For many people, the Grand National is the one day of the year when they enjoy a flutter on this famous and much-loved national institution. Many of these casual punters like nothing more than to place a bet on an outsider in the hope of earning themselves a tidy profit from the bookmaker. That said, it is increasingly rare in the world of horse racing odds for a punter to enjoy a 100-1 winner, as a lucky few did with Mon Mome in the 2009 Grand National. As such, the best way to get value for money for your bet is to back your selection each way.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best Grand National odds for the 2011 race and select some of the horses that may not be among the big favourites for the race, but have the potential to at least surprise a few experts and earn a place in the top four.
Don’t Push It will certainly be a popular choice. Tony McCoy will likely ride last year’s winner, after the jockey seemed to confirm his decision in his newspaper column. Despite that, this popularity may well make it not the best choice as an each way choice, namely because the odds will be shorter on the day of the race and secondly, as last year’s winner he will receive the top handicap mark of 11-10, which is a great deal for the horse to carry.
The notion that this could be one of the most open races in many a year is confirmed by the sheer number of horses that bookmakers reckon to have an excellent chance of victory in the race. Oscar Time, What a Friend, Backstage, Ballabriggs, Big Fella Thanks (who was fourth last year), Quinz and Silver By Nature could all be favourite by the time the tape goes up for the start of the race, depending on which punters you choose to listen to and which bookmaker you believe.
Therefore, for the best value on an each way bet, we need to look outside this bunch of contenders and the most obvious horse that catches the eye is Niche Market. A 33-1 Irish Grand National winner, he transferred to Paul Nicholls’ yard after the 2010 race and connections have been remarkably upbeat about his chances. He sustained a nasty cut in the 2010 race which forced him to pull up, but until that point had been running superbly well. He is well worth considering at odds of around 20-1.
Despite that, the best tip for an each way bet could well be Vic Venturi. The Dessie Hughes-trained mount had an incident-packed ride around Aintree last year, but his jockey Roger Loughran felt that the horse was loving the trip and with a clear round, could have been a contender. A stable mate of last year’s runner up Black Apalachi, Vic Venturi should go off at around 40-1, but he is a much better horse than those odds suggest and would make an excellent each way selection for the big race.