Grand National Free Bets 2018: Your Complete Betting Guide

Every April the entire world focuses in on Aintree for the world’s most iconic horse race. So, it’s no surprise punters are already wanting to know who are the contenders for the Grand National 2018.

Grand National Free Bets & Betting Offers

  • Paddy Power Free Bets Back 2 horse for the price of 1 at Paddy Power Bet £10 on a Horse on the Grand National and Get up to £10 Free Bet to back another claim
    New customer offer, place a single Sportsbook bet up to £10 on the Aintree Festival (April 12th,13th,14th) and get a free bet matching your stake (up to £10). Deposits using credit/debit cards or PayPal only. Valid for 30 days. Free bet stakes not returned with winnings. T&Cs apply.
  • Bet £5 Get £5 on the Grand National at Coral claim
    Important info: 18+. UK+IRE only. Min deposit £5. Certain payment methods and cashout excluded. Min first bet £5. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. Free bet credited upon placement of qualifying bet, valid for 24 hours. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs Apply.
  • Get Your Money Back On Fallers on the Grand National at 888Sport 888sport Fallers Insurance promotion gives you a free bet refund up to £25 at a selected jumps race meeting every day... claim
    New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30f - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 (£20 e/w) placed on any sports markets - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply - full T&C’s apply
  • Ladbrokes £50 Free Bets Bet £5 Get £5 on the Grand National at Ladbrokes Sign up to Ladbrokes with Promo code GN5,bet £5 on any race at Aintree with odds 1/2 or more and get a £5 Free Bet for the Grand National claim
    Important info: 18+. New UK+IRE Customers only. Min deposit £5. Certain payment methods and cashout excluded. Min first bet £5. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. Free bet credited upon placement of qualifying bet, valid for 24 hours. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs Apply.
  • Get £100 Bet Bundle on the Grand National at Betfair Sportsbook claim
    New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply.
  • Betvictor £40 Free Bets Betvictor Is Paying 6 Places at Grand National Betvictor is currently offering a very generous 6 places offer on this year's Grand National. They also have very competitive odds and special offers on sports including: football, horse racing as well as UFC & boxing matches. claim
    Paid at 1/5 odds on Each Way Bets placed after 12:00BST on 09/04/2018. 18+ Full T&Cs Below.
  • Get a Free Bet Up to £25 If Your Horse Falls at Coral Aintree Jumps Free Bet Offer - Get up to £25 if your horse falls at any Aintree race claim
    18+. UK+IRE only. Min bet £1. Counts to bets placed from 6pm day before race. Get max £25 back as free bet next day by 12pm. Free bet valid for 24 hrs. Must use in entirety on single racing bet. Applies to losing 'win part' of win & E/W singles. One free bet per customer per horse that falls. T&Cs Apply.
  • William Hill £30 Free Bets Bet £10 on Grand National & Get £5 On Sunday at William Hill claim
    New customers only. Minimum €/£10 win or each way. Free bet from 9am Sun 15th April. (4 day expiry) Free bet, currency and payment method restrictions apply. Full T&Cs Apply
  • Betfred £30 Free Bets Claim a Betfred Grand National Offer claim
    Only available to new customers from UK & Northern Ireland. You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days.

For the most hardened racing fans, now is the time to study the form, while those who just iveove a laket once a year on the races, it’s time to mark that date in your diary, as we’ll have plenty to offer you.

We’re already collating all the best Grand National free bets, top tips and news and views, so you’ll have all you need to know come the big day.

When Is This Year’s Grand National & How Do I Watch It?

Thousands upon thousands will be arriving in Liverpool for Grand National weekend which gets underway on Thursday April 12, 2018. The big race itself will take place on the Saturday (April 14) and see the gates open at 5.15pm.

It’ll be live on ITV, so you’ll be able to catch all the buildup alongside other big meets taking place across the long weekend.

With Aintree hosting the Grand National weekend from Thursday, here’s a full rundown of all the meets due to take place…

Day One, Thursday April 12, 2018:

  • The Merseyrail Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase
  • The Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle
  • The Betway Bowl Steeplechase
  • The Betway Aintree Hurdle
  • The Randox Health Foxhunters’ Steeplechase
  • The Betway Red Rum Handicap Steeplechase
  • The Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat

Day Two, Friday April, 2018:

  • The Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle
  • The Crabbie’s Top Novices’ Hurdle
  • The Betway Mildmay Novices’ Steeple Chase
  • The JLT Melling Steeple Chase
  • The Randox Health Topham Steeple Chase
  • The Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle
  • The Weatherbys Champion Standard Open NH Flat

Day Three, Saturday April 14, 2018:

The Grand National will be the penultimate race of Saturday afternoon, and will see plenty getting stuck in to Grand National betting, but don’t forget, there’s plenty more to spend a Grand National bonus on too.

