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Grand National 2017

Learn how to bet and play on horses and enjoy a great bonus offer for the Grand National.

Important: This review was written for Grand National 2017. 

For over a century the Grand National has been the premier steeplechase event in the world, drawing in millions of viewers and tens of millions of pounds in bets. Only the top racehorses in the world compete at the Grand National.

The 2017 Grand National promises to be another legendary affair, with past winners coming back to take another shot at the title and newcomers thirsty for glory. This betting guide takes an in depth look into the history, favorites, odds, culture and past winners of the Grand National and attempts to give readers every advantage when placing bets in 2017. With online betting bringing the Grand National to better’s homes it has never been easier to make money betting on your favorite horse.

What is The Grand National?

The Grand National is a National Hunt horse race which is held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. The very first run of the Grand National took place back in 1839, giving it a history of over 170 years.

The Grand National is a handicapped steeplechase which spans over 4 miles 514 yards (6.907 km) with horses and riders jumping 30 fences over two laps. The Grand National holds the highest prize pool in Europe with a record £1,000,000 in 2016.
The course at the Aintree Racecourse is known for being one of the hardest to complete for steeplechase riders. Many of the 30 fences have the potential to de-seat riders, on average less than half the field completes the race at a Grand National race. The Grand National has been named ‘the ultimate test for horse and rider.’

The difficulty to finish the race makes the Grand National one of the most entertaining and broadly watched races. The excitement that comes from knowing that any rider may fall at the next obstacle makes for a very suspenseful atmosphere. Also it makes the Grand National one of the harder horse races to predict, with many of the champions over the years coming into the race as huge underdogs. The race is popular amongst viewers who normally don’t follow horse racing the rest of the year.

The Grand National has been broadcast of free to watch television in the United Kingdom since 1960. From 1960 to 2012 the broadcast was done by BBC, however between 2013 and 2016 UK’s Channel 4 acquired the channel rights and now the 2017 Grand National will move again to ITV.

It is estimated that around 500 to 600 million people watch the Grand National in over 140 countries, making it one of the most watched horsing events in the world.
The Grand National has also been broadcast on radio since 1927. BBC Radio held exclusive rights up until 2013, however, Talksport has now also acquired radio commentary rights.


The Venue of the Grand National has been the Aintree Racecourse for over a 150 years. The race however started out at a course in Maghull, which was later replaced by Aintree. The venues of the Grand National are known for being tough on riders and horses with most competitors being unable to finish the races there.

Aintree Racecourse

The Aintree Racecourse is located in Aintree, Merseyside, England. It is served by Aintree railway station, which is situated outside the racecourse. The racecourse is best known for holding the Grand National Steeplechase annually.

The Aintree Racecourse is a unique venue as it considered the most difficult steeplechase in the world to finish. The course consists of 16 steeplechase fences including renowned obstacles The Chair, Foinavon, Valentine’s, Canal Turn and Becher’s Brook. It is these obstacles that have made the Grand National such a success, as the fans flock in to see which top runners can make it through the course. Even the top horses in the world have been unable to complete the event at times, making it one of the most unpredictable and exciting races to watch. Many jockeys avoid the Aintree Racecourse at it is believed to be too hazardous. The brave are however, given a chance at huge prize pools, with the last few editions of the Grand National bringing a Prize Pool of one million pounds.
The Grand National race is run over 4 miles 514 yards after being re-measured and shortened in 2015.

Four other races take place over at the Aintree Racecourse over the National’s fences. The races are the Topham Chase and the Fox Hunters’ Chase at the Grand National meeting, and the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase and Becher Chase in the November meeting.

Key Obstacles

The Chair

The Chair is one of the 30 fences jumped at the Grand National at the Aintree Racecourse. It is the 15th fence and is known for being one of the toughest to pass in steeplechase venues around the world. The fence has claimed many riders as its victims and continues to be the nemesis of many of the riders of today. The Chair is not the most dangerous obstacle of the Aintree Course but it requires much attention from the riders, due to the steepness of the jump.

Positioned right in front of the grandstand it is the tallest fence that racers must clear. Standing at an intimidating five feet and 3 inches the fence has consistently managed to catch horses and riders who are not in perfect position to take the jump off-guard, leading to their exit from the race.
To complicate things even further, the landing side of The Chair fence is actually 6 inches above the ground on the takeoff side, thus the ground comes up to meet the horse and rider sooner than anticipated.

Arguably, the most notorious incident at The Chair was a pile up which occurred during the 1979 Grand National, where two loose horses ran across the field and contributed to the falls of nine horses.

There has been no equine fatality in the Grand National at The Chair since the year 1979, and only three at the fence since the race was formed in 1839.

Canal Turn

The Canal Turn is another one of the many different and difficult obstacles on display at the Grand National. The obstacle is named after the Leeds & Liverpool Canal which passes alongside the racecourse. The Canal Turn is jumped twice during the Grand National race, at the 8th and 24th fences.

The Canal turn is known for the notably sharp left run that rider must take to pass the obstacle. The turn is almost 90 degrees which causes riders to lose their balance when passing the turn. Unseating of riders is fairly common at the Canal Turn.
The Canal Turn is also famous for being quite deadly, with 7 equine fatalities being recorded at in Grand National races since 1839. The most recent death happened not too long ago, when the The Last Fling passed away in 2002.

