You might think that we’re being slightly optimistic here with our title, ‘The 2018 Grand National – We Help You Pick The Winner…’ But we’ve got a little form here at the Rileys blog. Earlier in the year we picked out the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner for you. And we’d like to help you out again. Because we’re nice like that.
Come 5.15pm on Saturday April 14th and the forty runners of this year’s Grand National will be gearing up to take on the forty-odd fences of the Aintree course. The first to cross the line after the four-and-a-half mile run eager to be crowned winner of one of the world’s most esteemed and famous horse races.
Let’s run through some of those horses and try and pick a winner, shall we?
PLEASE NOTE: The final forty horses often aren’t officially confirmed until the day before the big race. So there’s every chance that one or two of the horses below won’t make the final cut. So be sure to check who’s running on the day…
With the sheer number of horses taking part in the Randox Health Grand National, selecting a winner is no easy trick. Picking winners in any horse race is tough, but this ranks as among the toughest. Who’s most likely to win? Well, you have to look to the bookmakers’ odds for a hint as to that. They don’t always get it right. But they do their due diligence. And rightly so, what with some £250m expected to be wagered on the race.
Blacklion finished fourth last time and has plenty of insiders excited after winning the Belcher Chase at Aintree recently. Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies will be hoping the horse, at 12/1, can gift him his third Grand National success.
The Willie Mullins-trained Total Recall very nearly won The Gold Cup earlier in the year, falling just three fences from home. This four-legged competitor can be backed at 10s.
The highly-fancied and extremely impressive Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase-winning Tiger Roll, trained by Gordon Elliott, is currently best priced at 12/1. Other favourites include Anibale Fly at 11/1 and the JP McManus-owned gelding and last year’s classy Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up, Minella Rocco at 16s.
The Long Shots
Fans of low stakes/high wins betting don’t often come up trumps, but anything can happen in a race like The Grand National. Only nine years ago a unfancied gee-gee called Mon Mome won the race by an impressive twelve lengths. Despite starting the race as a rank 100/1 outsider. So there’s every chance…
The biggest priced horse taking part this year? Henri Paul Morgan can be backed at a whopping 200/1 ante post. Should HPM not make the final cut, look out for the following 150/1 shots: Alfie Spinner, Tenor Nivernais, Krackatoa King, Sir Mangan, Dancing Shadow and Relentless King. An each-way bet could land you a decent profit should they finish in the top four or five.
The Grey Nags
There’s a funny rumour that always does the rounds at around this time of year that grey horses always do well at the National. We suspect, however, that this rumour is normally started by bookies. Only there have only ever been three grey horses to ever win the race. And considering the famous Aintree race has existed since 1839, that’s not all that many at all…
That said, there is one thing that backing a grey horse has over other colours – it’s easy to see them on TV. Making cheering on your pick nice and simple, eh?
As you’d expect, they aren’t many greys running in the National this year, but the one we’d suggest you have a nibble at if you’re so inclined is the eight year-old Trevor Hemmings-owned Vintage Cloud, who’s available at 40/1.
The Funny Names
Maybe you make your selection based on which horse has a stupid name. Hey, we’re no huge experts or psychics, so it’s as good a tactic as any, right? Here are our favorite daft-titled nags racing in the 2018 Grand National…
- Chase the Spud (66/1)
- Splash of Ginge (50/1)
- Phil’s Magic (100/1)
Our main tip is for Tiger Roll to win the 2018 Grand National. Winning the Cross Country Chase in style for a third Cheltenham Festival win was more than enough to convince us. This horse will start as one of the favourites, so don’t expect any big prices or huge value on the day. But if the former Triumph and National Hunt winner performs to his best, we can see Gordon Elliott’s charge justifying the price.
We’ll also have a little go on A Genie In Abottle (their spelling, not ours) too. 50/1 is a big price for a horse that started heavy favourite at National Hunt Chase at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival not so long ago. So a few quid each-way here seems a pretty decent bet.
Whether you’re planning on going long, going grey, taking on one of our tips or just piling on Chase the Spud for a laugh, we wish you the very best of luck with your selection. And you’re very welcome to join us on Saturday – we will, of course, be showing the race in all our bars.