Grand National Betting Statistics & FactsDue to the size and competitive nature of the John Smith’s Grand National field, a horse with a double-figure starting price often wins the race.
Red Rum (twice at 9/1), Grittar (7/1), West Tip (15/2), Rough
Quest (7/1), Earth Summit (7/1) and 2005 victor Hedgehunter
(7/1) are the only horses to have been returned at less than 10/1
Only four of the last 33 favourites have won: Grittar in 1982,
Rough Quest in 1996, Earth Summit in 1998 and Hedgehunter
Papillon was backed down to be 10/1 joint second favourite
when winning in 2000 and both West Tip (15/2) and Rhyme "N"
Reason (10/1) were also second best in the betting.
There have been eight long-priced surprises in the last 29 runnings: Last Suspect at 50/1, Royal Athlete and Ben Nevis both at 40/1, Silver Birch and Red Marauder at 33/1, Maori Venture and Little Polveir both at 28/1 and Rubstic at 25/1.
Even so, fancied horses have a fair record. Since 1968, when
Red Alligator came in at 100/7, horses starting at 16/1 or under
have won 29 times.
The shortest odds for winners have been Poethlyn (1919) at 11/4, Huntsman (1862) at 3/1 and Roquefort (1885) at 100/30. The longest odds are 100/1, with four victors being returned at that price - Tipperary Tim (1928), Gregalach (1929), Caughoo (1947) and Foinavon (1967).
Three 100/1 shots have been placed since 1980 - Over The Deel
in 1995, Camelot Knight in 1997 and Philson Run who was fourth
Big Grand National Gambles & Betting CoupsHuge gambles are part of the folklore and romance surrounding the world’s most famous chase.
The first Grand National winner Lottery was made the 5/1
favourite through weight of money due to his earlier success in
the Cheltenham Steeplechase.
Another significant successful punt came in 1866, when owner
and trainer Edward Studd backed Salamander to win £40,000,
splashing out £1,000 at 40/1. He had bought the winner with two
other horses cheaply as a "job lot" from John Hartigan of Limerick in Ireland. Salamander had a crooked foreleg and was thought unlikely to withstand the rigours of training but Studd realised that he was out of the ordinary. Studd then engaged amateur rider Alec Goodman, who had previously won the race on Miss Mowbray, to partner his horse. The choice of jockey bemused the crowd, being a veteran of 45 sporting grey side-whiskers!
Ilex was another successful favourite in 1890, winning at 4/1
after prolonged support from his owner George Masterman who
considered his horse an absolute certainty off 10st 5lb and was
Ilex’s jockey Arthur Nightingall went on to a second victory in
1894 on the very well backed 5/1 joint favourite Why Not whose
success was shrouded in controversy. Cloister, victorious the
previous year, was the heavily backed 6/4 favourite for the race,
but suffered lameness as he prepared for a follow-up victory.
He missed the race amid whisperings of skulduggery - the
bookmakers appeared to know in advance that all was not well
- and Why Not won with a weight of money behind him.
Cloister had won the 1893 running of the Grand National in
record time under the welter burden of 12st 7lb. His huge weight
did not deter the Aintree faithful, who supported the nine-year-old
down to 9/2 favouritism. He had also been the hot favourite the
previous year when second to Father O’Flynn.
Manifesto won the Grand National twice - 1897 and 1899 - hitting
the bookies hard on both occasions. Owned by Irish solicitor
Harry Dyas for the first of those victories - whose gambling
exploits apparently made bookmakers quake - the great horse
was returned the 6/1 favourite in 1897.
John Bulteel then purchased Manifesto, who went to post for
the 1899 Grand National a well-supported 5/1 second-favourite.
Despite considerable public support, the market leader was his
half-sister and former stable companion Gentle Ida, whom Harry
Dyas believed had the measure of Manifesto.
The mare went off the 4/1 favourite but fell at Valentine’s first time,
leaving Manifesto to reward his loyal supporters.
Stockbroker and amateur rider Edward Paget must be considered
one of the unluckiest gamblers during the last century, just missing
out on a 4,000/1 double in 1932.
Paget staked £1 to win £4,000 on the spring double - the
Lincolnshire Handicap and the Grand National. Jerome Fandor
won the former event at 40/1, but then Paget, riding 33/1 chance
Egremont, was narrowly beaten in the Grand National after a
sustained duel with Forbra.
Vincent O’Brien was confident enough approaching the 1953
Grand National to tell Early Mist’s owner to have a good bet.
"Mincemeat Joe" Griffin backed his horse to win £100,000.
For good measure, Griffin won the following year’s Grand National,
this time with Royal Tan, also trained by O’Brien who remarkably
made it three in a row in 1955 with Quare Times.
The prolific gambler Terry Ramsden went for a massive touch
on Mr Snugfit in 1986, putting on £50,000 each-way at 8/1 and
combining the nine-year-old in a number of doubles and trebles
with other horses he owned.
Despite finishing fastest of all, the horse did not enable the owner
to collect the win part of the substantial wager, although Ramsden
ended up in profit as Mr Snugfit came fourth behind West Tip.
In more recent years, one of the biggest gambles ever landed
occurred in 2000, when the Irish-trained Papillon struck for the
father and son partnership of Ted and Ruby Walsh.
The nine-year-old had been available at 33/1 early in the morning
of the great race, only to start at 10/1 after being selected by
several pundits including the influential Pricewise (tom segal) of
the Racing Post.
In 2003, Monty’s Pass, also an Irish-trained contestant, landed
another gamble. Mike Futter, the front man of the five-strong
Dee Racing Syndicate who owned the horse, estimated his own
winnings at £800,000, while the overall haul of the syndicate was
over £1 million.
Futter backed the Jimmy Mangan-trained winner initially at 66/1
in the ante-post market and then continued to support his horse
at rates down to 16/1, the starting price that Monty’s Pass was
eventually sent off at.
Bookmakers again ran for cover as another heavily supported Irish
raider took the spoils in the 2005 John Smith’s Grand National.
Hedgehunter, well in contention when falling at the last fence in
the 2004 renewal, was a solid 7/1 favourite to land the spoils a
year later under Ruby Walsh.
He proved a popular winner who prompted a multi-million pound
payout from bookmakers as he came home 14 lengths clear of
Hedgehunter was the well-backed 5/1 joint favourite when trying
to land a second win in 2006, but he could not match fellow Irish
raider Numbersixvalverde, himself a popular 11/1 chance.
The recent run of fancied runners came to an end last year when
another Irish scorer, Silver Birch, was returned at 33/1.
He held on from one of the market leaders, 12/1 chance McKelvey.
Two outsiders were third and fourth, with Slim Pickings starting at
33/1 and Philson Run going off at 100/1.
None of the three 8/1 co-favourites got round, One of them,
Monkerhostin, had been backed from 25/1 on the day but refused
at the seventh fence.
Information Correct @ The 2008 Grand National Date (reposted here mar 2 2009)
Posted at 13:43, Sunday, 1 March 2009 by