The Punting Club: our experts with their best advice for the Grand National meeting (2023)

The Randox Grand National (5.15 Saturday, April 15), the biggest punting event of the racing calendar and one of the world's most prestigious races, is nearly here.

Our resident Punting Club judges, Harry Wilson, Joe Eccles and Liam Headd, are on hand to discuss hot topics and festival wagers...

What qualities do you look for in a Grand National selection? Paul Ebrey

Joe: Dodgy jumpers need not apply for the Grand National. It is the ultimate examination of jumping proficiency. Therefore, it is no surprise that horses who have either fallen or unseated more than twice in their careers have a poor record. If we take last year, Mount Ida had her own method of getting from A to B and she got no further than the first fence. Jumping is the name of the game and nowhere is that more pertinent than the Grand National.

Harry: Without doubt the most important thing for me is how well a horse can jump – you’re going to get no further than the first if you can’t. Lots of Fs and Us – that’s not just you shouting at the telly – usually screams leave me alone when it comes to the National. The only horses you know truly stay this distance are those who have been up there in the placings in previous years, but strong performances in the Coral Gold Cup, Ultima, Cross County Chase and the Gold Cup all lend themselves to good trials for this marathon contest. I tend to stick with those carrying less weight, too, as only two horses in the last nine runnings have carried more than 10st 13lb.

Liam: I think the obvious factor is to see if a horse can stay the 4m2½f trip. The National is a completely different test to what some may have faced in their careers and a clean round of jumping with stamina can make you a leading contender for the top prize. Horses who have experienced the Aintree showpiece are good options, with Tiger Roll winning back-to-back races in 2018 and 2019, while possible candidate Noble Yeats bids to win the contest for a second successive year. A jockey with form in the race is also one to consider given how challenging it can be to clear not only one National fence but 30.

Who will win the Grand National? And the forecast? Alan M

Joe: Gaillard Du Mesnil. He jumps, stays and has a touch of class at this level. Willie Mullins was non-committal about future targets after he won last month’s National Hunt Chase, so the seven-year-old must be showing that he is over his Cheltenham exertions to be running here. Ain’t That A Shame has not stood much racing for a nine-year-old and is progressing nicely, and he can chase the winner home.

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Harry: The one I like is Le Milos for Dan and Harry Skelton. Dan has proven himself time and time again as a big-race trainer, especially when it comes to valuable handicaps at the biggest meetings so it won’t be long before he lands this and it could well be this year. Le Milos emerged as a contender after following up victory in the mud at Bangor with a gutsy win in the Coral Gold Cup, showing his versatility regarding underfoot conditions. Skelton admitted to Le Milos not being 100 per cent wound up for his prep at Kelso, where he only lost out on the run-in, and that would have put him spot on for a go at the big one. As for the second spot, last year’s 1-2, Noble Yeats and Any Second Now, are proven over course and distance and are sure to run well despite their hefty burdens. Noble Yeats is the one I would take to finish runner-up as he has shown major form this season.

The Punting Club: our experts with their best advice for the Grand National meeting (1)The Punting Club: our experts with their best advice for the Grand National meeting (2)

Le Milos: a first National winner for the Skeltons?Credit: Mark Cranham

Liam: Whether it’s Jack Kennedy or Keith Donoghue in the saddle, I think Delta Work can win this year’s contest. The ten-year-old deserves to be considered a serious contender after an impressive display when defending his Cross Country crown at Cheltenham last month. He has now won twice this season and placed third 12 months ago on his first appearance at the track. Having that race experience is a huge advantage and this will have been his end-of-season target. I think Noble Yeats will run another cracker but will fall narrowly short of emulating what both Red Rum and Tiger Roll achieved.

Who do you fancy as an outside bet? Scott Jones

Joe: If there is one at a big price capable of causing an upset it could be Hill Sixteen. He’s run well in defeat in the last two runnings of the Becher Chase so clearly handles this course, and his third at Kelso earlier this season reads well. He needs to bounce back from an underwhelming recent run, but he lost a shoe that day so there were possible excuses. There’s enough juice in odds of 66-1 to consider him.

