Grand National

Grand National Breakdown

On Saturday 6th April at 5:15pm, Aintree will host the Randox Heath Grand National. In this article I will be going over everything you need to know about the toughest of jumping tests in the National Hunt calender. My name is Thomas Moran I have been a professional gambler for over 14 years, I specialise in horse racing and below I will be giving preview of all the need to knows, culminating in my best pick for the race.

Instead of trawling your way to the bookmakers with the thousands of other punters, save time by betting online with a reliable and trustworthy bookmaker. Visit the free bets and offers page and choose a bookmaker to open an account with and your grand national bets will be placed quickly and easily within minutes.

Grand National Free Bets

The National is the ideal place to use all the free bets you may have acquired as a new customer of a series of online bookmakers. With the nature of this race and difficulty rating attached, your winnings could be substantial. With the free bets that you might have received the stake of the free bets is not returned with any winnings so it is in your best interest to be backing horses at the bigger odds. The average price of a Grand National winner during the past ten years has been over 30/1 which is perfect for these free bets. As the race approaches and the runners are known there will be no end of free bets and special betting offers from online sportsbooks. My advice would be to check back here regularly over the coming weeks for all the news, updates and promotions.

Grand National Gambling Tips

For the punter who likes to pick winners for themselves then this section will help you to narrow down the enormous field through a variety of stats and trends based evidence. The history of the race provides us with many clues on how to pick the winners at any given price and below are the key points.


Younger horses have a well know poor record in the race for many reasons, with speed being much more important than stamina in there early years. The jumping ability of the horses will only improve with age and in my opinion being a good jumper the most important attribute so the younger horses can struggle with this incredible jumping test. We have to go back to 1940 to find the last time that a horse younger than 8 won the Grand National. Much older horses also tend to struggle as a horse needs to be in its prime to survive the supreme 30 jumping tests. The peak for a staying chaser is thought to be around 8 – 11 years old. The National trends back this up with all of the last 10 winners coming from this age group. We have to go back to 1923 to find the last time that a horse older than 12 won the Grand National.


The weight a horse carries is significant when we are studying the statistical factors of the national and they have just been allocated to each horse. With the National being the longest and toughest staying handicap chase this is made even more important. Since the war only seven Grand Nationals have been won by horses carrying more than 11st 5 lbs. Two of those high weight victories were by the incredible Red Rum who was a true phenom and we can’t base our results just on him. The trends suggest that horses carrying more than 11 stone 6lbs have tended to struggle. The current favourite of the race Tiger Roll is carrying 11 stone 1lb which is 2lbs more than it carried to victory last season but its still below the statistical approach we are using above.

High quality horses

Recent winners have all shown that they are top class horses who have previously run at the highest level. Even the horses who hadn’t won a high class race had all performed well in at least one previously. Rule The World (a previous winner) had been placed in an Irish National and Pineau De Re had finished placed at the Cheltenham Festival (the highest rated festival in the world). Anytime you can back a top class performer in the Grand National I would advise you at least give it a lot of respect.

Trainers and Jockeys

As in all horse racing, having a horse with a good trainer and jockey who are both in good form is very important but not essential. It would be down on my list of key factors when looking to pick a winner. Its usually best to concentrate on the proven ability of the horse over these factors. I am not taking away how important jockeys and trainers are but there are so many top trainers and jockeys nowadays that would be able to nurse a very good horse through to the winning line. Jockeys can win with their first run in the Grand National whereas some of the best national hunt jockeys have never won the race. A perfect example of this was two years ago when jockey David Mullins gave Rule The World the perfect ride to win on his first ride around the Aintree fences.

Some trainers have a better history of training staying chasers and particularly Grand National winners than others. In recent years Nigel Twiston Davies has trained two runners to victory, whilst the late Ginger McCain won his fourth Grand National with Amberleigh House.

2019 Grand National Contenders

The Grand National is widely recognized as the world’s most famous steeplechase with over 600 million viewers watching from all over the world. The weights have just been issued for all the horses and as I mentioned earlier in this piece this is vital in picking the winner. Even before initial entries closed, bookmakers such as Betfair have a lively betting market with a predicted 300 million pounds being placed on the race.

Tiger Roll

Red Rum was the only horse to win back-to-back Grand Nationals in modern era and Tiger Roll is going to try and replicate this enormous and incredible feat. Trained by the great Gordon Elliott, the Irish raider was the second winner of the big race in three seasons for powerful owners Gigginstown House Stud. While history is strongly against Tiger Roll, he remains prominent among horses at 5/1 in the ante post betting. At nine years old, he is young enough to win the race again or at least come close and certainly comes alive in the spring as three Cheltenham Festival victories show. He is 2lb higher than when he won it last season and the big question is how much will that weight play a part in the race. For me 2lbs over 4 miles 2 furlongs is a significant disadvantage and at the odds it is very hard to advise. He just ran an incredible race at Cheltenham to win the Cross Country Chase by 22 lengths in soft ground and was never being pushed or in any distress at any point. On that form he has a chance but at the odds I would be swerving having a bet as there are better betting opportunities out there with some runners paying you more money for coming in the top 5 than for Tiger Roll winning.

Elegant Escape

Colin Tizzard has enjoyed success over the Grand National fences in recent years, albeit in a different race through Ultragold in the 2m 5f Topham. He has one of the leading contenders in Elegant Escape which is currently priced at 14-1. The seven-year-old Dubai Destination gelding might not have the most stamina laden pedigree that thoroughbred experts look for in a Grand National winner, but he has already proved his endurance. Elegant Escape has made real strides this season culminating in running a very impressive 6th in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. With that trip being at 26 furlongs I believe that Elegant Escape will improve for the extra 6 furlongs and could be a big player come April 6th.

