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Grand National Betting Tactics #2: I like a good fairytale story

by Aidan Elder | April 4, 2013


Picking the horse you want to back for the Grand National is difficult. Some people like to do the painstaking hours of research and analysis while others just rock up, throw a dart at the racecard and hope for the best. No matter what tactic you choose, there’s no guarantee of success. So in honour of the various methods people use, here’s our breakdown of the ways to pick a Grand National horse. Here’s part two of a five part series that will hopefully get you closer to landing a winner.

#2 I like a good fairytale story

It’s always nice to share in a heart-warming fairytale story, even if the part you played in that fairytale amounts to logging in to your Paddy Power account and placing a bet on the winning horse.

‘And then he saw the winnings had gone into his account and they all lived hungoverly ever after. The end’

The Grand National is never short of storylines that capture the imagination. This year there aren’t too many tales of greats looking to avenge years of heart-ache in the race, but we do have some interesting stories.

– As the saying doesn’t go, ‘one man’s punctured lung is another man’s good fortune’. Despite riding away in Ireland, the British Horseracing Authority have told Davy Russell he needs to have his punctured lung operated on before being allowed back into the saddle on their side of the Irish Sea. He was due to ride Joncol in the National, but Robbie Power gets the ride instead. A win wouldn’t really count as a fairytale (not for Davy at least), but it would be quite the talking point.

– Champion trainer Paul Nicholls won his first Grand National with Neptune Collonges last year. He’s bidding to become the first trainer to follow up his maiden win in the race with his second win immediately after since Ginger McCain did it with Red Rum 39 years ago. He’s got What A Friend, Join Together and Harry The Viking in his team for that attempt.

– On the subject of the McCains, Ballabriggs is bidding to become the first horse in 36 years to regain the Grand National title after losing it. The last time it happened was in 1977 when Red Rum claimed his third victory in the race.

Sir Alex Ferguson saw his team get knocked out of the FA Cup on Monday. Don’t feel too sorry for him, his team are cruising to the Premier League title. He has What A Friend and Harry The Viking running for him in the National and his first win in the world’s most famous steeplechase would mean the Chelsea defeat means sweet FA to him.

Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies are bidding to become just the third father-son combination to win the National as a trainer-jockey partnership since the end of World War Part Deux. They saddle and ride former Gold Cup winner and current National top weight, Imperial Commander.

– On a similar ‘family ties’ theme, a victory for Seabass would make Ted and Katie Walsh the first ever father-daughter combination to win it. In fact, it would make Katie the first female jockey to ever win the race. Intriguing.



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