Find all the latest Grand National tips, selections and betting tips from our experts at Aintree.
Cloth Cap is the most likely winner but he is also the hot favourite and almost certainly needs to do the job in a slightly different style, with rather less exuberance than he showed at Newbury. He will surely face plenty of competition for the early lead if connections believe that that has been key to his recent success. Among the very strong Irish challenge, Burrows Saint, with potential and his Irish Grand National win, is preferred to the Minella Times and Any Second Now, for both of whom stamina remains something of a guess, and Discorama who was narrowly denied in a 3m7f National Hunt Chase. Kimberlite Candy and Lord Du Mesnil are players if the ground turns out to be soft but this field also includes a seriously overpriced contender in the unflappable veteran TAKINGRISKS, who won a 4m Scottish National two years ago, has no particular ground requirements and produced his best ever form when winning at Doncaster last time out. He gets the vote ahead of Cloth Cap, Burrows Saint and Minella Times.
He won the 2019 Scottish National with Cloth Cap back in third, and there was no fluke about it, as the further he went the better he looked. It can only be age that sees him languishing in the market at 40-1, and he is definitely worth an interest.
The ease in which he won the bet365 Gold Cup in 2019 will stick with me for a long time, and he is only 5lb higher now. He is more or less proven at the trip, jumps excellently and crucially loves better ground, so I don’t think he deserves to be 66-1, with five places at the of writing and the likelihood of an extended place market on the day
Despite finishing last of five in the Bobbyjo, he was beaten only 18 lengths (was only 13 lengths behind Burrows Saint and will be 6lb better off) and actually ran much better than at any time over fences last season. He may only be fourth string at best of JP McManus’s strong team, but I think he’s worth an each-way play.
I’m going to take a chance on the top-class Bristol De Mai relishing the unique demands of this race on a flat, left-handed track he should like.
It is Any Second Now that intrigues me most. Ted Walsh went close with Seabass in 2012 and although Any Second Now boasts a different profile, he has long been targeted at this race, had a good blowout in the Thyestes and could be well treated off a mark of 152.
Henry de Bromhead enjoyed a phenomenal Cheltenham Festival and his success in Britain could certainly continue at Aintree, especially with the unexposed Minella Times. Sadly the 50-1 available at the weights stage is long gone, but he rates a live contender nonetheless. His form this year looks solid and he’s shaped in his last two runs like a horse who is more than capable of landing a big prize, especially over a longer distance than he has been tested over.
It’s his jumping which I particularly like and he looks the type to thrive over the Aintree fences. He’s an improving eight-year-old, has more to offer and is at the right end of the weights.
The one that currently takes my eye among the 33s bar is Yala Enki. The idea he needs it soft is overstated, what he needs is a real test. The National obviously provides that, while it is pretty much certain these days that the word ‘soft’ will appear somewhere in the going description, which would be sufficient for him.
You can also imagine a flat track with plenty of fences suiting Yala Enki, given the usual forceful tactics adopted by his now regular rider Bryony Frost. It is easy to picture him in the front rank, sailing over the spruce. If he stays there until the Melling Road, I cannot see many getting past him.
Any Second Now was being aimed at the race last year before it was called off and he has some really classy back form to his name including when winning the 2019 Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival.
He clearly could not handle the Gowran mud in the Thyestes but he had shaped well over hurdles the time before that and this will have been the plan all season long.
Ted Walsh has a brilliant record in this race having trained Papillon to win and be placed, while also sending out Seabass to finish third under his daughter Katie. Everything points to Any Second Now being a big factor.
The Grand National’s grueling marathon trip of 4m2f can test even the strongest of stayers, so it’s essential to find 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.
In recent years there has been a shift in the typical profile of a Grand National winner. Traditionally, punters would be on the money 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 tend to stamp their class in the race. 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.
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. No seven-year-old has ever won the Grand National, while the stats suggest 9 year-olds have the best chance having won 45 of the last 169 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 flights of 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-trained horses often have a very good record in the major British races, but the British tend to hold their own in their crown jewel, the Grand National. There have been ten winners either side of the Irish sea in the last twenty runnings of the race, which suggests there is no bias, but with 3 of the last 4 runnings going to the Irish, could the tide be turning? Irish-based owners Giggingstown, always have a strong hand in the race, and having won 3 of the last 4 renewals of the race, their horses could be ones to look out for.
The fences in the Grand National are unique, so experience around Aintree is a massive bonus. In the past five years, 11 of the 25 runners to fill the first five places in the Grand National have run at the course previously. 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, whilst Tiger Roll bucked the trend in 2020 with back-to-back wins.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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 first or second, the bet is won. The amount paid on the bet is unequivocal e.g. the payout is the same no matter whether the horse finishes first or second.
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: - 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 - Missing out on Grand National offers with other bookmakers
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.
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.
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 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. 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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If you are at the racecourse, you can bet on the Tote, with the on-course bookmakers (bookies) or in the betting shops. With the tote, you're not betting against a bookie; your stake goes into a pool, and like the lottery, your win depends on how many other winning tickets there are. The on-course bookmakers are all different and it's worth shopping around for the best odds on each race. You can usually find them in front of the grandstand or by the rails. There are also standard betting shops at various locations in the grounds. They'll accept bets on the races and on any other events.
You can bet with a bookmaker on the high street, with on-course bookmakers at the track if you are at the races, or with online bookmakers.
Betting closes for the Grand National when the tapes go up at 5.15pm (17:15 GMT). You can bet a long way in advance or in the minutes just before the race, though the odds for Grand National horses often shorten just before the race begins.
- While it isn’t a classic, it is one of the biggest races in the UK horse racing calendar.
- It is the toughest steeplechase in horse racing.
- Arguably the most prestigious horse racing event.
- It is always an exciting thriller, full of twists and turns.
Betting on the Grand National is a popular activity among horse racing fans and the general public. This generates a lot of attention from the media, and it can be difficult to decide which Grand National horse to bet on.
Racing Post makes it easy to find Grand National favourites and compare the latest odds. We only work with trusted bookmakers so you can be sure that you're placing the right bets and getting the best odds with us.