Betting On Grand National: History and What To Expect
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The Grand National is one of the biggest events on the horse racing calendar around the world. For many horse racing bettors, it is one of the highlights of the year as even the most casual horse player gets in on the action from Aintree. In this guide to betting on Grand National, get an idea of the history of the Grand National. Included in that history is a series of fascinating wagers that have won. Also, find out what to expect when you go to the betting window for the Grand National.
What Is The Grand National?
As you may have already gathered, the Grand National is a horse race located at Aintree in Liverpool. That obvious portion of things aside, there are specifics to the race that make it special. So what exactly does the Grand National consist of that makes it as highly regarded as it is for both hardcore and casual horse racing enthusiasts?
The first thing that makes the Grand National one of the great events in horse racing is the fact that it is a steeplechase race. This means that the race consists of jumps and obstacles throughout its nearly seven kilometer course. Those obstacles cause havoc throughout the race, as horses may struggle to clear jumps, can fall down, and see massive changes from the start of the race all the way to the finish line.
Handicap racing is the other aspect of the Grand National that makes it extremely exciting. Unlike many horse racing events that simply see horses race to see who is the best on a given day, the Grand National has a way of leveling the playing field in the form of handicaps. Through a series of criteria, horses are assigned a weight handicap that they have to carry throughout the race. This extra weight can make it more difficult for them to complete jumps or drain them of their stamina. All of this makes the race fascinating, to see which horses are best able to cope with potentially difficult handicaps.
Aintree’s course for the Grand National is the stuff of legends. The course requires competitors to complete two laps around the course to amass the near seven kilometer distance. There are 16 total jumps on the course, 14 of which must be completed twice over the course of the two laps. In total, competitors in the Grand National need to complete 30 jumps during the race. Doing so is extremely difficult, which is why winning the Grand National is such an accomplishment.
These elements combine to create a race and an atmosphere virtually unmatched in horse racing. It is also what makes wagering on the Grand National so much fun. But before betting on 2019 Grand National action, it is worth remembering the history of the event. Doing so can be extremely helpful when approaching the betting window.
Grand National History
When it comes to the history of the Grand National, it is a proud history of over a century. The race has existed in some form since the early 1800s, undergoing changes in race format and location during that history. There have been shocking upsets, thrilling races, and moments that will not be soon forgotten throughout the course of the Grand National. Those things have made the race the spectacle that it is today.
In 1836, the Grand National was widely considered to be run for the first time. At that point, the race was not nearly the spectacle that it is today. The race was won by The Duke in 1836 and 1837, as the horse went down in history as a repeat winner right away. However, the first official running of the race is recognized as coming from 1839. That race was won by Lottery.
Since The Duke, there have been a few repeat winners. That feat is still a rarity, though, with back to back winners being a novelty. You would have to go back to the 1970s to find the most recent repeat Grand National winner. That honour went to Red Rum, who took the race in both 1973 and 1974.
Memorable Grand National Moments
There are countless moments that have made the Grand National one of the can’t-miss races every year. Knowing that there is the chance for one of these incredible moments every time the race begins is undeniable. These moments in particular were some of the most memorable in the history of the race, that still drum up memories on a regular basis.
The Voided Race
While this was not the favourite moment for those who were betting on Grand National in 1993, it was still incredibly memorable for just how surreal it was. A false start took place to kick off the race, but attempts to notify the field that this was the case were unsuccessful. That led to a massive amount of horses attempting to complete the race as normal, with some of them doing so successfully. And while Esha Ness managed to finish atop the list of finishers, the results of the race were voided.
In all, tens of millions of pounds were returned to bettors when all was said and done. This was certainly not a highlight of the Grand National’s history, but is memorable nonetheless. Fortunately for everyone, this is the only time that the race was voided in such a fashion.
The Ultimate Photo Finish
It doesn’t get much better when it comes to horse racing than seeing a race come down to a photo finish. In the 2012 edition of the Grand National, winner Neptune Collonges got the job done in a photo finish that was more of a microscope finish than anything. He won the race by a nose, but did so by an amount that many say was closer to a hair.
Neptune Collonges was retired after the monumental victory, which will always be one of the closest in Grand National history. That is, if it isn’t forever the closest race in the history of the event.
