Grand National Getting Into Gear
It may be the biggest betting day of the year with over £200m being laid, but for serious punters the National is only for fun betting. Or is it? Analyse and fancy all you will, the reality is:
1.Any horse carrying more than 11 stone has zero chance of winning this historic race.
2. In the last 50 races, the favourite has only won on 8 occasions
Still, if Red Rum was one of the 40 runners, he’d be favourite and you would have to back him.
Other interesting ways of narrowing down the runners is to look at age. Nine year olds have fared best over the years, with experience more valuable than youth over the 4.5 mile course, and older horses have done well too. In fact, only two 7 year olds have won since the start of the Second World War.
Long-odds winners are not at all unusual, so don’t take the current price as a guide – anything at 25/1 or better has a reasonable chance. As of now, there are 15 runners priced lower than 25/1 for this weekend. Since the race first started, there have been 5 winners at 100/1, with 3 since 1980 – but picking a 100/1 shot is too far out in my opinion – unless of course you are the owner!
‘Synchronised’ is current favourite at 8/1, with McCoy riding to make him only the second horse to win the Gold Cup and National in the same year. There is a massive range of special bets for this race for those who like something odd – for example Ballabriggs Winning Distance. That is way off course for me!
At 7am this morning (Friday), the going was reported as good to soft, good in places for the National course. I checked the Met Office for all that’s good about British weather. Did I laugh? They had the National down for 22 April – so, is it the right weather forecast? It’s no wonder I always get caught short with their forecasts! So far this week, the course has missed the showers, though showers are still forecast for the big day. I’m expecting the going to remain unchanged.
With Ruby Walsh riding On-His-Own (14/1) and sister Katie on Seabass (20/1) there will be a sweet race-within-a-race. There’s a special on Katie to win at 23/1 (Stan James) – at the moment that’s better odds than a Seabass win.
As for the Aintree Festival, Ruby Walsh at 4/6 is favourite for Best Jockey, with McCoy at 7/1. Which would give them most satisfaction – top jock or National winner? Enjoy!