The sky is grey, the grass is wet and the approach to the Grand National's first fence is thrilling - even on foot pic.twitter.com/Uiv3nN7ijT— Lee Mottershead (@leemottershead) April 6, 2017
On the face of it, there is little logical reason to recommend betting on the Grand National, yet two-thirds of British adults place a wager on it. Many of those are taking a punt for the only time in the calendar year in the world’s most famous steeplechase. Even if you stuck a pin in the extra-large racecard, you probably wouldn’t have picked out Rule The World, a maiden over fences, who won at 33/1 in 2016. Auroras Encore three years earlier and Mon Mome in 2009 both defied even bigger odds in the Aintree showpiece. Only four favourites have obliged since 1998, so it certainly doesn’t pay to blithely follow the market leader as so many do. Tiger Roll became the shortest-priced winner for a century in 2019, but horses of his ilk are once in a generation and that’s not a cliché. Bookmakers knew it, which is why he was returned at 4/1.