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Picking a winner in the Grand National: Tips for Punters

04 May 2021

Placing a winning bet in the Grand National can be a herculean task as the steeplechase horse race is filled with many surprises and upturns; this put punters in a dilemma on which horse or jockey can give them their desired wins. A strategy that punters have always used to predict a winner is to read articles online on Grand National previews and tips then compare its content with their strategy.

Horse racing ranks amongst top unpredictable sports as multiple variables need to work right for the champion. However, punters can give themselves an edge by creating a betting strategy through observing and analyzing those metrics that can help predict a winning horse.

As such, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for punters. Whether you plan to use these tips for only the Grand National at Aintree, or you plan to use them for other races like the Dutch Masters, you can get yourself a streak of profitable betting.

How to Pick a Winning Horse

1. Look for Value

It’s fun to bet on the winner, but it feels terrible to bet on a horse you don’t like. Wait! what does that even mean?

Assuming you believe Minella Times will win the next Ascot event, but bookmakers only offer $1.80, it does not mean you should back the horse since the odds are too short. Rather, it’s best to wait till a good value opportunity comes.

But what if the runner wins? You might have just ignored a winning selection; however, your patience puts you in a position to win even greater odds. And if the horse loses, then you’ve just avoided losing your money for a horse that offers a minimal return.

Choosing a winner is not compulsory, but it’s something every punter should have in mind and consider before opting for another strategy.


2. Consider the horses’ form, but it’s not the ultimate factor

If the ultimate rule for selecting a winning horse is the form, then selecting a winning horse will be a breeze in the park, and most bookmakers will have been out of business. This doesn’t erase the fact that the form of the horse raises the confidence level of the Jockey and the horse is performing in its optimum capacity. However, other variables play a huge role in determining the winner. Punters should watch out for runners that escape bookmakers’ eye.


3. Hot Jockeys deserve an intrinsic consideration

If you’re conversant with horserace betting, you’ll be accustomed to phrases such as “a hot Jockey,” “one of the hottest Jockeys”etc., but this has nothing to do with their looks.

A hot jockey is a top-performing jockey that has excelled at major events. They’re pretty confident about the outcome of a race, and that’s a plus to consider. On rare occasions, rookies win a race, but your chances are better with a much-experienced Jockey.

Also, you should watch out for when a Jockey has lost his touch, as trends don’t continue forever. Stay away from Jockeys that have not contested in any of major competitive horse racing events for an extended period, irrespective of their performance before staying away from the game.


4. Barriers

There’s no doubt that barriers are outrightly mundane and boring, but they can help narrow down the possibility of a horse winning.

Seldomly, horses with large barriers perform poorly, but sticking with horses with good barriers can help improve your chances of hitting a jackpot.


5. Weights

Weights are crucial in handicap races, but it’s not an ultimate determinant that should be used to predict a winner. Some horses are hardly defeated by horses that are top-weighted because the handicap conditions aren’t exactly built to predict a potential winner, although it can provide insightful information.


6. Slightly relieved horses

Another crass but helpful tip is to watch out for slightly relaxed horses. If a horse catches your attention as one that’s relieving itself before the race, that may be the winning horse. Relaxed horses are known to easily reach their optimum capacity in a race than uneasy ones.

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