The Grand National is seen by many people as the most famous horse race in the world.
It’s believed that over 10 million people will tune in to watch the race this weekend, with many more millions around the globe set to be glued to the action. It’s a race that even people without an interest in horse racing seem to get involved with, and for many, it’s the one race in which they place a bet too.
The unpredictability of the race is one of its key appeals, with many big priced winners coming in over the last century. The field at Aintree will be packed with 40 runners and it’s anyone’s race in the eyes of a lot of people. For those who take horse racing more seriously though, trends and statistics have helped to determine which of the runners should have the best chance of going well.
A lot of people will be looking towards the performances of Gordon Elliott’s runners in this year’s race. He’s had an unbelievable season and after being named the top trainer at the Cheltenham Festival, as well as being the winning trainer at the Irish Grand National, he’s now looking to add to his achievements with a victory this weekend. He has Tiger Roll, Ucello Conti and Bless The Wings in the race, Tiger Roll is seen as one of the favourites and you can’t really back against Elliott’s runners right now.
Many people are also excited about the chances of Seeyouatmidnight in the race. Scotland had been waiting 38 years for only their second winner in the Grand National, and they now have a great chance of making it 2/2 this year. Seeyouatmidnight, Sandy Thomson’s 10-year-old, has not had it easy making it to Aintree, but now he’s here he certainly has all the credentials to run a great race.
When it comes to picking a winner, many people try and follow set criteria. First of all, the horse needs to be the right age, so many suggest that looking for a runner between the age of 8 and 11 is the way to go, due to 17 of the winners over the last 20 years being from that age range.
The handicapping system is designed to give every runner a fair chance of winning the Grand National. The horses that are deemed to have more when it comes to ability will be carrying more weight. The extra weight has been an issue over the years, with horses carrying over 11 stone 3 pounds struggling to make a real impact.
Aintree itself is also a huge factor for punters when they’re making their selections. If the horse has run at the track before, possibly over the Grand National fences, they have a good chance of fairing well in the race. The horse not only need stamina, it needs to be a good jumper too, and it must also be able to perform in a big field.
The Grand National really is the greatest race in the world and selecting which horses you’re going to choose is probably just as fun as watching the race play out. Keep an eye on the form of the runners too as you look to pick a winner, this can also be very important in the run-up to the big race too.