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Grand National 2016. 4

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The Grand National is the most famous horse race in the world and the biggest in the year for betting turnover in the UK. The race attracts by far the biggest TV audience for horse racing and generates huge interest in the Press and media. The National is known as the People’s Race as it attracts once a year punters to betting offices. Sweeps in offices are like a draw whereby for a small entry fee horses are allocated and prizes are given based on where horses finish in the race.

Between April and June of 2015 the Grand National was the top UK race by betting turnover. This period covered Royal Ascot which is the most prestigious Flat meeting in the world. Five of the ten most popular betting races were run at this meeting but the National was by far the most popular for betting. The race also generated more bets than the seven races at the Cheltenham Festival that made the top 10 over the first half of the year. In 2015 £150 million was staked on horses in the race which is a record.

Racing in the UK is shown on two subscription channels and Channel 4 which is free to view. The Grand National is one of the crown jewels of British sport and as such must be shown on a channel that is not subscription based. Viewing figures for major races have dipped significantly since Channel 4 tool over broadcasting the prestigious occasions formerly covered by the BBC. The Grand National is the only race that has maintained its share of the audience since moving to Channel 4.

The 2016 Grand National broke all records for betting turnover and viewing figures for a programme on Channel 4. Bad publicity with regards animal welfare blighted the race in the past but the race has recovered and regained its credibility. The most watched and bet on horse race will again attract record betting and viewing participation this April despite moving channels from the national broadcaster. National newspapers will include Grand National betting tips and a betting guide.

Please note: All 2017 Grand National and betting odds are correct as a May 9th 2016 and are subject to fluctuation. All statistics are based on Grand Nationals from 2007 to 2016.

Grand National Betting Odds

The ante post market for the Grand National first appears immediately after the previous running. Bookmakers update their odds after each key trial and the publication of the weights. The Grand National is a handicap which means each horse is allocated a weight based on previous form. In theory the handicap gives each horse an equal chance but horses do not always run consistently to their mark. With competitive odds the race attracts a great deal of online Grand National betting and Grand National tips.

Grand National Odds: Saturday 8th April 2017

The Last Samuri20/1
The Young Master20/1
Don Poli25/1
Many Clouds33/1
Valseur Lido33/1
Carlingford Lough33/1
Native River40/1

Odds supplied bet365.

The Grand National is one of the most popular races in the world for ante post betting. However, right up to the week of the race ante post betting rules apply which means bets on any horse withdrawn are losers and customers will not receive a refund. The positive is that ante post odds are generally better than day of the race odds. Twelve months in the training of race horses is a long time and so many things can go wrong.

Most bookmakers offer a quarter the odds for the first four places which is not the best value. Over 100 horses were entered in 2016 and several weeks ahead of the race running plans had not been concerned. Bookmakers could offer each way odds the first six and still do well from ante post betting on the race. In February it should be about 3/1 a horse running and not that to make the four payout places. Some bookmakers are paying out on the first five in their ante post market in online Grand National betting.

The upside of the dangers of ante post netting is the favourite can be backed at 20/1.On the day of the race the favourite is usually single figure odds so customers can take the bigger price but risk not getting a run. Nearer the day some bookies will offer non runner/no bet but the odds will be adjusted downwards to compensate for this concession. Betting margins are significantly higher than for a regular race. The result of the race can influence Scottish Grand National betting.


The Grand National 2017 is the culmination of the three day Grand National meeting at Aintree from April 6th to 8th. The meeting will never match the Cheltenham Festival for prestige and importance but it is still the second most lucrative of the season. There are 14 Grade 1 races over four days at Cheltenham and 10 at Aintree during the three day meeting. Aintree also stages the biggest race of them all.
This year there are only three weeks between both meetings which will make it difficult for a horse to run at both. There is a theory that Cheltenham form should not be trusted at Aintree and some
horses are kept back for the later meeting. Only one horse has won the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National in the same season and that was Golden Miller in 1934.