Harry: I completely agree with Joe and I can’t believe Hill Sixteen can still be backed at 66-1 for the National. He went into my notebook after a gutsy performance over these fences in the Becher Chase in 2021, when he hit the line hard and was only narrowly denied by Snow Leopardess. He has had pieces of good form since but hasn’t really gone on as I thought he would, but that means he has snuck into the race carrying just 10st 2lb. His last spin over these fences in December was safe and he jumped well and, although disappointing on his last start, that was his first outing after wind surgery and a break, and he may have just needed it. The extra distance could well suit this stamina-laden ten-year-old and there are certainly worse bets than him at 66-1.

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Liam: Back On The Lash has received some support in the market over the last few days and he could outrun his odds if he takes his place in the race. The nine-year-old is 50-1 with most firms and has done enough in his career to justify why he is one of the movers in the betting. He was pulled up in the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham last month and it is easy to put a line through that run given the fact the soft ground at the festival was never going to work in his favour. He beat the winner Delta Work on Trials day at the track in a career-best performance and has won five of 13 starts over fences. Although he has not been tested at Aintree, he has plenty of stamina and is a good jumper. He could be a big player if he gets the right conditions.


Noble Yeats has the class, looks like the strongest stayer and is clearly still improving, but can he defy 11st 11lb? Des Cooper

Joe: Not for me, Des. The handicapper has taken no chances with him and I’d be concerned about some of his recent runs, where he has been badly outpaced. On the back of a busy season and lugging a hefty weight, I’m keen to oppose him.

Harry: I completely agree with the three points you’ve made, Des. His Many Clouds display really caught my attention and it looked like he kicked in the turbo when he realised where he was. He has been badly outpaced in his last two starts before rallying and being closest at the line, which suggests a return this trip will be of benefit. The problem is you are asking him to do what no horse since Red Rum in 1974 has ever done – carry 11st 11lb or more. I’m not saying it is impossible, but it will take some doing. I reckon he’ll be there at the finish, but it would be a surprise were there not one better handicapped.

Liam: Together with Red Rum and Tiger Roll, Noble Yeats attempts to land the Aintree prize for a second straight year. It’s a tough task given his weight, but race experience counts and I believe he has a huge chance to take the headlines once more. Since his victory 12 months ago he has won two of his five starts, with one of those coming very impressively when he produced a powerful turn of foot to land the Many Clouds Chase at the track in December. He didn’t perform to his full ability in the Cotswold Chase in January, but he certainly ran a solid race in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month. This has been the end-of-season target for connections and he should be there or thereabouts at the finish.

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The Punting Club: our experts with their best advice for the Grand National meeting (3)The Punting Club: our experts with their best advice for the Grand National meeting (4)

Noble Yeats wins last year's National, but what chance he can do it again off 11st 11lb?Credit: John Grossick (

Dick Saunders did it in 1982 and Sam Waley-Cohen did it last year. Can the panel see Davy Russell joining them by winning this year's Grand National (Galvin) and then retiring on the spot, and in so doing joining Brian Fletcher with three Grand National victories? James Gibson-Wynes

Joe: Galvin looked a happier horse in the Cross Country last time and that’s been a good recent National trial. I’m not sure that he reverses form with Delta Work on 7lb worse terms, however, and as much as I can see him giving Davy Russell a great spin, I think 11st 11lb will ultimately prove too much of a burden.

Harry: I don’t think there was anything special about his run in the Cross Country and if anything, it showed Delta Work to be the stronger stayer of the two, as Galvin was going just as well as the winner but couldn’t match him in the final 100 yards. Chances are he will stay and he’s a pretty sound jumper, so he’ll give Davy Russell a good final spin, but he won’t be gracing the winner’s enclosure carrying that weight. If I was Davy, I’d be fighting to get on Delta Work.

