Category: Sports

bet on england

Bet on England to win the World Cup?

Bet on England to win the World Cup? are we getting carried away here or is this a real possibility this time? It's easy to get carried away being an England fan, lets face it, we always do it.. we can't help ourselves!

That being said, this tournament has some notable differences from previous England disappointments. For starters, expectation levels are lower than they have been for a long, long time. We have a squad of young players who have never experienced those World Cup disappointments.

Gareth Southgate has instilled a philosophy that this squad has bought into, the nation has too. The system including the back three and pacy attacking midfielders has made us a real threat to any opposition we face. We shouldn't fear any nation!.


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England Squad

Jordan Pickford
Jack Butland
Nick Pope
John Stones
Harry Maguire
Phil Jones
Gary Cahill
Danny Rose
Kyle Walker
Trent Alexander-Arnold
Kieran Trippier
Eric Dier
Defensive Midfield
Jordan Henderson
Central Midfield
Fabian Delph
Central Midfield
Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Central Midfield
Ashley Young
Left Midfield
Dele Alli
Attacking Midfield
Jesse Lingard
Left Wing
Raheem Sterling
Right Wing
Harry Kane
Marcus Rashford
Jamie Vardy
Danny Welbeck


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Fifa World Cup 2018 – Accumulator Tips

Day One - Thursday 14th June

Russia V Saudi Arabia

Its the host host nation that kicks off proceedings to what we hope will be a memorable Fifa World Cup. Both sides will be looking to hit the ground running but its hard to see anything other than a win for Russia today. This is reflected in the bookies odds - Russia to win 10/21 / Draw 39/11 / Saudia Arabia to win 9/1

FIFA World Cup 2018 Fixtures

Thursday 14 June

Russia vs Saudi Arabia (Group A) - Moscow (Luzhniki) - 4pm - ITV

Friday 15 June

Egypt vs Uruguay (Group A) - Ekaterinburg - 1pm - BBC
Morocco vs Iran (Group B) - St Petersburg - 4pm - ITV
Portugal vs Spain (Group B) - Sochi - 7pm - BBC

Saturday 16 June

France vs Australia (Group C) - Kazan - 11am - BBC
Argentina vs Iceland (Group D) - Moscow (Spartak) - 2pm - ITV
Peru vs Denmark (Group C) - Saransk - 5pm - BBC
Croatia vs Nigeria (Group D) - Kaliningrad - 8pm - ITV

Sunday 17 June

Costa Rica vs Serbia (Group E) - Samara - 1pm - ITV
Germany vs Mexico (Group F) - Moscow (Luzhniki) - 4pm - BBC
Brazil vs Switzerland (Group E) - Rostov-on-Don - 7pm - ITV

Monday 18 June

Sweden vs South Korea (Group F) - Nizhny Novgorod - 1pm - ITV
Belgium vs Panama (Group G) - Sochi - 4pm - BBC
Tunisia vs England (Group G) - Volgograd - 7pm - BBC

Tuesday 19 June

Colombia vs Japan (Group H) - Saransk - 1pm - BBC
Poland vs Senegal (Group H) - Moscow (Spartak) - 4pm - ITV
Russia vs Egypt (Group A) - St Petersburg - 7pm - BBC

Wednesday 20 June

Portugal vs Morocco (Group B) - Moscow (Luzhniki) - 1pm - BBC
Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia (Group A) - Rostov-on-Don - 4pm - BBC
Iran vs Spain (Group B) - Kazan - 7pm - ITV

Thursday 21 June

Denmark vs Australia (Group C) - Samara - 1pm - ITV
France vs Peru (Group C) - Ekaterinburg - 4pm - ITV
Argentina vs Croatia (Group D) - Nizhny Novgorod - 7pm - BBC

Friday 22 June

Brazil vs Costa Rica (Group E) - St Petersburg - 1pm - ITV
Nigeria vs Iceland (Group D) - Volgograd - 4pm - BBC
Serbia vs Switzerland (Group E) - Kaliningrad - 7pm - BBC

Saturday 23 June

Belgium vs Tunisia (Group G) - Moscow (Spartak) - 1pm - BBC
South Korea vs Mexico (Group F) - Rostov-on-Don - 4pm - ITV
Germany v Sweden (Group F) - Sochi - 7pm - ITV