Over the years the Canal Turn has been the scene for many incidents which changes the outcome of the whole Grand National race. Most famously in 1928, top contender Easter Hero refused to take the turn which resulted in a big collision that took out 20 horses. By the end of the first circuit only six horses remained in the field! Expect the Canal Turn to play its part in the Grand National 2017 as well, causing some riders to be unseated and perhaps even creating a pile up.

Becher’s Brook

Becher’s Brook is known for being the most treacherous of the obstacles at the Aintree Racecourse. The obstacle is jumped twice during the race, as the 6th and 22nd fence. The reason the obstacle has been so notorious and controversial is due to the size and angle of the 6ft 9in drop on the landing side. Some jockeys have even related jumping the Becher’s Brook to jumping off the wide of the world. Originally the Becher’s Brook consisted of an 8 ft-wide brook with a fence which was a yard in front of the water, the ground on the landing side for the riders was 3 feet lower than that of the take-off side.

The jump has gone through modifications after animal rights groups lobbied to have the Obstacle removed from the course. The deaths of Dark Ivy in the 1987 Grand National and Seeandem and Brown Trix in the 1989 Grand National proved to be the tipping point. Even with the changes two more horses, Ornais and Dooneys Gate died during the 2011 Grand National, which led to further renovations of the brook.

The Becher’s Brook has caused the most number of riders to fall or be unseated by quite some margin. With hundreds of victims over the years, the Becher’s Brook seems to be the one part of the racecourse that all viewers keep an eye on. When the horses make their way to the 6th and 22nd fence there is almost a sense of anticipation, with the odds that at least a few riders will be unseated.

Expect plenty of action at the Grand National 2017 when the horses approach the Becher’s Brook, many favorites have fallen victim.

Grand National Odds

The Grand National has always provided horse race enthusiasts with amazing stories of underdog victories and moments of greatness. Most of the winners of the past ten Grand Nationals fit this bill to a tee. It will be noticed that while favorites coming into the race have the tendency to do the best, it is often horses with extremely large odds on them that eventually take home the Grand National.

Past 10 Years Grand National Results and Analysis

The following is a review of the past 10 years of the Grand National including the past 10 winners and any patterns that they provide into the likelihood of the winner of the Grand National 2017.


WinnerGrand National OddsJockeyTrainerOwnerPrize Money
Silver Birch33/1Robbie PowerGordon ElliottBrian Walsh£700,000

Ten years ago the 2007 Grand National brought 40 horse and rider combinations together to compete for £700,000. The race was held in the customary racecourse Aintree. The conditions on the day of the race were conducive to fast riding with ideal weather and great ground texture to help the horses with their balance. The race was thought to be attended by around 70,000 spectators, with an estimated 16 million people placing bets on the race.
The winner of the race was 33-1 shot Silver Birch, ridden by Robbie Power who was able to edge out McKelvey by three quarters of a length to take home the title. The Irish horse owned by Brian Walsh, was not considered a top contender for the race, surprising many with its top notch performance.

The favorites for the race were Joe’s Edge, Monkerhostin and Point Barrow who had all been given 8/1 odds to win the race. Many betters placed bets on all three assuming that one of these strong horses would surely take the championship. Ultimately not one of these horses was even able to finish the race with Point Barrow falling at the very first fence.

The race provided viewers with another showcase of an underdog horse taking home the Grand National, which had become quite a regular event in the past.

Of the 40 horses that started the event only 12 were able to complete the race which is abnormally low for the course, especially considering the conditions were very favorable for riding.

It was a good year for bookmakers as much of the money had been placed on the favorites of the race not paying much attention to the distant 33/1 odds of Silver Birch.


WinnerGrand National OddsJockeyTrainerOwnerPrize Money
Comply or Die7/1Timmy MurphyDavid PipeDavid Johnson£450,640

The 2008 Grand National also known as the John Smith’s Grand National due to sponsorship reasons brought in 40 runners looking to win a piece of a prize pool of £450,640. The conditions at the 2008 Grand National were perfect for riding with hard ground and clear weather.

The tournament was won by joint favorite Comply or Die ridden by Irish jockey Timmy Murphy, it was Murphy’s 11th attempt at the Nationals. The rider won the race by a solid four lengths over King John’s Castle who came in second place and Snowy Morning that made third. This was one of the rare Grand Nationals where the favorite was able to come away with the title, the odds on Comply or Die were 7/1. Owner David Johnson of Comply or Die was over the moon to win after having had more than 20 horses compete unsuccessfully in previous Grand Nationals.
Another joint favorite Cloudy Lane ridden by Jason Maguire was only able to muster 6th place, despite being most expert’s choice to win. The 2nd place King John’s Castle and third place Snowy Morning had 20/1 and 16/1 to win the race respectively.

In an unfortunate incident the horse McKelvey veered sharply off the course after falling when trying to negotiate the running rails only to suffer fatal injuries, becoming the sixth horse to die in the Grand National since the turn of the century.

Only 15 of the starting 40 horses were able to finish the race. This number was below the normal average of about half the field. The low number can be accounted by a few mishaps that took place during the Water Jump which took out multiple horses.


