Tips to make the most of the Grand National

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By Eamon Cunningham

Run over 4 miles with steep and unrivaled fences that have even acquired their own names over the years, the Grand National comes with a huge reputation – not just in the UK but around the world. If you’re attending this much-anticipated event in 2019, here are some tips for making the most of the event and how to make betting a more profitable activity when race time comes around.

Look for horses with similar experience

Given the challenge of the Grand National, it takes a special kind of horse and rider to be able to tackle it with success – this track has taken down many riders and horses over the years, even those with experience. So, when you’re placing your bets via services like Timeform or Bet365, look for horses that have previous experience with the race or with unique fences, as they’ll have more chance of winning than those new to the course. It’s a useful way of identifying likely winning contenders, even if obstacles have been modified in recent years to make the racecourse safer.

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Play each way

There are 40 runners in this event so it can pay to back several horses each way at the best price available at the time by looking for bookies who pay extra places. One of the best strategies for success in betting on the Grand National is to back up to five horses each way and pay close attention to those who jump fluidly under patient rides and are more likely to complete the course, choosing proven stayers.

Don’t follow the hype

It can be easy to get caught up in the hype and back big name horses or those which are from the top stables. But this isn’t always a great strategy and could wind up with you losing money, as top stable horses are never going to be good value and historically have a poor record, so stay away from the obvious and look to horses and riders with more experience with challenging courses.

Shop around

Keep as many bookmaker accounts as possible funded for the Grand National and be prepared to shop around for the best offers. There’s no benefit to taking 12/1 with your usual bookmaker just out of loyalty, if another has a better offer and even enhanced place terms. Be ready to get early value as soon as possible, because by the time race time rolls around, the market has settled.

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Look for lesser-known jockeys

It isn’t just about the well-known names, whether that’s horses or riders. Keep a lookout for lesser-known jockeys as well as trainers with a good track record with winning horses, as big-name jockeys tend to have a poor record with winning the Grand National. Top trainers also don’t have the reputation you’d expect with this event, so it can pay to look elsewhere and do a bit of research with the people behind the scenes as well as jockeys.

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