Sunday 24 June

England vs Panama (Group G) - Nizhny Novgorod - 1pm - BBC
Japan vs Senegal (Group H) - Ekaterinburg - 4pm - BBC
Poland vs Colombia (Group H) - Kazan - 7pm - ITV

Monday 25 June

Uruguay vs Russia (Group A) - Samara - 3pm - ITV
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt (Group A) - Volgograd - 3pm - ITV
Spain vs Morocco (Group B) - Kaliningrad - 7pm- BBC
Iran vs Portugal (Group B) - Saransk - 7pm - BBC

Tuesday 26 June

Denmark vs France (Group C) - Moscow (Luzhniki) - 3pm - ITV
Australia vs Peru (Group C) - Sochi - 3pm - ITV
Nigeria vs Argentina (Group D) - St Petersburg - 7pm - BBC
Iceland vs Croatia (Group D) - Rostov-on-Don - 7pm - BBC

Wednesday 27 June

South Korea vs Germany (Group F) - Kazan - 3pm - BBC
Mexico vs Sweden (Group F) - Ekaterinburg - 3pm - BBC
Serbia vs Brazil (Group E) - Moscow (Spartak) - 7pm - ITV
Switzerland vs Costa Rica (Group E) - Nizhny Novgorod - 7pm - ITV

Thursday 28 June

Japan vs Poland (Group H) - Volgograd - 3pm - BBC
Senegal vs Colombia (Group H) - Samara - 3pm - BBC
England vs Belgium (Group G) - Kaliningrad - 7pm - ITV
Panama vs Tunisia (Group G) - Saransk - 7pm - ITV

Round of 16

(Matches in bold are potential England fixtures)

Saturday 30 June

Group C winner vs Group D runner-up - Kazan, 3pm (Match 50)
Group A winner vs Group B runner-up- Sochi, 7pm (Match 49)

Sunday 1 July

Group B winner vs Group A runner-up- Moscow (Luzhniki), 3pm (Match 51)
Group D winner vs Group C runner-up - Nizhny Novgorod, 7pm (Match 52)

Monday 2 July

Group E winner vs Group F runner-up - Samara, 3pm (Match 53)
Group G winner vs Group H runner-up - Rostov-on-Don, 7pm (Match 54)

Tuesday 3 July

Group F winner vs Group E runner-up - St Petersburg 3pm (Match 55)
Group H winner vs Group G runner-up - Moscow (Spartak), 7pm (Match 56)


Friday 6 July

Winner match 49 vs Winner match 50 - Nizhny Novgorod, 3pm (Match 57)
Winner match 53 vs Winner match 54 - Kazan, 7pm (Match 58)

Saturday 7 July

Winner match 55 vs Winner match 56 - Samara, 3pm (Match 60)
Winner match 51 vs Winner match 52 - Sochi, 7pm (Match 59)


Tuesday 10 July

Winner match 57 vs Winner match 58 - St Petersburg, 7pm (Match 61)

Wednesday 11 July

Winner match 59 vs Winner match 60 - Moscow (Luzhniki), 7pm (Match 62)