The full schedule for Saturday’s racing can be found below…

  • The Gaskells Handicap Hurdle
  • The Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle
  • The Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Steeple Chase
  • The Betway Handicap Steeple Chase
  • The Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle
  • The Randox Health Grand National
  • The Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle

Grand National Betting Preview – Runners & Odds



  • The ante-post favourite for the £1-million Randox Health 2018 Grand National is Blaklion (10/1) trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies. Blaklion won the Becher Chase over the Grand National fences and clearly enjoys jumping them.
  • Definitly Red (20/1) was pulled up in the race last year after his saddle slipped. Brian Ellison’s runner should be a major Grand National runner again after his impressive win in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham last time out. Before returning to Aintree he will take in the small matter of running in the Cheltenham Gold Cup next month (March).
  • Kim Bailey’s 2016 Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri (20/1) is once again prominent in the Grand National betting odds.
  • Colin Tizzard has three entries in Sizing Codelco (50/1), The Dutchman (33/1), who won the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in January, and Third Intention (100/1).
  • Champion Jumps trainer Nicky Henderson, who surprisingly has yet to train the winner of this great race, will saddle three contenders in Gold Present (25/1),Vyta Du Roc (33/1) and O O Seven (66/1).

The Irish Charge

Irish-trained runners account for a large proportion of the initial entries with 11 of those runners coming from the Gigginstown House Stud.

  • Total Recall (16/1), who recently won at the Dublin Racing Festival, Cause Of Causes (25/1) and Ucello Conti (33/1) are the most prominent runners in the 2018 Grand National betting odds from Ireland.
  • Previous Grand National-winning trainers with 2018 entries include Paul Nicholls, whose sextet of possible runners is headed by dual Scottish Grand National victor Vicente (25/1), and Mouse Morris, who has Irish Grand National scorers Rogue Angel (50/1) and Thunder And Roses (40/1) among his three entries.
  • Vicente’s owner is Trevor Hemmings who has won the Grand National three times since 2005 and is the joint most successful owner in the history of the world’s greatest steeplechase. His other entry is Welsh Grand National fourth Vintage Clouds (Sue Smith, 40/1).
  • Welsh Grand National hero Raz De Maree (Gavin Cromwell, 40/1) is engaged, as is the impressive Classic Handicap Chase victor Milansbar (Neil King, 50/1) who is the likely mount of female jockey Bryony Frost. She will be a popular choice for many punters looking to use their Grand National free bets.

What is the Grand National?

The Aintree Grand National is one of the biggest betting events of the entire horse racing year.

The 171st renewal of the famous race will take place this year on Saturday April 14th, 2018 at its Merseyside home and each year it captures the hearts and imaginations of horse racing enthusiasts all the world over.

While some may be fortunate enough to travel to Aintree to watch the races take place in person, a whole host of people will be watching the race from the comfort of their own living rooms and will be searching around for some great Grand National offers.

Aintree has been the home of the Grand National since its first running in 1839. Ironically a horse named Lottery won the inaugural race and Captain Becher fell off his mount at the brook, hence the famous name – Becher’s Brook. In those days, horses jumped a stone wall, crossed ploughed land and finished over two hurdles.

Since those early days the course and fences have undergone many changes. Most recently in 2012 the wooden stakes at the core of the fences have been replaced with flexible plastic to reduce the risk to the horses and jockeys. The starting line has also moved further away from the main stand so as to get the horses away from the hullabaloo of the grandstands.

The race still remains the one of the toughest tests of horse and rider in the world. A maximum field of 40 horses can line up at the start of which an average of 40% will go on to complete the race, which is four and a half miles long and has 30 fences to jump.

Grand National Q&A

The Grand National takes place every year in early April at the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England.
This year’s race will be run on Saturday, 14th April 2018 and is scheduled to start at 5.30pm GMT. (UK Time).
In the United Kingdom you can watch the race freely on terrestrial channel ITV but is broadcast live to hundreds of countries around the world.
The race is run over a gruelling 4 and a half miles and has thirty unique fences. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete
The Grand National was first run way back in 1839 and the very first winner of the race was the aptly named Lottery.

Grand National Betting Odds

Despite the race a good few months off, the Grand National odds are well worth looking at. Without much form to go off, you can usually get some good odds, especially with the Grand National favourites.

Currently, the odds look like this…

Blaklion: 10/1

Total Recall: 10/1

Tiger Roll: 14/1

Bellshill: 14/1

Minella Rocco: 14/1

Cause of Causes: 16/1

The Last Samuri: 14/1

Vieux Lion Rouge: 33/1

Go Conquer: 50/1

Vicente: 20/1

What Grand National Betting Markets Should I Back?

While you of course have to back a horse for the Grand National, you shouldn’t ignore the dozens of great races taking place the rest of the weekend.

In the early stages of 2018, bookies will start to add odds for all the best Grand National betting markets, with the likes of the Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle, Betway Aintree Hurdle and JLT Melling Steeple Chase all worth a bet.

There will also be a number of specials on the Grand National as it gets closer and closer to the big day. We’ll bring all the very best odds and offers to you right here.