WinnerGrand National OddsJockeyTrainerOwnerPrize Money
Mon Mome100/1Liam TreadwellVenetia WilliamsVida Bingham£450,640

The 2009 Grand National saw one of the more unexpected winners of the National through its history. The French Bred Mon Mome was able to take down the title ridden by Liam Treadwell by a good 12 lengths over the previous year’s winner Comply or Die. Mon Mome was a huge underdog going into the race getting 100/1 odds before the race started. This marked the first time a 100/1 underdog had won since the legendary Foinavon in 1967. The horse also became the first French horse to win in almost 100 years.

The conditions at the 2009 Grand Nationals were well suited to riding, with great ground texture and perfect weather conditions. Favourites for the race were Butler’s Cabin coming in at 7/1 odds and My Will ridden by Ruby Walsh, coming in with 8/1 odds. The two favourites also did very well in the race coming in 2nd and third, but they couldn’t match Mon Mome who seemed to be in great form during the race.

Of the 40 racers that started the race only 17 finished, which is quite regular for the Grand National. Horse, Hear The Echo collapsed during the latter stages of the race and later died due to complications, marking another horse that was unable to cope with the pressures of the Grand National.

Bookmakers were extremely happy with the result of the Grand National in 2009 with a majority of bettors placing bets on the favorites after, the joint favorite Comply or Die won the year before. The 100/1 Mon Mome seemed to be favored by very few to take home the title, once again showing how the Grand National has the tendency to provide unlikely heroes.


WinnerGrand National OddsJockeyTrainerOwnerPrize Money
Don’t Push It10/1Tony McCoyJonjo O’NeillJ. P. McManus£900,000

The 2010 race brought about an unlikely occurrence, a pre-race favorite winning the Grand National. Don’t Push It, a 10/1 horse, was a joint favorite to take home the title. Ridden by Jockey Tony McCoy, Don’t Push It was able to stay ahead of Black Apalachi in second by five lengths, and twenty ahead of State of Play in third.

his was McCoy’s fifteenth attempt at the Grand National and his first win. The conditions at the 2010 race were quite good, with some soft patches found in the ground which were considered hazardous if not dealt with well by riders. The Race was the highest in the history of attendance with a crowd of 70,341 on the day of the race, and a total of 150,426 attending over the course of the three-day meeting.

Don’t Push It came to be a last minute favorite with the odds prior to the day of the race at 20/1 on the horse. The other joint favorite of the race was Big Fella Thanks who was able to secure 4th place in the race.

Only 14 of the starting 40 horse were able to finish the race, this could be chalked up to the less than ideal conditions that year at the Aintree. It was a great relief when there were no equine fatalities in 2010, which had been a regular occurrence in the past 5 years.
The bookmakers took a hit, with a joint favorite taking home the race. At 10/1 and previously at 20/1, Don’t Push It was able to win a lot of money for many people, giving hope to bettors who bet on favorites at the Grand National.


WinnerGrand National OddsJockeyTrainerOwnerPrize Money
Ballabriggs14/1Jason MaguireDonald McCain Jr.Trevor Hemmings£950,000

The 2011 Grand National saw some relatively good conditions for riding with only spots of soft ground standing between a perfect day. A record setting £950,000 was on the line at the tournament which was run by the normal 40 runners.

Irish horse Ballabriggs was able to win the race with 14/1 odds against his name by a total of 2 and a quarter lengths over second place finisher Oscar Time. Ballabriggs flew through the course in 9 minutes and 1.2 seconds giving it the second fastest time in the event’s history. The favorite of the Grand Nationals in 2011 was none other than last year’s winner Don’t Push It at 9/1 odds along with Silver By Nature who also was getting 9/1 odds.

Don’t Push it was able to come in 3rd in the race and Silver By Nature 12th. Ballabriggs winning the race wasn’t a surprise to many who had been following the horse closely in the past year leading up to the Grand National. The horse, while relatively unknown had been putting up strong showings in smaller event, showing potential. The 14/1 odds put on Ballabriggs ended being fair despite the horse not competing ever before at the Grand National.

19 of the 40 horses who started the event were able to finish. On average this was higher than the past few years. Of the 21 that didn’t finish, 2 horses passed away after collisions in the first circuit. The deaths re-opened conversations about safety of the event.


WinnerGrand National OddsJockeyTrainerOwnerPrize Money
Neptune Collonges33/1Daryl JacobPaul NichollsJohn Hales£975,000

The 2012 edition of the Grand National was the 173rd time the race had been run. Due to highly publicized fatal crashes of horses in the previous year a number of modifications took place to ensure the safety of the horses and their rider.

All riders needed to have previously finished fourth or better in a recognised steeplechase of at least three miles, this disqualified many riders from entering the competition. Other safety measures such as a post-race wash down and cooling area as well as slight adjustments to the racecourse were made in pursuit of a clean race in 2012.
The overall conditions of the course in 2012 were considered good, with soft patches in some areas causing the potential for danger.

Neptune Collonges, ridden by Daryl Jacob was able to win the race by the skins of its teeth, beating Sunnyhillboy in a photo finish and the closest ever finish to a Grand National. Neptune Collonges became only the third grey horse in the history of the Grand National, and the first since 1961. Neptune Collonges was given 33/1 odds before the race and raced with the number 4.