Third place play-off

Saturday 14 July

Loser match 61 vs Loser match 62 - St Petersburg, 3pm


Sunday 15 July

Moscow (Luzhniki), 4pm

Fifa World Cup Schedule

DateMatchVenueKick-off (BST)
Thursday June 14 Russia v Saudi Arabia (A) Moscow (Luzhniki) 4pm
Friday June 15 Egypt v Uruguay (A) Ekaterinburg 1pm
Friday June 15 Morocco v Iran (B) St Petersburg 4pm
Friday June 15 Portugal v Spain (B) Sochi 7pm
Saturday June 16 France v Australia (C) Kazan 11am
Saturday June 16 Argentina v Iceland (D) Moscow (Spartak) 2pm
Saturday June 16 Peru v Denmark (C) Saransk 5pm
Saturday June 16 Croatia v Nigeria (D) Kaliningrad 8pm
Sunday June 17 Costa Rica v Serbia (E) Samara 1pm
Sunday June 17 Germany v Mexico (F) Moscow (Luzhniki) 4pm
Sunday June 17 Brazil v Switzerland (E) Rostov-on-Don 7pm
Monday June 18 Sweden v South Korea (F) Nizhny Novgorod 1pm
Monday June 18 Belgium v Panama (G) Sochi 4pm
Monday June 18 Tunisia v England (G) Volgograd 7pm
Tuesday June 19 Poland v Senegal (H) Moscow (Spartak) 1pm
Tuesday June 19 Colombia v Japan (H) Saransk 4pm
Tuesday June 19 Russia v Egypt (A) St Petersburg 7pm
Wednesday June 20 Portugal v Morocco (B) Moscow (Luzhniki) 1pm
Wednesday June 20 Uruguay v Saudi Arabia (A) Rostov-on-Don 4pm
Wednesday June 20 Iran v Spain (B) Kazan 7pm
Thursday June 21 France v Peru (C) Ekaterinburg 1pm
Thursday June 21 Denmark v Australia (C) Samara 4pm
Thursday June 21 Argentina v Croatia (D) Nizhny Novgorod 7pm
Friday June 22 Brazil v Costa Rica (E) St Petersburg 1pm
Friday June 22 Nigeria v Iceland (D) Volgograd 4pm
Friday June 22 Serbia v Switzerland (E) Kaliningrad 7pm
Saturday June 23 Belgium v Tunisia (G) Moscow (Spartak) 1pm
Saturday June 23 Germany v Sweden (F) Sochi 4pm
Saturday June 23 South Korea v Mexico (F) Rostov-on-Don 7pm
Sunday June 24 England v Panama (G) Nizhny Novgorod 1pm
Sunday June 24 Japan v Senegal (H) Ekaterinburg 4pm
Sunday June 24 Poland v Colombia (H) Kazan 7pm
Monday June 25 Uruguay v Russia (A) Samara 3pm
Monday June 25 Saudi Arabia v Egypt (A) Volgograd 3pm
Monday June 25 Spain v Morocco (B) Kaliningrad 7pm
Monday June 25 Iran v Portugal (B) Saransk 7pm
Tuesday June 26 Denmark v France (C) Moscow (Luzhniki) 3pm
Tuesday June 26 Australia v Peru (C) Sochi 3pm
Tuesday June 26 Nigeria v Argentina (D) St Petersburg 7pm
Tuesday June 26 Iceland v Croatia (D) Rostov-on-Don 7pm
Wednesday June 27 South Korea v Germany (F) Kazan 3pm
Wednesday June 27 Mexico v Sweden (F) Ekaterinburg 3pm
Wednesday June 27 Serbia v Brazil (E) Moscow (Spartak) 7pm
Wednesday June 27 Switzerland v Costa Rica (E) Nizhny Novgorod 7pm
Thursday June 28 Japan v Poland (H) Volgograd 3pm
Thursday June 28 Senegal v Colombia (H) Samara 3pm
Thursday June 28 England v Belgium (G) Kaliningrad 7pm
Thursday June 28 Panama v Tunisia (G) Saransk 7pm
LAST 16   
Saturday June 30 1C v 2D (Match 50)Kazan 3pm 
Saturday June 30 1A v 2B (Match 49)Sochi 7pm 
Sunday July 1 1B v 2A (Match 51)Moscow 3pm 
Sunday July 1 1D v 2C (Match 52)Nizhny Novgorod 7pm 
Monday July 2 1E v 2F (Match 53)Samara 3pm 
Monday July 2 1G v 2H (Match 54)Rostov-on-Don 7pm
Tuesday July 3 1F v 2E (Match 55)St Petersburg 3pm
Tuesday July 3 1H v 2G (Match 56)Moscow (Spartak) 7pm 
Friday July 6 Winner 49 v winner 50 (57) Nizhny Novgorod 3pm
Friday July 6 Winner 53 v winner 54 (58) Kazan 7pm 
Saturday July 7 Winner 55 v winner 56 (60) Samara 3pm 
Saturday July 7 Winner 51 v winner 52 (59) Sochi 7pm 
Tuesday July 10 Winner 57 v winner 58 St Petersburg 7pm
Wednesday July 11 Winner 59 v winner 60 Moscow (Luzhniki) 7pm
Saturday July 14Losers of two semi-finals St Petersburg 3pm
Sunday July 15Winners of two-semi-finals Moscow (Luzhniki) 4pm

