Grand National Tips

Grand National Tips

Expert Grand National Tips For Every Race

The Grand National meeting at Aintree is the last of Britain’s great festivals during the jumps season, highlighted, of course, by the greatest race in the world.

On this page, you will find tips for all three days of the Grand National festival, alongside in-depth coverage on the Grand National itself, all the way up to Saturday. Get our expert team’s views on the top trends and angles on the Grand National, as well as for some of the big races that occur in the build-up as well.

RaceSilksHorsePlace Bet
1.45Serious ChargesPlace Bet
2.25Three Stripe LifePlace Bet
3.00Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursEdwardstonePlace Bet
3.35Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursChampPlace Bet
4.15Shan BluePlace Bet
5.15Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursAny Second NowPlace Bet
6.20Henri The SecondPlace Bet

Grand National Day 1 Tips – Opening Day

The opening day of the Grand National meeting kicks off with sufficient fireworks for an entire month. The first four races are all Grade 1s to rival any race at Cheltenham or beyond.

Aintree’s festival kicks off with the Manifesto Novices’ Chase over 2m4f and is a race which has featured multiple champions in its roll call. Most recently, last month’s Gold Cup third Protektorat took home the prize for Dan and Harry Skelton, with the likes of Uxizandre and Kalashnikov also recent winners.

The Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle comes second on the card and rewards those in the Triumph Hurdle division from the previous month’s Cheltenham Festival. Paul Nicholls’ Monmiral routed his opposition here a year ago, but few will ever match the great Apple’s Jade’s remarkable 41-length demolition job in this contest in 2016.

Often an excellent consolation prize for the Gold Cup, the Betway Bowl is run over 3m1f on Aintree’s Mildmay course. Both of Paul Nicholls’ two-time Grade 1 winners Clan Des Obeaux and Silviniaco Conti have been successful in this contest, with Cue Card, Might Bite and Kemboy among other recent heroes.

The sole race over the National fences on day one of the meeting is the Foxhunters’ Chase. Run over 2m5f, there are 18 of the famous fences to be jumped and it is limited to amateur riders only. Some big names in that sphere have been successful though, with all of Sam Waley-Cohen, Nina Carberry and Jamie Codd riding winners of the race.

Race number six is named in honour of an Aintree great. The Red Rum Handicap Chase does not reward chasers in his own image, however, as it is run over the minimum trip of 2m on the Mildmay course. Last year’s winner, Editeur Du Gite, may be back for more.

The day concludes with the Grade 2 Nickel Coin Mares’ Bumper, named after the last mare to win the Grand National. The moniker was introduced in 2016, perhaps as a silent incentive to produce the first National heroine since then.

The feature race on Day 1 of the Grand National

Highlighting day one of Aintree’s Grand National meeting is the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle, the fourth race on the card.

The contest stands out in particular due to its distance. Run over 2m4f, it celebrates those versatile enough to cope with intermediate trips as well as those over speedier or more testing distances. Either that, or it gives those who excel at this specific trip a chance to revel in glory.

Champion Hurdlers have succeeded in the recent past, namely Jezki, Annie Power and Buveur D’Air, with other Grade 1 winners in Supasundae and Abacadabras successful as well.

Grand National Day 2 Tips – Ladies Day

Ladies Day opens with the competitive Orrell Park Handicap Hurdle. Over 2m4f, a maximum field of 22 is an early chance to test your brain cells ahead of the National on Saturday.

The first Grade 1 is at 2.20pm, with the Top Novices’ Hurdle a follow-up to Cheltenham’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. However, it is a double that very few try and plenty of winners of this contest have come from down the field in the Festival’s opener. Dual Champion Hurdler Buveur D’Air won this in 2016 after having been third at Cheltenham.

The Mildmay Novices’ Chase follows and is yet another Grade 1. A staying novice event, it regularly produces horses who make a name for themselves in the tope 3m Grade 1s the following season. The 2018 Gold Cup one-two, Native River and Might Bite, won this in successive years in 2016 and 2017.