Joint-favourite for the race at 8/1 Seabass from Ireland, finished third, giving Katie Walsh her the best result ever for a female jockey in the Grand National.

Sunnyhillboy who came in second by a fraction of a second was given 16/1 odds to win the race and very nearly pulled it off. The big disappointment in the race was the Irish horse, Shakalakaboomboom who was the other joint-favorite with Seabass. The horse was only able to finish in 9th position in the race.

Only 15 of the 44 horses finished the race proving that the Grand National is not a course that every rider and horse combo can handle.


WinnerGrand National OddsJockeyTrainerOwnerPrize Money
Auroras Encore66/1Ryan ManiaSue SmithDouglas Pryde, Jim Beaumont & David van der Hoeven£975,000

The 2013 Grand National was another great race its long history. The race was the 174th race overall, and 166th race at the Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool. The conditions in 2013 were again quite amiable to horse racing with as firm track and only small patches of softness.

In a massive surprise upset, the race was won by 66/1 shot Auroras Encore, who was ridden by jockey Ryan Mania. Auroras Encore was able to win the race quite easily at the end by 9 lengths. This is yet another example of the Grand Nationals tendency to crown unlikely champions.

Pre-race favorite Seabass, ridden by Kate Walsh who has just come off a 3rd place finish last year in the event only managed to eke into 13th place. Seabass had been given the odds of 11/2 to take home the trophy and prize money in 2013. Brother of Kate Walsh, Rudy Walsh, was the second favorite riding his horse On His Own, with 8/1 odds to take the race. Unfortunately On His Own took a fall to finish its race at the 25th fence.
Other pre race favorites, Cappa Bleu at 12/1 and Teaforthree at 10/1, were able to capture the 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Only 17 out of the starting 27 horses were able to finish the event, which comes as an average performance in Grand National history by the field.


WinnerGrand National OddsJockeyTrainerOwnerPrize Money
Pineau De Re25/1Leighton AspellRichard NewlandJohn A. Provan£1,000,000

The 2014 Grand National saw a maximum field of 40 runners compete for the new £1,000,000 prize pool which was the highest in the history of the Grand National. The Grand National was also for the first time ever being sponsored by Crabbie’s, a ginger beer producer who had taken over the sponsorship rights from former sponsor John Smith’s after the 2013 Grand National.

Again in 2014 the conditions were ideal for horse running, with good weather as well as good ground to run on. The race wasn’t able to get off cleanly, with a false start delaying the start of the event.

Pineau de Re was able to take home the trophy– given a 25/1 shot and ridden by Leighton Aspell. Pineau de Re became the sixth French-bred horse to win the Grand National. 2014 was another year where a horse from the middle of the odds pack was able to take home the race. Pineau de Re was able to win the race quite handily with a 5 length lead over second place.

Favorites for the race were: 3rd place finisher the year before, Teaforthree with 10/1 odds and Double Seven also at 10/1 odds. Teaforthree was unable to complete the race being unseated at The Chair and Double Seven was able to pick up 3rd place with a solid showing.
Second place went to another favorite, Balthazar King who came into the race with 14/1 odds. Only eighteen runners of the 40 that started the race were able to complete the course, which is about average for the Grand National. All horses, however, were able to return safely to the stables.


WinnerGrand National OddsJockeyTrainerOwnerPrize Money
Many Clouds25/1Leighton AspellOliver SherwoodTrevor Hemmings£1,000,000

The 2015 Grand National provided a thrilling race with the ultimate winner only coming out less than 2 lengths ahead of second place. Crabbie’s continued on as sponsor of the Grand National for its second year. The conditions as per the last few years, were sunny with solid ground.

A rarity in the Grand National, the race was won by the same jockey as the previous year, Leighton Aspell. Aspell’s second consecutive Grand National victory came riding a new horse however, Many Clouds. Aspell had won the previous year riding French horse Pineau de Re. Many Clouds is owned by renowned horse owner Trevor Hemmings, who also owned the winners in 2005 and 2011.

The favorites pre-race were Shutthefrontdoor, ridden by Tony McCoy coming in at 6/1 and Rocky Creek, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies at 8/1. Both horses were able to finish the race but were only able to get to 5th and 17th place respectively. Winner of the Grand National 2015, Many Cloud was given 25/1 Grand National odds before the race, making another mid field horse the champion of the race.

Saint Are and Monbeg Dude were able to take second and third place—these two horses also started the race in the middle of the pack in terms of odds. Only 18 of the 40 horses finished the race in 2015, which is just about the average for the past 5 years.


WinnerGrand National OddsJockeyTrainerOwnerPrize Money
Rule The World33/1David MullinsMouse MorrisGigginstown House Stud£1,000,000

The latest edition of the Grand National produced a top race with another unlikely winner. The 169th edition at the Aintree Racecourse brought in a million pound prize pool which was contended by 39 runners. The race was shortened by 256 yds (234 m) to 4 miles 514 yards in 2016. Crabbie’s renewed their sponsorship for the third consecutive year.

The condition of the pitch at the 2016 Grand National was not the best for horseracing. The ground was found to be soft and heavy in certain areas, making it difficult to predict for the riders.

