The Grand National is something of a national betting event in the UK, with bookies anticipating that over £250m worth of bets being placed by Brits on the race this weekend.
The Aintree showpiece sees everyone from hardcore gamblers to once-a-year bettors having a flutter but who should you opt to put your money on? The favourites seem so tempting but does it pay to back those horses at shorter odds?
We’ve produced a betting guide with all 40 horses rated, a tips column and a handy list of all the runners and their odds to help you decide but what can we learn from history?
The likes of the Rachael Blackmore-ridden Ain’t That A Shame, two-time Cheltenham winner Corach Rambler and defending champion Noble Yeats are towards the top of the betting for the 2023 renewal but how have previous much-fancied mares fared?
Here’s all the facts and stats you need to know about the odds of Grand National-winning horses:
How often does the favourite win the Grand National?
Not as often as you might think. In fact, since 2000, only two outright favourites have won, with another two joint-favourites crossing the winning line first in that period. To go back further, only two favourites won in the 1990s, while there wasn’t a single winning favourite between 1982 and 1996.
Oddly, in the last 50 editions of the Grand National, there have only been eight winning favourites, meaning that statistically, the favourite wins the National less than once every five years.
To take things back even further, since 1900, there have been 10 clear favourites and four joint-favourites to win the Grand National, which is a fairly paltry return for a span of more than 120 years. All of this backs up the cliche that the National is something of a lottery.
When did the favourite last win the Grand National?
We’ve established that the favourites rarely bring home the bacon at Aintree but some horses have managed to buck that trend. Superstar horse Tiger Roll was the most recent favourite to triumph when claiming glory in 2019, while Hedgehunter in 2005 also got the job done at the shortest odds. The two joint-favourites to have triumphed in the 21st century are Don’t Push It (2010) and the rather aggressively named Comply Or Die (2008).
Does an outsider ever win the Grand National?
Absolutely. Short-priced horses, i.e those under 10/1, don’t have a great record, with Tiger Roll in 2019 the first winner at less than 10/1 since 2008. In fact, there have only been three winners at single-figure odds since the turn of the century.
There’s even more good omens for the outsiders, with six of the last 10 winners having been sent off at odds of 25/1 or greater, including Noble Yeats triumphing at 50/1 last year and Auroras Encore crossing the line first from 66/1 in 2013. In fact, three of the last eight winners were priced at 33/1 or bigger, so don’t be afraid to back an underdog in the Aintree showpiece.
What were the odds of Grand National winners?
Here are the starting odds of every Grand National winner since 2000:
- 2022 – Noble Yeats (50/1)
- 2021 – Minella Times (11/1)
- 2019 – Tiger Roll (4/1 F)
- 2018 – Tiger Roll (10/1)
- 2017 – One For Arthur (14/1)
- 2016 – Rule The World (33/1)
- 2015 – Many Clouds (25/1)
- 2014 – Pineau De Re (25/1)
- 2013 – Auroras Encore (66/1)
- 2012 – Neptune Collonges (33/1)
- 2011 – Ballabriggs (14/1)
- 2010 – Don’t Push It (10/1 JF)
- 2009 – Mon Mome (100/1)
- 2008 – Comply Or Die (7/1 JF)
- 2007 – Silver Birch (33/1)
- 2006 – Numbersixvalverde (11/1)
- 2005 – Hedgehunter (7/1 F)
- 2004 – Amberleigh House (16/1)
- 2003 – Monty’s Pass (16/1)
- 2002 – Bindaree (20/1)
- 2001 – Red Marauder (33/1)
- 2000 – Papillon (10/1)