Held annually at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, the Grand National is the UK’s richest and arguably one of the most popular races alongside the Epsom Derby and Cheltenham’s Gold Cup. Dating back to the 1800s, the Grand National continues to capture the hearts and minds of the British public. In this guide, we will reveal tips, predictions, and much more. You may also find our articles on Non Runners in the Grand National and Grand National Each-Way Place Offerings helpful.
- Tournament Structure for the Grand National
- Best Betting Sites for the Grand National
- Grand National 2023 Schedule
- Grand National Betting Odds, Promotions, Tips & Predictions
- 5 Reasons to Bet on the Grand National
- Popular Grand National Betting Markets
- History of the Grand National
- Similar Tournaments to the Grand National
- Upcoming Sporting Events
- Grand National Betting FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say & Predictions
Tournament Structure for the Grand National
The Grand National itself is the culmination of the three-day Grand National festival and is famously one of the most difficult horse races in the world. The Aintree course is 2 ¼ miles, with the huge field of runners having to circle the track twice (i.e. two laps).
On their way round they must make it over 30 fences, with the first 14, including the world-famous Becher’s Brook, being jumped twice, missing out fences 15 & 16 on the second lap. The home straight here is the longest run-in of any UK racecourse.
Each of these fences stands over 4ft 6in high, except for the 16th, which is a water jump. Over half of the horses that start the race will not make it past the finishing post.
The race has been staged at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool since first being run in 1839. Its prize money amounts to £750,000, with £375,000 of that going to the winner. The event usually draws in a crowd of around 70,000 people.
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Grand National 2023 Schedule
The Grand National has captured the hearts and minds of the UK racing public since 1839, and this Aintree extravaganza is split over three days of exhilarating action. We have provided a list of the races, and the expected timings, although this will be updated closer to the Grand National 2023.
Opening Day – Thursday 13th April 2023
There are seven races scheduled for the opening day:
- 1.45pm – The Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase (Class 1 Grade 1) 2m 4f
- 2.20pm – The Anniversary 4-y-o Juvenile Hurdle (Class 1 Grade 1) 2m 1f
- 2.55pm – The Aintree Bowl Steeple Chase (Class 1 Grade 1) 3m 1f
- 3.30pm – The Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f
- 4.05pm – The Randox Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase 2m 5f
- 4.40pm – The Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase (Class 1 Grade 3) 2m
- 5.15pm – The Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2)
Grand National Friday – Ladies Day – Friday 14th April 2023
A further seven races are scheduled for Ladies Day, which are as follows:
- 1.45pm – The Mildmay Novices’ Steeple Chase (Class 1 Grade 1) 3m 1f
- 2.20pm – The Orrell Park Handicap Hurdle (Class 1 Grade 3) 2m 4f
- 2.55pm – The Top Novices’ Hurdle (Class 1 Grade 1) 2m ½f
- 3.30pm – The Marsh Steeple Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f
- 4.05pm – The Randox Supports Race Against Dementia Topham Chase (Grade 3) 2m 5f
- 4.40pm – The Cavani Menswear Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Class 1 Grade 1) 3m ½f
- 5.15pm – The Lydiate Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) 2m ½f
Grand National Saturday – Saturday 15th April 2023
The blue-riband Grand National takes place on another bumper-packed day of racing action at Aintree.
- 1.45pm – The EFT Construction Maghull Novices’ Steeple Chase (Class 1 Grade 1) 2m
- 2.25pm – The Bridle Road Handicap Hurdle (Class 1 Grade 3) 3m ½f
- 3.00pm – The Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Class 1 Grade 1) 2m 4f
- 3.35pm – The JRL Group Liverpool Hurdle (Class 1 Grade 1) 3m ½f
- 4.15pm – The Freebooter Handicap Steeple Chase (Class 1 Grade 3) 3m 1f
- 5.15pm – The Randox Grand National Steeple Chase (Grade 3) 4m 2 ½f
- 6.20pm – The Weatherbys Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Grade 2) 2m 1f
Grand National Betting Odds, Promotions, Tips & Predictions
The runners and riders will set off for the Grand National 2023 at 5:15pm on Saturday, 15th April at Aintree.
The aim of this Grand National guide is to bring you up to speed with this Grade Three steeplechase that is the ultimate test of a horse’s agility and stamina. Read on for the latest Aintree Grand National tips.
Make sure you get the latest information on Horse Racing Racecards & Results by checking our updated racecards for the day.
