How to bet on the Grand National online

The Grand National is an annually held National Hunt horse race held at Aintree Racecourse in the North-West of England. It is steeped in tradition and has been run since 1839. Since it was first televised in 1960, it has been a fixture in most households across the country. No race quite gets the attention of the masses like this 4 mile jump event. As a result, discussion on who to bet on in the Grand National rages in the weeks leading up to the race.

So if you’re caught up in the excitement and you want to bet on the Grand National online, this article will tell you all you need to know.

Grand National key information

Before you choose which horse to bet on for the Grand National, first you must understand a little bit about the race. This may give you an edge when choosing which horse to back.

The maximum number of horses that can run the race is 40. They race the 4 mile 514 yard course jumping 30 fences over 2 laps. The number of horses racing, and the tricky jumps mean that it’s almost a guarantee that not all of these horses will finish the race.

A few days before the race, the field is confirmed. However you can still bet on the race in advance, via an ante post market. The 40 runners are confirmed with 4 horses placed on standby. Should a horse withdraw before 13:00 on the day before the race, one of these replacements will take its place.

There are pros and cons to consider if you bet on the Grand National online in advance of the race. The pros are that you can get some very attractive odds on the horses. But the reason for this, is that they’re not confirmed to be racing. Should they not run the race, your ante post bet is settled as a loser.

This year, the Grand National 2018 will be run on April the 14th at 17:15pm. For this year’s race, ITV will be broadcasting it live.

One of the things that makes deciding how to bet on the Grand National fun, is that it’s quite an unpredictable race. Some people have success by choosing their favourite colours, or names that resonate with them. However, to help you decide which horse to bet on in the Grand National, you’ll be pleased to hear that the are some pretty strong statistics to help narrow your search.

The key stats to help you bet on the Grand National online

As we mentioned, there are some pretty key stats which will help you decide which horse to bet on in the Grand National.  We’ll cover the key stats in the areas that make the biggest difference.


The age of your chosen horse is pretty significant when deciding who to bet on in the Grand National. If you choose a horse that is aged 7 years or younger, then good luck, you’ll need it! The last horse in this age bracket to win the Grand National was in 1940.

The average age of the winning horses is 8.8 years old. The last 3 winners have been either 8 or 9. This broke a run of 5 consecutive years where the winner was aged either 10 or 11. Typically, it is this 8-11 age bracket that you want to concentrate on. Only 8 winners since 1950 have been 12 or older, with Amberleigh House in 2004 being the last. Since then 46 horses aged 12 or older have raced the national with just four finishing inside the top 5 places.


The weight of the horse also plays an important factor when you bet on the Grand National online. Since the famous Red Rum won his third Grand National in 1977, only Many Clouds in 2015 has weighed more than 11st 6lb. The reason that weight is so important is because this is the longest and most grueling handicap chase of them all.

However, Many Clouds win did suggest that the 11st 6lb limit may not be as strong an indicator as it was previously. This could be down to safety changes to the race in recent years.

The fences used to be made from wood and covered with green spruce. However the wood has since been replaced by a softer plastic material. Other changes to the fences in recent years include the levelling of landing zones, and a reduction in the drop after some fences. Heavier horses may now find it easier to clear these obstacles.

In 2013, the race also got slightly shorter too. The start of the race is now 90 yards closer to the first fence. This reduced the race from 4 and a half miles to what it is today.

When deciding who to bet on in the Grand National, it’s probably wise to still follow this weight guideline. It’s unclear at the stage whether Many Clouds was just a statistical anomaly.


When deciding the strategy for how to bet on the Grand National, it’s important to look at a horses history. The type of races they’ve run, and the experience they have make a big difference in this demanding race.

For instance since 1970, every single winner with the exception of Rule The World, has won over at least 3 miles before. But even then, Rule the World demonstrated his stamina with a second placed finish in the Irish National. Success over these distances demonstrates that the horse has the stamina needed for the race.

Jumping experience is also a must. The last 10 horses have had at least 10 career runs over fences before the Grand National.