Liam: Galvin has proven time and again that he stays the longer distances and we know Davy Russell will be wanting to go out on a high. It would be the perfect way to sign off and Gordon Elliott’s charge has a chance to run a big race. Although Galvin has never experienced Aintree, the nine-year-old rallied up the Cheltenham hill in the Cross Country and was unlucky to be beaten by Delta Work. He has abundant stamina and, together with Russell’s record in the race, he could provide the jockey with a fairytale ending.

Hi Punting Club, can you give me your best multiple bet for the Grand National festival please? Nathan Briggs

Joe: I’ll go for an each-way Lucky 15, Nathan. Golden Ace (mares’ bumper, 5.15 Thursday, Captain Conby (2m4f handicap hurdle, 2.20 Friday), Quel Destin (Topham, 4.05 Friday) and Home By The Lee (Liverpool Hurdle, 3.35 Saturday).

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Harry:I prefer looking at each-way options so I'd go with a Lucky 15 too. I'd go with Grey Diamond (Red Rum Handicap Chase, 4.40 Thursday), Millers Bank (Marsh Chase, 3.30 Friday), Gesskille (Topham, 4.05 Friday) and Le Milos (Grand National, 5.15 Saturday).

Liam: Jonbon (Manifesto Novices' Chase, 1.45 Thursday), Bravemansgame (Aintree Bowl, 2.55 Thursday), Constitution Hill (Aintree Hurdle, 3.30 Thursday), Ashtown Lad (Topham Handicap Chase, 4.05 Friday).

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Who is favourite to win the Grand National 2023? ›

Corach Rambler, the 8-1 favourite, came home an impressive winner of the 175th Randox Grand National to give trainer Lucinda Russell and jockey Derek Fox a second win in the world's greatest race in six years at Aintree on Saturday. The same combination won with One For Arthur in 2017.

What's the best horse to bet on in the Grand National? ›

1. LONGHOUSE POET. 2. Noble Yeats. 3. Galvin. 4.

Have any horses pulled out of Grand National? ›

Grand National 2023 runners and riders confirmed list: A horse-by-horse guide. Escaria Ten has been pulled out of this afternoon's Grand National, owing to lameness. The withdrawal means that the race will go to post with 39 runners rather than a full field of 40.

What are the top tips for the Grand National? ›

Win Betting Tips for the Grand National
  • Look at horses which have winning form over the Grand National fences.
  • Look at horses with good recent form in general.
  • Look for horses from a trainer who has a good record in the race.
  • Look for horses with a good record at Aintree.
  • Look for horses that are well weighted.

Who is the most famous Grand National winner? ›

Regarded as one of the greatest racehorses of all time, Red Rum dominated the Grand National in the 1970's. Winning the race three times, finishing second in the intervening years (1975 and 1976) and never having fallen in over 100 races, Red Rum is considered by many as the saviour of The Grand National.

What is the longest odds to win the Grand National? ›

The longest odds for a winning horse at the Grand National is 100/1 and was achieved by Tipperary Tim (1928), Gregalach (1929), Caughoo (1947), Foinavon (1967) and Mon Mome (2009).

What bet wins the most in horse racing? ›

Trifecta Bet

A trifecta is more difficult than win, place and show wagers, as well as exacta wagers, so it yields a higher payout than any of those bets.

What is the most profitable horse bet? ›

The Scoop 6 has been won by pin-sticker housewives and professional syndicates, all of whom will tell you that the most profitable horse racing bet is the Scoop 6.

What is the most popular horse bet? ›

What horse bet pays the most? The horse bets that pay the most are the accumulators. However, with an accumulator bet, all your horse racing selections need to win (or place if each-way) so there is less chance of you winning. But as the odds are higher this gives you the highest-paying returns.

Do horses get hurt in the Grand National? ›

Almost every year, horses are killed during the three-day festival, sustaining horrific and often fatal injuries at notorious fences such as the Chair, Becher's Brook and the Canal Turn,” Peta UK said.

Who is the Favourite in the Grand National? ›

Noble Yeats, winner last year, is among the Grand National 2023 favourites, and Any Second Now, top three in both the 2021 and 2022 races, also features strongly in the 2023 Grand National betting odds. However it's Corach Rambler that looks set to head to Aintree as the 2023 Grand National favourite.