Best Grand National Betting Offers 


Latest Grand National Betting Offers

  • New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30f - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 (£20 e/w) placed on any sports markets - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply - full T&C’s apply
  • 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £10 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £30 credited as 3 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. 18+ T&Cs Apply.
  • New customers only, place a £10 bet on any Sportsbook market - min stake £10 at odds of at least 1.5 (1/2) — and we’ll give you £30 in free bets. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. Free bets are valid for 30 days and must be used on a Sportsbook market. Free bets will be awarded after the qualifying bet has been settled. T&C’s Apply
  • New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply.
  • 1.New Customers Only. 2. Min Deposit: £/€10. 3.1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. 4.Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only 5.Additional Terms Apply. Full terms apply. **1) Opt-in required, 2) Minimum total stake: £25 3) Enhanced prices exclude £10 4) Single Line Multiples including 3 or more Football selections only 5) Min. overall odds: 2/1 6) Real money bets only 7) Total amount of free bets awarded: £10 8) Two £5 Free Bets per customer, per promotion week 9) Free Bets credited in two instalments on Saturday and Monday 10) Additional Terms Apply. Full terms apply.
  • New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.
  • 18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • Only available to new customers from UK & Northern Ireland. You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days.

Paddy Power were the first online sportsbooks to offer ‘Non-Runner No Bet’ (NRNB) terms and, remarkably, they still offer some of the best prices out there and will no doubt do with the 2018 Grand National runners.

Betfred, Totesport and Stan James have now also introduced the NRNB concession, however, Paddy Power  really do stand out as the place to place your bets on any Grand National tips, as they are also offering ‘Best-Odds Guaranteed’.

If you are going to place an early each-way Grand National bet then when it comes to the time, shop around.  Most online bookies will offer places on 1-2-3-4 but 1-2-3-4-5 will be available with some of the more generous UK bookies.

Can I Play the Grand National with No Run No Bet Offers?

Naturally, with the race so far away, you will be worried that the horse won’t even make it that far. Don’t worry, in the run in there will be plenty of No Run No Bet opportunities for you to ensure you don’t lose out.

If you’re unsure of what a No Run No Bet offer is, it’s essentially a bet that means if your horse doesn’t race, then your bet will be null and void. Most UK bookmakers will offer this, and they’re well worth looking at if you’re betting well ahead of the race.

Grand National 2018 – Live Updates

12th April 2018 Update – First amputee jockey to ride over the Grand National fences

Guy Disney is set to make history this week when he become the first amputee jockey to ride a race over the famous Grand National fences at Aintree.

The former army captain rides with a prosthetic lower right leg after he was injured by a grenade in Afghanistan in July 2009.

Disney became the first amputee jockey to win a race under rules in Britain when riding Rathlin Rose to victory in last year’s Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown, and the pair teamed up for a repeat success in the same race this year too.

Disney is set to ride in the Foxhunters’ Chase on the opening day of this week’s three-day meeting after he assembled a syndicate to buy Gallery Exhibition, who is trained by Grand National-winning trainer Kim Bailey.

While this will be Disney’s first experience of the big Aintree fences, Gallery Exhibition finished a highly creditable fifth under David Bass in the Topham Chase two years ago and is a general 16/1 shot to land the spoils and hit all the headlines.

10th April 2018 Update – jockeys bid to become the first woman to win the Grand National 

Rachael Blackmore, one of only three female professional jockeys in Ireland, will join Katie Walsh and Bryony Frost in Saturday’s Grand National race after she was confirmed as the rider of the Mouse Morris-trained Alpha Des Obeaux for the Gigginstown Stud. Blackmore has ridden 35 winners this season in Ireland and Britain.

Alpha Des Obeaux, who won the Clonmel Oil Chase earlier this season, finished sixth under Blackmore in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown in February on his most recent start.

The eight-year-old is a general a 50/1 shot but the same trainer-owner combination won the National two years ago with Rule The World. Ryanair owner, Michael O’Leary expects to have five runners competing in the race. The other four are the well-fancied Tiger Roll, Thunder And Roses, Valseur Lido and Road To Riches.

Blackmore and fellow female riders Katie Walsh (Baie Des Isles) and Bryony Frost (Milansbar) will be bidding to become the first woman jockey to ride the winner of the Aintree showpiece.

5th April 2018 Update – Robbie Power to ride Raz De Maree at Aintree

Welsh Grand National winner Raz De Maree will have the assistance of Robbie “Puppy” Power in the saddle for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree as Power bids for a famous Liverpool double.

Trainer Gavin Cromwell made the perfect call by using Welsh teenager’s James Bowen’s 5lb claim at Chepstow to aid the mud-loving 13-year-old, who powered home to a six-length victory.

Raz De Maree was only three years younger than his jockey for their Welsh National victory, which created plenty of newspaper headlines, but Bowen is back aboard Richard Hobson’s Shantou Flyer in the Grand National, the horse he finished runner-up on at the Cheltenham Festival.

Cromwell has wasted no time in snapping up a top class replacement, and Power, who won the race on Silver Birch for Gordon Elliott in 2007, will be hoping to bring home the likeable veteran for a personal Grand National double.

“I think I’m the only man around who wants it to carry on raining but I’ll be doing a rain dance until National day!” said Cromwell.

