Grand National Betting Guide 2009

The Grand National Betting Guide

How many times have you heard people at work, in the pub, at church describe the Grand National a lottery. Hundreds? Wish you had been given a pound coin for every time you have heard that phrase. Well it might have something to do with to do with the first National winner having that name or the fact that people find it really hard to search through all the runners with any confidence. After all those old enough – early fifties – will remember Foinavon. Those luckily younger will remember the void race. And who hasn’t heard of Red Rum.

Judged by many to be the greatest race in the world – it has had some name changes over the years from The Sun, Martel, through to the ever popular John Smiths Grand National. It has featured great personal stories and triumphs – such as Bob Champion’s victory on Aldaniti, Ginger McCain’s resurgence as a top national trainer, the Walsh’s father and son success on Papillon, and the unforgettable ‘Better than sex’ comment from Mick Fitzgerald.

The most popular result this year will probably be a victory for AP McCoy. Well what are his chances? Seemingly very good. Let me explain.

For those who believe the National is a lottery, worse than bingo and harder than the Scoop 6 then stop reading now. Just pick a number between 1 and 40 back that, enjoy yourself watching the race with a beer in hand, shouting ‘Go On’ as loud as you can at the TV screen as you ride the race. Then spend your winnings wisely!

For those people who enjoy the race for the fantastic puzzle it is read on.

Did you know by applying a little of knowledge of the statistics of the race you increase your chances of finding the winner by a significant amount.

Let me give you the profile of the winner– its form if you like since 1991

1. It’s normally between 8 to 12 years of age.
2. It normally carries under 11 stone – only Hedgehunter has won carrying more (11.1)
3. It has earned an official rating of 139 or more.
4. It has achieved a Racing Post performance rating of 144.
5. It’s starting price has been less than 40/1

At the time of writing – Thursday – we are left with twelve contenders. And McCoy has a choice of two from those contenders.

Does the race feel such a lottery now? Have we just turned that fiendish equine sudoku into something more easily solvable? Starting to fancy a flutter with your favourite bookie – maybe Ladbrokes, William Hill, Victor Chandler or you may simply want to BetFred. Maybe you’ll want to exchange your ideas with WBX.

Before you do that lets take the analysis a little further. We now need to look at form of each contender. You’ll need to access the Racing Post website or buy their newspaper to do this with any confidence. Read it, study it and if a contender can be eliminated from the list all well and good. The fewer on the short-list the better our chance of making money.

From personal choice I’m going to reject Parson’s Legacy, L’Ami, Himalayan Trail Kilbeggan Blade, Southern Vic and Cornish Sett from my list because they are not running well, have poor previous Aintree form, or just don’t look up to the challenge, This will leave a short list of six.

Butlers Cabin, Offshore Account, Darkness, Irish Invader, Rambling Minister and Brooklyn Brownie are the ones for me.

So, with a little knowledge and a bit of analysis I have what I consider to be a strong hand in that game of poker otherwise know as the National.

The real deal now is to decide how to play these horses to maximise potential profit. The choices are:
1. Straight win bets
2. Each way bets
3. Forecasts
4. Back-to-lay on Betfair or one of the other betting exchanges.
5. Novelty bets offered by our friendly bookies.

Whichever I choose I’m going to wait for the day before I finally decide. The list may alter by Saturday, but I cannot see it changing that much. If I arrive at a strong fancy on the day I would be most likely to play a straight win. It seems more likely this year that I will play most of the six as I feel there is no horse with a strong advantage over the others.

Whatever the outcome one thing is for sure – it will provide an answer to the question posed in the title. Yes – the level of excitement, arousal and thrill the race provides can most certainly put as an experience on a par with sex. No – the dull, number racket called the lottery, in comparison, has all the disappointment of a first fence faller.

I’ll leave you with my best wishes and my two favourite Grand National quotes. I’ve already mentioned Mick Fitzgerald’s, but when juxtaposed with trainer Captain Tim Foster’s instructions to his jockey to ‘Keep remounting’ I can’t help but smile.

Go on!

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