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    Grand National 2024 Advice: Early Prediction Overview and Suggested Bets for Aintree
Grand National 2024 Advice: Early Prediction Overview and Suggested Bets for Aintree
The Grand National at Aintree Racecourse. Source: Midjourney

Grand National 2024 Advice: Early Prediction Overview and Suggested Bets for Aintree

The highly anticipated event of the year, the Grand National, will be held at Aintree with a smaller number of participants for the first time in 2024. Instead of the usual 40 horses, only 34 will compete in order to prioritise horse safety, following a troubled race in 2023 that was surrounded by controversy. The official list of competing horses has been announced, and Billy Grimshaw has carefully examined the potential participants and their jockeys to give us a preview of this iconic endurance race. Additionally, he will share his recommendation for the most favourable bet at this point.

Last season's champion Corach Rambler will return to Aintree to defend his Grand National title after participating in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which some believe could result in a respectable finish. This occurred in 2024. The impressive victor of the 2023 race secured Lucinda Russell her second Grand National triumph. Despite an increase in his handicap rating, it would be unwise for racing enthusiasts to completely dismiss his chances, especially considering Tiger Roll's consecutive victories just a few years ago. The weight of 11stone 2 pounds seems reasonable for the current champion (he won with 10st5 on his back last year). It will undoubtedly be a challenging task for any horse carrying more weight than him to outperform and defeat him.

Group of jockeys and horses at the starting line of the Grand National. Source: Midjourney
Group of jockeys and horses at the starting line of the Grand National. Source: Midjourney

Hewick, the hero of the King George race, bears the heaviest weight and could face a formidable challenge. He is also scheduled to compete in the Gold Cup before participating at Aintree, but if he performs poorly or falls, he may be unable to compete in the Grand National, resulting in alterations to the weights of all other horses. Noble Yeats, the 50/1 victor in 2022 with a handicap rating of 147, ran well enough to achieve a placing last season despite carrying a weight 19lbs higher. The handicapper has not been lenient with the Emmet Mullins-trained horse in his pursuit of reclaiming the National title, assigning him a weight of 11 stone 8 pounds to carry in 2024. Although he has demonstrated his expertise at Aintree in the past, it would be an astounding accomplishment if he were to win here following his performance in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Among the British contenders, Nassalam bears the heaviest weight of 11 stone 4 pounds, surpassing that of any other representative from the home team, due to his impressive victory in the Welsh Grand National in his most recent outing. This weight is 2 lbs more than what Corach Rambler will carry, and considering Gary Moore's charge's preference for soft ground, it is difficult to have confidence in his chances. Mahler Mission has been assigned a weight of 11 stone 1 pound, and there is no reason to believe that the former favourite cannot handle this weight, as he seems well-suited for this type of demanding long-distance race.

The horse Monbeg Genius has been a popular choice for this race for several months and appears to have an ideal racing weight to secure a place in the competition. Despite facing a challenge from Mahler Mission, who performed well at Newbury, Monbeg Genius is expected to benefit from the longer distance at Aintree, according to trainer Jonjo O'Neill. The Grand National typically offers numerous contenders, including both favourites and underdogs. However, one horse stands out to the author as a strong choice, and they believe there is a compelling argument to back him early, as they anticipate significant market support causing his odds to decrease on the day of the race.

Although some may be sceptical, the author recommends betting on the favourite, Vanillier, for the Grand National. They argue that the race has undergone significant changes in recent years and is now essentially just another handicap chase. Viewing the race from this perspective, Vanillier, trained by Gavin Cromwell, becomes impossible to overlook, especially with odds of 12/1 still available. Vanillier has a nine-pound advantage in weight compared to last year's winner, Corach Rambler, and despite his average form this season, it is evident that Cromwell has had his sights set on this race all year.

Horse jumping over one of the formidable fences on the Grand National course at Aintree. Source: Midjourney
Horse jumping over one of the formidable fences on the Grand National course at Aintree. Source: Midjourney

Cromwell expressed his hope that Vanillier would carry no more than 11 stone in weight, so he must be pleased with the assigned weight of 10 stone 8 pounds. If Vanillier is ridden slightly more prominently in 2024, it will take an exceptional performance to surpass this former Albert Bartlett winner. Another notable contender is Galvin, who has a better chance of success this season due to a more favourable handicap rating, compared to last year when he fell at the first fence, preventing observers from assessing his performance at Aintree. Trainer Gordon Elliott is optimistic about Galvin's prospects, and the author considered placing a bet on him early, as his odds are likely to decrease significantly if jockey Jack Kennedy decides to ride him.

Lastly, the author was impressed by Panda Boy's performance in a hurdles race at the Dublin Racing Festival and regards his decision to skip Cheltenham as a positive factor for his chances at Aintree. If Panda Boy secures a spot in the race (which is uncertain at this point due to his weight of 10 stone 2 pounds, placing him 53rd on the list), the author plans to include him in their betting strategy. As more information becomes available regarding the confirmed runners, ground conditions, and recent form at Aintree, a clearer picture will emerge.

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