The race was won by heavy underdog Rule the World, ridden by jockey David Mullins, who came in at 33/1 odds. Rule the World was able to win the race at a steady 6 lengths. Second place went to joint-favorite for the race, The Last Samuri who was ridden by David Bass. This marked the closest a pre-race favorite had come to winning the race in a decade. Third place came to the extremely unlikely Vics Canvas who came into the race most unlikely to win at 100/1 odds.

Others joint-favorite for the race was last year’s winner Many Clouds who started the race at 8/1 odds alongside The Last Samuri. Many Clouds was the last to complete the race in 16th place, a disappointing finish for such a highly ranked horse.

Overall 16 horses finished the race out of the 39 that started, it was expected that the smaller course would lead to more horses finishing. This however, statistically didn’t occur with only 16 riders making the finish line, which is around the average for the event.

Analysis of the Past 10 Years

The past ten years have yielded a number of breathtaking Grand National races. If we look closely we will find that the favorites of the race were only able to win the race 2 out the past 10 years. You will also notice that no horse in the past 10 years has been able to repeat the Grand National the next year.

It should be noted that in all the Grand Nationals in the post-war era the favourite or joint-favourite have only won the race nine times (in 1950, 1960, 1973, 1982, 1996, 1998, 2005, 2008 and 2010). The joint favorite has even failed to complete the course in 37 Nationals. This should not however discourage people from betting on the favorites.
What a better should keep in mind is that getting only 8/1 on a horse that has historically not won the title at those odds may not be a great bet. Instead looking into the form of the horses may be able to uncover a dark horse.

With the Grand National in particular, the chances of finishing the race seem to be 50/50 to begin with, even if the rider is a favorite. Many parts of the course are out of the rider’s and horse’s control, especially collisions with other horses and veering horses.

All of these points taken into consideration it seems that the best bets should be laid on competitors that give you good odds if you do win. Some horses may not be as large favorites but they do posses the ability to win on a good day and the high odds which come with the horse can bring about 3-4X more winnings if the day goes well.

Another factor that should be closely watched when making a bet, are the conditions at Aintree Racecourse the day of the race. If the ground is soft it could mean that many collisions are going to occur, it makes it less likely that a favorite will take home the race. In such cases going for horses with higher odds is a better bet.

Expect the 2017 Grand National to bring about similar results as in the past, betting with the crowd on the favorites this year such as, Last Samuri and Many Clouds may pay off but it is hard to tell without knowing the conditions and forms of horses going in.

Grand National Legends

Over the years, an assortment of unlikely heroes has been able to capture the attention of the world by winning the Grand National. They will forever be remembered as some of the top steeplechasers in the history of racing. Mentioned below are some of the greatest Grand National winners.

Red Rum

Red Rum is considered by many experts to be the greatest winner of the Grand National within its long history. Red Rum competed in the Grand National in the 1970’s and was able to capture the title a record three times in 1973, 1974 and 1977 and also came in second place in 1975 and 1976. This five year streak at the Grand National is by far the most impressive performance by any race horse in the history of the course. Red Rum is the only three time winner of the event.

Of all of the Red Rum’s victories, the 1973 win at the Grand National is known for being its greatest. Red Rum was able to come from a massive 30 lengths behind to capture its first Grand National title.

Red Rum also carries the record for the fastest time at the Grand National at 9 minutes and 1.9 seconds. Red Rum was jockeyed by Brian Fletcher when he was able to achieve the record.

Red Rum eventually had to retire after its win in the 1977 Grand National due to a hairline fracture the day before the race in 1978. Since then the legacy of Red Rum has only enlarged, with his name being synonymous with steeple chasing greatness. Statues of Red Rum can be found at the racecourse at Aintree.
It is hard to imagine another horse dominating the Grand National as Red Rum did in the 70’s.


The legend of the horse Foinavon is the type of story that fairy tales are made of. In the 1967 Grand National, most of the field had issues at the 23rd fence which allowed rank-outsider, Foinavon, to become a surprise winner at odds of 100/1!

The problems at the 23rd fence were caused by a loose horse named Popham Down, who had unseated his rider at the first jump and then out of nowhere veered across the leading group who were coming in the 23rd fence causing them to either stop or be unseated.
Foinavon, was an undistinguished racehorse going into the event, so much so that the owner of the horse didn’t even bother showing up at the race, preferring to travel to Worcester instead. After lagging behind the pack some 100 yards behind the leaders, John Buckingham, the jockey took full advantage of the havoc that ensued at the 23rd fence making a clean jump of the fence on the outside and catapulting himself into the leaders. Although 17 jockeys we able to remount their horses and continue in the race, none of them had time to catch Foinavon before he crossed the finishing line. Since this amazing race, in 1984 the 7th/23rd fence were officially renamed the ‘Foinavon fence.’

The story of the 100/1 racehorse that took down the biggest steeplechase race in the world has been retold countless times and will forever add to the allure of the Grand National.

Tipperary Tim

In probably the most amazing race that ever took place, whether it be a steep chase or a speed racing event, 42 competitors started the race but only 2 finished. The 1928 Grand National is was a race like no other, with jockeys being dislodged from their horses left and right. Somehow the only rider to make it through without falling at all was huge underdog prior to the race, Tipperary Tim.

