Grand National News

Leading Contenders for 2017 Grand National
Monday 20th March 2017

Mathematician Betting

An enthralling Cheltenham Festival is now behind us and National Hunt fans are now counting down to the biggest event of the year: the Grand National. We are little more than a fortnight away from the richest race in the British horseracing calendar, an epic event that has transcended the sport and become one of the key dates in the sporting year. Every year the field is extremely competitive, and 2017 is no different, with dozens of strong and experienced horses being touted. Trusted sports betting sites are all jockeying for position by offering a range of different odds across the board, and a flurry of betting activity from amateurs and aficionados alike is a given. Here we run through some of the leading contenders:

Vieux Lion Rouge

Vieux Lion Rouge
© Racehorse Photos

Vieux Lion Rouge
Trusted sports betting sites have all made Vieux Lion Rouge the antepost favourite for the Grand National, which takes place at Aintree on Saturday, April 8. Trading at anywhere between 10/1 and 12/1, this eight-year-old finished seventh in last year’s Grand National – so we know he has the stamina, the endurance and the jumping ability to complete the course – and he has since been in splendid form. The eight-year-old took on another highly rated horse, Blacklion, in the Grand National Trial Handicap Chase at Haydock last month and prevailed in a thrilling race. The pair could not be separated going into the final two fences but Vieux Lion Rouge eventually pulled away and recorded a superb victory. That made him favourite for the national and deservedly so.

Definitely Red

This eight-year-old chestnut gelding comes in at 16/1 joint second favourite with One for Arthur and The Last Samuri. He blitzed the field – which included The Last Samuri – in the Grimthorpe National Chase and put himself in the frame for the Grand National.

One for Arthur

Lucinda Russell’s One For Arthur won the Classic Chase at Warwick recently and goes into the National as one of the frontrunners. A marks against him, however, is the Becher Handicap Chase in December 2016, when he finished fifth. Vieux Lion Rouge was the winner of that race, and The Last Samurai was third, so his Grand National rivals have shown they can beat him.

The Last Samuri

The Last Samuri came agonisingly close to winning the Grand National last year. He was in the leading at the 26th fence, but eventually run into second by Rule The World. Since then the champion has retired, so he will no longer be a problem, but The Last Samuri will have to contend with being a good 10lbs heavier in the ratings, so that could count against him as he is not the biggest horse. His form since last year’s National has been solid but unspectacular and he has finished behind many of his competitors in various races.

Blaklion
© Racehorse Photos

Blaklion
Blaklion

Blaklion was neck and neck with Vieux Lion Rouge in that trial and is expected to kick on between now and the big race. Like Vieux Lion Rouge he has an attractive weight for Aintree and has displayed great stamina, pace and jumping ability.

The rest

It is a huge field and literally every horse is in with a chance: the lowest odds on any winner in recent years have been 25/1. Rule the World was 33/1 and the 2014 and 2015 winners, Many Clouds and Pinot De Re, were both 25/1. Auroras Encore in 2013 was 66/1 and the year before that Neptune Collonges was 33/1. By that reckoning you might consider the horses at the 25/1 to 33/1 mark this year: Foxrock, Caroles Destrier, Vicente, Pleasant Company, Minella Rocco and Rogue Angel. At those odds you could back the lot and still make a good profit if any of them come in.