Grab your free £20 from Paddy Power for this year’s Grand National.
The horses listed below are NOT yet official entrants in the 2015 Grand National. However, the bookies are now taking ante-post bets on them.
The phrase ‘Ante Post’ refers to a bet placed in advance of the overnight declaration stage. In simple terms this means you won’t get your stake back if your horse doesn’t run in the race for any reason. The main advantage of betting ante post is you’re likely to get bigger odds from the bookmakers in the weeks leading up the Grand National than you will on the day of the race itself (11th April 2015) although this is not guaranteed.
Odds can change frequently in the months leading up to the race for many reasons. A horses performance in a prep race, injuries and even excessive rain can all affect a runners price.
We generally advise not placing a bet until the bookmakers confirm they’re ‘non runner – no bet’ on the Grand National. Recently the trend has been for online betting firms to announce this seven days prior to the race. Which is fantastic news for punters as it guarantees your stake will be returned even if your horse doesn’t make the final line-up at Aintree. Until then why not take a look at the current odds on those runners likely to take part in the 2015 Crabbie’s Grand National.
The Grand National Horses
Current runners for the 2015 Crabbie’s Grand National
Finished 5th in the 2014 National and will no doubt be back again with another year’s experience under his belt making him one to watch from Paul Nicholls.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM:225-2P | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: P. NICHOLLS
Winner of the Scottish Grand National back in 2013, Godsmejudge pulled out for the 2014 race at the five day stage but looks a strong contender for the 2015 renewal.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 5PP23- | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: ALAN KING
Winner of the Irish Grand National in 2014 under Barry Geraghty and a previous winner at Aintree in 2013, he’s an exciting Grand National prospect.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM:12461-1 | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: J. O’NEILL
PINEAU DE RE
Grand National winner in 2014 but unlikely to escape the handicappers attention this time round. That extra weight will surely tell in the races final furlongs, although a place might be within reach.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 27131-0 | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 11 | TRAINER: DR R NEWLAND
Came second in 2014 and based on that performance you’d expect him to go close again. Despite the short odds each-way punters should still see a profit if they back the King.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 112-F11 | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: P. HOBBS
Ridden by A.P. McCoy in the 2014 Grand National Double Seven went close, finishing in third place. Should McCoy choose to ride him again in 2015 it would be a positive signal for punters.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 11163- | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: M. BRASSIL
Winner of the 2014 Topham Chase at Aintree and 2nd in the Baylis & Harding H’cap Chase at Cheltenham, he may be young but has exceptional potential.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM:P121-53 | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 6 | TRAINER: N. HENDERSON
Unseated his jockey in 2014 but previously ran a cracker in 2013 coming third, likely to carrying less weight this time round and that will help his chances.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 928U- | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: R. CURTIS
Winner at Cheltenham in November and followed that up with another win in the Betfred Chase at Aintree in December, Sam Winner is on a roll and will very likely head to the Gold Cup before the Grand National 2015, should he get an entry.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM:125P-11 | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: P. NICHOLLS
Entered into the 2014 renewal, he was withdrawn with a view to running in 2015. He is also a winner of the Midlands Grand National which bodes well for him.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 62/0P1- | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: D. PIPE
Winner of the Kim Muir H’Cap Chase at Cheltenham in 2014, Spring Heeled loves the going Good so will be well suited to Aintree should he make an appearance.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 8015-4 | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: JIM CULLOTY
Despite high hopes for 2014 Long Run couldn’t complete the course but was running very well until his fall. Followed it up with a decent 3rd place at Punchestown..
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 4U1F-39 | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: N. HENDERSON
A fair way behind the leaders in 2014 but finished the race in 7th place. Difficult to see him winning it but he could sneak into the places.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 4157-24 | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: M. SCUDAMORE
Finished a worthy 4th in the 2014 National, despite initially not even making the cut, and no doubt looking to improve on that for 2015.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 3/51P4- | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: F. O’BRIEN
Third in the Irish Grand National in 2013, Home Farm is a handy horse who notched up another winner in November at Thurles with both the Lexus Chase and the Grand National as next possible entries.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM:357P-1 | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: H. DE BROMHEAD
A 40/1 winner of the Scottish Grand National in 2014, and just ahead of Godsmejudge, Al Co is a solid horse who has previously placed 3rd at Aintree over hurdles.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 10201- | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: P. BOWEN
ACROSS THE BAY
Desperately unlucky to be pushed off course by a loose horse in 2014 having led for most of the way around, will it be third times a charm for him in 2015?
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 581U0- | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 10 | TRAINER: D. MCCAIN
Was disappointing at Cheltenham but made up for it by winning the Bet365 Gold Cup Chase six weeks later at Sandown in April 2014, another Henderson star.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 2U101- | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 7 | TRAINER: N. HENDERSON
NIGHT IN MILAN
Hugely successful at Doncaster racecourse where his trainer has an enviable record, Night In Milan won the Grimthorpe Chase there in 2014.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: 301P1- | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 8 | TRAINER: K. REVELEY
Hasn’t recaptured his promising form of the 2012/13 season and has never won beyond 3m but he’s a solid horse who has run and placed at Aintree so likes the course.
JOCKEY: UNKNOWN | FORM: F08-006 | WEIGHT: 0.0 | AGE: 9 | TRAINER: PAUL WEBBER
We give each horse a rating based on how closely it matches the past trends and statistics of previous winners.
Unlikely to mount a serious challenge.
Could place with a slice of luck.
A strong eachway chance and could even win it.
Who Decides The Runners & Riders?
