The globe has been engulfed in horse racing fever as the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool is now only days away. On Saturday, April 10, forty horses will line up to compete in the world’s premium handicap steeplechase, running 6,907 km and jumping over thirty fences, vying for a prize pool of £1 million. The largest one in all of Europe.
In recent years, on average, around 600 million people watch the Grand National, and Wales is among those most interested. Statistics say that Welsh women bet as much as men on the event. That should come as no surprise, as horse racing has a long-standing tradition in Wales that goes back to the 18th century. Wales’ Grand National has roots dating back to 1895, but it hasn’t been producing bonafide National favourites of late. Nevertheless, Welsh fans are hoping that this may change in 2021.
Secret Reprieve Stands a Chance to Win
If you fall into the one-half of adult UK residents that bet on the Grand National, it’s not always easy to know who to back as the race is so unpredictable. It is the most bet on event in the UK with an expected £300+ million to be bet on the race. And, its not just males who will be backing a horse. 1 in 3 females also have a cheeky bet.
The infographic below shows just how popular the race is, with over 600 million people expected to watch the National.
This infographic is shared by Free Bet Offers UK
Since Tiger Roll’s withdrawal, most platforms now have Cloth Cap as the odds-on favourite (4-1), with Any Second Now and Burrows Saint trailing behind at 10-1 odds.
Secret Reprieve, the seven-year-old gelding that won the Welsh Grand National, is also a contender. Paddy Power and Betfair both list 10-1 odds for the William Rucker-owned horse. Recently, his trainer Evan Williams revealed that Secret Reprieve’s regular jockey, Adam Wedge, will not ride at Aintree due to an injury. That young James Bowen will take his place.
Cheltenham Festival Put Everyone in the Horse Racing Mood
Prize-wise, The Cheltenham Festival in Gloucestershire is second only to the Grand National. Less than a month away from UK’s premium National Hunt event, it gets horse fans in the racing mood. Minella Indo took home this year’s prize, giving its trainer Henry De Bromhead the holy trinity of the Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, and Champion Chase.
Secret Reprieve bypassed the Cheltenham Festival per the wishes of his trainer Williams. The horse was one of the listed favourites, and it also missed the Grand National Trial at Haydock. The move left many wondering if an injury was in play or if William was saving his horse for Aintree.
The Last Grand National Was Two Years Ago.
Due to the events of 2020, there was no Grand National last year. At least, not in the physical world. The virtual National has been happening since 2017, and it has acted as a decent predictor of who stands the best shot of winning the actual race. It accurately predicted Tiger Roll’s 2018 victory. In 2020, the virtual grand national was the most searched gambling-related term, and the algorithm-determined race got watched by an audience of 4.8 million UK viewers. Potters Corner triumphed.