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During early April, Aintree stages a three-day meeting at the Merseyside racecourse, the highlight of which is The Grand National on Saturday at 5.15PM. It is also supported by several top-quality races throughout the preceding two days prior to the main event.
Yet, it’s the ‘National which captures the imagination of the British public with up to 40 horses racing over approximately 41-42 miles with 30 fences to be jumped. It’s a handicap race with the best rated of the animals carrying the heaviest weights.
Obstacles such as Becher’s Brook, The Canal Turn and The Chair are as famous as the race itself with the horses competing over two circuits of the flat course.
Most of the fences have been modified in recent years, which has resulted in the attraction of a generally better standard of a racehorse to the race, yet the usual anticipation and excitement of ‘National Day’ remains with the bookmakers experiencing arguably their busiest day of the year, giving out some of the most lucrative no deposit free bet offers.
Betting Advice For Beginners
The Grand National is the biggest day of the year for betting, partly as it attracts so many people that place the bet out of interest and for fun.
If you’re betting for the first time, or if you need some advice you might want to view our beginner’s guide to betting on the Grand National. It’s a how-to guide that includes some tips, screenshots and answers all your questions such as ‘what does each way mean’, ‘what is starting price’ and how to understand the odds.
We recommend you use a no deposit free bet if you’re looking to bet on a longshot that might not make it over the first fence! That way if it doesn’t win you won’t be out of pocket as some bookies let
If you’re looking for some tips or recommendations, read our how to pick a winner at the 2017 Grand National guide, it’s got juicy details on which horses to look out for and some stats on previous winners that might help you to pick out that 100/1 longshot at the envy of your friends and family!
The Runners This Year
We’ve put together a list of this year’s runners. You can view the A-Z list of horses, their jersey colours, the form of their horses, who the trainer is and other useful info. If you’ve got an eye for betting and fancy having a few bets, we’ve got some tips and recommendations based on the strength of each horse and its jockey.
Famous Grand Nationals Over The Years
Amid the packed grandstands and millions of television viewers, especially in recent years, there have been many famous renewals of the Grand National several of which have dominated the main headlines in the media, including…
1956 – Owned by the Queen Mother, Devon Loch was ridden by Dick Francis and after jumping all 30 fences, the horse was approaching the winning post with a clear lead before inexplicably jumping in the air and stopping. ESB was the subsequent winner.
1967 – The Grand National horses had jumped Becher’s Brook on the second circuit before a loose horse stopped in front of the runners at the next fence. There were several who fell, and some horses were stopped in their stride, but backmarker Foinavon escaped the chaos and eventually won the race at 100/1.
1973 – An Australian-born horse called Crisp excelled at the two-mile distance and was asked to carry top-weight in the handicap for his first Grand National. Ridden by Richard Pitman, Crisp jumped with enthusiasm and led by a long distance for most of the race until caught by the famous Red Rum just metres from the winning post.
1977 – After winning the race in 1973 and 1974, Red Rum finished second in the two subsequent renewals of the race, but then became the first and only horse to win the ‘National’ on three occasions by thwarting the challenge of Churchtown Boy and earning a rapturous reception from the Aintree crowd.
1981– Jockey Bob Champion had beaten cancer and now wanted to ride Aldiniti in the Grand National. Regaining fitness was a difficult task but both horse and rider showed courage in denying the fast-finishing Spartan Missile to win the race.
1993 – The race that never was…Esha Ness was first horse past the winning post after two circuits, but a false start had been announced, and so it was declared a void race.
1997 – The ‘National’ was staged on a Monday due to the course being evacuated on the Saturday following a bomb threat. Lord Gyllene was the winner.
2010 – Legendary jockey Sir Tony McCoy wins the race for the first and only time aboard Don’t Push It.
2011 – Donald McCain jr follows his father, who trained Red Rum, by winning with Ballabriggs.
What Is a No Deposit Free Bet?
A no deposit free bet is like a token that can be used when placing a bet. Here’s how it works:-
- Bookmakers will require you to create an account.
- Once registered and logged in, new customers can add a selection to their bet slip (in this case the horse you wish to back), and the option will be available to use your £5 or £10 free bets.
- It is a completely free Grand National bet – just register and use it.
Why Does It Get Called This?
Typically speaking, a free bet isn’t actually free. Bookmakers will usually require customers to register an account and deposit a small amount, such as £10. Once the customer has spent that £10, the bookie will reward them with free bets for them to use on a sport event of their choice.
It’s an incentive for people to register, giving the punter £10, £20 or commonly £30 to use on a longshot, accumulator or a singe event.
Some Bookies Don’t Require a Deposit
In order to attract customers in huge numbers, certain bookmakers will allow customers to place a wager on something without actually having to make a deposit first. This really is a freebie in laymans terms, as there’s no expense needed for the punter and they’ve basically got a free chance at winning some money.
Bookmakers will give out no-deposit free bets as a loss leader, meaning they’ll lose money on it but hopefully their repeat marketing through email, phone and SMS will pay off and they will turn profitable in the long term.
Do I Get My Stake With My Winnings?
No deposit free bets are categorised as ‘stake not returned’, or ‘SNR’. This means if you spend £10 on a bet at evens, your winnings will be £10 – and this is all that will be returned to you. You won’t get the £10 winnings and the £10 stake as you would with a normal bet.
To make these bets effective, it’s always good to place them on something with high odds in order to get the best return possible. People use them for their longshot accumlators, or in the case of the Grand National, a horse with high odds that will give you a nice payout if it clears the line in first place.
Will I Have ‘Rollover’ or Wager Through My Winnings?
If your bet wins, you can withdraw the money straight away. Some bookies make you ‘rollover’ your winnings as part of their terms and conditions in order to maximise their profit from each customer.
In the case of these Grand National specials, any winnings can be withdrawn to your bank account, Paypal, debit or credit card. It depends on the withdrawal options that the bookmaker has available.