Crabbies Grand National – Odds and Betting Preview

It’s the most exciting event in the whole of the horse racing calendar and while it can also be the most unpredictable, the Grand National gives punters a great opportunity to land a high priced winner. Aurora’s Encore took the race twelve months ago at 66/1 and that followed Neptune Collonges’ win at 33/1 back in 2012 so how do you pick a winner from this strong field?

Tea for Three is the favourite ahead of April’s showcase event and the Rebecca Curtis trained 10 year old is available at 10/1 with most bookies including bet365 and Coral. In 21 races, the Gelding has won four times and while that may not sound completely conclusive, the horse has a good record over the big jumps.

However, Tea for Three finished in a disappointing eight position in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and while he wasn’t fancied much at pre-race odds of 33/1, is his record good enough to attract such a relatively low price for Aintree?

2011 Cheltenham – Long Run’s Gold Cup win

The familiar Long Run is second in the betting with most bookies and is at 16/1 with Ladbrokes although Tidal Bay can also be picked up at 16/1 with bet365 and others. Nicky Henderson’s horse has a good record in the big events, having won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2011 and is something of a punters’ favourite so if you do feel like backing the nine year old, our advice is to get on early before those odds drop.

Tidal Bay is another horse for the big occasion but age is against him. We haven’t seen a 13 year old take the National since Sergeant Murphy in 1923 so at first glance, those odds of 16/1 with bet365 may seem a little too short.
Recent form is good however with a third place in the Welsh Grand National and a second last time out so Paul Nicholls’ runner looks a good prospect for an each way bet at least.

Elsewhere, Lion Na Bearnai is being talked of as a possible contender and currently, the Thomas Gibney trained 12 year old is way out at 50/1 with William Hill. Age is another concern but Lion Na has a great overall record that includes a win in the 2012 Irish National. Winners of that event are tipped to perform well at Aintree so don’t rule this veteran out.

Coming back to the lower priced options and it’s interesting to note that Colbert Station has drifted from his starting price of 12/1 in 2013 to 25/1 with most horse racing bookies and a mighty 50/1 with 888sport. Tony McCoy is believed to be riding Colbert again and that’s also interesting when you read the jockey’s assessment of last year’s race.

McCoy sensed that his ride was nervous and those nerves led to the first fall of the horse’s career – at the Chair. This time around, form isn’t so good but could horse and jockey learn from that previous experience and climb into the places?

Soll is another horse with a decent National Pedigree and after finishing seventh in 2013, the 9 year old Gelding came in in an identical position in a recent National trial at Haydock. The secret to Soll’s potential success lies in a massive frame and a sound jumping technique that should see him stay on his feet and that will always give him a chance at Each Way odds of 50/1 with bet365.

It’s going to be another classic race and while the Grand National is as tough to predict as it’s always been, we’ve identified two good value options in the lead up to the big event.

Recommended Bets

Long Run to win at 16/1 with bet365.
Soll Each Way at 50/1 with bet365.

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