On Saturday April 14, the eyes of the sporting world fall on Aintree for the Grand National.
A bumper field will battle it out over four miles and 30 fences for a £1m prize pot, making it the most valuable jump race in Europe.
With markets beginning to take shape, backers can place their bets early in an attempt to grab a share of the value. There are some big prices available, with the current betting ranging from Total Recall at 12/1 and Henri Parry Morgan at 200/1.
No matter your strategy for picking a winner – be it studying the horses' form, trawling through the jockey’s stats or simply picking a runner with the same name as a family member – the country will come to a standstill for the duration, soaking up the unique atmosphere of the race.
The Grand National ante-post betting on the verge of Cheltenham Festival 2018 has Total Recall as early jolly. The Willie Mullins' trained nine-year-old gelding arrives at the Liverpool course boasting some impressive recent form – three wins in his last three starts.
He won the Munster National at Limerick under the ride of Ruby Walsh (2/1), the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury with Paul Townend on his back (9/2) and, most recently, the William Fry Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown, again for Townend (5/6). That purple patch explains why there’s no horse available at a shorter price.
Nine-year-old Blaklion has eased to second favourite in the list but he still demands the respect of traders and the 14/1 available at Betfair will ensure he’s popular in the run-up to the off. Blaklion is another who comes on the back of a strong run, his last three showing a first and two seconds. Runner-up behind Bristol De Mai in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, beaten half-a-length, he then demolished a decent field at Aintree in the Becher Handicap Chase, The Last Samuri coming home in second nine lengths off the pace.
Impressive, but he got nowhere near the winner at Haydock last time out when finding Yala Enki too good in an eight-runner field. The race was filled with drama, with only three horses able to finish, two pulling-up, one faller, an unseated rider and Wild West Wind refusing to jump at the business end when going backwards. There will be plenty more theatre on April 14th but Blaklion must keep a cool head if he’s to deliver.
As well as the big prices available on runners, there’s also a plethora of Grand National free bets 2018 available to both new and existing customers as bookmakers try to tempt punters into having a bet with them, rather than getting their stake down with the competition.
One such deal that catches the eye is bet365's Non-Runner No Bet. More experienced punters will tell you just how vital NRNB is when placing your antepost bets and we look to give you the highlights in simple form.
Back a horse antepost with most firms and you’ll get better odds than a punter waiting until the day of the rest, jumping the queue ahead of the late flood of money, but there’s also a risk your selection won’t run. That might be sickness, injury in training, or if they haven't been working well at home – any number of reasons. Usually, in those circumstances, you’d lose your stake.
With NRNB, you can place your bets and, if the horse runs in the race, your punt stands. But if for whatever reason he’s pulled in the days before the off, you’ll get your money back – as the name suggests. That gives backers the best of both worlds – the value that comes with betting early and the peace of mind you get from not wasting your stake on a no-show.
Article Posted on Monday 12th March 2018 @ 17.09
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