Grand National betting – 2023 preview and tips

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A 50/1 winner in the Grand National betting, the 1st female jockey to win, the cancelled race, and back to back wins for Tiger Roll – and that’s just the last 5 years!

When is the 2023 Grand National?

2023’s edition of the world famous Grand National race at Aintree starts at 17:15 on Saturday 15th April (only a few weeks after the Cheltenham Festival and its famous Gold Cup).

Our Grand National 2023 tips

We know you are excited to see our tips. They will appear on this page on Friday 14th April 2023 (the day before the actual race).

How to decide which horse to back in the 2023 Grand National

When considering betting on the Grand National, remember this is a handicap race (horses carry different weights, so as the better horses are disadvantaged). You might want to consider the:

  • Horse’s form (especially in handicap races, giving more weight to recent form)
  • Jockey’s ability (and recent results)
  • Expected ground conditions (how does your horse perform under these conditions)? Recent rain may lead to softer ground, whilst recent sunny or dry conditions may lead to harder ground.
  • Weather at the time of the race – how might your horse perform if it is windy or raining.
  • Fluctuation of odds. – if odds on your potential horse are falling or rising see if you can find out why (e.g. has the expected condition of the ground suddenly changed, has the weather forecast changed, have any other horses withdrawn, does your horse have a potential injury, etc).
  • Body language of horse prior to the race. You may be able to see this on course in person, or on television (the extended TV coverage events like the Grand National gets, helps with this).
  • Starting position of the horse. You might be able to get an idea of this immediately prior to the race. Inside starts (i.e. close to the rail) mean less distance to be travelled. However, inside horses can be cut-off by faster outside horses.

Grand National – It’s been an interesting last few years…

  • 50/1 winner in 2022: Noble Yeats had a starting price of 50/1 – the victorious jockey was Sam Waley-Cohen.
  • Female jockey wins for the 1st time ever in 2021: Jockey Rachael Blackmore rode Minella Times to victory in 2021.
  • Race cancelled in 2020: Whilst the race was cancelled due to the pandemic, a televised virtual version was won by Potters Corner.
  • Back to back wins in 2019 and 2018 for the same horse/jockey/trainer combination: That was of course Tiger Roll (jockey: Davy Russell, trainer: Gordon Elliot).

Grand National race – 30 obstacles to overcome, and at 4km it’s the longest National Hunt race in GB…

The Grand National is a handicapped National Hunt steeplechase. If you are new to horse racing, let us explain what this means in practice.

In handicap horse races, better horses are disadvantaged/worse horses are given an advantage (this is achieved by making the horses carry different weights).

In National Hunt steeplechase races horses jump obstacles, such as open ditches, plain fences, or water jumps. But, it’s even tougher in the Grand National race, as the race is the longest National Hunt race in Great Britain, with a total distance of 4 miles 514 yards to be run.

2 laps are run – there are 16 fences on each lap (each of which has some spruce obtained from the Lake District on top of them), but the last 2 are not jumped on the final lap – so a total of 30 obstacles have to be jumped to complete the course. Some of these obstacles are really famous:

Fence 6 (and therefore, fence 22 as well), is known as Becher’s Brook, named after the jockey that fell there in the first ever Grand National in 1839 – he saved himself by staying in the tiny brook alongside the fence landing (whilst the other horses continued to jump over).

Fence 7 (and thus 23) is named Foinavon in honour of the 1967 outsider who won at 100/1, after avoiding a mess-up by others at this fence.

Fence 8 (and so also 24) is called the Canal Turn. Immediately following this fence, horse and rider have to turn sharply.

Fence 9 (and so also 25) is called Valentine’s Brook. Originally named the Second Brook, it was renamed after the horse Valentine is said to have jumped hind legs first over this obstacle.

Fence 15 known as The Chair, and Fence 16 known as the Water Jump are jumped on the first lap only.

Notable winners – 3 time winner Red Rum, a 100/1 winner in 2009, and more…

The most famous horse to have competed is Red Rum, who finished 1st or 2nd for an amazing 5 years in a row. This famous thoroughbred won 3 times (no other horse has ever won three times) in the 1970s (in 1973 and 1974 as well as 1977). In the 2 other years between Red Rum’s 2nd and 3rd wins (i.e. 1975 and 1976), this legend of racing finished second both times.

The biggest starting price of a winner in recent years was in 2009 when Mon Meme (jockey Liam Treadwell) won at 100/1.

13 mares have won, but the last was Nickel Coin in 1951.

3 different greys have won (1 of these won twice), with the last grey winner Neptune Collonges in 2012.