The main reason for 41 competitors fell during the race was the misty conditions that year at the racecourse. As most of the field approached the Canal Turn on the first run, the horse Easter Hero fell, causing a massive pile-up in which seven horses were out of the race for dislodged riders. By the last couple of fences the number of riders was reduced all the way to three, with Great Span in the lead ahead of Billy Barton and Tipperary Tim. Unfortunately for the Great Span. the saddle slipped off which left leaving Billy Barton in the lead he too strangely fell. Although Billy Barton got back on his horse and finished the race he was way too far behind to pose a threat to Tipperary Tim. Tipperary Tim was left to calmly finish the race at his own pace with no one left in the field to challenge him. Tipperary Tim was a massive underdog giving odds of 100/1. With only two riders completing the course, this remains a record for the fewest number of finishers.

It is rumoured the one of the friends of Tipperary Tim’s jockey William Dutton was heard saying that he could only win if he was the only one in the race—ironically this almost happened.

Aldaniti and Bob Champion

The story of Bob Champion and his horse Aldaniti is a heartwarming one, which has even been made into a movie. The adversity that the two went through both separately and together makes them one of the greatest champions in the history of the Grand National.
Two years before the Grand National 1981, jockey Bob Champion was diagnosed with testicular cancer and given less than a year to live by doctors. Amazingly, Bob Champion was able to fight off the cancer in just 2 years and was deemed fit bit by doctors to compete in the Grand National in 1981.

The appropriately named Champion rode Aldaniti, a horse which also had an underdog story, being abandoned in its youth and recently recovered from chronic leg issues.
The two were able to win the Grand National in 1981 despite all of the adversity they had face, they even had a terrible start that set them back. The duo went on to win by four and a half lengths ahead of the race favorite Spartan Missile.

After the stories of Champion and Aldaniti unfolded in the press due to their win at the Grand National the two were instantly propelled to celebrity status. The whole story can be watched unfolding in a movie named Champion, released in 1983.

Grand National 2017 Favorites

The Last Samuri

The Last Samuri was able to take the second place position at the 2016 Grand National after going in as a joint favourite. The horse is getting around 25/1 odds at the moment, but the odds are expected to change in the future.

The Last Samuri has been running excellently in the past few years, collecting a bunch of titles on its way. Its preferred ground is much firmer than what was provided in the 2016 Grand National, which many experts believe is the reason The Last Samuri didn’t run away with 1st place. IF the Grand National 2017 has a firmer running pitch, The Last Samuri should be considered a great bet to win it all.
The Grand National odds for the Last Samurai will probably go down to around 8/1 – 10/1 come time of the race if the horse stays in good health and continues to put up quality performances. Jockey David bass has an interesting history, being a former musician turned professional jockey. He is extremely capable at the helm and should be considered one of the top jockeys that will enter the Grand National 2017.

Best Finish at the Grand National – 2nd Place 2016

Many Clouds

Many Clouds was the other joint favorite at the 2016 Grand Nationals. The horse had a bad showing compared to its lofty standards, coming in 15th position—the last horse to finish the race. Many Clouds however, did win the 2015 Grand National and has won many races since, and is considered a frontrunner for the upcoming 2017 Grand Nationals.
The Grand National odds for Many Clouds at the moment is 33/1, but like all other top riders expect the odds to drop if the horse is healthy come race season. Many clouds will most probably be set at around 10/1 – 12/1 for the 2017 race which are pretty good odds for a former champion.

Many Clouds is an Irish bred horse who was trained in England for a National Hunt racing career by Oliver Sherwood. The horse had success in National Hunt racing, winning a National Hunt Flat race and two Novice hurdle races before eventually moving to steeple chases at the age of six in 2013.

After having a shaky first season of steeplechasing, Many Clouds emerged as a top-class chaser in his second season. He was able to win his first three races including the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Cotswold Chase before. Leighton Aspell took Many Clouds to immortal glory when he rode Many Clouds to victory in the 2015 Grand National.

Aspell may be riding Many Clouds again in 2017. With mixed performance in the two years, it’s hard to say exactly how they will fair. All that is known is that this horse has the potential to win the race and should be treated as a definite frontrunner come odds time.

Best Finish at the Grand National – 1st Place 2015

Don Poli

While Don Poli is yet to have competed at a Grand National, there is considerable noise around the horse. It was thought that the horse would compete in the 2016 Grand National but at only 7 years old there was no rush for the promising horse.

In 2016, Don Poli was able to put up a great showing winning a majority of his races including two races at the Cheltenham Festival and the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown. Despite being so successful the horse hasn’t gotten the credit that he deserves. The most probable reason for this is the race style of the horse which is very rugged, making Jockey’s work for speed with plenty of driving involved. Bryan Cooper is the current Jockey for Don Poli, who seems to be more than capable on the horse. Another concern with Don Poli is the slow start that the horse gets off to. Don Poli is known for catching up in the latter half of a race rather than staying up at the front. This could be harder at the Grand National, which is known for being hard to make up time in.

The Grand National is definitely the next step for Don Poli who has dominated smaller arenas. The Willie Mullins trained horse will be at the start of his prime in 2017 and should be considered a real threat to win the whole event. The odds right now on Don Poli are 25/1 but expect them to drop to around 12/1 before the start of the tournament if things continue on pace.

