The Grand National 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.

Latest Horse Racing Betting Offers For Grand National

For the most hardened racing fans, now is the time to study the form, while those who just love a bet 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: 25/1

Native River: 25/1

Cause of Causes: 25/1

Presenting Percy: 25/1

The Last Samuri: 25/1

Vieux Lion Rouge: 33/1

Go Conquer: 33/1

Mineral Rocco: 33/1

Vicente: 33/1

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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 

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

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.

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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…

Grand National Free Bets

We wouldn’t be Freebets.com 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 Freebets.com 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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