Another race over which 18 Grand National fences must be jumped is the Topham Handicap Chase. For horses who may not quite stay the National distance, it nevertheless rewards horses who take to the unusual test. No horse proved this more than Ultragold, who won back-to-back renewals of the race in 2017 and 2018.

The Sefton Novices’ Hurdle returns the action to Grade 1 level. Over 3m, it was won in an almighty upset by Ahoy Senor last season, though that horse has swiftly gone on to prove that victory was no fluke.

We end Ladies Day with a conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle over the minimum trip. Once more, the 22 runners provide a real exam for punters to solve.

The feature race on Day 2 of the Grand National

Before the introduction of the Ryanair Chase, the Grade 1 Melling Chase was the top prize over fences for middle-distance chasers.

That said, Aintree’s flat track has often served two-milers very well, with the winner having emerged from the Champion Chase in every year from 2016 to 2019. Among those were runners-up in that Cheltenham contest in Fox Norton and Min, while Politologue would go on to win that championship the season after claiming the Melling Chase.

Last year’s winner, Fakir D’oudairies, emerged from the Ryanair Chase and he has been kept fresh to try and win it once again this time around.

Grand National Day 3 Tips – Grand National Saturday

Day 3 will, of course, centre around the big one at 5.15pm, but crowds and TV audiences will still be treated to a number of high quality racing aside from the Grand National.

The day opens with the EFT Construction Handicap Hurdle. Once more, a large maximum field ensures punters are faced with an early puzzle to get their teeth stuck into.

The Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle is the second race on the Grand National’s card. A 2m4f trip has suited future speedsters and stayers alike. The great grey Simonsig, winner in 2012, would almost certainly fall into the former category while 2017 Stayers’ Hurdle hero Nichols Canyon (2015) would be in the latter.

Shishkin graced the Maghull Novices’ Chase in 2021. A lightning fast 2m treat, Champion Chasers Sprinter Sacre and Special Tiara both won here, with Douvan another notable herp in 2016. Arkle winner Edwardstone is currently among this year’s entries.

The Liverpool Stayers’ Hurdle at 3.30pm is probably Aintree’s most doubled-up prize in conjunction with the Cheltenham equivalent. In the last ten runnings, all of Big Buck’s, Solwhit and Thistlecrack have done the double and Flooring Porter looks set to attempt being the fourth later this week.

A whole hour’s rest is taken between the 4.15pm handicap chase and the National itself in races five and six on the card, while the 6.20pm bumper ensures another Graded prize is up for grabs to conclude the meeting.

The feature race on Day 3 of the Grand National

Reckon you can guess?

The Grand National remains the world’s most famous steeplechase. It continues to draw audiences far beyond racing’s traditional circles, greater still than the Cheltenham Festival Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby combined.

The 4m2½f trip, though shorter than it used to be, remains further than any other race in the calendar. 30 fences await the 40 competitors and while traditionalists may bemoan that they are not as testing as they used to be, they remain a greater jumping test than can be found anywhere else in the world.

Tiger Roll’s two victories in 2018 and 2019 brought the race into even greater public consciousness, as did Rachael Blackmore’s success last year aboard Minella Times: she was the first female jockey to win the race.

Tips to help you pick the winning horse at the Grand National

Just going by the field size alone, the Grand National is the hardest race to pick the winner of in the entire sport.

The racecard stares back at you with 40 names to choose from. Starting out with the previous year’s winner proved wise in 2019 when Tiger Roll did the double, though prior to him, every winner between 2010 and 2017 was making their debut in the race, as was last year’s hero Minella Times.

Nevertheless, course experience can be a useful factor in your selection. Similarly, though it is always tempting to find a romantic 100/1 winner, all of the last four winners were well-fancied by the National’s standards, starting at 14/1 or lower.

