5 Horses to bet on at The Grand National

Europe’s most valuable race jump, The Grand National, will attract an estimated 70 000 spectators to the Aintree racecourse, near Liverpool, running from 6 April and closing with Grand National Day on 8 April. This national race hunt sees a maximum of 40 horses taking on some of the most challenging conditions with seven races held daily and the event highlight, the Grand National Race, set for 5.15pm on the final day. Here, horses and riders will complete two laps of the four-mile track which includes an incredible 16 fences that need to be overcome.

grand national betting

Starting in 1839, this historic race offers in excess of £1 million prize money, with lots more money set to exchange hands between punters and gamblers watching from the sidelines. If you’re looking to bet on this internationally-appealing race, then here are five horses to look out for.

Horses to Bet on

1. Vieux Lion Rouge

The Grand National favourite, Vieux Lion Rouge – ridden by Tom Scudamore – finished 7th last year but is in peak form going into the 2017 race. This eight-year-old Chestnut gelding has won a total prize money of £121 000 this season, with his career total being £191 000, so is definitely at the top of his game. He won five of his nine chase starts and finished sixth in the 4-mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham Festival in 2016. Trainer, David Pipe, is an extremely successful point-to-point trainer with some 164 winners to his name. His father, Martin Pipe CBE, was himself a 15-time champion National Hunt trainer – the most successful jumps trainer in British horseracing history. Vieux Lion Rouge’s rider, Tom Scudamore, is also no stranger to horse racing. He’s a third-generation British flat and steeplechase jockey and the son of eight-time champion jockey, Peter Scudamore MBE. His grandfather, Michael, won the Grand National on Oxo in 1959 so he’ll be keen to bring that glory back to the family.

Current betting odds: TBC

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2. Definitely Red

This horse put himself on the map by beating the Grand National 2016 runner-up, The Last Samuri, by an incredible 14 lengths to win the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster. This put him at four wins out of nine chase starts. He also won the Grade 3 Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day, with a win or place in the remaining seven chase starts. Although he hasn’t experienced the Grand National fences, the previous five out of six Grand National champions all won on their first run. Trainer, Brian Ellison, has been in the game since 1989 and is a leading dual-purpose racehorse trainer while rider, Danny Cook (who did face a six-month ban for cocaine use in 2015) is expected to bring his race-winning zest to the event.

Current betting odds: TBC

3. Blaklion

Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, a two-time Grand National winner, there is a good chance that eight-year-old Blaklion will get to the finish line first. However, Blaklion did face defeat against race favourite, Vieux Lion Rouge, at the Haydock Grand National trial, although Twiston-Davies firmly believes that Blaklion’s clever jumping is suited to the Aintree course. Irish jockey, Noel Fehily, has enjoyed a number of career successes including the King George VI Chase on Silviniaco Conti, the Tingle Creek Chase on Master Minded and the Cheltenham Festival on Rock on Ruby.

Current betting odds: TBC

4. Cause Of Causes

Jockey turned racehorse trainer, Gordon Elliott, has some experience winning the Grand National with his first-ever entry, Silver Birch, taking the title a decade ago. This win made Elliott the youngest trainer – aged 29 – to win the world’s most prestigious steeplechase, and he is set on proving it wasn’t a once-off. Elliott was, more recently, the top trainer at the Cheltenham Festival with six winners, Cause Of Causes being one of them. This nine-year-old horse has accumulated a whopping £357 000 in career prize money with three chase wins at the Cheltenham Festival as well as top place at amateur ride events, Novice Chase and Kim Muir. He first attempted the Grand National in 2015, placing eighth, but hopefully he will push up to first at this year’s big final. Jockey is still to be announced.

Current betting odds: TBC

5. One For Arthur

A superb jumper, One For Arthur has 7 career wins so far, with the most at the Grade 3 Betfred Classic Handicap Chase in Warwick. He has three wins from 10 chase starts, has never fallen over larger obstacles and trainer, Lucinda Russell, has been focused on getting him ready for the Grand National. Although the jockey is still to be confirmed, Russell has been a premier Scottish National Hunt trainer since 2009, training more than 500 winners including nine graded winners and winners at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals. In addition, her training partner is none other than, Peter Scudamore MBE, whose son, Tom, will be racing the favourite alongside One For Arthur.

Current betting odds: TBC

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