Check out our main Fifa World Cup 2018 page for all the information

FIFA World Cup – Memorable Moments (England)

FIFA World Cup 1990 - England 1 West Germany 1 (3-4 on Pens)

FIFA World Cup 1986 - England 1 Argentina 2 (The Hand of God)

FIFA World Cup 1998 - England 2 Argentina 2 (3-4 on pens)

FIFA world cup 2006 - England 0 Portugal 0 (1-3 on pens)

FIFA world cup 2002 - England 1 Brazil 2

FIFA World Cup 1966 - England 4 West Germany 2

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world snooker championship 2018

World Snooker Championship 2018

The World Snooker Championship - Sponsored by Betfred

World Snooker Championship

Tournament information
VenueCrucible Theatre
(since 1977)
Organisation(s)World Snooker Association
FormatRanking event
Total prize fundUK £1,968,000
Recent edition2018
Current champion(s)England Mark Selby

The World Snooker Championship is the leading snooker tournament both in terms of prestige and prize money. The first championship was held in 1927 and was won by Joe Davis. Davis won the first 15 championships before retiring from the event, undefeated, after his 1946 success. In the 1950s snooker went into a period of decline and the championship was not held after 1952, although an unofficial championship was held until 1957. In 1964 the championship was revived on a challenge basis and in 1969 the championship became a knock-out event again. Since 1977 it has been played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. The tournament is currently played over 17 days and ends on the first Monday in May. In the modern era (since 1969), the best record is that of Stephen Hendry, who won the title seven times. Steve Davis and Ray Reardon both won six times while Ronnie O'Sullivan has won five titles. The current champion is Mark Selby, who has won the tournament three times.

The World Snooker Championship - Sponsored by Betfred

Professional Snooker Championship (1927–34)

1927Joe Davis
1928Joe Davis
1929Joe Davis
1930Joe Davis
1931Joe Davis
1932Joe Davis
1933Joe Davis
1934Joe Davis

The first championship was held in 1927 and was called the Professional Snooker Championship. It was the first important professional snooker tournament although the English Amateur Championship has been contested since 1916. Ten professionals entered including most of the leading billiards players. The draw was made at the start of the season and the players made their own arrangements about the dates and venue for the matches, although it was decided in advance that the semi-finals and final would be in Birmingham. Matches were over 15 frames with the semi-finals over 23 frames and final over 31 frames. The first match played was between Melbourne Inman and Tom Newman at Thurston's Hall, Leicester Square in London. The snooker was played as an added extra to the main event, a billiards match played over two weeks. The match started on Monday 29 November 1926 and one frame of snooker was played at the end of each session. Inman won 8–5, the match finishing on the Monday afternoon, a week after it started. One other match was played in connection with a billiards contest but the remaining matches were snooker-only matches. With minimal prize money, players mainly made money from their share of the gate receipts. Because of this it was common for "dead" frames to be played after the result of the match had been decided. The final between Joe Davis and Tom Dennis was played over four days in early May at Camkin's Hall in Birmingham. Davis won the first seven frames and led throughout, taking a winning 16–7 lead on the third day, eventually winning 20–11. The highest break of the tournament was 60, made by Albert Cope in his semi-final match against Davis, in a dead frame after Davis had won the match. Davis made a 57 break in the final.

The World Snooker Championship - Sponsored by Betfred

The 1928 Championship was played on a challenge basis, with the other 6 entries playing off for the right to challenge Joe Davis in the final. Davis met Fred Lawrence in the final, winning 16–13. The challenge system was dropped in 1929. Davis met Tom Dennis in the final, played in Dennis's home town of Nottingham. Davis made a new record break of 61 on the way to a 17–12 victory. The same pair met in the 1930 final, played for the first time at Thurston's Hall in London. The final was extended to 49 frames played over 6 days. Davis won comfortably, 25–12 with a day to spare and made a new record break of 79. With little prospect of success and little prospect of financial gain, most of the professionals saw little point in entering the championship and, despite an upsurge in interest in snooker, there were only two entries for the 1931 championship. Davis and Tom Dennis met for the fourth time, the event being played in Nottingham. Dennis led 19–16 at one stage but Davis won 9 of the next 11 frames to take the Championship 25–21.

