The Grand National, one of the most prestigious races of the season, is just around the corner and the field has already been more or less confirmed as well, so we’ve decided to take a closer look at what the action is going to bring and which horses could make history on April 9. Those of you who are looking just for the betting views can skip straight to them, but we’ve also prepared a short overview of the event and its history for those of you who would like to learn more about that before reading our tips.
A Bit of History
The Grand National, which takes place in Aintree, has been around since the year of 1839, a stat that makes it one of the oldest regular races that are still contested year in and year out – and, right now, it’s actually also the most valuable jump race in Europe, with the generous prize purse attracting the best horses and best jockeys out there.
Another thing that makes it so special is the fact that the course is incredibly tricky to navigate, with large fences and tough turns that always test everyone to the limit. In fact, the bookies are even offering bets on whether all runners will successfully negotiate the very first fence – and the “No” selection is priced odds on at Bet365!
Regardless of what’s going to happen, there’s one certainty – that it will all be witnessed by millions of viewers, as the race will be broadcast in more that 140 countries.
Last time around, the Grand National was won by Many Clouds, who was ridden by Leighton Aspell – and both are expected to be back for the 2016 edition of the race as well, so that’s one story to look forward to if you’re into that.
Grand National 2016
Although there are still a few details to be ironed out here and there as far as the runners are concerned, the betting markets have already been opened for quite a while now and we’ve already seen the odds moving sharply as well, which means that it’s about time to get involved for everyone who doesn’t want to wait until the last minute or perhaps even for the in-play betting with a bookie like Paddy Power.
Unsurprisingly, it’s the 2015 winner, Many Clouds, that’s considered the favourite, which is not only because of the track record, but also because it’s expected jockey, Leighton Aspell, will be looking to complete a hat-trick of Grand National victories, having also won the race with Pineau de Re in 2014. From what we’ve been able to decipher, Aspell thinks that Many Clouds is actually still improving, while his trainer, Oliver Sherwood, says that he will be in top condition despite looking slightly wobbly after winning one of the recent races.
All eyes will also be on Silviniaco Conti, who comes from the stables of Paul Nicholls, a man that’s obviously a bit of a legend and who knows what he’s doing if he’s decided to put that horse forward as his best bet. The horse is also at the ideal age for getting a big win and the bookies have recently slashed the odds considerably, so there seem to be some things speaking in his favor – and we’re not talking about the recent race win here. If you like his chances, Coral have him at 13.00.
Apart from these two highly interesting runners, we are also going to highlight The Druids Nephew, The Last Samuri and Holywell, who are all just behind Many Clouds and Silviniaco Conti in the betting. The Druids Nephew was rated very highly in 2015, but failed to finish after a fall. He looked in good nick before the disaster struck, however, so chances are that he will be inspired by the return. On the other hand, it might also bring the worst of memories for the horse. The Last Samuri has some big results to build on and he’s also getting a lot of hype, but there are some concerns about the markets over-reacting to his recent results. Finally, Holywell is also in the mix and many punters seem to trust him a lot, but we would actually have him as the biggest underdog from the five horses we’ve examined, as he would need to find his 2014 form in order to stand a chance of winning.
The long list of runners should also include Saint Are, who finished second in 2015, Morning Assembly, who has a lot of quality despite being out of racing for a long time, and Just a Par, one of the true hit-or-miss horses.
When it comes to the betting, we reckon that it’s actually quite hard to look past Many Clouds and it would naturally be glorious victory, as it would put both him and Aspell into the history books – after all, Aspell would be the first jockey to triumph three years in a row! Paddy Power are offering the best odds – 9.00 – for Many Clouds and we think that this is a very solid bet for everyone who just wants a thrilling punt.
If you’re looking for bigger odds, however, there are some better selections out there as far as we are concerned. Boston Bob, for example, has been flying under the radar without many tipping him up, but that is now starting to change, with Ruby Walsh announcing that he’s chosen him in the bid to win the Grand National for the third time. At 26.00 with Coral, he’s certainly worth a closer look.
The other horse that we have high hopes for is Soll. He has already competed in the Grand National on a couple of occasions and he’s a proven competitor on tricky courses, so why he’s being completely ignored by many punters is beyond us. If you decide to back him, look for bookies that offer good conditions for Each-Way bets. Paddy Power have always been a very good choice in that respect, for example, and those guys have Soll at 51.00 at the moment – a price that we’re more than happy to take.
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