There are a seemingly endless number of ways to pick your Grand National horse and given that two of every three adults in the UK will have a bet on the race somebody is going to come out a winner on the day but will it be you?
Whether it’s the name, the silks colour, your lucky number, your favourite jockey, the best trainer, the bookies favourite or even the rank outsider that inspires you to place a bet on Grand National day, I’m going to throw another option into the mix – the statistics.
[SOdds Long Run]
No matter how much I write about this upcoming race, however many horses I profile and post about, the one horse that stands out by a mile is Long Run.
He has his detractors who believe that his jumping isn’t up to par and that he’ll struggle to get around the Aintree fences, but on paper, this horse looks destined to return on an each-way bet giving you more bang for your buck especially if you back him at longer odds ante-post.
Trained by Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson, he is the second highest weighted horse for the 2014 renewal at 11-09 and at nine-years-old is one of the most accomplished and successful horses entered this year.
With 22 chase starts resulting in 10 wins, five seconds and four third places the figures speak for themselves and if you include the one fourth and one fifth place, which he has also added to his tally, it equates 86.36% return on an each-way bet to third place and a whopping 95.45% return on each-way bets up to fifth place.
As most bookmakers, including Paddy Power, will pay out to those horses that finish in the top five, backing a horse that has returned money on 95.45% to that place seems like a no-brainer.
Throughout his career he has earned connections in excess of £1.5m but his odds are getting shorter by the week and already he’s gone from 25/1 to 20/1 to now second ante-favourite at 16/1 after it was announced that he was to bypass the Cheltenham Festival in favour of Aintree this year.
And to sweeten the pot even further, his jockey, Sam Waley-Cohen has an incredible record around the Aintree course finishing second in 2011 National with Oscar Time, second in the John Smiths Foxhunters Chase with Roulez Cool in 2012 before coming back again with Oscar Time in 2013 to place fourth.
His successes elsewhere include two King George VI Chases’s, the Denman Chase and a Gold Cup and quickly you realise that there’s very little that’s amateur about his riding performances over the last few years.
With an almost impeccable strike rate, a champion trainer by his side and an outstanding jockey on board, Long Run is the one to beat this year.