Grand National Fever Runs High

Excitement surrounding the 2017 Randox Health Grand National Festival, which this year takes place from Thursday, April 6 (Grand Opening Day) through Saturday, April 8 (Grand National Day) is building up, and the event is promising to be amongst the most exciting and dramatic in history. Last year’s race, won by Rule The World, proved once again how unpredictable – and therefore, how thrilling – the Grand National inevitably is. The horse had long pre-race odds of 33/1, while Last Samuri, which started as the favourite, and Many Clouds, the 2015 winner, both had 8/1 odds. But the Grand National course at the Aintree track is (in)famous for dashing hopes and dreams, and the challenging fences have brought many a long shot into the Winner’s Circle.

Grand National Odds: a Partial Story

The Grand National race, which is the highlight of the three-day Grand National Festival, is a Grade 3 handicap chase with a weighty £1 million total prize fund. It is run annually at Aintree Racecourse, with a maximum field of 40 starting horses. The race is for horses that are at least 7 years old, and qualifiers have to had placed first, second, third, or fourth in a steeplechase race run over a course that is at least 2 miles, 7½ furlongs long (the Grand National Course is 4 miles, 3½ furlongs long).

With just a few weeks left to the big race, top odds are given to the David Pipe-trained horse, Vieux Lion Rouge, who finished 7th in the 2015 Grand National. Impressive odds are given, as well, to Blaklion, trained by Nigel Twiston Davies, and Definitely Red, trained by Brian Ellison. Odds tend to shift in the final weeks and the millions of racing fans who place their Grand National bets online, are wise to check in with their favourite sites often. The races begin on Grand National Opening Day – and William Hill top betting odds are the odds of choice for racing fans in the know.

Grand National Fences are a Huge Factor

The National Course supplies a big part of the drama and suspense, in 2017 the course (and its 16 fences) will be no less challenging than in the past. Among the legendary fences are Becher’s Brook (fence number 6 and 22), Foinavon (7 and 23), the Canal Turn (8 and 24), and Valentine’s Brook (fence number 9 and 25). The course remains daunting to the end – even when the last fence has been jumped – as the homestretch provides an “elbow” that leaves ticketholders breathless to the last moment.

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