Vintage Clouds

Currently being offered at a best price of 16-1 Vintage clouds will be a popular selection for many.

Owned by the legendary Trevor Hemmings, who has won the Grand National three times in the past which can only be a huge positive for any potential backers. Vintage Clouds won at Aintree in October 2017 showing that he has experienced Aintree’s quirks and dealt with them well. He was an expected runner in the 2018 renewal but just missed the cut of the final 40 runners. He’s since run third in the Scottish National in 2018, so with a higher handicap mark and he can’t be ruled out. Also the trainer Sue Smith’s yard have had previous in winning the Grand National after landing the race in 2013 with Auroras Encore.

Rock The Kasbah

Set for his first crack at the big fences next month, Rock The Kasbah is a horse who has never fallen in any race and I’m sure will take like a duck to water at the fences. The Philips Hobbs trained horse won a grade three handicap chase at Cheltenham in November winning by 1 length and a quarter in a very classy field containing dower stayers in Royal Vacation and Coneygree. Since that race he only came 6th in another grade three at Cheltenham but was staying on very well at the finish. I think that was an ideal prep run with him not being put up any more weight for the big race which has clearly made his trainer very happy. The Grand national has clearly been his main target for a long time as he was entered into the ballot for last year but just missed out as his handicap mark wasn’t quite high enough. One year on and now it is time for him to prove his trainer and followers right.

Here is a quote from the trainer Philip Hobbs “ Today the weights of the Grand National came out. ROCK THE KASBAH carries a good weight of 10st  9lbs. He has now won over £200,000 in owners prize money & runs best when fresh so he will not race before.” This is a very confident trainer who says they like the weight of there horse as most trainers think that there horses have too much weight put on there back.

He has the class, the jumping ability, the small weight to carry, generous e/w odds at 25-1 currently and with all of these things combined should run an almighty race for us.

  • Tiger Roll – 5/1
    Anibale Fly – 12/1
    Rathvinden – 12/1
    Vintage Clouds – 14/1
    Elegant Escape – 20/1
    Mall Dini – 20/1
    Lake View Lad – 25/1
    Bristol de Mai – 25/1
    Rock The Kasbah – 25/1
    Valtor – 33/1
    Walk In The Mill – 33/1
    Pairofbrowneyes – 33/1
    Up For Review – 33/1
    Ms Parfois – 33/1
    Ramses de Teillee – 33/1
    Step Back – 33/1
    One For Arthur – 33/1
    Pleasant Company – 33/1
    Dounikos – 33/1
    General Principle – 40/1
    Go Conquer – 40/1
    Alpha des Obeaux – 40/1
    Abolitionist – 40/1
    Noble Endeavor – 40/1
    Jury Duty – 40/1
    Total Recall – 40/1
    Warriors Tale – 40/1
    Traffic Fluide – 40/1
    Minella Rocco – 40/1
    Willie Boy – 50/1
    Sub Lieutenant – 50/1
    Yala Enki – 50/1
    Mala Beach – 50/1
    Blaklion – 50/1
    Captain Redbeard – 50/1
    Edwulf – 50/1
    The Young Master – 50/1
    Ballyhill – 50/1
    Outlander – 50/1
    Folsom Blue – 50/1
    The Storyteller – 50/1
    Singlefarmpayment – 50/1
    Blow By Blow – 50/1
    Livelovelaugh – 50/1
    Vieux Lion Rouge – 50/1
    Sandymount Duke – 50/1
    Daklondike – 50/1
    Tea For Two – 50/1
    Master Dee – 50/1
  • Sizing Codelco – 50/1
    Royal Vacation – 50/1
    Magic of Light – 50/1
    Regal Encore – 50/1
    Van Gogh du Granit – 50/1
    Looking Well – 50/1
    Call It Magic – 50/1
    Ned Stark – 50/1
    Rathlin Rose – 50/1
    Mr Diablo – 50/1
    Carole’s Destrier – 50/1
    Milansbar – 50/1
    Borice – 50/1
    Ziga Boy – 50/1
    Baie des Iles – 50/1
    Shattered Love – 50/1
    Red Infantry – 50/1
    Cogry – 50/1
    Shantou Village – 50/1
    Joe Farrell – 50/1
    Ballydine – 50/1
    Out Sam – 50/1
    Ballyoptic – 50/1
    Bless The Wings – 66
    Just A Par – 66/1
    Don Poli – 66/1
    Polidam – 66/1
    Some Neck – 66/1
    Valseur Lido – 66/1
    Ultragold – 66/1
    Monbeg Notorious – 66/1
    A Toi Phil – 66/1
    Woods Well – 66/1
    Kilcrea Vale – 66/1
    Highland Lodge – 66/1
    Morney Wing – 66/1
    Potters Corner – 66/1
    Back To The Thatch – 66/1
    Kingswell Theatre – 66/1
    Impulsive Star – 66/1
    Vieux Morvan – 66/1
    Splash of Ginge – 66/1
    Measureofmydreams – 66/1
    Exitas – 66/1
    Isleofhopendreams – 66/1
    Black Corton – 66/1
    Fact of The Matter – 66/1
    Scoir Mear – 100/1

Above odds from UK bookmaker WilliamHill

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