Grand National Specials Betting Markets Review


The Grand National is the single biggest betting even in sport, with bookmakers making more money from the Grand National than for any other event during the year. It’s understandable, therefore, that bookies don’t just offer the regular bets that they offer for most races throughout the year – to win, or each way. In fact, bookies seem to almost get a bit carried away with the Grand National, offering odds on a huge amount of markets, from the age of the winner to the winning owner, and from horses not to finish the race to whether or not it will snow on Grand National day! Article by @TheParadeRing. Please follow him on twitter.

We’re not complaining, though, because, quite simply, more specials produce many more chances to win money. In many of the special markets, you have a much better chance of making money than you do by betting on the Grand National and trying to pick a winner on the unpredictable, treacherous, 4 and a half miles of Aintree at a quarter past four next Saturday.

Here, I’m going to identify some of the special markets which are easier to predict based on statistics and trends, and show you how to (hopefully!) predict them. We’ll start with some of the more popular ones:

Age Of Winner

The gruelling course of the Aintree Grand National is probably the toughest test a horse will ever have to endure. For this reason, the age profile of Grand National runners, and, more importantly, Grand National winners, is notably older than the age profile in an average, shorter race.

This year, there is one 7 year old entered into the Grand National, five 8 year olds, ten 9 year olds, twelve 10 year olds, six 11 year olds, and eight 12 year olds.

Out of the last thirty Grand National winners, there have been three 8 year olds, nine 9 year olds, eight 10 year olds, seven 11 year olds, and three 12 year olds.

Obviously, the higher the number of entries of a certain age in the race are, the chances are higher of winning – for example, if there are five 8yos entered into the 2013 race, there are five chances of an 8yo winning the race. However, there is only one 7yo entered, so there is only one chance of a 7yo winning.

Based on this theory, we should focus on ten year olds, nine year olds, and possibly twelve year olds, as there are more of these entered into the Grand National than there are eleven, eight or seven year olds.

7yo 1 0
8yo 5 3
9yo 10 9
10yo 12 8
11yo 6 7
12yo 8 3

However, you also have to take into consideration the trends – if the Aintree festival so far has taught us anything , it’s that the trends don’t lie. And based on the last 30 years, we should be betting on nine year olds, ten year olds and eleven year olds to win, as significantly more fitting this age profile have won over the last thirty years than seven, eight or twelve year olds.

This more or less rules out all seven and eight year olds, as there aren’t many entries of that age this year, and not many of them have won over the last 30 years, either. So, we should only focus on nine, ten, eleven and twelve year olds. Now to take a look at the odds:

We have included what your winnings would be from €10, as it’s simpler to compare them that way than trying to do maths to figure out what the odds are.)

 Odds: ‘Age Of Winner’




9 years old 15/8 £28.70
10 years old 5/2 £35.00
11 years old 4/1 £50.00
12 year old or older 9/2 £55.00
8 years old or younger 7/1 £80.00


So, remember, we’re looking at nine, ten, eleven and twelve-year-olds. The easier way to get an overall rating is to simply add the number of entries this year and the number of winners in the last 30 years. This would give the following ratings:

10yo  20, 9yo 19, 11yo 13, 12yo  11

Therefore, we can see that the best age group to back are ten year olds, followed closely by nine year olds, then not-as-closely by eleven year olds, and then twelve year olds.

Unfortunately, it looks like the bookies might just be using a similar technique to figure out the probability of each age-group winning, with their odds in the same order s our list, apart from nine and ten year olds being the opposite way around, with 9 year olds at the shortest odds and 10 year olds at the next shortest.

We’re picking the 10yos, as they’re just edging above the 9yos in our ratings, as well as being at more attractive odds than the 9yos.

My Tip  Back 10 Years Old at 5/2  ‘Age Of Winner’ Market

Not To Finish The Race

Here’s one for the animal rights activists taking over the media coming up to the Grand National – you can bet on certain horses not finishing the race. This doesn’t necessarily mean fallers, but many horses simply aren’t able for the long trip of Aintree. This is always talkied about before the race, so we are advising that you bet on horses not to finish if there is a doubt that they’ll be able for the trip or be able to make the trip. This points us towards horses such as

Big Fella Thanks, Roberto Goldback, Forpadydeplasterer, Always Waining,  Tatanen, Magnanimity, Quiscover Fontaine, Becauseicouldntsee, Mr Moonshine

These horses are all worries because, due to either lack of experience or a bad record over a longer track, it’s not thought that they will be able for the trip. The last 5 have actually never run a race over 3 miles or longer, suggesting that they will have no chance of finishing the race.

