It’s difficult to avoid the headlines around Tiger Roll’s 2019 Grand National chances. The 9-year-old is one of the hottest favourites for the event in living memory, with odds of 4/1 cited by most bookmakers, but some even as low as 7/2.
Of course, Gordon Elliott’s 2018 Grand National winner and deserves to be favourite – there is no question about that. He recently joined the likes of Arkle and Altior in the very select group of four-time Cheltenham Festival winners, winning the Glenfarclas Chase at the 2019 Festival with room to spare and – seemingly – plenty of gas left in the tank.
Tiger Roll is taking huge money on the betting exchanges, but you could see the casual punter shying away from that price, especially in a race with up to 39 other chances in the field. It’s not a popular opinion, but you do need a lot of luck in the Grand National, and if everything doesn’t fall exactly right on the day, even the great Tiger Roll could end up leaving Aintree empty-handed.
Anibale Fly should contend
Indeed, there is a lot of money coming in for Anibale Fly, who finished fourth in last year’s Grand National – well over 20 lengths behind Tiger Roll. However, Anibale Fly put in a superb performance to finish second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup a couple of weeks ago, so is sure to have plenty of backers at Aintree. 12/1 seems to be the best price available from William Hill and a couple of other outlets.
Willie Mullin’s Rathvinden, who also comes in at 12/1, will likely have backers, especially if Paul Townend takes the reins, as there will be a lot of support for the jockey and trainer combination to do the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National double. It’s not beyond the pair either.
Promotions aplenty from bookies
Still, it’s worth remembering that there are many Grand National free bets available right now, and perhaps it is worth using some on horses with bigger prices. Vintage Clouds and Lake View Lad, priced at 20/1 and 16/1 respectively by Coral, really look like good picks for this race, with big enough prices to offer each-way value. Both performed well at Cheltenham, and neither should have much bother with the trip at Aintree.
Walk In The Mill has also been touted as a good shout for the Grand National, having won the Becher Chase at Aintree back in November. The horse, who can be found at 33/1 with Paddy Power, is a consistent, if not spectacular, type, but one who looks like he has it in him to really pull a big win out of the bag. It’s worth noting that the win in the Becher Chase came against a field of several candidates who could line up for the National on 6th April, including Vieux Lion Rouge and Ballyoptic.
On of the poorer performers in that race was Blaklion, who stumbled home in 11th position a good 60 lengths behind Walk In The Mill. However, Blaklion shouldn’t be written off just yet, and punters should take it as a good sign that trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies decided to pull Blaklion from Cheltenham to make sure he is in the right shape for the Grand National.
So, while Tiger Roll is a deserved favourite, there is plenty to think about for the race, with some horses perhaps even offering bigger returns for simply being placed. It would be nice to see him make history, but the betting value probably lies elsewhere.
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