Raz De Maree is currently around the 40/1 mark n the Grand National betting odds.

3rd April 2018 Update – Grand National schooling fences now erected

Special Grand National schooling fences have been erected at four venues in Britain and Ireland and are now ready for use.

The fences are for any trainer to school horses entered in the three races run over the Grand National fences at the Grand National Festival at Aintree – the £1-million Randox Health Grand National (Saturday, April 14th), the £140,000 Randox Health Topham Handicap Chase (Friday, April 13th) and the £45,000 Randox Health Foxhunters’ Chase (Thursday, April 12th).

The schooling fences have been prepared by Aintree’s ground staff and are situated at David Pipe’s yard in Devon, at The Jockey Club’s Lambourn Gallop and at the Malton Schooling Grounds and at the Curragh Training Grounds in Ireland.

Aintree Clerk of the Course Andrew Tulloch said the fences had proved to be an invaluable aid to trainers over the last few seasons or so.

The 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival takes place at Aintree Racecourse and runs from Thursday April 12th to Saturday April 14th.

28/3/2018 Update – Totally ready for the 2018 Grand National

Willie Mullins confirmed at the weekend that his Total Recall is an intended runner in the Grand National 2018 and he has now emerged as the clear favourite for the Aintree marathon at 10/1.

Total Recall won his first three starts after joining Mullins from Sandra Hughes, taking the Munster National at Limerick, the “Hennessy” at Newbury and a handicap hurdle at the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.

In the recent Cheltenham Gold Cup he fell three fences from home, but he has returned home apparently none the worse and is all set for his Merseyside engagement on April 14th.

The midnight hour

Having missed several engagements in recent weeks due to the bad weather, the Sandy Thomson-trained Seeyouatmidnight made an encouraging reappearance after a suspensory problem in a chase at Newbury where he finished a creditable third.

Off the track for a year, the ten-year-old needed to run in a chase this season to qualify for Aintree highlight. Seeyouatmidnight is a general 25-1 shot to give Scotland back-to-back winners in the National.

20/3/2018 Update – 73 Grand National entries go forward

Following today’s second scratchings deadline, a total of 73 contenders are still in the hunt for Merseyside’s four miles, two furlongs and 74 yards marathon on April 14th.

Currently heading the betting market are Blaklion (Nigel Twiston-Davies, 11st 9lb), who finished  fourth in 2017, and Total Recall (Willie Mullins, 11st 4lb) who was staying on when parting company with David Mullins three fences from home in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Minella Rocco (Jonjo O’Neill, 11st 10lb) who bypassed the Cheltenham Festival is the new top-weight after the weights rose 3lb. The Last Samuri (Kim Bailey, 11st 7lb), second in the 2016 Grand National, ran well at the Festival third behind Tiger Roll in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.

A maximum of 40 runners can line up at 5.15pm on Saturday, April 14th for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National. The five-day acceptance stage for the race is at noon on Monday, April 9th. The final declaration stage is at 10.00am on Thursday, April 12th.

14/3/2018 – Final preparations for the 2018 Grand National

No fewer than three Grand National hopefuls are entered to run in the Veterans’ Handicap Chase at Carlisle this Sunday- a most welcome fixture for those last stage preparations with the race just a month away.

Seeyouatmidnight, a current 25/1 shot for next month’s Randox Health Grand National will meet fellow Aintree entrants Maggio and Houblon Des Obeaux among the declared runners for Carlisle’s first weekend meeting of the season.

The Sandy Thomson-trained Seeyouatmidnight has tasted success at Carlisle before. In November 2016, he won Cumbria’s premier jumps prize, the Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase by an imperious 12 lengths.

The 10-year-old has not run since last March as he has had to overcome a suspensory ligament problem and has also undergone a wind operation in the meantime.

With the second abandonment of his intended Kelso engagement last week, races were beginning to get rather thin on the ground for Thomson’s runner as he needs to run in another chase to actually qualify for the 2018 Grand National.

7/3/2018 Update – National horses to run at Kelso on Sunday

Last Saturday’s abandoned meeting at Kelso has been rescheduled for this Sunday which was music to the ears of several trainers with Grand National aspirations.

Seeyouatmidnight is set to run in the Premier Chase, and his trainer Sandy Thomson is keen to get a run into his chaser because he has to run in a chase before Monday, April 9th to qualify for the 2018 Grand National.

If everything goes well, he will head to Aintree with every chance believes Thomson. His form reads well having beaten both Blaklion and Bristol De Mai and he showed he stays in the Scottish Grand National.

Elsewhere, Yorkshire trainer Sue Smith is also looking to get a decent prep race into her principle Grand National hope I Just Know and the Borders venue appears to be the place that she will do it.

Sandy Thomson, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Sue Smith and Paul Nicholls were all keen to support the rescheduled meeting according to clerk of the course Anthea Morshead.

Seeyouatmidnight is currently 33/1 for the Grand National while I Just Know is a 50/1 chance.

28/2/2018 Update – Coupling up for a crack at the Grand National

The husband and wife team of Ross O’Sullivan and Katie Walsh are preparing an assault on the 2018 Grand National with their seven-year-old Baie Des Iles.

