How To Bet On The Grand National

Features | 11th April 2024

Everyone loves a flutter on the Randox Grand National

Whether you’re a once-a-year punter, casual racing fan or committed expert, there’s nothing like the fun of picking out your horses on the morning or the world’s greatest race.

There’s no right or wrong way to making your selections from the 34 horses due to line up in the world-famous Aintree contest. All that matters is you find the winner.

Here’s a bit of a helping hand to picking your National hero.


Finding the National winner doesn’t have to be scientific.

Your nan probably picks out her favourite name or plumps for the prettiest jockey silks.

Maybe, it’s based on a relative or regular holiday spot.

If you know someone called Fred then outsider Run Wild Fred might be the one.

Anyone who’s spent time in the west of Ireland could fancy a flutter on Cheltenham Festival winner and improving mare Limerick Lace.

Other popular horses based purely on their names are likely to be Foxy Jacks, I Am Maximus and Mr Incredible.

Many people stick with their favourite jockey. Rachael Blackmore, the first female rider to win the Grand National when successful on Minella Times in 2021, is sure to be popular.

The 2021 Cheltenham Gold hero Minella Indo might well be her chosen mount.

Rachael Blackmore
Rachael Blackmore won the race in 2021


We all know someone who becomes a once-a-year racing expert on Grand National day.

They make sure they’re up early with all the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning.

With a copy of the Racing Post ready to read over their morning cuppa, they go through the form carefully assessing the chances of the big-race runners.

The ground will be an important factor. Some horses like drier, good ground. After a wet winter, they’re likely to be out of luck with the forecast suggesting it will be much softer conditions on April 13.

The National is the longest race run in Britain. It requires deep reserves of stamina to last the four-and-a-quarter mile distance. This isn’t a race for horses with questionable staying power, so look out for runners proven over marathon distances

The 30 fences to be jumped during the two-circuit contest might not be as fearsome as they once were, but a safe jumper is still a requirement. Rule out horses who have a habit of making jumping errors.

The unique nature of the Grand National throws up numerous course specialists. Last year’s winner Corach Rambler has been favourite to retain the trophy since the weights were announced.

His trainer Lucinda Russell and jockey Derek Fox will be looking for their third Grand National victories after also winning the great race with One For Arthur in 2017.

Noble Yates, winner of the race two years ago, is also in this year’s line-up.

Latenightpass, successful in the Foxhunters’ Chase in 2022, is another with winning form around the Grand National course.

Corach Rambler Newbury
Corach Rambler, winner of last year's Grand National and hot favourite for the race this year


Committed racing form students will take their pursuit of solving this year’s Grand National puzzle to an even higher level.

Some calculate speed figures and others compile their own ratings to evaluate the chances of the horses taking part.

Some Newspapers and websites often publish their own versions of these ratings. They can be compared to the weights carried by the runners to give context.

Those carrying lower weights used to be favoured but, since the daunting fences were modified to make the course safer, the playing field has been levelled with the classier runners towards the top of the handicap coming into it more.

Older horses with double-figure ages used to have a good record. More recently it has been the younger generations that have held sway.

Seasoned racing fans will also delve into the pedigrees of the runners to try to identify those horses with stamina in their breeding. The last six National winners were all bred in Ireland where a premium is placed on staying power.


There’s one final, crucial piece of the jigsaw in the search for the Grand National winner – luck.

No matter what your methods, we all need a fair slice of that in pursuit of picking the first past the winning post in the world’s greatest race. The very best of luck.