Grand National 2024 Ante Post Betting Preview


Grand National Ante Post Betting Preview


All eyes are on Aintree in April, as the Merseyside venue hosts the biggest betting race of the year, bar none. We are, of course, referring to the Grand National – the inspiration behind endless office sweepstakes up and down the land and the event for which the phrase "once a year punters" was invented.

58 runners remain following the latest declaration stage, but only 34 may line up on the day as the field is limited to 34 runners for the first time. Of those 58, no fewer than 40 hail from Irish-based yards, including 28 of the top 34 in the weights. Having dominated the Cheltenham Festival, our Irish cousins look to have the odds stacked in their favour at Aintree too - but who does the market rate as the most likely to prevail?

With many bookmakers now offering Non-Runner No Bet on the Grand National - including bet365, Betfred, and William Hill - here, we look at the five most likely winners according to the odds compilers. All prices quoted below are with betfred.

Corrach Rambler – 4/1 at Betfred

Ireland may have 40 runners, but perhaps Scotland will need only one. Lucinda Russell’s defending champion, Corach Rambler, is out on his own at the head of the market as he bids to join the illustrious list of dual national winners.

13lbs higher than in 2023, the handicapper has done his best to ensure it’s a little tougher this time, but will that be enough to stop him? Having run a mighty race to finish third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last time out, the mount of Derek Fox will be the choice of many.

I Am Maximus – 8/1 with Betfred

The Green and Gold silks of JP McManus enjoyed a fine time at the Cheltenham Festival, and the powerful owner will hope to keep the good times rolling at Aintree. McManus has five runners left in the race at this stage, and the eight-year-old I Am Maximus is deemed his best chance by the layers.

This son of Authorized will be having his first taste of the National Fences, but is yet to fall in 13 starts over obstacles and generally jumps fluently. Hailing from the yard of Willie Mullins, he produced a power-packed finish to land the 2023 Irish Grand National and rates a major threat to all.

Vanillier – 9/1 with BetFred

If only Vanillier had hit top stride a little earlier in 2023, he may have handed Gavin Cromwell a first win in the race. As it was, he left it all too late, with Corach Rambler halfway up the straight by the time he went into overdrive – making up around 10 lengths after the last but still over two lengths down at the line.

Can he go one better this time around? Purely from a handicapping perspective, he has an excellent chance. Having conceded 1lb to Corach Rambler in 2023, he received 8lb from the favourite this time.

Panda Boy – 12/1 with Betfred

Also on the overloaded Irish ferry heading over to Aintree is the Martin Brassill-trained Panda Boy, who receives 5lbs and more from those above him in the market. Whilst his chance may not be as obvious as the top three in the betting, he still has plenty in his favour, with his fifth behind I Am Maximus in the Irish National and fast-finishing second in a hot handicap at Leopardstown amongst the stronger pieces of form in the race.

Meetingofthewaters – 14/1 with Betfred

If I Am Maximus fails to deliver for the Willie Mullins JP McManus combo, the pair have an excellent second string to their bow in the shape of Meetingofthewaters. This seven-year-old will make only his seventh chase start in the race and may be one of the most likely runners to have something up his sleeve from the handicapper. Ahead of Panda Boy in a Listed event at Leopardstown in December, he has stamina to burn and posted a fine trial for this when third in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.


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