial or preparation race, and many high-profile tipsters take performance at these races into account.
Classier type the new trend
Since a change in how the handicap weights are calculated in 2009, there has been a shift in the typical profile of a Grand National winner. Traditionally, punters would be looking for a ‘well-handicapped' horse who had snuck in at the bottom of the weights. However, in recent years the higher-rated horses have come to the fore and have tended to stamp their class. Whilst carrying a lot of weight is certainly far from ideal over this marathon trip, the likes of Many Clouds, Neptune Collonges, and Tiger Roll have all proven it’s possible to win this race with more than 11st on their back. However, victories in the last two years for Minella Times and Noble Yeats have shown it can still pay to consider those at the lower end of the ratings.
Age and experience
Grand National tipsters factor in both age and experience into their selections, as it’s no secret that horses get slower as they get older, and naturally, a staying trip tends to suit horses better as they mature. Last year, Noble Yeats became the first seven-year-old to win the Grand National since the second world war, while the stats suggest nine-year-olds have the best chance having won 44 of the last 170 runnings of the race. Experience is key in the hustle and bustle of the Grand National and a fluent round of jumping is crucial in a horse’s chances of winning. With 30 fences to be navigated, and a 40-runner field to compete with, the ideal candidate would be a seasoned chaser who won’t be affected by the atmosphere of the occasion.
Irish beginning to dominate
There has been a major swing in the powerbase of jumps racing in the last decade towards Ireland, and that shift is being felt in the Grand National. In the last 20 runnings, there have been 11 British-trained winners and nine Irish, however five of those nine have come in the last six years. In 2021, ten of the first 11 home were trained in Ireland and they secured another 1-2-3 in 2022.
Irish-based owners Gigginstown - victorious with Tiger Roll in 2018 and 2019 - always have a strong hand in the race and their horses could be ones to look out for, as well as those in the green and gold hoops of fellow top owner JP McManus.
Course form a bonus
The fences in the Grand National are unique, so experience around Aintree is a massive bonus. In the past seven years, 12 of the 35 runners to fill the first five places in the Grand National have run at the course previously. Seasoned tipsters pay extra attention to the other major Aintree races, the Topham Chase and Becher Chase rather than the previous runnings of the Grand National itself. Horses who return to the Grand National for a second or third time don’t have the best record in the race, while Tiger Roll bucked the trend in 2020 with back-to-back wins.
Grand National preparation
The Grand National is a handicap, which means each runner is awarded an official rating by the BHA handicapper, based on previous form and reflects that horse’s ability. The higher the rating, the more weight that horse must carry in order to create a level playing field, and tipsters pay close attention to this. Winning a race over fences would penalise a horse and consequently increase its official mark. Therefore, some trainers try to protect a horse's rating by campaigning them to peak at a particular time of year so don’t be put off by a series of high numbers in a horse’s form.
Grand National Bet Types
A breakdown of the different bet types you can place on the Grand National, as well as tips for each.
Win Betting Tips for the Grand National
A win bet is a type of horse racing bet where the person selects a single horse in the race to finish in first place. You only win the bet if your horse finishes first which can be quite risky unless you really know your horses and have studied their form. However, this can be quite a fun bet to place as the stakes are higher.
For example, a successful £2 win bet at odds of 4/1 will see you receive a payout of £8, plus you get your initial £2 stake back too. Professional tipsters typically present win bets. Here are some tips for win bets at the Grand National:
Look at horses which have winning form over the Grand National fences
Look at horses with good recent form in general
Look for horses from a trainer who has a good record in the race
Look for horses with a good record at Aintree
Look for horses that are well weighted
Look for horses with a good record at the right distance
Look for horses that have been running in good company
Look for horses that have been running on good ground
Each-way betting Tips for the Grand National
An each-way bet is a two-part bet, with half the stake going on the selection to win and the other half on the selection to place. It costs double that of a traditional win bet and will yield some sort of return if the selection wins or is placed. For example, you place £5 each-way (£10 in total) on a horse priced at 8-1 with a bookmaker offering 1/4 odds for three places. If the horse places you will receive £15, but if the horse wins you will collect £60 (£45 for the win and £15 for the place), both returns including the original stake.
The good news is that most of the Grand National tips which apply to win strategies, also apply to each way bets. One additional tip to consider with each-way betting is to shop around and compare bookmaker odds on both the win and place portions of your bet. Some bookmakers also offer more places than others, so you can more effectively hedge your risk.
