The 2014 Grand National is only a few days away and online sportsbooks are preparing their offers for the big day.
The 40 runners competing on Saturday have already been announced and everyone’s all set for the big event. Britain’s major online and mobile betting companies are gathering their info, doing the math and trying to figure out the odds for each of the 40 competitors.
Winners of the previous Grand National editions:
• 2013: Auroras Encore
• 2012: Neptune Collonges
• 2011: Ballabriggs
• 2010: Don’t Push It
• 2009: Mon Mome
Horse racing fans are also doing their own research to decide which online sportsbook in the UK offers the best odds and which contestants have the best chances of winning. While some trainers have already gone public with their expectations for the race, most of those interested in the outcome are still speculating. One thing is certain: there is a lot to learn about each and every runner before betting on this race.
So here are seven top favorites for Saturday’s event, along with a few bits of information that might make it easier for you to decide.
1. Teaforthree, trained by Rebbeca Curtis – Bookies and experienced players alike believe Teaforthree is the safest bet for this year’s edition of the Grand National. The horse finished 3rd in 2013 and has had a lot of practice since then. It ran in the Welsh National, it came in 2nd at Ascot and 8th in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. That’s a pretty nice racing portfolio!
Jockey Nick Scholfield believes in his racing partner, but still thinks the team needs a great deal of luck to win this one. “It is not going to be a little trot around for him and the race is won. It is a hard, hard race and there is a lot of luck involved,” he told reporters.
2. Monbeg Dude, trained by Michael Scudamore – This horse won the title at the 2012 Welsh National, as well as one of its three runs at Cheltenham this season. Results were not as good at Doncaster, where Monbeg Dude came in 5th, but people are still expecting him to do well.
Of course, his odds shortened after a mathematician from Cambridge University claimed he found a formula to predict the winner of the Grand National and announced Monbeg Dude as victor. The news may have caused owner Zara Phillips to regret calling her husband Mike Tindall an “idiot” for deciding to buy shares in the racehorse.
3. Long Run, trained by Nicky Henderson – The 2011 Gold Cup winner is simply a great horse. This is why you should expect its odds to shorten. Long Run will undoubtedly go off as top weigh and let’s not forget this horse was trained by none other than Nicky Henderson, who recently announced he was very optimistic about Saturday’s race.
4. Tidal Bay, trained by Paul Nicholls – Another great horse and worthy opponent, Tidal Bay is sadly turning 13 years old. This is why many believe that betting on him would be a long shot, as a horse that old hasn’t won the Gran National since 1923.
Tidal Bay will carry top weight but remains one of the favorites simply because he proved to be in such great shape. He came in third in the Welsh National and second in the Irish Gold Cup this season.
5. Double Seven, trained by Martin Brassil – A terrific horse, Double Seven has only been well backed after it has been officially announced that 18-time champion jockey AP McCoy was going to ride it. The jockey won the Grand National four years ago, riding Don’t Push It.
Considering that Double Seven is actually in great shape, it’s no surprise that this horse quickly made itself to the top among bettors’ favorites.
6. Rocky Creek, also trained by Paul Nicholls – Some believe Rocky Creek might just be Paul Nicholls best chance at winning his 2nd Grand National prize. The horse is certainly in great shape and the fact that it came in second to Triolo D’Alene in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury proves it.
7. Balthazar King, trained by Philip Hobbs – Hobbs is putting all his hopes of winning the Grand National into this sterling horse. And he certainly seems to have everything it takes to get the prize: the right age, form and stamina. Also, Balthazar King has finished Grand National before, which also works in his favor.
These are the horses said to have the best chances of taking the title this Saturday. And while you can never really be certain about the outcome of the race, trainer Evan Williams has offered a valuable tip, by telling players who they should not bet on.
While talking to British reporters, he had this to say about his horse, One In A Milan: “His runs apart from the Nationals are shambolic, and he is the biggest, laziest horse you will ever meet in your life.”
Well… at least you know who to avoid, right?