The Grand National attracts millions of pounds in betting and the bookmakers love this event because of its tendency to produce a high priced winner. In 2013 and 2012, the race was won by a 66/1 shot and a 33/1 outsider respectively and as recently as 2009, the French bred Mon Mome came home at an incredible 100/1.
There would have been a handful of very lucky punters cashing in on those victories, so who should you be backing as the outside bet for 2014?
[SOdds Lion Na Bearnai]
At 12-years old, age isn’t on the side of this Thomas Gibney trained horse and while few are expecting a win, you can claim odds of 40/1 with Betfair and at that price he has the pedigree to give you some value for an each way stake.
Lion Na Bernai won the Irish Grand National in 2012 and horses that have performed well in that race tend to do well at Aintree. He may be a relative veteran at 12 but Lion Na should certainly be fresh having only ridden in two races last season and he has warmed up for the National with a fourth place finish in the Bobbyjo Chase at Cheltenham in March.
9-year old Soll finished just outside of the places at the 2013 Grand National but it’s worth noting that the Gelding has been backed down from around 50/1 to 33/1. Trained by Jo Hughes, this is a big horse with a solid frame that is perfectly built for Aintree’s big obstacles and unless it’s impeded by other runners, Soll should certainly finish the course.
Soll finished seventh at Aintree in 2013 and also enjoyed a seventh place finish in a National trial at Haydock, so a small improvement could see this horse finish in the top four.
[SOdds Colbert Station]
Tony McCoy’s horse received heavy backing in 2013 but when he fell at the Chair, the jockey suggested that the occasion had simply got to his ride. McCoy sensed that all wasn’t well right from the off and that nervous display has seen Colbert Station drift to a tempting 25/1 2014.
A natural jumper, that fall was the first of a long career but his form drifted until November when the 10-year old came third in the Troytown Chase at Navan. It’s been reported that McCoy is set to ride this horse once again and if this world class jockey can get his mount to relax, Colbert Station can improve from his ride 12 months ago and has every chance of finishing in the places, if he can stay on his feet.
[SOdds Tidal Bay]
13-year old Tidal Bay is one of the shorter outside options at 16/1 and while age is a concern, this is a horse with a good record at the bigger events. Form is impressive too and following a narrow third place finish at the Welsh Grand National, the Paul Nicholls trained runner came second in a grade one chase last time out.
No 13-year old has won this race since Sergeant Murphy in 1923 but an anomaly in weight regulations is on Tidal Bay’s side here. The horse will be carrying a significant 7lb less than in a conventional handicap and that has to be a serious benefit from a betting point of view.
[SOdds Swing Bill]
At 66/1 for the National, Swing Bill really is a punt but he possesses a good record, comparable to that of 2013 winner Aurora’s Encore. He has won four races out of 34 and although the last victory came at Cheltenham in 2012, there is a good history of high placed finishes throughout a long career.
At 13, the David Pipe trained horse will struggle to win but a lack of fear over the big jumps makes this another serious contender as an each way bet.