What horse was destroyed after Grand National? ›

Dickon White, who runs Aintree Racecourse as North-West regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “Hill Sixteen was immediately attended by expert veterinary professionals during the Grand National, but sadly sustained a fatal injury. Our heartfelt condolences are with his connections.”

What is the easiest way to bet on the Grand National? ›

The simplest way to bet is to pick a horse either to win or each way. If your selection wins, you will get the amount you put on - called your 'stake' - back as well as any profit.

What is the average age for Grand National winners? ›

As you can see, nine-year-olds dominate the field here. There are almost double the amount of nine-year-old Grand National winners as any other age. The last nine-year-old to claim victory at Aintree was Tiger Roll in 2019 – a triumph that solidified the horse's legendary status.

Should I bet each way on Grand National? ›

The general rule with Grand National each way betting is that because the place part of an each-way bet is ¼ of the winning odds, the benchmark price to bet each-way is around 4/1 or higher. Anything lower than 4/1 and, unless the horse wins, you'll actually return a loss on your overall stake.

Has a female horse won the Grand National? ›


Who was the only horse to win the Grand National 3 times? ›

Red Rum, (foaled 1965), steeplechase horse who won the Grand National at Aintree, England, an unprecedented three times, in 1973, 1974, and 1977. Bought as a crippled seven-year-old, he was reconditioned by his trainer Ginger McCain, who ran him on the sand and in the sea.

Who are the most successful Grand National trainers? ›

Gordon Elliott is the most successful trainer with a horse in the 2023 renewal and the Cullentra handler could join the elite gang of four winners if one of his six runners come out on top.

What horse had the worst odds? ›

In 1913, Donerail set a record that still stands today. Owned by Thomas P. Hayes, the thoroughbred entered the Kentucky Derby at 91-1 odds.

What is the fastest Grand National time ever recorded? ›

The fastest ever time is the 8 minutes 47.8 seconds Mr Frisk recorded in taking victory in 1990. The slowest time is the 14m 53s it took Lottery to win the first National in 1839. The smallest number of finishers was in 1928 when Tipperary Tim, a 100-1 outsider, was the first of two past the post.

What was the smallest horse to win the Grand National? ›

Battleship was the first American-bred and owned thoroughbred, and the smallest horse, to ever win the Grand National. He remains the only thoroughbred to ever win both the American Grand National and the British Grand National.

Is it best to bet on a horse each-way or to win? ›

In general, the punter has an advantage over the each-way bookmaker in fields 'Of eight to 12 runners if he backs each-way horses quoted at 7/1 or shorter for the win. The shorter the win price, the greater the advantage for a place. Before you bet each-way, do your sums.

What is the best draw in horse racing? ›

Usually, draw 1 is on the left, while the highest number is furthest to the right - on left-handed courses the lowest draw is next to the inside rail, while the highest draw is next to the inside rail for a right-handed track. However, you should always research the course for changes.

Can you bet on every horse to win? ›

That's because it's almost mathematically impossible to win by betting on every horse in every race, as bookmakers build a percentage into their books to try and make themselves a profit and to allow for market fluctuations due to demand and supply.

Who are the best horse gamblers? ›

The most profitable gambler on horses is widely regarded to be William Benter (USA), who makes some US$10 million per year betting horses at the two tracks in Hong Kong.

What horse has 80 to 1 odds? ›

Rich Strike won the 148th Running of the Kentucky Derby, overcoming 80-1 odds to pull off one of the most shocking upsets in race history. Epicenter, who went off as a 4-1 favorite, finished second, and Zandon came in third.

What is the best bet for 7 horses? ›

The Super Heinz is a bet on seven selections taking part in various events consisting of 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, seven sixfolds, and a sevenfold accumulator which totals a huge 120 bets. Two selections must win to ensure any returns.

What is the easiest bet in horse racing? ›

The easiest of the so-called exotics to cash on are the EXACTA (pick the first two finishers in one race in exact order) or QUINELLA (pick the first two finishers in one race in either order, though this bet is not widely available), and the DOUBLE (picking the winner of two consecutive races).