Grand National Betting Odds 2023
|Noble Yeats||8/1||Paddy Power|
|Any Second Now||16/1||Betfred|
|Gaillard Du Mesnil||16/1||10bet|
|Corach Rambler||16/1||William Hill|
|The Big Dog||25/1||Coral|
Grand National Betting Tips & Predictions 2023
- Once again, 40 runners will take to the line for the Grand National which will be pulsating as ever, and inevitably, it will be a bit of a lottery as to whether all the designated starters will finish. Heading the betting is the 2022 champion Noble Yeats, who was valued at 50/1 12 months ago and defeated the 15/2 favourite Any Second Now by two and a quarter lengths, and wrote itself into folklore by becoming the first seven-year-old since Bogskar in 1940 to win the blue-riband event. It was a momentous occasion for Sam Waley-Cohen, who became just the second amateur since 1990 to win Britain’s biggest race. Noble Yeats finished more than 20 lengths ahead of the rest of the field, and if he can come flying out of the blocks, he could clinch back-to-back wins. He’s trading at a short 8/1 to do so.
- Meanwhile, Any Second Now is joint second in the market, and is currently priced at 16/1 to step into the winner’s circle. His credentials shouldn’t be overlooked having collected four wins from 22 chase starts, and he will be wanting to go one better than last year. Becher’s Brook is one of the toughest hurdles on the course, and if he can safely negotiate that, then he could be in the reckoning, although another top-three finish could be likely.
- If you are looking for value elsewhere, you may wish to consider Carefully Selected. The 11-year-old was out of commission for three years before returning this season. Perhaps there may be a question of stamina, although he could well finish, and he’s priced at 20/1 to win the Grand National.
- Similarly, Lifetime Ambition is trading at 20/1 with Betfair to win the Grand National. The Betfair exchange is the biggest betting exchange in the UK, and it gives punters an opportunity to lay and back against odds during the Grand National, and with odds continually fluctuating, you can scoop some big wins.
Grand National Betting Promotions 2023
- Betfair has a mouthwatering Grand National offer to capitalise on, which consists of £30 in free bets when you sign up.
- Alternatively, you may like the offer dished up by Coral, which will see you snap up £20 in free bets when you wager £5.
5 Reasons to Bet on the Grand National
- It is the richest race in the UK, with over £500,000 awarded to the winner.
- The race is a test of endurance as it covers over four miles.
- It is a lottery as there will be many fallers in the 40-horse field.
- There have been a number of surprise winners over the years.
- The fences are bigger and steeper than any other steeple chase race.
Popular Grand National Betting Markets
The Grand National is a race that tends to draw out casual bettors or rookie punters who do not generally like to bet the rest of the year. Of course, your regular bettor will be keen to follow along too and maybe enjoy a flutter or two.
However, this race, in which a field of 40 horses run over the highest fences and longest distance in the game, can be trickier to predict than others of its kind, so form watchers tend to prefer betting on the Cheltenham Festival instead. Therefore, as a one-off race, it makes sense to keep the bets simple and base them on the best Grand National tips.
Outright betting is simply a case of backing the race’s winning horse. With the Grand National, you can study the form for hours (and read our Grand National betting tips above) to give yourself the best chance of success, but the truth is that this race regularly throws up long-shot winners.
In fact, there has been only one single-figure odds winner in the last 12 years, which was Comply or Die in 2008. Even Tiger Roll in 2019, going for his second win, was priced at 11/1 – about as short as you can generally get.
Because many “once-a-year” bettors come out and have a bet on the National, bookies often feel the biggest pinch when an amusingly named horse does well, even placing in this race. This, though, is obviously no route to success – it is better therefore to stick to well-researched tips and hope for a good outcome.
To cover yourself when outright betting on the National, it is advisable to double your stake and go each-way, which allows your horse to place in the race. Placing means to come within a set amount of finishers from the winner.
Typically, this is four runners – however, due to the competitive nature of online bookmaking, the best horse racing betting sites will often run special promotions in which they will pay for a higher amount of places at either a 1/4 or 1/5 of the starting odds. By betting each-way, bettors stand a better chance of getting some money back.
In horse racing, a forecast is where bettors pick, in the correct finishing order, the top two finishers in a race. Because of the amount of runners in a race such as the Grand National, forecasts, which are paid according to the official industry forecast return, can be extremely high, with winnings paid out to the £1.
In the UK, the return is calculated using an equation that takes into account the odds of the horses involved and the number of runners in the race, which in this case is around 40.
Reverse Forecast Betting
This is the each-way equivalent of a forecast, in which you double your stake to allow your two horses to finish in the top two in any order. So long as they come first and second between them, your stake will pay out as above.
History of the Grand National
- Aintree was founded by the hotelier William Lynn who leased the land in Aintree from William Molyneux, the 2nd Earl of Sefton. In 1829, Lord Sefton laid the foundation for the course and accompanying grandstand.
- The first ever Grand National at Aintree was won, quite appropriately, by a horse called Lottery in 1939. In that race, the horse Captain Becher fell at the brook to give it a globally infamous name that is still in place today. Back then, the horses were forced to jump a stone wall, as well as travel over farmed land and navigate a double hurdle finish.