Every year 40 horses and jockeys line up at the starting line of the Aintree Grand National and 600 million people worldwide watch them tackle the 30 notoriously difficult fences in a bid to put themselves into the history books. But how do those particular runners and riders make it to Grand National day?
A horse will be entered into the Grand National if it meets the minimum criteria for qualification and the owner and trainer feel the their horse is capable of handling the race. Not all horses are suited to the long Aintree course or have the necessary jumping ability. Even if a horse gets entered that doesn’t guarantee a place at the starting line.
The race is open to seven year old and upwards that have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more and who are allotted a rating of at least 120 by the BHA Handicapper.
The entry date for the race is always at the end of January, with the names and numbers announced by the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) the following day. In 2014 there were 115 entries, an increase of 31 on the 2013 renewal.
The BHA Head Of Handicapping then takes the list of entries and frames the weights, in other words, he decides which horses will carry the heaviest weights and which will carry the least. The handicap system is designed to give every horse a fair chance of winning the race, good horses will carry more weight than those perceived to have less ability.
The maximum weight any horse can carry in the 2015 Grand National will be 11st 10lbs and the minimum is 10st. Each runner’s weight will be largely determined by their OR (Official Rating) and the higher the rating, the higher the weight. Although the Grand National is the only race in Britain in which the Handicapper can ignoring the official ratings if he wishes, often to the consternation of owners and trainers.
Horses are then put in descending order from the highest to the lowest weighted and that also determines their race number. The top-weighted horse is number one, second heaviest weighted horse is number two and so on.
The weights are then announced, usually in mid-February, and from then on a series of ‘Declaration Stages’ take place. At each of these stages, horses can be withdrawn from the proceedings by their trainers and as they are removed and the entries get whittled down so even horses that have not initially made the Top 40 may now do so as entries above them are taken out.
The very last declaration stage takes place at 10am on the Thursday immediately before Grand National day. This is the point where the top 40 horses will be near completion along with four additional reserves.
The following morning, Friday, at 9am any non-runners must be declared and be replaced by one of the four reserves. This is also the point where any horses who were previously allocated weights of less than 10st will have their weight increased to meet requirements.
Finally this results in the 40 declared horses who will line up for the 2015 Crabbies Grand National.
The criteria for professional or amateur jockeys wanting to taking part in the race are very specific. They must have ridden not less than 15 winners in chases or hurdle races under the Rules of Racing and/or the Rules of the Irish National Hunt Committee and ridden not less than 10 of these winners in chases.
A champion jockey like A.P. McCoy who primarily rides for super owner J.P. McManus may have his pick of three or four horses in the race. Ruby Walsh is another top jockey who can often choose his ride and odds will tumble on any horses chosen by the pair.
Amateur jockeys are now a rarity in the Grand National compared with races early days. Sam Whaley-Cohen is probably the most famous amateur rider in recent years and he enjoys a record over the Aintree fences which is the envy of many a professional.
Other jockeys will usually ride for the yards that retain them or a trainer will engage their services just for this race. In recent years a number of high profile jockeys have missed the race due to injuries picked up at the Cheltenham festival which is the last major National Hunt meeting before Aintree.
Don’t be put off backing a less well known jockey or even one who has never ridden the course before. In 2013 jockey Ryan Mania won the race at his first attempt! And remember that young Conditional jockeys who are still learning the trade can claim an allowance which ensures any horse they partner will carry a few pounds less weight.
What Are Odds?
The odds quoted on any horse in the Grand National represent your potential returns if that horse should win. If a horse is quoted as 10/1 then the 10 figure is the amount you’ll get back from the bookie for a 1 unit stake. In other words, bet £1 and you’ll win £10 back. You’ll also get back the original £1 stake, making a total return of £11.
Who Decides The Odds?
The simple answer is the bookmakers. Initially bookies will offer odds on all the horses running in the National and the bookmaker is aiming to show a profit on the race regardless of the outcome. In many ways the bookmaker doesn’t care who wins, because if he can get the maths right, he will always come out on top. Although this doesn’t always happen over one race.
In a perfect world the spread of bets on the race would guarantee the bookie a nice profit whoever wins. However, if punters keep placing bets on one horse, lets call his horse ‘Lucky Punter’, at a level disproportionate to other runners then the bookie has built up a potential liability. If ‘Lucky Punter’ wins the race the bookie will lose a fortune and they really don’t like losing! To stop this happening the bookmaker has a couple of options. They can offer bigger odds on other runners and simultaneously shorten the odds on ‘Lucky Punter’ in the hope of attracting bets away from the horse with the big liability and onto other runners. This is why you see the odds fluctuating right up until the off.
So the bookmaker sets the odds initially but the volume of money place on any runner will move the odds right up until the race starts.
What’s An Each Way Bet?
The ‘Each Way’ bet works like this… Instead of betting on a horse to come 1st you can make a bet that your horse can finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and even 5th as Paddy Power pay out to five places on the Grand National! The each way bet is really two bets in one, a £5 each way bet will cost you £10. You’re betting £5 that you horse wins and £5 that he will finish in one of the places (usually 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th with Paddy Power).
Sounds like a fantastic bet, right? And it is for the Grand National but remember few bookies are registered charities. So to compensate for your increased chances of winning they reduce the quoted odds on the place part of the bet. If your horse comes home 1st you’ll still get the full quoted odds, lets say 10/1. However, should he only place, you’ll only get a quarter of the quoted odds. Nevertheless, with many runners in the National at odds of 33/1 or greater that still offers a decent return.