The grey mare won the Punchestown Grand National Trial in 2017 before running in the same race again this season and finishing a respectable third behind Folsom Blue, a run which thoroughly pleased her County Kildare trainer.

While it will be O’Sullivan’s first National runner, his wife Katie Walsh, who has ridden Baie Des Iles in her last 10 starts, will not be short on the experience front.

Walsh has had a few good rides in the Grand National in recent years with her best result coming in 2012 when she finished third aboard Seabass.

In the midnight hour

Seeyouatmidnight could make his long awaited return to the track after an 11-month absence in Saturday’s Premier Chase at Kelso. (weather permitting)

Trainer, Sandy Thomson reports the 10-year-old to be ready to go following a racecourse gallop at Newcastle last weekend.

Other Grand National entries that have been given the Kelso option are Harry Fry’s American, Pat Griffin’s 13-year-old Maggio while Paul Nicholls is double-handed with dual Scottish National winner Vicente and Warriors Tale.

21/2/2018 Update – Definitely maybe but Blaklion heads straight to Aintree

In an interesting twist that will see many an ante-post punter being upset, Grand National top-weight Definitly Red is unlikely to run in the race irrespective of how he gets on in next month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup race.

The recent Cotswold Chase winner had been trading as low as 14/1 in many ante-post Grand National betting markets.

His trainer Brian Ellison initially indicated a decision on his National participation would be made after the Gold Cup. But he said this week: “If he comes out of the Gold Cup ok he is more likely to go for the Betway Bowl Chase at Aintree.”

Blaklion heads straight to Merseyside

Blaklion is reportedly none the worse for his exhausting run at Haydock last Saturday in the Grand National Trial and he now heads straight to Aintree.

Nigel Twiston-Davies said that Blaklion was 100% the day after the race but they will no longer be taking in Cheltenham but heading straight to Aintree.

Bookmakers eased him out slightly to 12/1 for the Grand National following his defeat behind Yala Enki.

14/2/2018 Update – 2018 Grand National weights announced

The weights for the 2018 Grand National were revealed last night in a less than perfect manner after a power failure caused the actual weights revealing ceremony itself to be abandoned.

Eventually it came to light that Definitly Red, the winner of the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham last month, was heading the weights with 11st 10lb off a rating of 165.

Blaklion, the current bookies favourite at 10/1, has been allotted 11st 6lb following his impressive victory in the Becher Handicap Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree in December.

Those odds could easily contract furthermore should the Nigel Twiston-Davies nine-year-old win the Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday.

Last year’s runner-up Cause Of Causes (10st 12lb), trained by Gordon Elliott, is one of seven entries for owner J P McManus, who also has the recent Irish Gold Cup scorer Edwulf (Joseph O’Brien, 11st 9lb), last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup second Minella Rocco (Jonjo O’Neill, 11st 7lb) and Anibale Fly (Tony Martin, 11st 4lb).

A maximum field of 40 will line up on April 14th with the first scratchings deadline being February 27th

7/2/2018 Update – New plans for Grand National regular Saint Are

Saint Are (50/1) is set to have his usual warm-up race for the 2018 Grand National at Doncaster later this month after starting off his seasonal reappearance with a rare spin over hurdles at Cheltenham.

Tom George was happy with the veteran’s warm-up run in the Cleeve Hurdle at Prestbury Park on his first start since finishing third behind One For Arthur in last season’s Grand National.

George has had to scrap the usual hunter chase route for his twelve-year-old after a change in the qualification rules for the Grand National this season.

Saint Are, who was also second in the 2015 Grand National would have been unable to switch to any other type of race in the same season should he have taken part in a hunter chase.

He will next run in a veterans’ handicap chase at Doncaster which he won in 2016.

31/1/2018 Update – Grand National declarations announced

Ante-post Grand National betting favourite Blaklion (10/1) remains firmly at the head of the market for the 171st renewal of the £1-million Randox Health Grand National after a total of 105 entries were declared for the race at noon on Wednesday 31st January.

Looked after by dual Grand National-winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, Blaklion is one of six entries from the Naunton based handler. His 2018 Grand National entries also include the multiple Grade One winner Bristol De Mai (25/1), who is the most likely candidate for top-weight, BetVictor Gold Cup hero and popular Merseyside favourite Splash Of Ginge (50/1) and the Aintree Grade One scorer Flying Angel (66/1).

Britain’s current champion Jump trainer Nicky Henderson, who has yet to add this race to his illustrious CV will saddle three contenders in Gold Present (25/1), Vyta Du Roc (33/1) and O O Seven (66/1).

Irish-trained runners account for 40 of the initial entries with 11 of those runners coming from the Gigginstown House Stud. Total Recall (25/1), Cause Of Causes (25/1) and Ucello Conti (33/1) are the most prominent runners in the betting from Ireland.

Grand National Enhanced Odds

Finding enhanced Grand National odds can be difficult.  Most people like a bet on the Grand National and so enhanced odds offers can be hard to justify on such a busy day.  