The three days of the Grand National meeting have a unique flavour but the one common theme is top class racing and excellent facilities. The first day is the best day for local race fans because the racing is excellent and the crowds are not excessive. The Friday of the meeting is called Ladies Day and traditionally attracts a young crowd who are more interested in the party than the racing. Grand National Day is one of the best single days of sport in the UK. Huge crowds are attracted to Aintree to watch the most famous horse race in the world.


Grand National 2016. 3The Grand National is run over four miles, three and a half furlongs and 30 fences are jumped over 2 circuits. The race is the longest in the UK calander and takes about nine minutes to be run. It is rare for a British race in that several fences have names such as Becher’s Brook, the Canal Turn, Valentine’s and the Chair. The Water Jump is in front of the stands and is only jumped on the first circuit. The run-in is the longest in Britain and features the elbow where horse turn into the straight after jumping the last fence. The race is often decided on the Flat over the final furlong. In 1956 Devon Loch, owned by the Queen Mother, slipped up after looking a certain winner. In 1973 Red Run overhauled Crisp 50 yards from the finish after that horse led from the start and for almost the whole four miles plus of the race. The maximum field is 40 runners.

The first National took place in 1839 and has been run in every year since other than for five years during the Second World War. The 1993 race was declared void due to problems at the start and the 1997 National took place on a Monday as there was a bomb scare at Aintree the previous Saturday. Aintree is the home of the Grand National, a village about five miles from the city of Liverpool.

Here are some trends and results for the last twenty years:

  • Average price of winners over last 20 years: 25/1
  • Winning favourites or joint favourites since 1996: 5
  • Range of starting prices of winners: 7/1 to 100/1
  • Best trainer record: Nigel Twiston-Davies is the only trainer to have more than one winner in the last 20 winners and he trained Earth
  • Summit in 1998 and Bindaree in 2002.
  • Best jockey record: Leighton Aspell and Ruby Walsh have 2 wins each as listed in the jockey records below.
  • Betting tips: The Last Samuri at 25/1 with William Hill.

The 2016 Grand National


 1stRule The World33/1DJ MullinMF Morris
2ndThe Last Samuri8/1D BassKC Bailey
3rdVics Canvas100/1RT DunneDA McLoughlin
4thGilgamboa28/1RM PowerE Bolger
5thGooneyella12/1JJ BurkeJTR Dreaper


Rule The World was a novice before winning the most famous steeplechase in the world at Aintree in April. The trainer and owner were completing a double because before winning the Grand National Mouse Morris won the Irish equivalent with Rogue Angel. Both horses are owned by Gigginstown House stud, the enterprise set up by the founder of the budget airline, Ryanair. The same group also own Don Cossack who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup but has suffered an injury that could be career threatening. The owners have several other chasers to fill the void.

Although Rule The World won the National as a nine-year-old which is relatively young for a chaser owner Michael O’Leary, who runs Ryanair, hinted that the horse may be retired. The career has been beset by injury problems and winning the National is the pinnacle for a handicap chaser so there is not much less to achieve. Rule The World stayed on best on the run-in at Aintree and ran away from the Last Samuri, who was second, to win the famous race by five lengths. There were no injuries to horse and rider and the race produced a fitting and worthy winner.

Grand National 2016. 2

Leading Contenders

With reference to ante post betting on May 9th 2016 here is a betting guide to the leading contenders:

The Last Samuri

looked like winning the 2016 Grand National but was outstayed by Ruler Of The World after the last fence. The horse had jumped impeccably and there was no doubt the distance was not a problem but the winner just had more to give after the final fence. The Last Samuri will be campaigned with the intention of going one better and winning the National in 2017.
Best price: 25/1 with 888sport

Don Poli

did not run in the 2016 National and was targeted at the Cheltenham Gold Cup instead. The horse did not have the pace to be competitive but stayed on for third place after other horses tired. That form was confirmed in the race Cue Card won at Aintree and Don Poli is just below the top level over fences. That impression opens up the possibility of carrying a big weight and contending in the Gran National.
Best price: 25/1 with William Hill