What is the number one rule of horses? ›

The first rule is always Safety First!

If the horse is startled or scared, the horse will try to run away.

What is a Lucky 15 bet on horses? ›

A Lucky 15 is 15 bets that are of equal value on selections in four different events. It includes four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a fourfold accumulator.

Do horses get whipped in Grand National? ›

They're Whipped to the Finishing Line

Riders at the Grand National are actually required to carry whips – despite the RSPCA's verdict that “[u]sing whips can cause pain and suffering to the horses” and often makes them run beyond their natural capability, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

How old is the average horse in the Grand National? ›

Nine years is the most common age of Grand National winners, accounting for 46 of the previous victors. The weights carried by previous Grand National winners have ranged from 10 stone 1 pound to 12 stone, with the most common weight set at 10 stone 7 pounds – the handicap of 13 of the previous winners.

What percentage of horses finish the Grand National? ›

In total, out of the 1356 runners in the National between 1984 and 2019, only 533 (39.31%) completed the race, whilst 823 (60.69%) failed to complete the course.

Who should I bet on Grand National? ›

Who will win the Grand National 2023 and why?
  • Pick 1 Noble Yeats @ 8/1 with bet365 – Dean Cooke. ...
  • Pick 2 Minella Trump @ 66/1 with bet365 – Thomas Reynolds. ...
  • Pick 3 Gaillard Du Mesnil @ 14/1 with bet365 – Matt Dooley. ...
  • Pick 4 Galvin @ 20/1 with bet365 - Calum Weill.
3 days ago

Who is offering most places on Grand National? ›

The Grand National 2023 has set the stage for a thrilling showdown among bookmakers, with Talksport being the victor for offering the most extra places on each-way bets. However, the competition remains fierce, and Betfred, Ladbrokes, and Bet365 are still worth considering when placing your bets.

What horse lost all his races? ›

Zippy Chippy's 100th loss occurred on September 10, 2004, in the Northampton Fair at the Three County Fairgrounds. He went off at odds of 7-2, making him the second betting choice; however, Zippy Chippy finished last.

How many horses fell at the Grand National? ›

How many horses have died at the Grand National? Since the first Grand National in 1839, 88 horses have died during the race itself, with nearly 15 of these deaths taking place between 2000 and 2022.

Which horse in the Grand National has had a foal? ›

It's been over 70 years since a mare won the Grand National, but the story of Snow Leopardess, a 10-year-old grey mare who has returned to racing after having a foal, has really caught the public's imagination.

What is the best way to gamble with $100? ›

8 Tips for Going to the Casino with $100 to Gamble
  1. Play Lower Volatility Games. ...
  2. Find a Lower Minimum Bet. ...
  3. Reduce Your Lines. ...
  4. Play Games that Spin Slower. ...
  5. Seek Out Older Games. ...
  6. Play Games With Lengthy Bonuses. ...
  7. Let the Game Do Its Thing. ...
  8. Walk Around More.

Is it too late to bet on the Grand National? ›

The big bookmakers will have the next Grand National market on their site all through the year. Therefore, even though the race is run each year in April should you have a fancy before that (or at any time during the year) you can place a bet on the Grand National ante-post market.

Do odds change on Grand National? ›

Betting at the Aintree racecourse

Around a big meeting like the Grand National, this can be a busy, noisy and confusing place to bet. Odds can change quickly as each bookmaker competes for business. They also alter their position on each race and horse.

What is the best weight for a horse in the Grand National? ›


12st 7lb carried by four winners to victory in the Grand National: Poethlyn (1919), Jerry M (1912), Manifesto (1899) and Cloister (1893). This is a record that will not be broken as the top-weight was lowered to 12st in 1956, then went down to 11st 12lb in 2002 and to 11st 10lb in 2009.

How much does Grand National jockey win? ›

Whoever wins the Grand National will take home a £561,300 cut of that prize pot, with only the top ten finishers earning any money. The runner-up will bank £211,100, while the third-placed horse will earn £105,500.