Nevertheless you can find your own enhanced odds by looking for distinct Grand National offers such as the odds on an Irish-trained winner or the age of the winner.

These Grand National bets, which group together a number of runners, often give punters an enhanced price greater than that which they would receive if backing all runners individually.

Backing an Irish horse is always a popular bet. Rule The World won the 2016 Grand National for the Emerald Isle, while One For Arthur collected the half a million prize money last year – and backing all of their runners as a collective bet may not be the worst Grand National bet you could come up with.

Grand National Betting around Social Media

There’s always plenty of whispers and Grand National gossip flying about on Twitter and social media, not to mention the armchair Grand National tipsters.

Keeping an eye on the latest social media happenings can often provide some useful clues when deciding on your Grand National bets this year.

And it’s also a good place to get your hands on some Grand National free bets, price boosts and bonuses from the bookies…

The Grand National – The ‘How To’ Guide

No horse race captures the imagination of the general public like the Grand National.

Once a year housewives, works sweepstakes and traditionalists combine with serious punters to place an estimated £200 million in Grand National bets on this unique 40 runner race which features 30 obstacles and attracts a global viewing audience of 600 million people.

Grand National Betting – How to Bet on a Horse

With so much interest from all walks of life online bookmakers strive to make Grand National betting as easy as child’s play.  In the days leading up to race day dedicated Grand National betting sections will be introduced by all the major online sportsbooks.  These will make placing bets a painless experience with a series of one-click runner choice, one-click bet types and one-click stake selection.

Generally the process of placing a bet on the Grand National is as simple as:

  • Sign-up or log in to your preferred online bookmaker
  • Go to the Sports section and look for Horse Racing (or Grand National)
  • Navigate to the Grand National horse race odds
  • Click on the odds next to the name of the horse you want to bet on
  • This will then appear in your ‘Bet Slip’ where you can set your chosen stake
  • Also remember to select ‘Each Way’ if you want to bet both win and place
  • Click on Place Bet button and confirm.  That’s it, you’re on!

The big race is broadcast live on ITV but if you cannot get to a TV the major bookmakers will allow you to watch the Grand National via their website or app. In order to do this you may be required to place a bet on the Grand National for a nominal sum, normally a wager of no more than £1.

How to Read Grand National Racing Form

If you want to make an informed Grand National bet that is more than just your lucky number or favourite name you will need to understand the basic of how to read a racecard.

Here we will talk you through the basics of what all the letters, numbers on a typical racecard mean. Below is an example racecard:

Racing Form

What does it all mean?

The first big number you see on the left is the number of the horse in the race. Horse number 1 will be set to carry the top-weight, horse number the next highest weight and so on.  The smaller number in brackets next to the race number is the Draw number – the starting stall the horse will come from. This is not needed in the Grand National which does not use the starting stalls.

The smaller numbers below the horse number are the form figures which represent the finishing positions of the horse’s most recent races with the most recent one being shown on the right. So from the example above. horse 1 ‘Amazing Grazing’ finished 7th on it’s last run and won the time before that.

Numbers represent finishing positions and letters show other outcomes as follows:

  • 0 – Did not finish in the first 9
  • F – Fell
  • U – Unseated Rider
  • P – Pulled Up (i.e. Did not finish)
  • B – Brought Down (i.e. Fell over another horse)
  • R – Refused To Race/Jump

Next to the horses name you may see some small letters which indicate any extra equipment a horse may have fitted. These may include:

  • e/s – Eye Shield
  • v – Visor
  • b – Blinkers
  • b1 – Blinkers for the first time

Moving across the card to the right you will see columns showing the Age and Weight the horse is set to carry (in stones and pounds).  The number shown under the weight (OR) is the horse’s Official Rating.

In the next column the Trainer and Jockey are shown, and in the next columns in the case of Racing Post racecards we have TS and RPR which stand for Top Speed and Racing Post Rating which are 2 other types of ratings.

And finally you will see the Grand National odds of each horse which is the amount you can win for each pound. 8/1 for example means you win £8 for every £1 staked (plus you get your stake back if you win).

Video Form

Nowadays the importance of written race summaries and analysis often found on many racecards are seemingly less important as more and more people choose to watch video replays of past races – these are readily available at the bigger and better known online bookmakers.

Grand National Bet Types

There loads of different types of bets you can place on the Grand National.  Heading the cast is the good old-fashioned win bets but, with 40 runners to choose from, many people will prefer to back a few horses and place ‘each-way’ bets too.

All the traditional bet types are available to those betting on the Grand National, such as forecasts – which require you to find both the winner and second – and tricasts (that’s first-second and third!).  But this is the Grand National which means all sorts of Grand National betting offers will be advertised, they will include ‘place only’ bets and also ‘special bets’ such as selecting the ‘number of horses to finish the course’, an ‘Irish trained winner’, ‘age of the winner’, ‘a woman ridden winner’ and many others.

  1. Win Bet

A win bet is obviously what it says – your stakes go on your selection and if it wins you win.  

There will be plenty of Grand National free bets to be collected on the big race as online bookmakers will give away Grand National free bets to new customers as an introductory offer. You will probably have to place these on the win markets.

