Your betting guide to the Grand National

IF you re looking for some advice on where to place your money on this weekend s Grand National, then The Hunts Post s Jonathan Tewson could just have the tip for you. Jonathan is a former Ladbrokes employee and completed the British Horse Racing Board Gr

IF you're looking for some advice on where to place your money on this weekend's Grand National, then The Hunts Post's Jonathan Tewson could just have the tip for you. Jonathan is a former Ladbrokes employee and completed the British Horse Racing Board Graduate Programme.

FOR a bit of fun, the team at The Hunts Post would like to provide a few pointers into this weekend's 161st running of the Grand National at Aintree, with a view to marking your card and hopefully picking the winner.

The Grand National is a race run over four and a half miles and 30 gruelling fences. Forty hopefuls will set out at 4.15pm on Saturday to try and win the most famous horse race in the world. An almost impossible task, one might say, to pick the winner but there have been some trends over the last decade or so which may make the task slightly easier.

Over the last 14 years, only one of the winners has not been in the 9-12 year old age bracket. Furthermore, during this time, only one horse (Hedgehunter in 2005) has carried a weight of more than 10 stone 12 pounds to victory. Another interesting statistic which many would not believe due to the size of the fences in the National is that each winner over the last five years has run over the smaller hurdles during the season. These facts, therefore, from a betting proposition narrows the field somewhat.


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By my reckoning it means that if we are to believe the trends of age, weight and the hurdle form we can disregard 34 of the 40 horses - leaving just six left to choose from.

This may seem like a very simplistic way to pick a winner but the trends are there for a reason and to be ignored at your peril.

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Of those that are left, I feel that King Johns Castle ridden by Paul Carberry has an exceptional chance. There has been support for this horse in recent weeks suggesting that the stable are confident of a strong showing.

Of the others Kelami, the French raider, is a great jumper and has won at Cheltenham before. Dun Doire was fancied last year to do well and has been lightly raced this year so comes to the race fresh. A lively outsider could be Backbeat who has had some injury problems but is an extremely good jumper and a good run for your money could be on the cards.

Of course the fairytale story this year would be a win for Cloudy Lane, trained by the son of Ginger McCain who saddled Red Rum to three victories during the 1970s. However, at prohibitive odds of 5/1 this represents very little value.

Prediction

1st King Johns Castle (20/1)

2nd Kelami (40/1)

3rd Dun Doire (25/1)

4th Backbeat (66/1)

If only picking the winner was that easy! However, let's hope for a great race with hopefully some financial reward at the end of it, but more importantly that all of the horses that take part come back safe and sound.

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