About the Grand National
Watched by over a half a billion people every year, the Grand National is the biggest racing event on the planet. It is also the toughest stayers race in the sport, with contestants required to cover a marathon distance of 4 miles to reach the finishing post. A total of 30 fences and obstacles are jumped during the race, adding to the difficulty.
A prize fund of £1 million is paid out in the Grand National making it the richest national hunt race in Europe. Competing for this prize is a field of 40 racehorses, each allocated a handicap according to their ability. Unlike many other handicaps, the Grand National occasionally features top quality racehorses who have won some of the biggest Grade 1 chases in the sport.
Betting on the Grand National
The best known approach to betting on the Grand National is the so called 'pinstickers' betting pools, where people are randomly allocated entries from a pool. This is a fair representation of how hard this race is to call. Even the toughest racehorse can be brought down during the course of the Grand National, and very few contestants will have been asked to travel anything approaching 4 miles previously in their careers.
The best way to bet on the Grand National is to keep it simple and stick to the same guidelines that apply to any handicap. Place your bets on race day when turf conditions are published, and match the conditions to racehorse ground preferences. Then look out for horses who have placed or won over stayers distances within the last year while carrying similar weight. Horses who raced poorly last time out under heavier weights and unfavourable ground always deserve a closer look if both ground and handicaps on race day are better suited to their abilities.
Also ensure you bet at a bookmaker offering a place special. Every additional place paid out on successful place or each-way bets matters, so don't lose out on a chance to sneak in a winning bet with an extra place.