2. Each Way Bets

An each-way wager splits your bet stakes between a win bet and a place bet.  So, if your selection finishes second, third or fourth (even fifth in some cases) you will receive winnings on part of your stake.  This will be calculated at a fraction of your selections price (normally a quarter or a fifth of the win odds).  

So, back a 20/1 shot that wins for £1 each-way (a bet that will cost £2) and your return will be £21 for the win part of the bet plus you will receive an additional £6 for the ‘place’ part (a quarter of 20/1 odds is 5/1).  So, that’s a return of £27 if your horse wins or £6 (£1 at 5/1 plus your £1 stake) back if your horse is only placed.  

Understanding Grand National Betting Odds

Most people have a good understanding of betting odds, but as many people will be placing their one and only bet of the year on the Grand National there is no harm in a refresher course.

UK horse racing odds are always displayed as fractions where the first number of the odds represents how much you will win and the second number how much you have to wager to receive these winnings.  

So, a £1 stake at 14/1 will yield £15 in winnings plus your £1 stake will be returned.  But most online bookmakers will give you the option of viewing odds in a decimal format where a single figure will show you how much you will receive inclusive of your one unit stake.  Therefore a 14/1 shot will be displayed as 15.00.

How to Choose a Grand National Winner

There is certainly no easy way to find a Grand National winner as the starting prices of recent winners will testify.  2009 winner Mon Mome was a 100/1 shot, Auroras Encore scored at 66/1 in 2013 and the 2016 victor, Rule The World, was a 33/1 shot.  In fact, only one of the last twelve winners started at a price shorter than 10/1.

  • Grand National Favourites

Favourites – the shortest priced horse in the betting due to its popularity with punters – actually have a good record in the Grand National.  

Given 40 horses normally go to the starting post, five winning favourites from the last 21 Grand Nationals is pretty respectable especially when you consider the shortest priced of those was 7/1.

  • Grand National Trends

But there are some clear trends you should look at when trying to pinpoint the best Grand National betting tips: No horse aged 13 or over has won the race since 1923.  Similarly no horse aged 7 has finished in the first five since 2003.

Eight of the last ten winners had previously won a valuable chase race (worth £30,000 or more) and champion jockeys have a poor record:  

Current champion Richard Johnson has never won the Grand National, AP McCoy only won it once during a 20 year career and other champions like Peter Scudamore and John Francome have never won a Grand National.

  • ‘Lucky Pin’ Method

Of course if such study is too much for you, you can resort to the tried and tested method of simply choosing favourite names and placing coincidence bets in line with the names of loved ones.  Be warned, since 1980 only three winners have featured people’s names:  Ben Nevis (1980), Bobbyjo (1999) and One For Arthur (2017).

Grand National Betting Tips & Tricks

  • Consider backing your selections each-way.  This way, should they finish in the frame you will receive your stake back and should show a profit.
  • Place your bets early – all major firms are offering ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ so there is no downside and the considerable upside of getting a price better than the SP (starting price).
  • Take full advantage of race day concessions and Grand National free bet offers. There are some amazing deals to be had during the week leading up to Grand National Saturday.
  • Look beyond the traditional betting markets. Placing a wager on the age of the winner will give you several runners and possibly better value than backing a number of horses individually.

Grand National Q&A’s

The Grand National is always held on the first or second Saturday in April. In 2018 it will staged on April 14th. In recent years the off time has been put back and its traditional 3.15pm off time is now a thing of the past. In 2018 the starting tape is due to flip-up at 5.15pm.
A ‘fixed odds bet’ is a bet struck at an agreed price before the event starts. It means any potential winnings are predetermined. It helps you as you know how much you are guaranteed to win and it helps the bookmakers as they can accurately assess their liabilities. So the price which you strike your bet, say 16/1, means you are guaranteed 16 times your stakes in winnings. However in recent years some of the bigger bookmakers have introduced ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ which means you will win more if your selection wins at a starting price greater than the ‘fixed odds’ price you accepted when striking your bet.
An SP is the ‘Starting Price’ which is the odds each horse is at the moment a race starts. Unless you take a fixed-odds price it represents the odds of return that winnings bets will be paid at. All horses in all races, win or lose, will ultimately have an official SP.
Each-way betting is a double-chance bet with winnings guaranteed if your horse wins and a return guaranteed if your selection finishes in the frame.
The Grand National is one of those races whereby backing just a few runners means winning is unlikely. At the same time, if you do pinpoint the winner you are likely to be handsomely rewarded. So, if you want to massively enhance your chances of making a profit on the great race, you have to take a good slice of the field and accept your profits could be relatively small. Many bookmakers will be bracket runners together – ‘any Irish trained runner to win’ and/or ‘a ten-year-old winner’ – while the odds of return are not exceptional it is possible to have a good proportion of the field running for you.
Some years you could not have found the Grand National winner with a search warrant. But if you stick to some rules you can certainly improve your chances: • Do not back 7 or 13 year-old horses • Do not back a horse carrying 11st 10lb or more • Back a horse who has already won at least one valuable race • Look out for horses with good course form • Do not expect last year’s winner to win again

Grand National Free Bets

We wouldn’t be without some Grand National free bets to throw your way. Come 2018, we’ll be regularly bringing you free bet offers from the UK’s finest bookies.