Many Clouds

won the 2015 Grand National and was fancied to win two in a row and for much of the 2016 race the double looked on. However, the horse tired over the last mile and better weighted horses pulled clear. However, Many Clouds has now completed two grand Nationals so is clearly suited to the course. A drop in the weights could see Many Clouds get in the mix to win two Nationals in three years.
Best price: 33/1 with bet365

Carlingford Lough

won the Irish Gold Cup at Punchestown in April and that was high class form. The horses behind did not run to their best but Carlingford Lough was still an impressive winner. The horse was fourth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, beaten over 21 lengths by Don Cossack but got much closer to Don Poli. Weight could be an issue in the National but this is a Grade 1 horse running in a handicap.
Best price: 33/1 with BetVictor

Rule The World

would be trying to be the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win back-to-back Nationals but will be carrying more weight this time. The horse clearly has the stamina and jumping ability for the race but will be exposed now and not so much under the radar. Rule The World was the best horse in the race under the conditions in 2016 and can make a strong bid to win the Grand National again.
Best price: 33/1 with William Hill

Overall Trainer and Jockey Records

Grand National 2016Three trainers have won the race four times. George Dockeray achieved that feat between 1839 and 1852 and Fred Rimell had four Nationals winners in a period spanning from 1956 to 1976. Ginger McCain is the other four results winning
trainer. He trained Red Rum, the only triple winner (1973, 1974 and 1977) and also looked after Amberleigh House who won the National in 2004.

George Stevens is the leading jockey with five wins from 1856 to 1870. In the modern era since 2000 Ruby Walsh (Papillon 2000 and Hedgehunter 2005) and Leighton Aspell (Pineau Du Re 2014 and Many Clouds 2015) are the only multiple winning jockeys. Sir Anthony McCoy won the race just once, on Don’t Push It, in 2010. He has ridden in 20 Grand Nationals which ahead of the 2016 race is a record.

Other Major Races at the Meeting

The Grand National is the sixth of seven races on the final day of the three day meeting. Aintree has a separate course for conventional chases. The Topham Chase and Aintree Foxhunters are the only two other races of the meeting run over the Grand National course. The Anniversary Hurdle often identifies the best juvenile of the season and the Betfair Bowl and Melling Chase provide pointers for future conditions chases. There are two Flat races for National Hunt bred horses and handicaps that can be as competitive as equivalent races at the Cheltenham Festival.

Grand National Betting Offers

At the time of writing there no betting offers specific to the Grand National. In the week leading up to the race there should be a whole raft of markets that are unique to the Grand National. In the past odds in the following markets have been available throughout the UK betting industry:

  • Race winner
  • Each way one quarter the odds for the first six places
  • Top 4 finish
  • Age of winner
  • Trainer of winner
  • Number of finishers
  • To complete the course
  • To complete the course accumulators from groups
  • Lady jockey to win the race
  • Lady jockey to be placed
  • Winner to carry under 11 stone
  • Winner to carry 11 stone or more
  • All horses to clear the first fence
  • Irish trained winner
  • Female to train the winner

Grand National betting will feature these markets and betting offers. Odds comparison sites will also publish Scottish Grand National betting.

New customers who open an account to bet on the Grand National betting market will be able to take advantage of the following welcome bonuses and offers:

Closing Comments

The Grand National is the most famous horse race in the world and one of the biggest betting events of the calendar year. It is the longest race in Britain and 30 obstacles are jumped, 16 on the first circuit and 14 on the second circuit. The fences are unique in that they are made of spruce and look totally different to the fences jumped in conventional chases. Several have their own names based on a character or story from the history of the race. The winner of the first National was called Lottery which is appropriate as the winner of the National must have plenty of luck in running. There is usually a maximum field of 40 runners.

The Grand National is one of the most popular sporting events in Britain. Two-thirds of the adult population are likely to place a bet. A crowd of more than 70,000 people will watch the race live at Aintree and there will be an estimated global TV audience of 600 million. There have been concerns about safety and horse welfare. These issues have been addressed with modifications to the course which have reduced the number of fallers. Bookmakers expect a total industry stake of over £150 million and expect to make money out of it and call it there Christmas Day. The Grand National betting market is key to their annual profits.