(Image credit: Paul)
The UK’s greatest National Hunt race runs this year from Thursday, 12 April through Saturday, 14 April at the venerable Aintree Racecourse. The 2018 Grand National festival will treat us to three days of racing festivities, capped off with the Grand National itself at 5:15pm Saturday.
Each of the three days will feature seven races for a total of 21 races open for watching and betting. Racing kicks off every day at 1:45pm with things wrapping by early evening each day. You can visit any of our top-rated horse racing bookmakers for early odds on every race throughout the festival, but today we’ll be focusing on Saturday’s Grand National.
Best Grand National Bookmakers for 2018
Although every Grand National is different, one thing they always share is a knack for creating compelling backstories behind the horses, their trainers and their jockeys. Whether it’s Red Rum returning for one last grand hurrah and saving the Grand National in the process or Guy Disney entering as the first ever amputee to ride in this race, the Grand National is always sure to leave an impression.
Grand National Betting Favourites
One of the stories shaping up this year is a potential showdown between Willie Mullins’ Total Recall and Gordon Elliot’s Tiger Roll. Both horses have been priced in the ante-post markets as dead-even favourites heading into the Grand National. At Racebets.com, both horses are priced at 10/1.
Total Recall has been impressive of late with odds shortening from 16/1 in February on down to 10/1 today. After going to famed trainer Willie Mullins, Total Recall won three straight starts at the Munster National, the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury and a handicap hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival.
Total Recall was also challenging for a place at the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month before falling three fences out. That’s not an ideal last race heading into the Grand National, but Mullins says Total Recall is fine and will be ready on Saturday.
Hoping to spoil Total Recall’s ambitions is Tiger Roll. This horse has been on a roll of late, recently winning for a third time at Cheltenham. This time, it was in the Glenfarcas Chase. Tiger Roll also has Cheltenham wins in the 2014 Triumph Hurdle and last year’s National Hunt Chase.
Of course, these are just two runners in a field that will include some 40 horses vying for the trophy. Also keep in mind favourites have a poor history when it comes to winning at the Grand National. Only three betting favourites have won since 2000, and the last of those was Don’t Push It in 2010. That means we’ll be going on eight straight years without a favourite winning.
That doesn’t mean favourites are a bad bet – there are just a ton of horses running here. It’s just harder to beat a bigger field no matter how fast a horse has been up until now. Plus, having so many horses on at the same time increases the likelihood that one of them comes out of nowhere with the run of a lifetime to knock off a much bigger favourite.
Just the year prior to the last time a favourite won, Mon Mome won the 2009 Grand National as a 100-1 underdog. It is wise to make a pick based on value and your fair estimation of a horse’s chances, but we must also accept there will be more than a little degree of uncertainty in every pick. That’s just the nature of a 40-horse race.
Blaklion is also one to watch. He was a co-favourite at one point before being pushed out by Tiger Roll more recently, but he is still up there with odds of 11-1. Blaklion has some history in big National Hunt races and is as close to a proven commodity as it gets.
Last year, Blaklion was among the favourites with pre-race odds around the 12/1 range and eventually improved to the starting favourite at 9/1. He ran an admirable race and even took the lead for a bit with two fences to go, but couldn’t keep the pace and dropped back a bit to finish in 4th place.
Blaklion then followed that up with a big, nine-length win at the Becher Chase at Aintree in December. That performance combined with his respectable 4th place finish last year have pushed up among the top horses for this year’s Grand National.
Grand National Antepost Betting Odds
Horse racing bookmakers have begun taking bets on the eventual winner, and below we look at the antepost odds as offered by Racebets.com. There will be some changes as the race approaches, but so these early odds do give us a good indication of the general order of favourites. There are still many potential runners and I will include them all below. Final declarations will be on Thursday, 12 April.
All odds courtesy of Racebets.com and were up to date at the time of publishing. Odds subject to change.
|Total Recall: 10/1||Tiger Roll: 10/1||Blaklion: 11/1||Anibale Fly: 12/1|
|Minella Rocco: 14/1||Bellshill: 16/1||The Last Samurai: 16/1||Seeyouatmidnight: 20/1|
|Rathvinden: 20/1||Gold Present: 22/1||Ucello Conti: 22/1||Vicente: 25/1|
|Regal Encore: 28/1||The Dutchman: 33/1||Shantou Flyer: 33/1||I Just Know: 33/1|
|General Principle: 33/1||Gas Line Boy: 33/1||Pleasant Company: 33/1||Vieux Lion Rouge: 33/1|
|Warriors Tale: 40/1||Milansbar: 40/1||Baie Des Isles: 40/1||Raz De Maree: 40/1|
|A Genie In Abottle:||40/1||Go Conquer: 40/1||Vintage Clouds: 40/1|
|Valseur Lido: 50/1||The Young Master: 50/1||Splash of Ginge: 50/1||Pendra: 50/1|
|Lord Windermere: 50/1||Delusionofgrandeur: 50/1||Childrens List: 50/1||Chase the Spud: 50/1|
|Carlingford Lough: 50/1||Captain Redbeard: 50/1||Buywise: 50/1||Bless the Wings: 50/1|
|Acapella Bourgeois: 50/1||Final Nudge: 50/1||Alpha Des Obeaux: 50/1||Saint Are: 50/1|
|Walk in the Mill: 66/1||Thunder and Roses: 66/1||Road to Riches: 66/1||Perfect Candidate: 66/1|
|Out Sam: 66/1||Houblon des Obeaux: 66/1||Braqueur D’or: 66/1||Bonny Kate: 66/1|
|Cogry: 66/1||Minella Daddy: 80/1||Maggio: 80/1||Double Ross: 80/1|
|Wounded Warrior: 100/1||Virgilio: 100/1||Tenor Nivernais: 100/1||Sir Mangan: 100/1|
|Rogue Angel: 100/1||Relentless Dreamer: 100/1||Phil’s Magic: 100/1||Mysteree: 100/1|
|Krackatoa King: 100/1||Knock House: 100/1||Henri Parry Morgan: 100/1||Alfie Spinner: 100/1|
|Beeves: 100/1||Dancing Shadow: 150/1|
Schedule of Events
The actual Grand National race takes place on Saturday at 5:15 PM, but in total there are three days and 21 races spread across the entire festival running from Thursday through Saturday. Here’s a quick rundown of every race, every start time and the antepost betting favourites as of this post (if available).
Thursday, 12 April: Grand Opening Day
|1:45||Novices’ Steeple Chase|
|2:20||4YO Juvenile Hurdle|
|2:50||Bowl Steeple Chase||Might Bite: 4/7|
|3:25||Aintree Hurdle||Buveur D’air: 4/7|
|4:05||Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase||Burning Ambition: 3/1|
|4:40||Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase|
|5:15||Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat|
Friday, 13 April: Ladies Day
|2:20||Top Novices’ Hurdle|
|2:50||Novices’ Steeple Chase|
|3:25||Meling Steeple Chase||Altior: 7/4|
|4:05||Topham Steeple Chase||Patricks Park: 11/1|
|4:40||Sefton Novices’ Hurdle|
|5:15||Standard Open NH Flat|
Saturday, 14 April: Grand National Day
|2:25||Mersey Novices’ Hurdle|
|3:00||Maghul Novices’ Steeple Chase|
|3:40||Handicap Steeple Chase|
|5:15||Grand National||Total Recall: 10/1|
Ready to bet?