Grand National Odds 2015

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Grand National odds

These days there are so many opportunities to bet on horse racing that the best advice is certainly to shop around, and that means via the high street, on the internet sites of betting firms, and on the betting exchanges, where massive Grand National odds can be found even months before the big race itself. Now, with just a few hours to go to the big race and the final declaration stage leaving 39 horses in the race following the surprise defection of Carlito Brigante, there are still outstanding betting opportunities emerging all the time at every turn.

On Friday, jockey Robbie McNamara, who had been booked to ride last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and today’s top weight Lord Windermere (50/1) was injured in a fall, but trainer Jim Culloty, as of Saturday morning had still not announced who would replace the unfortunate McNamara

A glance at the current fixed Grand National odds market for today’s big race that has replaced the long-standing ante-post market that was established many months ago, reveals they generally bet ‘7/1 the field’, with Jonjo O’Neill’s Shutthefrontdoor being the clear 7/1 favourite at present (although bits and pieces of 15/2 and 8/1 are merging in places). In other words, no horse in the present market is available at odds of less than 7/1, and there are still plenty of good horses available to back at odds of 50/1 and above.

The first chance you take when betting at ante-post Grand National odds is that your horse will even make it to the big race itself. This risk is particularly true in the weeks or even months before the event, taking into account the possibility of the horse not running. If the horse does not run, you lose your money, but if it does, you can generally be assured you got much better value than on the day of the race itself. A this stage, just 24 hours ahead of the great race, there is little doubt which horses are runners and which simply weren’t good enough to make the final starting list.

Amongst the horses featuring towards the head of the Grand National odds at present is last year’s hero Pineau de Re, trained in Worcestershire by Dr Richard Newland. The 25/1 victory of the ex-Irish gelding at Aintree last April was a tremendous achievement for Newland’s small yard and advertised in the very best way possible the ability of the trainer who has given up his career as a GP to concentrate on the highly volatile world of racehorse training.

After winning the 2014 Crabbie’s Grand National Newland’s horses have continued in good form, harvesting plenty of victories last summer at an impressive strike rate better then nearly every other handler who kept his or her string of racehorses on the go through the summer months.

Newland knows perfectly well that Pineau de Re will be at the advanced age of 12 when he bids for a repeat success in “the world’s greatest steeplechase” a week on Saturday, and that he will carry 8lbs more than his triumph last season. He remains optimistic though that his stable star will go well again and has tailored his mid-winter preparation to give the son of Maresca Sorrento every possible chance of registering back-to-back successes. He ran creditably at the Cheltenham Festival recently when finishing 11th of the 23 runners in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final over three miles, and appears to be coming back to something a little closer to his best. He is now available at up to 28/1 to score again.

Last week Newland observed, “He’s in great form and as long as nothing goes wrong in the next nine days we are definitely on track for a big run.” Daryl Jacob, who won the big race on Neptune Collonges in 2012, will replace last year’s winning jockey Leighton Aspell who has been claimed to ride this season’s Hennessy Gold Cup hero Many Clouds (40/1 from 25/1). Dr Newland will also run Royale Knight (33/1) with Brendan Powell taking the mount.

In other news, Nick Scholfield rides Spring Heeled for (25/1) for Jim Culloty – who also runs last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, the currently riderless Lord Windermere (50/1). Last Saturday, trainer Ian Williams issued an upbeat bulletin on the chance of his 100/1 shot Super Duty, who he believes will run far better than his big odds suggest and will be partnered by Will Kennedy, while last Sunday Neil Mulholland was equally bullish about the prospects of his well-fancied 14/1 shot The Druid’s Nephew.

On Monday, Benvolio was left out of the declarations by champion trainer Paul Nicholls and will possibly run instead in the Scottish National at Ayr a week later. San Twiston-Davies looks set to partner Nicholls’ biggest hope, Rocky Creek (10/1), Noel Fehily will be aboard Unioniste (33/1) for the Ditcheat handler, and it appears that Sean Bowen will  have the leg up on Mon Parrain (50/1), while Ryan Mahon will ride Rebel Rebellion (50/1).

In last year’s Grand National the Martin Brassil-trained Double Seven finished a brave third under AP McCoy, but was some time ago been ruled out of this year’s event through injury, meaning that McCoy – who announced he will finally retire form the sport at the end of the season – will ride Shutthefrontdoor tomorrow.

One of the most exciting young staying chasers in Britain and Ireland, Jonjo O’Neill’s Shutthefrontdoor, is another potential Grand National winner owned by JP McManus, O’Neill’s principal patron – who also looks set to be represented by current 20/1 shot Cause of Causes – who landed the race back in 2010 with the McCoy-ridden Don’t Push It. An eight length winner of his only start this season at Carlisle in November, he definitely has the potential to produce a fairytale end to McCoy’s unsurpassed career. O’Neill’s other intended runner, Merry King, was last week ruled out of the big race after suffering a breathing problem.

Shutthefrontdoor ended last term throwing down a marker to all the horses in the staying division when landing a big gamble for connections under a great ride from Barry Geraghty- who misses the Grand National meeting through injury – to win the valuable Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in April over a distance of three-and-three-quarter-miles.

The way Shutthefrontdoor finished in the closing stages at Fairyhouse to beat Golden Wonder by three-quarters-of-a-length suggested that the gelded son of Accordion has a great chance of seeing out the extra six furlongs at Aintree. His campaign this term has been very much tailored to arrive at Liverpool in the peak of condition as he bids to add the Aintree Grand National to his Irish success. He missed his intended warm-up race for his main target when bypassing the Cheltenham Festival, and goes straight to today’s big event without a prior outing this year, but as a fresh horse.

On Wednesday, Sam Twiston-Davies confirmed that Rocky Creek had schooled extremely well and believes he can do even better this time around than last year’s gallant fifth placed effort.

Rocky Creek put up a very impressive performance last time out at Kempton, beating Le Reve by six lengths in the Grade 3 BetBright Cup Handicap Chase. Fifth behind Pineau de Re in last year’s big race, he is in fine form at present and looks sure to be a major contender.  The Druid’s Nephew, who won the Grade 3 Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in tremendous fashion and is now a general 14/1-shot for Aintree having been slashed from 33/1. It was announced recently that he will be ridden by Venetia Williams’ talented stable jockey, Aidan Coleman.

Last year’s runner-up, Balthazar King, is another reported in fine shape and has already won a cross country chase at Cheltenham this season. Philip Hobbs’ veteran will be ridden, as usual, by Richard Johnson, and was on Monday backed down to just 11/1 shot now (from 20/1) to go one place better than in 2014, having been well backed from the middle of last week. Hobbs also runs the useful  Chance du Roy (40/1), and Gas Line Boy (100/1 in places now.

There has also been steady support for last year’s fourth Alvarado (20/1) as well as last year’s Scottish national runner-up Godsmejudge, also in to 22/1. David Pipe’s revitalized Soll has also been well supported and is now in to 20/1 from 25’s, while on Tuesday there was a serious move for last month’s Cheltenham Festival winner Cause of Causes, in to a top priced 16/1 (14’s in places now), from 20/1.