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The richest race in the jump racing calendar is almost upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited. Watching a field of up to forty horses hurtling around the famous track, taking enormous fences in their stride, is truly a sight to behold. Everybody has their eyes on the million-pound prize pool, but we’ve got our sights on the most backed horses so far.
There’s often good value to be found in the Grand National if you’re looking for longer priced each way bets. However, we will be paying particular attention to the most fancied horses of the bunch. So, if you want to weed out the short-priced horses, this is the information you need.
2023 Kentucky Derby
Noble Yeats is the defending champion, having won the Grand National last year by a short distance to Any Second Now.
It’s well-known that horses who’ve seen the Grand National fences before stand a much better chance of finishing in the top five. In fact, during the past six years, 11 of the 30 runners who’ve finished first to fifth place have previously run at the course. The fact that Noble Yeats hasn’t just run Aintree but has won the race twice stands him in good stead.
His appearance at the Cheltenham Festival was far from a disgrace, coming fourth in the Gold Cup (15 lengths behind Galopin des Champs). Although a defeat is never great to witness, he was gaining on the leaders right the way up to the line and beyond. Seeing a horse coming past the post and still accelerating in the Gold Cup is proof of stamina, so the Grand National may suit Noble Yeats again this year.
With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why Noble Yeats is the favorite to take the prize. Still, with odds of 8/1 already, it could be prudent to investigate some of the available free bets for grand national to make your stake money work a little harder. He carries a whopping 19 pounds more than last year, which is no small detail in a race that’s already such a test of stamina.
Corach Rambler was well behind in the betting for the National, that is, until his impressive win in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham just a couple of weeks ago. The gelding held onto his title from last year as he scraped home by a neck in a tough field, carrying a respectable 11-5.
In the running of the Grand National, he’ll be carrying a whole stone less than this weight, and, like Noble Yeats, he’s won over Aintree fences before.
His only Aintree performance came in 2021 when he won the Jewson St Helens Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase by a distance of six lengths. He jumped impeccably throughout, and his writing has only climbed since then.
While the National will be a test of stamina for this horse, he’s a seasoned three-miler and often picks up as he passes the line. Overall, we think he more than deserves his place in the betting.
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Although both Corach Rambler and Noble Yeats are shorter priced than Delta Work, the Gordon Elliott-trained gelding is where we’re putting our money.
The 10-year-old has competed in the Grand National before, coming third in 2022. Although Noble Yeats beat him on that occasion, who was a full 22 lengths ahead, Delta Work was carrying 13 pounds more. This year, he’ll be carrying seven pounds less.
Even taking the weights into account, Delta Work ran a cracking race in the Cross Country at Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago. The fences on the cross country course are much more varied and even more testing than the usual Cheltenham course, so although they aren’t the Aintree fences, they’re as good of a gauge as we could ask for.
Delta Work jumped fluently throughout the Cross Country and won by a margin of two and a half lengths to stablemate Galvin. With excellent jumping, proven endurance, and a more favourable handicap, we think he’s the one to bet on this year.
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