10 Things to Look Out for at the Grand NationalPublished April 2, 2017
Up there with the FA Cup final, Wimbledon and the Boat Race, the Grand National is one of the biggest sporting events of the British sporting calendar, and it’s all the more enjoyable when you make a punt using any of the many Grand National free bets that are on offer.
With 40-odd horses jumping 30 fences over a distance of more than four miles, it’s fair to say that the Grand National is fairly unpredictable. However, there are some things that you can expect to see on Grand National weekend.
1 – A Horse Will Fall at the First Fence
Picking the winner of the Grand National is a notoriously difficult thing to do. The number of horses and the difficulty of the course means even the best laid plans often fall short. Sometimes they fall at the very first fence.
There’s nothing particularly tricky about the opening fence but a combination of nerves and adrenaline mean jockeys and horses often get it wrong to crash out at the first possible opportunity.
2 – You’ll Lose Your Horse in the Pack
Navigating the first few hurdles is no guarantee that you will know how the horse you’ve backed is getting on. The overworked commentators work very hard to paint a clear picture about what’s happening but, unless your horse is in the lead, you’re almost certain to a minute without knowing where it is.
3 – A Fence Will be Missed Out
During the two laps of the course at Aintree, the jockeys and horses have to negotiate an incredible 30 fences. These are some of the best National Hunt stayers in the world but even they find it very tough to get over all the obstacles without trouble.
Given that most of the fences are jumped twice, it’s not uncommon to have one of them skipped the second time around as 40 horses can often do pretty serious damage to their structure and then there’s the unfortunate ones who fall.
4 – Your Mum Will Pick the Jockey with the Prettiest Colours
Bless your mum on Grand National day. Either she’s a closet shrewdie who is playing a great game of poker to make sure nobody follows her tips or she hasn’t got a clue who’s going to win (just like the rest of us).
When going through the long list of runners, the jockey with the prettiest looking silks is arguably as sound a method of picking a winner as any.
5 – Your Brother Will Pick the Horse with the Funniest Name
Your brother, however, he’s just interested in a cheap laugh. He’ll go through the long list looking for the funniest name. Expect him to say, “it’s between Arfur Foulkesaycke and Hoof Hearted.”
6 – The Regular Punters at the Bookies Will Get Thoroughly P’d Off
Have you been in to a betting shop recently? There’s a reason why online betting has gone through such a big amount of growth over the years.
You wouldn’t say the regulars in your local shop on the high street is filled with the friendliest people in the world so you can only imagine how welcoming they are when the shop’s full of people who only bet once a year.
7 – Someone in the Pub Will Think They’ve Won – They Haven’t
Watching the Grand National should be a communal thing. Thousands of people flood into the grandstands at Aintree and punters in pubs up and down the country turn their attention to the race.
Unfortunately, the combination of a busy pub, a rubbish sound system and the huge number of horses taking part means that people can get confused and a little carried away with themselves. If you’re in the pub, keep an eye out for the bloke who thinks he’s bagged a 100/1 winner only to find out his horse fell at the first fence.
8 – That Wally at Work Will Win the Office Sweepstake
Office sweepstakes are always popular during the week leading up to the Grand National. Simply put the runners in a hat and draw them at random. The problem is, the bloke from accounting who puts that weird stuff in the fridge is almost certainly going to win.
9 – The Winning Jockey Will Give an Incomprehensible Interview
For many jockeys, winning the Grand National is the pinnacle of their careers. The race carries a big prize fund and a huge amount of kudos so emotions understandably run high at the end of the race.
And then someone sticks a microphone in the winning jockey’s face and nobody can understand a word they say.
10 – You’ll Proudly Collect Your £3.45 Each-Way Winnings
Getting a winner of the Grand National is a proud day for any punter. Even bagging a place bet from an each-way bet feels good so people always puff their chests out as they walk up to the counter in the betting shop. Even if it’s only the place part of a £1 each-way bet.