Grand National Online Betting
The Grand National
The Grand National is a Grade three handicap steeplechase, open to horses aged six years old or above. It is run over a distance four and a half miles at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, on the first Saturday in April. The 2008 event is scheduled for 4.20 p.m. on Saturday 5th April. It is run over two circuits, on each of which there are sixteen fences. All except "The Chair" (the biggest fence in the Grand National, a 6-foot fence with a 5 foot 2 inch ditch) and the Water Jump are jumped twice, making thirty fences in all. Many of the fences have been altered over the years, because of pressure from The League Against Cruel Sports. Several fences have acquired something of a reputation, as a result of incidents occurring at them in previous Grand Nationals. The sixth fence is Becher's Brook, so named after Captain Becher, who was deposited in the brook when unseated from his horse, Conrad while leading the 1839 Grand National. The seventh (and twenty-third) fence is known as the "Foinavon" fence. This dates from the 1967 Grand National, when a loose horse, "Popham Down", ran right across the fence on the second circuit, bringing the entire field to a standstill. John Buckingham, riding 100/1 outsider Foinavon, was able to steer wide of the pile up and hence win the race. The racecourse executive subsequently named the fence in the winner's honour. With the jumping completed, competitors face the longest run-in of any UK horse race, of some two and a half furlongs.
The origin of the Grand National has been a subject of great debate amongst racing historians, particularly with regard to the date of the first running of the race. It is now generally accepted that the first Aintree Grand National was run in 1839, won by the appropriately named "Lottery". With the closure of Aintree during the First World War, an alternative race was run at Gatwick Racecourse. The Gatwick races are not recognised as "Grand Nationals," and their results omitted from lists of previous winners. The race was not run at all during the Second World War.
More recent times produced the most successful Grand National competitor of all time, namely "Red Rum". He won the race on three occasions, in 1973, 1974 and 1977 and was a gallant runner-up, under big weights, in 1975 and 1976.
Notable Grand Nationals
1900 The winner, "Ambush II," was owned by the future King Edward VII.
1934 "Golden Miller" became the first horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National in the same season.
1956 "Devon Loch," owned by the Queen Mother and ridden by Dick Francis was clear on the run-in, only to sprawl fifty yards from the winning post, gifting the race to "E.S.B."
1967 "Foinavon" won at 100/1 (see above).
1977 "Red Rum" won for a third time. Charlotte Brew became the first woman to ride in the race, her mount "Barony Fort" refusing four fences from home.
1981 "Aldaniti," who had nearly been retired several times due to recurrent leg trouble, won the race. He was ridden by Bob Champion who had been diagnosed with cancer and given only months to live in 1979.
1983 Jenny Pitman became the first woman to train the winner, "Corbiere."
1991Mark Pitman emulated his father, Richard's feat of 1973, jumping the last in front (on his mother's "Garrison Savannah", the Gold Cup winner) only to be collared on the run-in by "Seagram."
1992 "Party Politics" won in the same week as the General Election.
1993 Void race, due to a false start.
1997 The race was run on the following Monday, after an IRA bomb scare.
Betting on the Grand National
The Grand National is a unique event, which has captured the public's imagination. For many people, a "flutter" on the Grand National is their only exposure to betting throughout the year. Almost without exception, bookmakers now offer online betting, thus the "scrums" in betting shops on Grand National day can be avoided. For the complete novice, many online betting sites provide excellent help and guidance on the types of bet available.
Types of Bet
Ante Post betting is one of the biggest forms of betting on the Grand National. The underlying idea is to back your selection several weeks or months before the event, hoping to secure a bigger price than on the day of the race. All online betting sites offer this service. Obviously, the downside is that if your horse doesn't turn up on the day, the bet is lost. Prior to Grand National day, online betting sites will only offer "outright" prices, i.e. win or each-way. Note: many online betting sites offer each-way, one quarter the odds, 1,2,3,4 and 5. Shop around!
Since the Grand National is such a popular betting event, bookmakers offer a range of "speciality" bets on the race.
- Number of finishers
- Winning distance
- Winner trained by a woman
- Winner trained in Ireland
- Match bets: one horse versus another, regardless of what wins the race
- Completing the course: will a particular horse or horses jump round?
Some of these are well worth considering, in case your horse is out of the race early on. Good luck!
Grand National - Further Information
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