Place only Betting Tips for the Grand National
A place bet is a type of horse racing betting that requires the punter to select a single horse in the race to finish in either first or second place. As long as the horse finishes in the top 2, 3, 4, or more spots, the bet is won. The number of places can vary, but typically, the top 5 to 6 places are offered for the Grand National depending on the bookmaker. As long as the horse places (not necessarily wins), the bet is won.
The amount paid on the bet is unequivocal e.g. the payout is the same no matter where the rider finishes, as long as it places.
Since place betting is a lower-risk betting strategy, the payouts are typically also lower. However, you can keep in mind the same Grand National betting tips for place betting as you would when assessing suitable candidates to bet on for win and each-way bets:
Do your research: take your time to research the form of the horse and the track conditions before placing an each way bet
Choose the right horse: Look for horses with a good record of finishing in the top three places in their last few races
Consider the field: Look at the size of the field and the quality of the other runners in the race
Look for Value: Look for horses with long odds and a good chance of success
Ante-post Betting Tips for the Grand National
Ante post bets are those placed well in advance of a race or event. As soon as the Grand National has finished each year it’s no surprise the bookmakers are quick to price up the odds on next year’s race.
Even if punters have to wait another year. Betting on any event way in advance has some risks attached to it. But it’s not all lost, there are also some advantages too!
Below are some of the caveats to watch out for when ante-post betting on the Grand National:
Your horse might not race at The Grand National
Only 40 horses are allowed to race
You might get worse odds - Racing conditions can change
You will potentially miss out on Grand National offers with other bookmakers
With that being said however, ante post betting can be a great strategy as you can often get very favourable odds early on!
With that being said however, ante post betting can be a great strategy as you can often get very favourable odds early on!
Grand National Ante-Post Tip #1: Consider the runner’s form - if the horse has had good form recently, especially at similar distances, or a good record at Aintree and the Grand National fences, then this is a good sign
Grand National Ante-Post Tip #2: Carefully factor in weight - the Grand National is a handicap race, which means that the higher rated horses are required to carry extra weight to level the playing field. This can technically put top-rated horses at a greater disadvantage than they would otherwise be in at a non-handicap race.
Grand National Ante-Post Tip #3: Look at the horse’s stamina - At 4 miles and 2 furlongs, the Grand National is a long racecourse, so proven stamina is essential. It’s therefore important to look at a horse’s recent form in races over similar distances.
Forecast Betting Tips for the Grand National
In horse racing, a forecast is where punters pick, in the correct finishing order, the top two finishers in a race. Due to the amount of runners in a race such as the Grand National, forecasts, which are paid according to the official industry forecast return, can be extremely high and their reward is paid out to the £1.
In the UK, the return is calculated using an equation that takes into account the odds of the horses involved and the number of runners in the race, which in this case is around 40. A reverse-forecast bet requires double the stake and the selections can finish first and second in any order.
Forecast and tricast betting are relatively similar in structure, so we’ll briefly touch on Grand National betting tips for both in the next section.
Tricast Betting Tips for the Grand National
A tricast is a type of horse racing bet in which a punter must predict the winner, runner-up and third placed horse in any particular race at the Grand National. Whilst they are not easy to predict, they can return at massive odds if you get it right. There are several different types of tricast open to a punter. The straight tricast involves predicting the first, second and third home. Predicting the first and second home and the other selection finishing fourth will land nothing. Predicting the first, second and third home in the wrong order will also have no returns.
Conversely, a combination tricast allows a punter to predict the first three places in any order, as long as all three selected horses finish in the first, second and third places. As you can imagine the drawback to this bet is that it costs six times the stake and it’s effectively the same as putting six straight tri-casts on without the cumbersome procedure of creating six separate betting slips.
Many of the tips which apply to win and each-way bets, also apply to forecast and tricast betting. Forecast and tricast betting is a little different.
One key tip is to consider horses that have previously won or finished in the top two or three in other big races, especially those at Aintree.
Tote Betting Tips for the Grand National
A type of bet frequently placed at a racecourse. You can back horses to win or place, and a dividend is paid out afterwards to winning bets as the bets all go into a pool.
If the winner of a race doesn’t have many tickets attached to it then the return here will be higher. Again, it’s a bit like if the lottery pool was won by 10 people or just 1.
Dutching Betting Tips at the Grand National
Dutching involves backing several selections in the same event. The idea is to split your bets in such a way that an equal profit is made regardless of the outcome.
However, it is a risky strategy because if none of your horses win, you lose everything. Broadly speaking, Dutching is a viable betting strategy on the betting exchanges if you know how to do this properly.
One Grand National tip for dutch betting is that, if you do decide to dutch on horse racing, it is best to stick to non-handicap races because favourites win a high percentage of the time. With no handicapper to make the race competitive, the best horses normally win.
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