Over 70,000 racegoers will descend on Aintree for the 2017 Randox Grand National on April 8th. The Grand National is one of the very few major races or meetings which captures the hearts and minds of those who do not usually follow the sport.
Boasting a global TV audience in excess of 600 million people and generating enormous betting turnover with countless ‘once a year punters’ placing a bet, (many of them Grand National free bets) this is a race like no other. Not sure which horse to bet on? Our Grand National Racecard will help.
Grand National Betting 2017
A maximum of 40 horses and jockeys will line up to contest the famous race over the gruelling 4m 2f race distance featuring famous fences including Becher’s Brook, the Canal Turn, Valentine’s Brook and The Chair. Joining them in attendance will be an estimated race-day crowd of 72,500 people all hoping they have picked a winner and beaten the bookies.
2016 Grand National
Rule The World won his first and only Chase race when winning the 2016 Grand National by six-lengths at 33/1. He was the fifth consecutive Grand National winner who went off at 25/1 or greater and the first Irish-trained winner since Silver Birch scored (also at 33/1) in 2007.
Since retired, Rule The World will not be lining-up for the 2017 renewal but the runner-up, The Last Samuri, most definitely will and is the current 20/1 second favourite within the ante-post lists.
Rounding out the top-four places was another the 13-year-old and 100/1 shot, Vics Canvas and 33/1 poke Gilgamboa – making it a good day for the bookmakers!
Rule The World’s winning SP should have been no big surprise, most recent Grand National winners have gone off at handsome odds. Only two of the last 18 winners have gone off at a single-figure price (Comply Or Die in 2008 and Hedgehunter in 2005 – both 7/1).
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 20 winners, including Rule The World, 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.
Grand National Winners / Jockey
2016 Rule The World – David Mullins
2015 Many Clouds – Leighton Aspell
2014 Pineau De Re – Leighton Aspell
2013 Auroras Encore – Ryan Mania
2012 Neptunes Collonges – Daryl Jacob
2011 Ballabriggs – Jason Maguire
2010 Don’t Push It – Tony McCoy
2009 Mon Mome – Liam Treadwell
2008 Comply or Die – Timmy Murphy
2007 Silver Birch – Robbie Power
2006 Numbersixvalverde – Niall Madden
2005 Hedgehunter – Ruby Walsh
Trends Ahead of 2017
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, three 10-year-olds and an 8-year-old 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 2017
Irish owner Michael O’Leary (owner of Gigginstown House Stud) will be keen to keep his Grand National trophy at home and Don Poli may be his best chance of doing so.
He will be 8-years-old come Grand National time and has class in abundance. Twice a winner at the Cheltenham Festival – he took the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle in 2013 and the three-mile RSA Chase in 2015. Third in the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup, Don Poli now looks a horse which may be difficult to place but also custom made to the Grand National’s quirky fences and stamina-sapping trip.
All-in-all he looks a great long-range each-way Grand National bet at bet365 who are offering each-way places 1-2-3-4-5.