Best Finish at the Grand National – none.

Picking a winner

Better’s should take a number of aspects into account when placing a bet on horse racing. The form of the horse, the jockey, the conditions and the anatomy of the racehorse should all be taken into consideration to make a well-informed bet. Let’s take a look at some of the keys to picking a winner.

  1. The past performance on surface type- not all racetracks are alike. Thus the surface which is being used should be taken into consideration. While some surfaces are hard others may be on the softer side, which can take even top competitors out of the front running if they are not accustomed to it.
    Some surfaces also have natural dirt and grass tracks while others have artificial all-weather tracks. Make sure you take advantage of the program if you visit the race, it will give you each horse’s past performance on the different surface types.
  2. The history of the horse with the jockey- while some horses have been fantastic throughout the years, they may not be as effective with a different jockey. Make sure you take this into consideration when making bets.
    Look at both the horse and the past jockey’s that have ridden the horse. Then look at the current rider and his or her past record. Finally look at the record of the horse and the jockey as a duo so far. Only after carefully analyzing all this information can a educated guess be made. Again, all this information should be provided in the program of the Grand National, which can be found online.
  3. Take a look at the odds- For every race, each horse will have the odds of it winning next to its name in the program. The favorite to win will be the horse which has the lowest odds. Betting on the favorites in the Grand National hasn’t been very fruitful. The low finishing percentage makes it a high risk course which doesn’t suit betting on favourites.
    Your best bet it to look at horses in the middle of the pack, as they will have much better odds and a similar chance to win the race as a favourite. This by no means, translates to ‘don’t bet on the favorites,’ they are the most likely horses to win the race, however they will give you the least return for the victory. All bets should be made on a ratio of how much the horse is a favorite to the odds they are getting.

How To Bet On The Grand National 2017

For many people placing a bet can increase the theatre and excitement of a day at the races, which is part of the overall charm of horse racing as a sport. There is no need to be intimidated by betting on horses, in reality, it’s one of the easiest forms of sports betting. This does not however mean that horserace betting doesn’t have certain intricacies that a seasoned better could take advantage of.

The basics of betting are quite simple, especially when placing bets online.

All a better is required to do is:

  1. Deposit money on any reputed sports betting site.
  2. Enter the horse racing section of the site.
  3. Select the horse racing contest they would like to place a bet on.
  4. Select their favoured horse or horses from the list provided.
  5. Decide on a stake they’d like to place on your selected horse.
  6. Choose the type of bet they would like to place.
  7. Confirm the bet

While this process seems elementary enough, the real complications in horse race betting comes in the types of bets.

Types of Horse Race Bets

There are a variety of different bets that can be made on horse races, ranging from which horse will win the race to whether the race will end in a photo finish. Listed below are the types of bets that you can look forward to come the Grand Nationals in 2017

Straight Wagers

To win- in a straight wager to win bet, you may bet on which horse will finish the race in first place. If the horse finished in first you may collect.

To place– when you bet on to place you are betting on whether the horse will make first OR second place. The odds will be lower than that of a tow win bet.
Show – when you bet on show, the bet is that the horse will come in first, second or third. Since, you’re hedging your bet the chances are much greater, however the odds will be substantially less.

Across the Board– when you bet across the board you are betting that your horse will win, place and show. An across the board bet is what is known as a ‘combo straight wager’ because it’s actually three different bets (win, place, AND show) in one. Because it’s three bets in one, an across the board bet is more expensive than a normal win, place, or show wager. Generally across the board bets should be avoided as the they’re expensive and have less profit potential.

Win/place, Place/Show – Another combo straight wager, in a win/place bet, you’re betting your horse to win and place. If he wins, you collect both the win and place money. If he finishes second, you collect just the place money.
In a place/show bet, you’re betting on your horse to place and show. If your horse finishes second, you can collect the place and show money and if he finishes third, you just collect the show money.

Dead heat– You may be on whether there will be a tie between two or more horses at the finish of the race. Usually these can be separated by the photo finish camera, but sometimes they are so close you can’t.

Photo Finish– You may bet on whether the result will be so close it is necessary to use a finish-line camera to determine order of finish.

Exotic Wagers

Exacta– When you bet exacta you are betting on the horses to come in first and second in an exact order. For example, if you placed a £10 exacta on horses 1 and 2, you can only collect if horse 1 comes in first and horse 2 comes in second. The odds of an exacta bet are much higher than those of a straight wager as the odds a multiplied for both horses to place.
You can also ‘box’ your exacta bet. By box-ing the bet which your two horses may come in any order in the top two spots and you will still win. Boxing an exacta costs twice as much as a straight exacta bet.

Quinella– a quntella bet option is very similar to the exacta box bet in the sense that, you’re betting on two horses to come in first and second in any order. So as long as your two horses finish in the top two spots, you win.
The only difference between the two is the cost: a £10 quinella bet costs would cost £20 as an Exacta box bet. However, the payout for a box exacta is generally more than a quinella bet.

Trifecta– the trifecta is an extreme high odds bets that involves getting right the place of the first, second, and third horse in exact order. You may however box your trifecta bet so you can win if your three horses come in first, second, and third in any order. Boxing a trifecta will significantly increase the cost of your bet because there are many combinations. So a £2 box trifecta bet will actually cost you £12.

