By Josh Powell | Grand National
Paddy Power is delighted to announce title sponsorship of the 2014 Grand National in a new five-year deal announced today.
As part of the package, the bookmaker has promised to ‘shake things up’ with the introduction of a punter-friendly ‘risk / reward’ shortcut which, if safely negotiated, promises to shave 35 seconds off the traditional lap time, dramatically opening up the field to the also rans.
Not only will the changes help to attract a younger generation of racing fans, obstacles such as the ‘Ring of Fire’ or ‘Wipeout Smack Wall’ will provide new and exciting betting opportunities for punters.
While the integrity of the world-famous Aintree course remains intact with jumps like Becher’s Brook and the Chair unaffected, Paddy’s Alley promises to put racing back in the mainstream.
Paddy’s Alley – the changes:
- Wipeout Smack Wall: Perfect for jockeys punching above their weight
- Tunnel of Love: Careful not to lose your head
- Spinning Windmill: Flying jockeys will sail through
- Ring of Fire: Hot stuff, you’re almost there
- Water Cannon: Handy if you’re on fire
- Horse Agility: In out in out and you’re away
Paddy Power is delighted by the idea to take over one of the world’s most famous races and drag the sport into the limelight, broadening its appeal amongst the X Factor generation. He said:
‘In racing terms, the 4.5 mile course is considered somewhat of a marathon for both the nags and punters watching at home. For jockeys, negotiating Paddy’s Alley will mean huge time savings allowing the more sluggish horses to make mincemeat out of the chasing pack. For punters, we see the introduction of new betting markets as highly innovative and next generation.’
Cheltenham hero and two-time Grand National winner Ruby Walsh is likely to ride the favourite On His Own at Aintree in the 2013 Grand National. He might be one of the toughest men in the sport but even he admits you’d be a brave man to risk Paddy’s Alley. Ruby said:
‘This shortcut is one for the big boys and tough jockeys’, said the Champ. ‘If you’re going well in the Grand National do you stick to the tried and trusted route? If you’re going badly do you take a chance and gamble on Paddy’s Alley? Or do you just be brave, and always take the shortcut? It’s a big poser for us jockeys. Keep your eyes peeled.’