Another factor which you have to take into consideration is how likely the horses are to fall, or unseat the rider, which is always a huge threat in the Grand National. Therefore, we’re worried about horses who have fallen or unseated the rider four times or more. The list looks like (along with how many times they have fallen or unseated the rider):

Big Fella Thanks 4/23, Roberto Goldback 4/23, Tatenen 4/29, Becauseicouldntsee 4/21

Auroras Encore would also fit in on that second list, with 4 falls out of 40, but we left him out, as he still has a lower fall/unseated rider percentage than most other horses.

If we now cross-reference the two lists, we come up with the same four horses as the second list, as all of the horses who have fallen or unseated the rider more than 4 times are also a doubt for the trip.

However, after all that, the only ones of our shortlist of four who  (the only bookies offering this market) are offering odds on are Big Fella Thanks and Roberto Goldback. This brings our attention back to the first list, where we have odds available on Always Waining at 5/4, but none of the others. If you remember, Always Waining is in the list because there is a lot of doubt over whether or not he will be able to make the trip, making us think that he won’t be able to finish.

My Tips – Back Big Fella Thanks at 5/4, Roberto Goldback at 11/10, & Always Waining at 5/4 ˜Not To Finish The Race’ Market

Groups To Finish The Course

This is a sort of a ‘finishing accumulator’ – and as we all know, accumulators are a bookie’s dream, as they can take all of your money if just one of your selections goes wrong. The bookies would love this market, because all they have to do is put one horse unlikely to finish in each group – however, I have included this because we can use the same type of information on it as we used on the last one. All we have to do is divide the horses into two groups.

Group 1 are horses which have not regularly unseated the rider or fallen, and have experience over long distance or stay well.

Group 2 are horses which don’t have all of the above.

Group 1 horses are a lot more likely to finish the course than Group 2s are – therefore, the bookies love making out these groups by putting a group 2 horse into every group, therefore bringing down the probability of your whole group winning. It’s a bit like having two odds-on favourites in a treble, but, to get your return up, you put in a 10/1 shot as well. The bookies love this 10/1 shot, as it is unlikely to win, and makes them money, as it stops your whole treble.

However, I’ve managed to find a couple of groups (the ones with shorter odds, unfortunately) in which I reckon all of the horses could be passed as Group 1. Here they are, along with the bookies and the odds (Remember that this has nothing to do with the horses for you to pick as your winner.)

My tips in the Groups To Finish The Course market:

Colbert Station, Oscar Time, Swing Bill, Harry The Viking Betvictor 12/1
Harry The Viking, Oscar Time, Rare Bob, Weird Al 10/1
Across The Bay, Seabass, Ballabriggs, On His Own 5/1


Snow On Grand National Day?

I’ve picked this as my last one simply because it’s the most novel of the special markets. It’s being offered by Boylesports at 10/1 that there will be ‘Snow at the winning post between 8am and post time’.

If there is one thing not to bet on in Aintree this week, it’s Boylesports Snow On Grand National Day!

The Tips

These are the tips that I have selected in the special markets. As I said earlier, there is often easier money to be made here than in the Grand National itself. Have a look around, as there are lots more specials, such as Ruby & Katie Walsh specials, Irish trained specials, Winning owner specials, and much more! Here are my selections out of the Special Markets:

Age Of Winner’ Market: Back 10 Years Old at 5/2 Note: If you don’t like the 10 year olds, the 9 year olds were my very close 2nd.

Not To Finish The Race’ Market: Back Big Fella Thanks at 5/4, Roberto Goldback at 11/10, & Always Waining at 5/4 in

‘Groups To Finish The Course’ Market:

Back Colbert Station, Oscar Time, Swing Bill, Harry The Viking at 12/1 with Betvictor

Harry The Viking, Oscar Time, Rare Bob, Weird Al at 10/1 

Across The Bay, Seabass, Ballabriggs, On His Own at 5/1 

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