2017 Aintree Grand National Ante-Post Betting Preview

The 2017 Grand National is just a couple of short months away and we already have a live ante-post market. Let’s take a look at some of the betting’s early risers…

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The Last Samuri

Last season’s runner-up is, unsurprisingly, getting plenty of support. Kim Bailey’s inmate contributed to one of the best National finishes in recent years, staying on virtually all the way to the winning-post and losing to Rule The World by just 6 lengths. 3rd in the G3 Becher Handicap Chase, last time out, there are plenty of reasons to believe he can go close again.

One For Arthur

Linda Russell’s Milan-sired 8-year-old finished 5th in December’s Becher Handicap and finished staying-on. He went on to win in G3 company, at Warwick in January, beating Goodtoknow by 6 lengths. That race was very competitive and featured the likes of Shotgun Paddy, Viva Steve, Doctor Harper and Sego Success. Those that have backed this horse, to level stakes throughout his jumping career, are well in profit.

Empire Of Dirt

Flawless, in 2016, he won the Grade A Leopardstown Handicap Chase before landing the spoils in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at the Cheltenham Festival. Stablemate Noble Endeavor began the Troytown Handicap Chase (Navan) as favourite, but he could not live with Empire Of Dirt’s stamina and the Westerner-sired gelding won comfortably. Demands respect.

It’s still early days and many others are attracting bets. They include Vieux Lion Rouge, The Young Master, See You At Midnight, Ucello Conti, Minella Rocco, Don Poli, Highland Lodge and Paul Nicholls’ Vicente.

Grand National Race Details

Grand National horses can become household names, if they win the prestigious event, which is among the most famous races in the world.

There are Irish, Scottish and Welsh Grand National races, although the most famous is the English Grand National. This race is held, every year, at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool.

The English National is run over four miles and three and a half furlongs, which is a very long distance for a steeplechase race. The prize pool is around £1 million, making it the most valuable European jumps event.

Many people in Britain bet on the National, even if they have no interest in gambling. It has become a tradition – the one race in the calendar where millions of people will have a flutter. Bookmakers can win or lose huge amounts, depending on the result.

The most famous Grand National horse is Red Rum, which won the race three times between 1973 and 1977.

Recent Grand National Winners

We have already mentioned 2016 winner Rule The World, as well as Many Clouds who was victorious in 2015.

Pineau De Re began the 2014 renewal as a 25/1 shot. The 2 false starts did not unsettle him and he remained handily-placed throughout the race, under an impressive ride from veteran Leighton Aspell. The duo took control of matters as they approached the final fence and won at the expense of Balthazar King.

In 2013, Auroras Encore shocked many by getting first past the post. Ryan Mania was on-board the Sue Smith-trained thoroughbred, despite only two horses falling (fences were altered, due to a recent spate of falls that resulted in horses being destroyed). The 11/2 favorite, Seabass, had to make do with second place. This was the first time that Channel 4 held the broadcasting rights for the Aintree meeting.

In 2012, the race was won by Neptune Collonges. Once again, the winner returned at an unusually high price. Daryl Jacob’s mount won at 33/1, delighting trainer, Paul Nicholls, and owner, John Hales. For the 2012 race, the minimum age of participating horses was raised from six to seven.

The 2011 race saw two fatal falls and these, in part, led to the safety measures imposed in 2012 and 2013. The Irish raider, Ballabriggs, came home in first place and provided trainer, Donald McCain Jr, with his first National winner. The jockey was Jason Maguire and the horse was owned by Trevor Hemmings.

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