Grand National 2017 Tips and Betting Advice

This year will see one of the most competitive fields ever assembled for National Hunt racing’s global showpiece event. With such a closely matched line-up, picking a winner at the mammoth steeplechase race at Aintree on Saturday could be harder than ever.

The unpredictability of the event can be best highlighted by looking at the prices of recent winners. In each of the past five years, the winning horse has crossed the line at a price of 25/1 or higher, with 2013 winner Auroras Encore coming home at 66/1. And you only have to look back to 2009 to find the last 100/1-priced winner (Mon Mome).

This tells us that heading off as favourite has meant little in recent times. In fact, only one winner in the last eight years has started the race at the top of the betting list (Don’t Push It in 2010).

The last truly memorable performance came in 2015 when 25/1 shot Many Clouds became only the second horse in history to break the nine minute barrier with a time of 8m 56s. However, the course record is still held by Mr Frisk who clocked 8m 47s way back in 1990.

With all that in mind, punters should be aware that at least half the horses in this race are in with a realistic chance of winning the race. But who are the main contenders?

If we look back to last year’s Scottish Grand National, Vicente certainly stakes a claim. He hasn’t shown much since but the winter conditions have been against him and he will be much happier to be back on decent ground. What’s more, trainer Paul Nicholls is a recent winner here (with Neptune Collonges in 2012) and current owner Trevor Hemmings seems to have an eye for a National champion having enjoyed success with Many Clouds, Ballabriggs and Hedgehunter in recent times. At 20/1 or higher, plenty will be tempted.

Another horse that has caught the eye of many is The Last Samuri. Although he won’t head off at a huge price he has run well on his last two visits to this course including a second place in this event last year, so the 16/1 on offer from Betfair looks good.

Highland Lodge has also gone well here in recent trips, having bagged a first and second in the Becher Chase. With such a competitive field, course form could count for a lot this year. He has been withdrawn from action since December to focus on training for this event. And a price of 25/1 with Betfair, he looks great value.

Another 25/1 shot that could be worth a punt is Ucello Conti. Irish-trained horse have a good record at the Liverpool course and this one has been carefully prepared for this event. He made a couple of errors last year on his way to sixth place. With an extra year of training under Gordon Elliot, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that he has improved considerably and will arrive here in peak form.

Top Four Grand National tips

  1. Vicente 20/1
  2. Last Samuri 16/1
  3. Highland Lodge 25/1
  4. Ucello conti 25/1

All Betfair prices correct at time of writing.

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