The Grand National Shortlist
Well what a fantastic day for the Grand National at Aintree – the world’s greatest horse race. This year’s race is one of the most open for a long time and the likleyhood is that even the favourite is going to be going off at double figure odds. A serious case could be made for over half the runners in the race.
As someone who makes their living from betting on horses, I have to be honest and say that it is not a race I ever get involved with, other than for a fun bet with my family. There is simply too much “luck” involved in this race to make it a serious betting proposition.
However there is such a wealth of information and historical data about the race, that you can make informed decisions on the majority of the runners and reduce the field down to the serious contenders. Hopefully you have all had the chance to watch my You Tube video The Secrets To Picking The Winner Of The Grand National
My Grand National Top 6
After going through the Grand National card, my Top 6 shortlist comes out as follows:
The Midnight Club – Weight 10st 13lb – 6 of the last 12 Grand National winners have been Irish, has been well backed after his performance in the Jewson Novice Handicap Chase at Cheltenham where he stayed on nicely suggesting further is what he needs. Willie Mullins main chance alongside Arbor Supreme.Ruby Walsh has always wanted to get this horse to Aintree, has a solid chance. Odds 11/1.
Big Fella Thanks – Weight 11st 1lb – came 6th in 2009 and 4th in 2010, loves the course and solid jumper. Transferred from Paul Nicholls to Ferdy Murphy recently. Main doubt is his stamina after last year carrying 10st 12lb he was alongside Don’t Push It at the Melling Road but came in 28 lengths back. Odds 20/1
Ballabriggs – Weight 11st – Super consistent and improving with every run, winning 5 of his last 6 races. He won at Cheltenham last year over 3m 2f so should not have any stamina worries, although he did seem to be fading in the run in on that victory, so may be vulnerable to a strong finisher on the run in. The Mccain family know how to win this race and are looking for a fifth winner. Odds 14/1
Silver By Nature – Weight 10st 12lb – Won the Grand National trial at Haydock on heavy ground over 3m 4f by some 15 lengths, has absolutely bags of stamina and is a great jumper. Only 2 greys have ever won the national – the last grey to win the national was Nicolaus Silver in 1961. Odds 18/1
Backstage – Weight 10st 12lb – French horse who has done well in irish point to points, with a prolific win record and proven stamina, was moving well in last years Grand National when unlucky to unseat his rider at the 20th fence when hampered by another horse. Unproven stamina but was moving well last year at the 3m point so a definate contender with a clear round of jumping. Odds 16/1.
Oscar Time – Weight 10st 9lb – has been trained towards this race, proven stamina from this Irish horse the main concern would be his lack of Chase experience over the past couple of years, although he came in 3rd behind The Midnight Club and Arbor Supreme at Fairyhouse last month. Ridden by amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen who rode Long Run perfectly to win the Gold Cup last month at Cheltenham. Carrying the least weight of my shortlist. Odds 14/1
Other Grand National Contenders
If you fancy some at bigger odds for a place then these are my selections:
Vic Venturi – was unlucky last year to unseat his rider at the 20th fence when going well and really appeared to be enjoying the experience. He won here at Aintree in November 2009 off a weight of 11st 12lb over 3m 2f on soft ground. The ground today and his weight of 11st 6lb would be the main concerns but at 66/1 he is worth a small each way bet.
State Of Play – a race specialist who was 4th in 2009 and 3rd last year on 10st 11lb behind Don’t Push It and has remained unraced since, waiting for his return today carrying only 10st 6lb. Another who is a strong place candidate at 33/1.
Bluesea Cracker – Could she be the first female horse since Nickel Coin in 1951 to win ? Won the Irish Grand National last April over 3m 5f on heavy ground, so stamina will not be a worry even though the going might not be to her liking. Racing off only 10st 4lb today is a big plus. Available at 25/1.
Of the others:
Don’t Push It – will be the punters friend in the betting and the emotional bet from people who would love to see Tony Mccoy win and the horse to become the only horse since Red Rum in 1977 to win the national twice – realistically he is carrying too much weight at 11 stone 10 lbs, although he was the first horse to win for 27 years carrying over 11st 1lb – most winners carry under 11st. Could upset the statistics again and be a grand national story – Odds 10/1
What a friend – Not a horse who the stable had in mind for the grand national at the start of the year, came 4th in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month over 3m 2f which was the furthest he has gone, another who has the weights against him carrying 11st 6llb, so the statistics are against him – owned by Sir Alex Ferguson – so won’t be popular in Liverpool. Odds 14/1
Quinz – has been consistent of late – winning at Kempton and Ascot and taking 3rd at Cheltenham. However he completely bombed at Aintree last year in the handicap hurdle finishing 16th and he is a youngster at 7 yrs old. The last 20 winner have all been aged between 8 – 12 yrs old. Odds 18/1.
Arbor Supreme – Another Willie Mullins runner but has struggled to win for the past couple of years and unseated his rider at the 15th fence in last year’s grand national, finished behind stablemate The Midnight Club at Fairyhouse back in February and he beat last year’s runner up Black Apalachi at Punchestown in April 2008 over 3m 6f, so if his jumping holds out he could be a contender with his stamina. Odds 20/1.
Getting your Grand National Bet On
There are so many great offers opn Grand National day from the bookies out there – make sure you get the following:
Free Bets – nearly all the bookies are offering to give free bets so shop around.
Best Odds Guarantee – the odds will fluctuate through the day on your bet so make sure you take advantage of The Best Odds Guarantee on your bets.
Places – Most bookmakers are offering to payout on places 1,2,3,4 but Paddypower is paying out on the first 5 places – definately worth consdidering although you may pay for it with slightly lower odds – so weigh it up.
What am I going for ?
Well I am going to be placing 3 bets today.
The Midnight Club – e/w – 11/1 from Bet365
Silver By Nature – e/w @ 14/1 from Paddypower
Ballabriggs e/w – 16/1 from Bet365
Whatever way you go today – good luck to all of you and above all enjoy the spectacle that is The Grand National.