The Grand National is the one race each year that attracts a great deal of interest outside of the sport of horse racing. The world famous steeplechase at Aintree is almost upon us again and, like every year, the betting for the 2017 contest is extremely competitive, where the field is currently headed by the 11/1 favourite Vieux Lion Rouge.
Here is a look at some of the outsiders that have a good chance of coming out on top in the 4m4f contest over the bigger fences at the Merseyside track.
UCELLO CONTI: Given how successful his season has been to date, it would be no surprise to see Irish trainer Gordon Elliott win the Grand National for the second time in his career with this nine-year-old, who has plenty of experience around this course. The Irish horse was sixth in the race on his debut in 2016, while back in December, he came home fourth in the Becher Handicap Chase – a race which was won by Vieux Lion Rouge. The handicapper appears to be have been generous, so off 10st 12lbs, he should be knocking on the door once again in the closing stages of the marathon contest; he is a good shout at 20/1 in the latest Grand National 2017 betting for the big race.
WONDERFUL CHARM: Paul Nicholls will be desperate to win the Grand National this year to help him seal the Trainers’ Championship in the UK. His best chance looks to be with Wonderful Charm, who has been in excellent form at the back end of this season. He was successful at Musselburgh and Haydock in February, while last month he finished second behind Pacha Du Polder in the Foxhunter Challenge Cup where he was only denied victory by half a length.
THUNDER AND ROSES: In 2016, Mouse Morris had Rule The World peaking for the Grand National and it paid dividends, as the Irish horse was at his best to come out on top by six lengths. Thunder And Roses, who is trained and owned by last year’s winning connections, looks to have a similar profile to his former stablemate, whose success you can read about in the history of the most recent winners of the race. He has snuck in right near the bottom of the weights. Stamina should not be a problem for this horse, so as long as he handles the course and conditions, he could be amongst those fighting it out jumping the last at Aintree.
VERDICT: UCELLO CONTI ticks so many boxes of those who are in the Grand National field this year. The nine-year-old really enjoys the challenges that the course has to offer, so he looks to be a cracking each-way bet to make the frame at the very least. If a little bit of luck goes his way, he may end up capping off what has been a memorable season for his trainer Elliott, who had six winners at the Cheltenham Festival last month.
If you are looking for a couple of horses to back at much bigger prices, then Thunder And Roses (33/1) and Wonderful Charm (40/1) should be on your shortlist as they appear to have been underestimated by the bookmakers.