Who was the youngest jockey in the Grand National? ›

The youngest jockey to have ever won a Grand National at Aintree is Bruce Hobbs. He won the race in 1938 at the age of 17, riding a horse named Battleship.

Is it better to bet each-way or place? ›

Each-way fractions: The odds on the place part of your each-way bet are a fraction of the win odds, because your selection has a greater chance of placing than winning.

What happens if my each-way bet wins? ›

An 'Each-way' bet is made up of two components, a win bet and a place, which means that if your selection wins the race, you are paid out on both, though should your horse only finish in the places, you will still receive a return at the place terms.

Do you win if your horse comes 2nd? ›

Should the horse come first you'll receive the pay out on both the Win and Place portions of your bet. If your horse finished 2nd or 3rd you'll only receive the pay-out on the place section, the win part of your bet will be a loser.

Who are the Favourites for Grand National? ›

Grand National: 10 contenders to watch out for
  • Noble Yeats - 14/1.
  • Corach Rambler - 10/1.
  • Any Second Now - 14/1.
  • Back on the Lash - 18/1.
  • Mister Coffey - 33/1.
  • Read more: Activists vow to disrupt the race.
  • Our Power - 22/1.
  • Lifetime Ambition - 28/1.
3 days ago

What time is the Grand National 2023 tips? ›

The Grand National will take place at Aintree Racecourse, near Liverpool, starting at 5.15pm BST on Saturday 15 April. It is the penultimate race of the festival, with the last race starting at 6.20pm BST.

What are the best seats at the Grand National? ›

Queen Mother Seats – Here you will be well-located for a direct view of the finishing post with excellent vantage points over the course. You'll be able to enjoy a dedicated bar in an uncovered area with access to the parade ring, winners' enclosure and live music in the Aintree Pavilion throughout the day.

How often does the favorite win the Grand National? ›

Oddly, in the last 50 editions of the Grand National, there have only been eight winning favourites, meaning that statistically, the favourite wins the National less than once every five years.

Who were the top 5 in the Grand National? ›

Grand National 2021 finishers
  • 1st – Minella Times (Rachael Blackmore) 11/1.
  • 2nd – Balko Des Flos (Aidan Coleman) 100/1.
  • 3rd – Any Second Now (Mark Walsh) 15/2.
  • 4th – Burrows Saint (Mr P W Mullins) 9/1.
  • 5th – Farclas (Jack Kennedy) 16/1.
  • 6th – Blaklion (Harry Skelton) 50/1.
  • 7th – Discorama (B J Cooper) 16/1.

What is the best horse never to win the Grand National? ›

Crisp Probably the best grand national runner not to have won the race, Crisp started his racing in Australia and after winning all he could there he was sent to England to run in the Gold Cup but due to one thing and another it was thought that he would not ' get the trip ' and so he was entered in the two mile ...

What is the fastest Grand National time? ›

The race will take approximately 10 minutes to finish, with the fastest Grand National time being recorded by Mr Frisk in 1990 who finished the course in just under nine minutes.

What time do the gates open at the Grand National? ›

As the Aintree gates open around 10.30am each day, racegoers will have plenty of time to get into the course before the first race. With bars and restaurants open all day, plus corporate boxes and suites offering lunch before the racing starts, many racegoers will flock to the track early to make the most of their day.

What horse won Grand National today? ›

Derek Fox steered 8-1 favourite Corach Rambler to a superb triumph as he won the Grand National for a second time.

What is the easiest horse bet to win? ›

The easiest wager in horse racing, a show bet pays off if your horse finishes first, second, or third. Payoffs are usually smaller than those generated by win or place bets. You win the wager if your horse finishes first, second, or third.

What is the easiest bet to win in horse racing? ›

“Straight” bets are your least complicated option and they're the safest. These involve wagering that your horse will win, place or show, meaning that he'll come in first, second or third, respectively. If you wager on him to win and he does indeed win, so do you. If he comes in second or third, you lose.


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