Much to consider before placing a bet
The Grand National will soon be upon us and the bookies will be full of punters making their one and only bet of the year.
Ironically, it is one of the toughest races in which to pick a winner, with huge fences and run over a distance of four miles 514 yards, and there is so much that can happen in the race.
But the same rules of how to bet at the races apply to the National as to all the races, namely make sure you do your research first to maximise the chances of a return.
The Aintree spectacle is unique in the fact that the fences are higher than in regular National Hunt races and it is prudent to back horses that have a history of jumping well.
That information will be readily available online prior to the race and there really is little point in putting your hard-earned cash on an animal that struggles over the obstacles.
Underfoot conditions are also an indicator to success, as some horses like to ‘get their toe in’ and enjoy running on soft ground, while others may prefer things firmer.
Check out how your intended selection has run previously on ground it will encounter on race day, and alter your bet accordingly if it is not comfortable.
A horse’s form is worth knowing as it will give you an indication as to how it might run, but beware of backing an animal just because it won last time out.
It may have been in a poor quality contest or one with very few horses, and so it is important to weigh all these things up.
Look for trends of how a horse has run over its past five or so races and see if it is heading in the right direction, and remember, just because it failed last time does not mean it will repeat the dose.
Horses can have a ‘bad run’ as footballers have a bad game and one poor result does not make a bad horse.
There is so much to consider before placing a bet and it is vital to know what type of bet you want to make.
Steeplechases, especially marathons like the National, carry a lot of risk and so it can be beneficial to bet each-way, especially if you are a novice punter, while it is vital to consider the weight that the horse is carrying.
It will give you a better chance of seeing something come back from the bookies, and even if it just covers your outlay it is better than throwing your betting slip in the bin.
Finally, watch the trends in betting before the race goes off as there may well be a lot of money for one particular horse just before the start as somebody seems to have knowledge that it is fancied to do well.
The odds will plummet but, once again, there is no certainty that it will win.
The above information can help narrow down your selection but that will not stop millions of people sticking a pin in a list of starters for the Grand National.