You’ll find them all on this page and we’d recommend you sign up with multiple bookmakers to really make the most of your Grand National betting.

Check back with us in the early stages of 2018 for all the very best Grand National free bets.

How to Get Grand National Free Bets

As the National Hunt season gets underway in the winter, you’ll be able to study the form ahead of early Spring.

As March draws in, it’s the perfect time to make the most of Grand National free bets.

Just like enhanced odds offers, the online bookies are fully aware of what a hectic day Grand National 2018 betting will be and they tend to suspend their traditional concessions, enhancements and, more importantly, New Customer Offers for those 24 hours.

Grand National Day will see a raft of new customers join countless sportsbooks and none of them are likely to benefit from the traditional free bets they can get during the rest of the year.

So, be prepared, meaning apply for bookmaking accounts early with the firms offering  new customer free bet offers to receive a free bet you can use on the Grand National.

Be mindful that the Grand National free bet will usually not be credited to your new account until after your first bet has been placed and settled. So place that qualifying wager before April 14, 2018 and have a free go on the biggest race of them all!

Grand National Free bets

2017 Grand National Results & Review

One For Arthur triumphed in the 170th Grand National at Aintree back in April, with a 14/1 starting price. After two false starts the race got underway and was a race with a number of twists and turns. All the favourites had their moments and it wasn’t until the second to last fence where the Lucinda Russell trained horse joined Blaklion, Cause of Causes, and Gas Line Boy in a race for first place.

The Irish thoroughbred stepped out though and gained an advantage, increasing in the final furlong by four and a half lengths and writing his name into Grand National history.

Recent Grand National History

Most recent Grand National winners have gone off at handsome odds. Only two of the last 19 winners have gone off at a single-figure price (Comply Or Die in 2008 and Hedgehunter in 2005 – both 7/1), so backing a winner isn’t as straight-forward as it looks.

The winner’s age does throw out mixed signals.  2015 victor, Many Clouds, was the first 8-year-old to win the race since Bindaree in 2002.  Seven of the last 21 winners, including Rule The World of 2016, have been 9-year-olds.  You can safely ignore 12-year-olds with only one (Amberleigh House in 2004) winning since 1995.  And you have to go back to 1923 to find the last 13-year-old winner.

Previous Grand National Winners:

2017: One For Arthur

2016: Rule the World

2015: Many Clouds

2014: Pineau de Re

2013: Auroras Encore

Grand National Trends Ahead of 2018

There have been just two Irish trained winners of the Grand National in the past decade.  However, all of the major stables have won this race in recent times including David Pipe, Willie Mullins, Paul Nicholls, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Jonjo O’Neill and Gordon Elliott.

Additionally the sport’s major owners have also monopolised the race somewhat with Trevor Hemmings winning it three times (2005, 2011, 2015), Gigginstown House Stud (2016), JP McManus (2010) and David Johnson (2008).

Prior to last year nine of the last ten horses ridden by a woman jockey, a sequence which began with Rosemary Henderson in 1994, completed the course. Neither Katie Walsh or Nina Carberry got round in 2016 though and we are still awaiting our first Grand National winner ridden by a female jockey.

Beyond these facts it is hard to identify any clear Grand National betting trends.  During the past decade five horses have carried 11st or more to victory and five have carried 10st-13lb or less.

Three 9-year-olds, three 11-year-olds, two 10-year-olds and two 8-year-olds have been victorious.  There has been one winning favourite, Comply Or Die (7/1 in 2008) and the 2010 winner, Don’t Push It, was a 10/1 joint-favourite.

22 individual jockeys have won the race during the past 23 years with Leighton Aspell being the exception – he piloted Pineau De Re to victory in 2014 and followed-up in 2015 aboard Many Clouds.

Front Runners for the Grand National 2018

At we pride ourselves on offering up the latest horse racing news, tips, and offers to our punters and you’ll be the first to know the front runners for the 2018 Grand National.

With over half a year still to go until the 2018 edition, we’re already keeping our ears to the ground, but come the winter and the National Hunt season, keep your eyes on our social media and news pages for all the latest on the Grand National 2018 runners and riders.

So far, the likes of Ladbrokes are favouring the same horses that were favourites last year, with the 2017 One For Arthur naturally being the favourite at 16/1.

Where Can I Find the Latest Grand National 2018 Betting Tips?

You’ll find all the very best Grand National betting tips right here as the big day gets ever closer.

Every week we provide you with some of the best horse racing tips on the market and come Grand National weekend our experts will bring you the complete lowdown on all the major meets.

We’ll bring you plenty of Grand National previews, analysing the season so far and what’s coming out of the owners and trainers ahead of the pinnacle of the National Hunt season.

Keep checking back for all the latest betting tips and Grand National free bets, come April 14, you’ll be glad you did!

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