Superfecta– takes the bet one further by making better predict the positions of the, first, second, third, and fourth in an exact order. As with exactas and trifectas, you can box a superfecta at an additional cost, to increase your odds.

In horse racing bettors may also parlay their bets, or in other words let it ride. Basically if a better parlays two bets in order for them to win both bets must be successful. If one wins and another loses, the better will get absolutely nothing. The big plus side to parlaying bets is that the odds of the bets are multiplied together to give bigger odds than if bet separately. So for example is you bet, that 1) that horse A will win the race at 2/1 odds and 2) that the race will have a photo finish which is 10/1 odds, the total odds you’d get on your money will be 20/1. If, your horse A wins without the photo finish however, you will receive nothing.

There is a great risk in betting parlays but the rewards are well worth it. Some race tracks allow unlimited parlays, so betters can find themselves making bets with massive odds, the chances of each bet winning is quite low however, so these bets tend not to win.

Grand National 2017 Tickets


Grand National tickets can be purchased at their Official Website or at the Aintree Racecourse in person. Tickets can be purchased for the whole event which takes place over a few days, the Grand National race generally takes place on the last day of the event. There are a number of Grand National tickets packages on offer. The following are the top packages you may purchase.

Platinum Lounge – £150

  • Comes with a birds-eye view directly above the Finishing Post, the perfect vantage point to watch The Grand National race from.
  • Viewing and access to the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Princess Royal Seats and Gallery – £140

  • Access to lounge with Champagne and seafood concessions, as well as a full bar*.
  • A reserved seat with a great view the Course very close to the Finishing Post.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • A race-card on the house.
    *Champagne and seafood are not included in the ticket price.

Princess Royal Roof – £109

  • Full access to the semi covered standing area and dedicated bar in the Tommy Wallis Suite.
  • Viewing of the closing moments of every race, which includes The Grand National race.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Queen Mother Seats – £135

  • Partially covered seating area in view of the Finishing Post.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Queen Mother Roof – £109

  •  Ideally location for the direct viewing of the Finishing Post with great vantage points over the whole Course.
  • A dedicated bar.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Earl of Derby Upper Seats- £135

  • Dedicated seat for viewing.
  • Uncovered area with access to the Upper Saddle Bar*.
  • The Earl of Derby seats enjoy the highest vantage point to view the racing from.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

*Upper Saddle Bar is exposed to weather conditions.

Earl of Derby Lower Seats- £130

  • A dedicated seat within the uncovered area.
  • Access to the Lower Saddle Bar*.
  •  Views over the Parade Ring, Winners’ Enclosure and the Course, and the Grand National racecourse.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

* Lower Saddle Bar is enclosed from all weather conditions.

Earl of Derby Terrace – £90

  • Beautiful outdoor terrace area next to the horsewalk.
  • Very close viewing area to the racing on the Course.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Lord Sefton Upper Seats – £135

  • A dedicated seat in an outdoor area very close to the horsewalk.
  • Close proximity to the wash-down area and the Grand National course.
  • Full access to the semi covered private Saddle Bar which overlooks the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  •  Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Lord Sefton Lower Seats – £130

  • A Dedicated seat in an outdoor area very close to the horsewalk.
  • Close proximity to the wash-down area and the Course to see The Grand National race.
  • Full access to the semi covered private Saddle Bar which overlooks the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Lord Sefton Terrace – £90

  • Luxurious outdoor terrace area very close to the horsewalk.
  • Terrace is in very close proximity to the wash-down area and the Course.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Lord Danesbury Roof – £109

  • A birds-eye view directly on top of the Finishing Post, with an top vantage point to see the whole Grand National race.
  • The roof has an outdoor balcony area for viewing purposes.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

West Tip Seats – £79

  • A reserved covered seat in the West Tip.
  • Great view of the home straight and of the final fences on the Course.
  • The West Tip has a private bar, as well as access to the all the facilities available in Tattersalls.
  • Private toilet for West Tip holders.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Access to the Irish Bar, with big screens and all the betting facilities.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Tattersall – £57

  • A great view of the closing stages of all the races including The Grand National race.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  •  Access to the Irish Bar, with big screens and all the betting facilities.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Steeplechase – £27

  • Largest and most atmospheric closure.
  • Viewing and access of the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure.
  • Access to the Red Rum Garden, which has live entertainment all throughout the day.
  • Access to the Irish Bar, with big screens and all the betting facilities.
  • Live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day, with an appearance from a named artist at the end of the race.
  • Tote betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

Make sure you book your tickets well in advance as all of the past Grand Nationals have sold out in the past. The 2017 edition will be no different with some seats already sold out and other on limited supply.


The Grand National 2017 promises to be another great fixture. The race has always been the highlight of steeplechasing for the year and will continue to draw a large crowds and a huge volume of bets. The history and festival atmosphere makes the Grand National a must visit if the possibility presents itself. The excitement from the race and after events are a once in a lifetime experience.

Use this guide to do some educated Grand National betting. All the information can be used to enjoy the benefits of both the race and the online ability to make bets. Join a betting site now to enjoy great odds on the Grand National today.