Grand National Winners in The Past 15 Years

2007Silver BirchRobbie PowerGordon Elliott33/1
2008Comply Or DieTimmy MurphyDavid Pipe7/1J
2009Mon MomeLiam TreadwellVenetia Williams100/1
2010Don’t Push ItAP McCoyJonjo O’Neill10/1J
2011BallabriggsJason MaguireDonald McCain14/1
2012Neptune CollongesDaryl JacobPaul Nicholls33/1
2013Aurora’s EncoreRyan ManiaSue Smith66/1
2014Pineau De ReLeighton AspellDr Richard Newland25/1
2015Many CloudsLeighton AspellOliver Sherwood25/1
2016Rule The WorldDavid MullinsMouse Morris33/1
2017One For ArthurDerek FoxLucinda Russell14/1
2018Tiger RollDavy RussellGordon Elliott10/1
2019Tiger RollDavy RussellGordon Elliott4/1F
2021Minella TimesRachael BlackmoreHenry De Bromhead11/1

Grand National Favourites and Predictions – Who will win the Grand National 2022?

In the same colours and representing the same trainer as two-time winner Tiger Roll, Delta Work will doubtless be popular having beaten his famous stablemate at the Cheltenham Festival last month. That was virtually an away match given the Tiger’s record over Cheltenham’s cross country course and gives every hope that Delta Work will stay just as effectively.

A long fancy for the race has been Any Second Now, who finished third in the Grand National a year ago. He was hampered by a faller at the 12th fence that day, but recovered mightily well. A clearer passage could be the highway to success for Ted Walsh’s ten-year-old.

Leading the way for the Brits is a grey mare in Snow Leopardess. Neither greys nor mares have good records in the contest, but Charlie Longsdon’s charge has already defied so many expectations in her career, not least because she became a mother before returning to the racetrack.

Let us make sure not to forget last year’s winner or favourite in Minella Times and Cloth Cap. Rachael Blackmore hardly needs an excuse to make history, though it may be tougher for him now he has to concede weight all round, while Cloth Cap faltered a year ago and may not be in quite the same exhilarating form.

Frequently Asked Questions

What horse won the first Grand National?

The date of the first Grand National is sometimes debated among racing historians, but the most commonly held view is that the first running occurred in 1839. It was won, appropriately, by a horse named Lottery.

What are the odds for winning the Grand National?

With 30 daunting fences to be jumped and 4m2½f to travel, there is no greater test of endurance for both horse and jockey than the Grand National. And that’s if your horse gets into the field of 40!

Has a 100/1 horse ever won the Grand National?

In its long history, only five horses have won the Grand National at 100/1. They are Tipperary Tim (1928), Gregalach (1929), Caughoo (1947), Foinavon (1967) and Mon Mome (2009)

Has a female horse won the Grand National?

It used to be relatively common for a mare to win the Grand National. 13 have won the big race, but 10 of those were in the 19th century and no mare has won it since 1951.

Which trainer has won the most Grand Nationals?

Three men can lay claim to having won the most Grand Nationals: George Dockeray (1839, 1840, 1842 and 1852), Fred Rimell (1956, 1961, 1970 and 1976) and Ginger McCain (1973, 1974, 1977 and 2004) all have four wins in the race to their name.

Which horse is the only 3-time winner of the Grand National?

Perhaps the most famous racehorse ever to have lived, Red Rum won three Grand Nationals in the 1970s. He rose to public fame and acclaim during the period and was responsible for three of trainer Ginger McCain’s four victories in the race.

How many fences are jumped in the Grand National?

The Grand National features 30 fences, 14 of which are jumped twice and the other pair jumped once. Becher’s Brook, the Canal Turn, Valentine’s Brook and The Chair are all once-a-year names the general public recall with fervour.

What is the Prize Money of The Grand National? 

A prize pot of £1 million has been declared for the 2022 Grand National with just over half of that total promised to the winner.