By far the most famous horse race in the world, excitement is building ahead of the 2019 Grand National meeting at Aintree.
The iconic Merseyside racecourse is set to host a crowd of around 150,000 during the three-day event, which features 21 races and of course, the main event itself on Saturday 6th April.
Although the final line up for the Grand National is still uncertain and numerous horses have already been withdrawn, the final list of 40 runners is usually announced on the Thursday before the race is held. Should any more horses fall out of the running on the Friday, there are four reserves available. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the movers and shakers ahead of this spectacular event.
Having won British racing’s showpiece at Aintree last year with a starting price of 10/1, Tiger Roll is dominating the 2019 Grand National betting according to Oddschecker, with the odds comparison site having observed punters backing the nine-year-old gelding in their droves. As such, his odds have been slashed to as low as 4/1 and 7/1 with the majority of bookmakers.
The euphoria surrounding Tiger Roll also comes from his recent form at the Cheltenham Festival, romping home by an impressive 22 lengths ahead of the chasing pack to comfortably win the Cross Country Chase. This has led to speculation from bettors that Tiger Roll could become the first horse to win back to back Grand National wins, with the feat last recorded by legendary Red Rum in 1973 and 1974.
Despite the favouritism and already being entered for the Grand National, it’s worth noting that the Guardian has reported comments from owner Michael O’Leary, who suggested that Tiger Roll might not actually compete at Aintree. Nevertheless, such a huge swell of popularity makes it difficult to imagine the horse being pulled from the contest, having attracted more bets than the next twenty most-backed horses combined with bookmakers.
— TODAY NEWS (@TODAY_NEWS_24) March 19, 2019
While it’s already evident that Tiger Roll is the most popular choice amongst fans and punters alike, there are several other competing horses catching the eye ahead of the 2019 Grand National at Aintree; all boasting strong form and positive results over the jumps during the current racing season.
Priced as a 10/1 shot with numerous bookmakers, Anibale Fly finished second recently at the Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase. The nine-year-old trained by A.J. Martin ran well in that race and were it not for being caught up in early traffic, might have been in a much stronger position to challenge over the final furlongs.
The success of trainers at big racing events is something many backers look to, aside from just the form of horses, which typically makes anything trained by Willie Mullins a popular choice for anyone reviewing the listings. Rathvinden has emerged as one such option, with the 11-year-old rested for lengthy periods over the last year, giving the sensation that at 11/1 odds, the bay gelding has been saving up energy for the big day at the Grand National.
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) September 29, 2018
Flights of Fancy
The Grand National isn’t only popular with habitual fans of racing, it’s also a day when the British public, in general, are drawn to the excitement of the headline race, which typically attracts millions of viewers during the live TV broadcast. Some will have drawn horses at random in sweepstakes at work or amongst friends, while others might back a horse because they like the name.
Fans of The Clash will undoubtedly be attracted to a speculative bet on Rock The Kasbah at 20/1 odds, while 25/1 shot Jury Duty might appeal to those in the legal profession. Anyone looking at names as a potential indication of the winner might also fancy Go Conquer at 40/1, or perhaps Mr Diablo at 100/1 if they’re feeling devilishly lucky.
Whichever horse you decide to back, here’s wishing you the very best of luck and whatever the outcome, enjoy the race.