Now the Cheltenham Festival is done, the horse racing fraternity turn their minds to the next big race of the year and possibly the most famous steeple chase in the world: The John Smiths Grand National. Held at Aintree, The Grand National has been run since 1839 and is the wealthiest race of the season with a prize pot of £975,000.
The tension is palpable as the jockeys induce their horses to take their place at the line in time for the race to begin. The tension bursts as the tape goes up and the 40 strong field of horses tear on down to the first fence. The Grand National is a race that attracts amateur and experienced punters like no other race can and an amazing £80,000,000 will be bet on the race every year.
Have you have picked a winner this year? If not then we have a few tips to help you make up your mind. When picking a horse you should consider its age, typically a horse of twelve years old is considered to be beyond its finest, so go for between 8 and 12 years old. You should also consider its capability to finish, particularly a long race such as the Grand National, so has the horse won a similar length race before? Does the horse have an Irish connection? It may seem an odd question but if you study the history of the Grand National you will see that the majority of winners are Irish.
The favourite for the race is currently Prince De Beauchene after winning the John Smiths Handicap Chase last year, Junior and Ballabriggs are also favoured to take the race with Treacle, West End Rocker and Burton Port all under 25/1.