Apr 10, 727 days ago

2015 Grand National preview

2015 Grand National preview

It’s the 168th Grand National this weekend which means that almost half the adult population of the UK will be having a flutter on one of the world’s biggest horse races. Indeed, so much money will change hands that if all the money staked on the race was lined up in £20 notes it would stretch over 1,000 times around the famous Aintree course.

Forty horses will line up and compete for a share of the £1 million prize fund. Keep reading for our preview of the 2015 Grand National.

Tony McCoy aiming to end his career on a high

It is the 20th and final ride in the Grand National for racing legend AP McCoy and the 40 year old from County Antrim has promised to retire immediately if he wins this Saturday’s showpiece event.

McCoy rides the 7/1 favourite Shutthefrontdoor and a win would be the second National triumph for the record-breaking Irishman.

The build-up to McCoy’s last National is reaching fever pitch, and a huge image of the jockey was beamed onto Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building this week ahead of the race which he won for the only time on Don’t Push It in 2010.

“The AP McCoy factor is reaching fever pitch with it being his 20th and final Grand National,” said John Baker, Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses North West. “We certainly plan to give him a great send off and I’m sure the 150,000 racegoers will join us in honouring the greatest jockey the sport has ever seen.”

Bookies are predicting that one in three bets this weekend will be on Shutthefrontdoor and it would certainly be a fitting and romantic way for the jockey to end a glittering career.

Horses to follow in the Grand National betting

While much of the focus will be on the favourite ahead of Saturday’s race there are some strong and talented horses in the line-up this year.

While Irish horses have been there or thereabouts in recent years you have to go back to Silver Birch in 2007 for the last Irish winner of the National. The barren run could end this year, though, courtesy of Cause of Causes, currently available at 16/1.

While a seven year old may not have won this race for over half a century, JP McManus’ horse is unusual in that he has run 27 times in National Hunt races, 16 times over hurdles and 11 times over fences. He won the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham a month ago and is trained by Gordon Elliott, the same man who trained Ireland’s last National winner in 2007.

Paul Carberry is a huge asset over Aintree’s fences and we like Cause of Causes’ chances.

According to Ruby Walsh it is ‘only a matter of time’ before a female jockey wins the Grand National and a good each-way bet this year is First Lieutenant, ridden by Paul’s sister Nina Carberry.

After his sister Katie won this year’s Irish National, Ruby Walsh said this week: “Racing is one of the few sports in which women have to compete against men without any allowances. It is like for like and they are proving up to it, so it is only a matter of time before one of them gets a ride good enough to win the English Grand National.”

First Lieutenant has won a Grade One event at Aintree and at ten years old he is the perfect age for the race. He will love the ground and is reportedly in fine form and so looks a good bet at 20/1.

Ireland may have been waiting since 2007 for a National winner but Wales hasn’t seen a horse win the big race in over 100 years. That could change in 2015 with Al Co, a talented ten year old with some big race experience.

He won the Scottish National at Ayr in 2014 and trainer Peter Bowen narrowly failed to win the National when McKelvey was second in 2007. He will love the ground and could give Wales their first winner in over a century at 25/1.

Grand National Betting

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