So when deciding which horse to bet on in the Grand National, the above stats should help you narrow the field of 40 down by quite a bit. Here are some other key stats to consider:

  • 26 of the last 27 winning horses were Officially rates at 137 or higher.
  • 16 of the last 20 winning horses came from outside the favourite or joint favourite in the betting.
  • 5 of the last 11 winning horses were Irish-trained.

Horses to watch

So if after reading that you’ve decided you want to place a bet on the Grand National online, you’ve just got to choose the right horse. We’ve given you a run down of a few of our Ante-Post favourites. These are horses that fulfil all or most of the criteria we’ve discussed.


Blaklion is the latest Grand National hope for Nigel Twiston-Davies. He knows what it takes to win this race having trained Earth Summit in 1998 and Bindaree in 2002.

He was heavily favoured last time out and went off as the 8/1F. At one point, Blaklion looked like he would make it a third win for Twiston-Davies in the national. He lead until the final jump when eventual winner One For Arthur jumped into him when making the jump. This seemed to unsettle Blaklion who was pushed down the field in the final furlong and eventually finished 4th, 9 lengths from One For Arthur.

However with another year of experience under his belt, Blaklion is sure to be one of the favourites again. Especially when his trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has recently compared him to the legendary Red Rum.


Vincente was well favoured in the 2017 Grand National, but we’ll never know just how serious a contender he was. His race got off to a disastrous start and fell at the first fence.

But you shouldn’t look too much into this, as Vincente is a dual winner in the Scottish Grand National winning over 4m in 2016 and 2017.

This shows he definitely has the staying power to last the course. He is also trained by champion trainer Paul Nicholls who won the Grand National in 2012 with Neptune Collonges.

Cause of Causes

Cause of Causes has champion backing. He’s owned by legendary owned JP McManus, and trained by the thriving Gordon Elliott stable who had a winner in 2007 with Silver Birch.

Cause of Causes has the big race experience needed to triumph in this race. He first came a respectable 8th in 2015 in his Grand National debut. While last year he was beaten by 4 and a half lengths by the winner One For Arthur.

At 11 years of age when the race takes place, this is likely to be Cause of Causes last big attempt at winning the national for the Elliott stable. Cause of Cause’s experience and the experienced team behind him mean he should definitely be one for your shortlist.

How to bet on the Grand National online

So now you should know how the event works, and have more idea of which horse to bet on in the Grand National. But how do you bet on the Grand National online?

You’ll be pleased to know that the Grand National is one of the easiest events of the year to bet on. The bookmakers know that more than any other event, the Grand National attracts inexperienced gamblers.

Because more inexperienced gamblers bet on the Grand National, the bookmakers make it as easy as possible. They also offer some good promotions too, but more on that in a sec.

Below is the process you must follow if you want to place a Grand National bet online:

  1. Decide which horse you want to bet on.
  2. Visit OddsChecker to see which bookmaker offers the best price.
  3. Open an account with the bookmaker that offers the best price.
  4. Input any available bonus codes when you open your account.
  5. Navigate to the Grand National market once the runners have been confirmed.
  6. Add the runner to your bet slip. Click EW if you want to place an additional bet on it to place in the race.
  7. Add your stake.
  8. Confirm bet.

Grand National free bets and promo codes

With so many new gamblers opening betting accounts at this time of the year, it sends bookmakers into a frenzy.

To compete with each other they throw free bets in the direction of both new and old customers. It creates an opportunity for you to massively increase your chances of making a profit.

You can profit by using a method that is known matched betting. It’s a tax-free way of turning bookmaker free bets into withdrawable cash.

To find out more, check out this video:

[the_ad id=”3076″]

Start making profits now for free!

About the author:

John OddsMonkey

John OddsMonkey

Share this post on social media:

Looking for ways to make money online?

Matched betting is one of the best ways to make money online, and at OddsMonkey we have all the tools and resources you need to get started. Find out how you can easily turn bookmaker offers into tax free profits today.

Search the blog

Recent Posts

Golf Betting Guide

Golf betting, a fascinating and intricate aspect of sports wagering, has gained immense popularity over the years. Unlike many other sports, betting on golf offers

Read More »

Tennis Betting Guide

Tennis betting has emerged as one of the most popular sports betting markets worldwide, attracting enthusiasts with its dynamic and year-round tournament schedule. Unlike team

Read More »