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Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Biggest Grand National Underdog Wins (100-1 winners)

We all dream of getting that big outsider win, but truly huge odds winners can be few and far between. Below is a list of the four 100-1 winners in Grand National history. Considering the first Grand National ever held was in 1839, it's clear that there is a needle in a haystack aspect to picking 100-1 shots in such a competitive race..

  • Tipperary Tim – 100/1. (1928)
  • Gregalach – 100/1. (1929)
  • Caughoo – 100/1. (1947)
  • Foinavon – 100/1. (1967)
  • Mon Mome – 100/1 (2009)

  • The 1927 and 1928 Grand Nationals were quite the combo, price-wise and of course mention has to go to Liam Treadwell, whose sad passing will in no way diminish his amazing achievement of riding rank outsider Mom Mome to victory in the 2009 Grand National.

    Sadly the 2020 Grand National was cancellation due to the ever depressing coronavirus, but if you're one for the long odds selections, I'm sure there will be one or two outsiders worth having a punt on in 2021. Just be aware that the more ambitious the selection, the longer you might be waiting the result you're looking for!

    Thursday, 21 May 2020


    Statistical analysis of British horse racing results reveals that roughly one-third of races, of any denomination, are won by the market leader, or favourite, while roughly two-thirds are won by one of the first three in the betting market. However, American humorist Will Rogers’ assertion that, ‘A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries’, is certainly as true today – at least with regard to the ‘Sport of Kings’ – as it always was. Bookmakers’ odds reflect subjective opinions – firstly, of the bookmaker and, secondly, of the betting public – on horses’ chances of winning races.

    On the whole, the betting public is pretty shrewd when it comes to assessing the relative chances of horses, so it should come as no surprise that, every year, strike rate is inversely proportional to starting price. Of course, outsiders can and do win, often at generous odds. However, backing an outsider, by definition, involves taking an equally subjective, but contrary, view and running against the ‘herd’, which many punters are loath to do. Nevertheless, while punters looking beyond the obvious, popular selections must accept that they will be wrong more often not, the more accurate they become in assessing races the more often they will find to bet for the important, but elusive, commodity known as ‘value’ and increase their chances of making money in the long term.

    Notwithstanding newcomers from powerful stables and the like, the betting market for any horse race is likely to be dominated by runners that have displayed recent proven, progressive or promising form, that act, or are likely to act, over the course and distance on the prevailing going and – in terms of class, value and weight – are attempting little, or nothing, more than they have achieved in the past. By contrast, outsiders invariably have question marks against them, for one reason or another, so require more educated guesswork, perhaps even a ‘leap of faith’, on the part of the punter.

    That said, a change of circumstances, in terms of course, distance, going, headgear or even trainer form, can often bring about a revival in the form of horses that have proved themselves capable of winning in the past. Punters must, of course, look at the ‘bigger picture’, perhaps stretching back months, or even years but, in so doing, may uncover valuable betting opportunities.

    Thursday, 16 April 2020

    Horse Humour

    A pony went to the doctor complaining about having a sore throat. The doctor said: “It’s OK, you’re just a little horse.”

    A racehorse owner takes his horse to the vet. “Will I be able to race this horse again?,” he asks
    The vet replies: “Of course you will, and you’ll probably win!”

    Why should you never be rude to a jump jockey? In case he takes offence.

    A talking horse walks into a bar and approaches the manager. “Excuse me, good sir,” the horse says, “are you hiring?”
    The manager looks the horse up and down and says, “Sorry, pal. Why don’t you try the circus?”

    A Desperado rides into town and downs a few drinks at the saloon. When he steps outside again, he finds his horse has been stolen. The Desperado swears, steps back into the bar, and fires a round into the piano. The room goes dead silent. “I’m gonna have one more beer,” the Desperado bellows to the terrified crowd, “and if my horse ain’t back where I left him when I’m done, I’ll do here what I had to do in Houston.”
    The locals murmur uneasily as the Desperado sips his drink. Lucky for them all, when he steps outside again his horse has been returned. As the Desperado saddles up, a local can’t help but ask, “Sir, what exactly was it you had to do in Houston?”
    The Desperado narrows his eyes and hisses at the man, “I had to walk home.”

    George said to Fred, 'I put $20 on a horse last week and he came in at twenty five to one.', 'Wow! you must be loaded', said Fred. 'Not really' said George, 'the rest of the field came in at twelve thirty.'

    A wealthy racehorse owner gets very attached to his champion horse. It has a very successful racing career and is then retired to stud duties, where it is again very successful. Earning a fortune in stud duties. Sadly one day the champion dies and the owner decides to give it a proper burial. He approaches the local Anglican minister who tells him that he is only interested in saving human souls. He then approaches the Catholic priest who tells him the same thing. As a last resort he asks a Rabbi who gives him the same sermon. As he is about to leave he says that he was going to donate $100,000 to the Synagogue. Hold on, says the Rabbi, you never told me it was a Jewish horse.

    Tuesday, 17 March 2020

    Grand National Outsiders Over The Years

    The Grand National was first run, as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, in 1839 and has produced five winners at 100/1, the most famous of which must be Foinavon. In 1967, at the twenty-third fence, which now bears his name, Foinavon was the only horse to avoid a mêlée caused by the riderless Popham Down, which brought everything else in the race to a standstill. Gifted a lead of 30 lengths or so, Foinavon and jockey John Buckingham made the best of their way home and, although hotly pursued by the favourite, Honey End, who had been remounted, they crossed the line 15 lengths ahead for an unlikely success.

    Of course, 42 years later, Mon Mome emulated Foinavon by winning the 2009 Grand National at 100/1 and did so in rather more orthodox circumstances. In fact, Mon Mome had finished tenth in the National, albeit beaten 58 lengths, the previous year and, earlier in the 2008/09 season, had started favourite for the Welsh National at Chepstow. Nevertheless, after a series of indifferent efforts, he was considered to have little or no chance, but returned to form with a vengeance, sweeping clear on the run-in to beat the 2008 winner, Comply Or Die by 12 lengths. Of course, his win made trainer Venetia Williams just the second woman, after Jenny Pitman, to saddle a National winner.

    Speaking of which, four years later, in 2013, along came another horse with little or no chance, according to the layers, Auroras Encore, to carve his name into Grand National history at 66/1. Coincidentally, trained by another woman, Sue Smith, Auroras Encore had no previous experience of the National fences, but had shown himself well suited by a test of stamina when just touched off in the Scottish Grand National, over 4 miles, at Ayr the previous season. However, he had failed to trouble the judge in seven subsequent starts, including three non-completions, so despite being 6lb lower in the weights than at Ayr, he lined up at Aintree as a largely unconsidered ‘rag’. However, he gave his supporters few anxious moments and, having taken up the running at the final fence, stayed on well to win by 9 lengths.

    So as we see illustrated here, depending on your perspective, an outsider winning the Grand National can be viewed to be anything from panning for gold and a real freak event, to something more akin to a golden opportunity. It could certainly be something you keep in mind as you decide who to bet on in Grand National 2020 and are able to spot the diamond in the rough from the many 'also rans'. This can be especially fruitful on the exchanges where outsider odds reach mind boggling proportions. Some however, will consider the likelihood to be a little too few and far between, instead prefering to opt for a favourite or at least a proven selection. It's 'horses for courses'  and there's always an aspect of luck to an event with so many variables. Good luck to you whatever your individual approach may be!