Despite being Europe’s richest jumps race and having an unrivalled global audience, the Grand National still remains an event largely reserved for betting on the day of the race. Indeed, it’s whole mantra in the UK is as an event for the casual punter, “the race where your gran has a flutter”.

In the weeks and months leading up to the race, horses aren’t tracked with the same enthusiasm as, say the Cheltenham Festival or Kentucky Derby. There are several reasons for this:

It’s a very tough race to win, seeing 100/1 winners and high-priced SPs for the favorites in the recent past and, thus, moves in the market are sometimes greeted with a shrug; The Grand National is at the tail-end of the jumps season, so there is a fair chance any horse your thinking about before Christmas could be injured or tired by April; The list of potential runners is endless, and not whittled down to 40 runners until the Thursday before the race.

In saying that, there are horses that we can pick out with certain characteristics that suit the Grand National and we can also pick up some hints from trainers and owners that they are considering the Grand National as the main target of the season.

Below are three that fit that bill and perhaps worth considering as an ante-post bet. If you want to find even more info on the other potential runners, you can grab all the Grand National betting offers & updates from Free Bets’ website.


Sizing Tennessee: 33/1 – Ladbrokes, Unibet

Sizing Tennessee has never tackled a 4-mile race like the Grand National before, nor has the 10-year-old got familiar with the notoriously tough Aintree fences. However, there reason to believe this horse, who has had three different trainers over the last few years, can become a late bloomer. Top of the list is the fact he won the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase last week, a race which can often indicate Grand National credentials given its illustrious winning roll. There have been a couple of false starts in Sizing Tennessee’s career, but it feels like his time is coming.

Walk In The Mill: 33/1 – Betfair, William Hill

If this had been written a couple of weeks ago, the odds above for Walk In The Mill would have been double what they are now. The reason they came tumbling down is that the 8-year-old won the Becher Becher Chase at Aintree" target="Aintree_new">Chase at Aintree, proving he can handle those tough obstacles. That race was run just over 3 miles, so he will have to prove that he can hang on bit longer, although he did look to have something left in the tank in the finish. Crucially, the win came against several horses who are likely Grand National runners. A marker was put down here.


Abolitionist: 40/1 Bet365

Speaking of late bloomers, it took Abolitionist 47 races in Ireland before his team decided they would cross the Irish Sea and bring him to Aintree. That was last month when he duly obliged by winning the race, the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle, by 10 lengths. Is that enough to suggest Abolitionist should be backed with your bottom dollar? Perhaps not, but nevertheless he is worth keeping an eye on. Any horse that delivers at Aintree with that kind of zeal should be respected and the 10-year-old has bags of experience.

Written by Joanne Rivers
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