Sometimes sports moments are so incredible that they defy all logic, to the point that they belong in a movie. The story of Tipperary Tim falls squarely into that category. Before the 1928 Grand National, the jockey of the horse was told that he would need every other competitor to fall down in order to have a chance to win the race. In a race with over 40 competitors, that would be nearly impossible, right?
As it turned out, that was exactly what happened. Over 40 horses fell during the race, leaving Tipperary Tim alone to capture the Grand National in historic fashion. The horse was a 100/1 longshot, one of the few to win the race from such long odds in its history.
What To Look For When Betting On Grand National Races
Now that you have an idea of what to expect in the Grand National, you should have an idea of what to look for before betting on the race itself. Doing so will give you a chance to make the best possible wagers on the race. This, of course, will maximize anyone’s chances to win their bets. There are countless factors to take into consideration when betting the Grand National. Here are the most important.
In every horse race, no matter what kind of track it is being run on, track conditions matter. On dirt courses, this could mean whether a track is dry or packed with mud. On the turf surface of the Grand National, this means how soft the surface is beneath the horses. This is important for reasons that most casual horse racing bettors will not consider, that being things like the stamina of the horses involved in the race.
Believe it or not, the softer the surface beneath the competitors, the harder it is for them to maintain stamina throughout a race. This can come into play late into a race, or on each of the many jumps throughout the course at Aintree. On the jumps, this can mean horses that fail to clear barriers or have trouble with their landings. Should that happen, the number of horses that finish the course can drop drastically.
It is worth taking a look at how each horse performs on different types of surface quality before the Grand National begins. Knowing that information can help you place a wager depending on what the conditions are like on the track on the day of the race. If nothing else, it never hurts to have as much information as possible to inform your decisions when it comes time to head to the betting window.
As mentioned earlier, the type of handicap that a horse may face in the Grand National can vary. But knowing what kind of handicap a horse may face heading into the race can be crucial information. Given the length of the course and how difficult it can be to carry extra weight, this is something that should be at the top of any horse bettor’s list of things to keep in mind.
Perhaps more important than just knowing what a horse’s handicap is, knowing how they have performed with handicaps is even more vital. Let’s say that a horse that you are considering backing has the maximum handicap applied to it. That could be a huge detriment, but could also not matter if they have performed well with a similar handicap in the past. Looking at past performances in handicap races would be a smart way to go about finding out what your plan of action should be.
Of course, it is important to combine all of this knowledge when placing your bets. A horse that does well with a handicap may not be able to handle specific track conditions. Identifying strengths and weaknesses for each horse in the race is the name of the game.
Just like some drivers know how to navigate a given road better than others, some jockeys simply know how to navigate Aintree better than others. Keeping an eye out for which jockeys are lined up with each horse is good information to have. If you see a horse you like paired with a jockey that has had success in the race, that could be a huge positive.
Grand National Betting Strategy
There are tons of different betting strategies that punters use when making their Grand National wagers. These in particular are worth taking a look at when betting on 2019 Grand National action: check the website bet-grand-national.co.uk to have good tips.
Don’t Fear The Underdog
Underdog is a scary word to plenty of horse racing bettors, as many think that those horses have no chance to win. In the Grand National, though, that could not be farther from the truth. This is thanks to all of the obstacles that make the race a challenge for even the best horses on the planet. In fact, some huge longshots have won the Grand National, including five horses that were at odds of 100/1.
While favourites seem safe, there is no such thing as safe at Aintree.
Manage Your Money Wisely
The same can be said for all forms of wagering, but it is important to be smart when betting. Wagering more than you can afford to risk is a bad idea no matter how good you may be at betting. This is especially true thanks to the volatile nature of the Grand National, where any horse can fall at any time. Setting a budget and sticking to it is often the best strategy for this or any race.
Every year, the Grand National shines like a beacon on the horse racing calendar. Fans from around the world flock to Aintree to see the spectacle, where anything can happen. Now that you have a better idea of what the race is all about, you can put that knowledge to good use. And while there are no guarantees in horse racing betting, using sound strategy and information to your advantage when betting on the Grand National online can put you in the winners circle when the race is in the books.