Grand Opening Day is the first day of races of the Grand National taking place April 8th. Four Grade One races are programmed starting 2pm with the main events starting early with sensational live music, food and entertainment.
The world´s best jump racers will meet on one of the World’s toughest race courses.
It is never a bad idea to keep an eye on the Cheltenham Festival to select possible great candidates for the Grand Opening, many riders from the previous majestic event join this one. But there is always a “Aintree factor”, not all horses with the bets odds win at Aintree. That is why we have prepared some betting tips to select some great winning odds.
What you didn’t know about the Grand National Festival
The original racecourse was cross country with the first one happening back in 1830. It has since many horse deaths, injuries and one jockey death in different sections of the course. It is considered the most difficult race in the UK and maybe the world for its length and amount of jumping obstacle of great difficulty. In every event it sees fallen horses and jockeys with numerous pack falls.
The fence known as “The Turn” was a sharp 90 degrees turn were horses came at full speed, those not focused enough ended up in the Liverpool Canal after jumping the obstacle.
“The Chair” is the most famous fence and place were the only human death has been registered. It is the highest and most difficult obstacle of all and just before the “The Pool”, another famous and difficult obstacle. A judge used to sit here to keep track of positions and horse conditions, thus the name of “The Chair”.
In 70 years only 9 favorites have won the Grand National, odds mean nothing in this race. 37 favorites didn´t even finish. 5 of the last 8 winners had odds above 20 to 1.
Irish trained horses performed better with most wins between 1999 and 2007. But in recent they have fallen out of luck and the trend is no longer valid.
As mentioned on the “what you need to know section”, several aspects for this race make it a little bit hard to bet on but also a great prospective to bet on none-favorites. Although there is no clear picture at the moment for a possible candidate outside the top favorites, as only the list of 40 horses will be presented the Thursday and Friday just before opening day, these are the aspect to keep in mind when selecting your winner:
- As this is stamina and jump race the fitness of the horse is crucial. Do not back horses with more than 14lbs than the bottom weight and no more than 11 stone. Very few horses with higher weight have won the event.
- This is a 7 year old and higher race, but very few 7 year old’s have won it. Most winners are between 10 and 11 years.
- Experience is crucial before pedigree: your pick must have Aintree experience as it is a very difficult turf that requires track knowledge on both horse and jockey. Several obstacle have tricky landings, the rider needs to be prepared beforehand how he will position to receive the fall.
- The horse must be a professional, in its record must be at least a National race win like the Irish or Welsh, it usually finishes in the top 3 and has over 10 chases in its career.
- In terms of pedigree Irish bred or French bred horses seem to perform better, but the horse must be an experienced fence jumper and accustomed to English track conditions.
- Very few foreign horses ever won the Grand National, and fewer mares as well. Big hearts and last minute spring horses tend to win the race.
- Trainer and jockey profiles are also very important, they should have Grand National records and have plenty of won races in the recent past.
- The horse should be rated 143 or higher, but most preferably 148.
Grand National Betting Odds
As sportsbooks are still to present Opening Day betting odds, these are the Opening Day betting odds # Grand National courtesy of William Hill, the largest and safest online racebook:
Vieux Lion Rouge 10/1
Definitly Red 12/1
One of Arthur 14/1
The Last Samuri 14/1
Cause of Causes 14/1
Race Schedule and Opening Day Odds
11:00am Gates Open
1:45pm The Merseyrail Manifesto Novices Steeple Chase (Grade 1)
Top Notch – 5/4
Cloudy Dream – 4/1
Politologue – 5/1
Frodon – 6/1
Flying Angel – 7/1
2:20pm The Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)
Defi Du Seuil – 4/9
Divin Bere – 6/1
Landofhopeandglory – 10/1
Flying Tiger – 10/1
Dinaria Des Obeaux – 14/1
2:50pm The Bowl Steeple Chase (Grade 1)
Cue Card – 9/4, 7/4, 15/8
Empire Of Dirt – 7/2, 10/3, 7/2
Bristol De Mai – 7/1, 5/1, 6/1
Outlander – 7/1, 6/1
Sub Lieutenant – 8/1, 12/1
Tea For Two – 14/1, 12/1, 14/1
3:25pm The Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)
Buveur Dair – 8/11, 4/6, 4/7
Apples Jade – 10/3, 3/1, 7/2
Yanworth – 4/1, 9/2, 5/1
The New One – 10/1, 12/1, 8/1
Jezki – 12/1, 14/1, 10/1
Identity Thief – 10/1
4:05pm Foxhunters Steeple Chase (Grade 2)
On The Fringe – 13/8
Pacha du Polder – 3/1
Balnaslow – 10/1
Rebel Rebellion – 10/1
Bears Affair – 12/1
Big Fella Thanks – 16/1
Distime – 16/1
Mr Mercurial – 16/1
Persian Snow – 16/1
Poole Master – 16/1
4:40pm Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 2)
Theinval – 6/1
Le Prezien – 7/1
Gardefort – 8/1
Dandridge – 8/1
Top Gamble – 10/1
Alisier DIrlande – 10/1
5:15pm The Goff’s Nickle Coin Mares Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2)
Cap Soleil – 9/4
Petticoat Tails – 7/2
Irish Roe 6/1
Pollys Pursuit 8/1
Redhotfillypeppers – 8/1
Martello Park – 10/1
Sassy Diva – 12/1
Just A Thought – 14/1
Passing Call – 14/1
Mountain Path 16/1
Scorpion Princess – 16/1
Marias Benefit – 20/1