More than 600 million people will watch the 2019 Grand National at Aintree Racecourse on April 6th 2019. With a £1,000,000 prize pot up for grabs, it is one of the most famous horse races in the world. And millions of us will be eagerly scouting the odds hoping to pick the winner.
Of course that is much easier said than done. Yes, there are strategies you can use. Metrics on past winners are always a great way to separate out the serious contenders from those who have no chance of winning. Taking age, experience, stamina, weight and form all into consideration can whittle down your options.
But plenty of fans also get rewarded from simply picking a horse because they like the name. In 2016 Take That fans were cheering. They simply loved the song ‘Rule The World’ and that happened to be the name of the horse that won the race. Others make their choice based on the jockey that will be on board. The likes of AP McCoy and Katie Walsh always had a huge following and that transferred to their popularity in the National.
But who could conceivably contend for the 2019 Grand National? Most bookmakers are only offering ante-post odds. That means if you back a horse now and they don’t run, for whatever reason, you lose your stake. So choose carefully or simply wait until the odds are no longer ante-post.
Top of the betting currently is Tiger Roll. Last year’s winner was always short in the odds but following the relatively low weight he was hand by the BHA Handicapper (11-01) and the fact that he just won the Boyne Hurdle at Navan, he is now the firm favourite. Should he manage back-to-back wins in the Grand National, he will be the first horse since Red Rum to do so.
Anibale Fly is next in the betting. He finished fourth last year and has been seen twice this season. Neither race provided much insight into his form. Both were short-distanced races and he didn’t win either of them. That said, he might just have been stretching his legs, gearing up for the big race in April.
Following in the betting is Elegant Escape. This is a superb horse and one that won the Welsh National just a few months ago. Trained by Colin Tizzard, the only problem with Elegant Escape is that he is only 7 years old. The last time a horse that young won the national was Bogskar back in 1940. Smart money is that he will swerve Aintree and aim for the Cheltenham Festival instead.
Mall Dini and Rathvinden round off the top 5 in the betting for the 2019 Grand National. The main issue with Mall Dini is that he has never won a chase. While that doesn’t necessarily put him out of contention, it does pose some questions as to whether he has the stamina to go the distance and win.
Rathvinden is the lowest priced of all of trainer Willie Mullins entries. A genuine contender, he won at the Cheltenham Festival last season. The problem however, is that he hasn’t been seen since last season and ten months without a race may be a problem. Plans are to send him to the Cheltenham Gold Cup and then the Grand National but we wait and see.