The Grand National is five minutes of punting excitement like no other.
The thrills and spills around Aintree’s four miles and two furlongs course is a phenomenon that no sporting event can match. Forty horses go hell for leather over some of the world’s toughest national hunt fences, but only one can claim victory – and it takes a majestic horse to do so.
There are plenty of horses and tips for punters to choose from, but don’t forget to take advantage of Paddy Power’s recently announced free £20 bet offer – they are one of the most respected horse racing bookmakers online today, and their free bet is sure not to last long.
Sporting legends such as Red Rum, who incredibly won the race three different times despite being handicapped not to achieve it, and Golden Miller, who won the Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1927, which is still yet to be replicated by any other horse, are etched into horse racing’s history books because of their Grand National heroics.
That could record could be broken this year by Gold Cup winner Synchronised, who will bid for a lucrative double in the Grand National and with Champion Jockey AP McCoy in the saddle, he is being backed to achieve the feat.
He is currently the favourite for the race, but may just have too much weight to carry in order to land the spoils.
Another horse that will enter the Grand National record books if landing the world’s most prestigious horse race is last year’s champion Ballabriggs. If Donald McCain’s charge can defend his crown he would become the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win the race twice.
In last year’s race he jumped magnificently and held off the challenge of Oscar Time by two and a quarter lengths giving his owner Trevor Hemmings a second National victory, after Hedgehunter in 2005.
He looked a little short of work when finishing a tired second behind Master Of The Hall at Kelso, but that was always going to be a prep-run for the National and he be spot on in his bid to defend his crown.
Supremely talented, Ballabriggs has proven course form and has a lot in his favour regarding the chances of him doubling up from last season.