- There is an argument that the Grand National actually began three years prior to its first staging at Aintree. This, though, has largely been disregarded. From 1836 through 1838, races, known as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, are believed to have taken place at nearby Maghull, Merseyside. That said, there is evidence to suggest that those three races were also run at Aintree, as racing at Maghull is believed to have ceased in 1835. For the record, the first running was in 1836 and won by The Duke. Either way, due to the confusion, the Grand National is officially recorded as beginning in 1839.
- One of the main factors that helped propel the Liverpool race into a major national event was the introduction of the railway to the city in the 1830s. The race was also boosted by the permanent cancellation of the Great St. Albans Chase in 1838, after which a committee was formed to better organise the Liverpudlian event. These factors led to a highly publicised race in 1839 with a much enhanced field of top horses and greater press coverage. In 1843, Edward Topham turned the chase into a handicap, and within five years, had bought the course outright. Since 2012, huge improvements, such as rebuilding fences, facilities and stables, have successfully been introduced in order to improve the welfare of horses racing at the Aintree Grand National.
- Noble Yeats remains the horse to beat after his stunning run at the 2022 Grand National, where he stormed to victory by over two lengths. Ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen, Noble Yeats will hope to follow in the footsteps of other legendary Grand National horses, such as Tiger Roll.
Recent Grand National Winners
|2022||Noble Yeats||Sam Waley-Cohen||Emmet Mullins|
|2021||Minella Times||Rachael Blackmore||Henry de Bromhead|
|2019||Tiger Roll||Davy Russell||Gordon Elliott|
|2018||Tiger Roll||Davy Russell||Gordon Elliott|
|2017||One For Arthur||Derek Fox||Lucinda Russell|
|2016||Rule The World||David Mullins||Mouse Morris|
|2015||Many Clouds||Leighton Aspell||Oliver Sherwood|
|2014||Pineau de Re||Leighton Aspell||Richard Newland|
|2013||Auroras Encore||Ryan Mania||Sue Smith|
|2012||Neptune Collonges||Daryl Jacob||Paul Nicholls|
Grand National Key Stats
- No horse has competed in the Grand National more times than Manifesto, who ran eight times between 1895 and 1904, winning in 1897 and 1899 and finishing third on three other occasions.
- 17-year-old Bruce Hobbs became the youngest winning jockey in 1939 in the centenary of the race.
- Hobbs won on Battleship, the smallest horse ever to win.
- Dick Saunders became the oldest winning jockey when he came in first on Grittar in 1982, aged 48.
- Jenny Pitman was the first woman to train a Grand National winner with Corbiere in 1983.
- Pitman won again with Royal Athlete in 1995.
- The least number of horses to complete the race is two, when Tipperary Tim and Billy Barton, who remounted, made it back in 1928.
- Red Rum is currently the only horse to have won three Grand Nationals in 1973, 1974 and 1977.
- This absolute legend of British horse racing also came second in the two intervening years, 1975 and 1976.
- George Stevens is the most successful Grand National jockey, having won the race five times between 1856 and 1870.
- Peter Simple, aged 15, became the oldest horse to win the race in 1853.
- In 2021, Rachael Blackmore became the first ever female jockey to win the Grand National when she rode home Minella Times in first place.
Similar Tournaments to the Grand National
- Saturday 22nd April 2023, Coral Scottish Grand National: One of the biggest days of the Scottish jump race calendar, it is a good prelude for the Grand National, and the race will feature some of the horses that will line up at Aintree.
- 5th May -7th May 2023, QIPCO Guineas Festival: The first big flat racing event of the season and one of the oldest set of races in the sport, the Guineas festival features the 1000 Guineas and 2000 Guineas races which are held at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile.
- Saturday June 3, 2023, Epsom Derby Festival: Featuring the Derby and the Oaks, two of the classics in English racing, this is an event not to be missed.
Upcoming Sporting Events
Grand National Betting FAQs
The race will be broadcast live from Liverpool’s Aintree racecourse on ITV 1.
The Grand National gets underway at 5.15pm on Saturday, 15th April at Aintree, and 40 runners will be on the starting line.
The Grand National is the richest race in the UK, with over £500,000 awarded to the winner.
The horses must successfully clear 30 fences if they want to win the Grand National.
The Grand National is run over 4 miles and 2½ furlongs.
A maximum of 40 horses can start the Grand National.
Over the course of the three-day meeting, around 150,000 spectators attend the event, with Saturday’s Grand National day regularly selling out.
There are plenty of ways to have fun betting on the Grand National, but we recommend betting each-way on the main race.
ThePuntersPage Final Say & Predictions
Taking place in the middle of April in 2023, the Grand National is one of the most challenging jump races in the calendar, and it always produces moments of drama and excitement in equal measure. 40 horses line up for the famous showpiece race each year, but it is a bit of a lottery to get around and finish, given they have to negotiate tough hurdles, such as Becher’s Brook. However, the winner will reap the rewards and etch a place in Aintree folklore.