There were three entries in 1932 including New Zealander Clark McConachy. McConachy met Joe Davis in the final, played at Thurston's Hall. Davis took the title 25–18 and set a new record with a break of 99, missing out on his century after he snookered himself. There were five entries in 1933 including 47-year-old Willie Smith who entered for the first time and met Joe Davis in the final. Smith had won the World Billiards Championship twice. The match was played at Davis's own snooker hall in Chesterfield. The match was close until Davis pulled away in the later stages, as he often did, winning 25–18. There were just two entries in 1934, Davis being opposed by Tom Newman, six times World Billiards Champion. The match was held partly in Nottingham before finishing in Kettering.Davis won 25–22, although Newman led 14–13 at one stage.

Thurston's Hall era (1935–40)

1935Joe Davis
1936Joe Davis
1937Joe Davis
1938Joe Davis
1939Joe Davis
1940Joe Davis

In the early years of the championship, snooker had been seen, in the professional game, as secondary to billiards but from the mid-1930s snooker dominated. The 1935 Championship introduced some significant changes. It was the first to incorporate "world" in its name, being called the World's Professional Snooker Championship.There was also a change in the organisation of the event with the matches being played consecutively at the same venue, Thurston's Hall in London. Previously the draw had been made early in the season and the players made their own arrangements about the dates and venue of matches. The change in format proved a great success and Thurston's Hall became the primary venue for professional snooker matches. In the period from 1935 to 1940, nearly all World Championship matches were played there and with good attendances the professionals could make some money from their share of the entrance charges. Because of the importance of gate receipts, dead frames were played out, whatever the state of the game. This had often been the case in the early championships but now became universal.

The World Snooker Championship - Sponsored by Betfred

There were 5 entries in 1935 Championship. Joe Davis beat Willie Smith 28–21 in the final, having earlier taken a winning 25–20 lead. Davis recorded the first century break in the history of the championship, 110 in his semi-final match against Tom Newman. The break was made in a dead frame but was still regarded as a championship record. The success of the 1935 championship resulted in a record 13 entries for 1936. A number of younger professionals entered for the first time, including an Australian, Horace Lindrum, the nephew of Walter Lindrum, the reigning World Billiards Champion. Joe Davis and Horace Lindrum won all their matches easily and met in the final. Davis had won one of his matches 29–2 after taking a winning 16–0 lead Lindrum won his semi-final by the same score, 29–2, making a break of 101, although, like Davis's record 110 break, it was made in a dead frame. In the final Lindrum led 26–24 at the start of the final day and then won the first frame on the last day. However Davis won the last ten frames in a row to win 34–27, having won the match 31–27.

Qualifying was introduced for the first time in 1937 and, with 9 entries, two players were chosen to play a qualification match to reduce the field to 8. The two were Fred Davis, Joe's younger brother and Bill Withers, an unknown Welsh professional. Withers won the match 17–14, a defeat that Fred put down to ignoring his worsening eyesight. Unfortunately for Withers he met Joe in the quarter-finals. Davis won the first two frames before Withers won the third, doubling the final black to win the frame. This was to be Withers last frame as Davis won the next 14 to win the match 16–1. Davis then won the remaining 14 dead frames, to win 28 frames in succession. Davis and Horace Lindrum were not troubled in reaching the final, which was a repeat of 1936. Lindrum led 17–13 at the half-way stage, but Davis recovered to win the match 32–29. Davis made a break of 103 in the final, the first championship century in live play.

Horace Lindrum chose not to enter in 1938 and Joe Davis won easily, beating Sidney Smith in the final. In his semi-final Davis made breaks of 104 and 96 in successive frames and finished the winning frame in the final with a 98 clearance. Brothers Joe and Fred Davis met at the semi-final stage in 1939. Joe won but Fred had the satisfaction of making a 113 clearance, a new record break for the championship, Joe met Sidney Smith in the final for the second successive year. Joe again won comfortably, taking a winning 37–25 early on the final day.The 1940 Championship was played during the "Phoney War" stage of World War II. Joe and Fred Davis met in the final. Joe led 15–10 but then Fred won 11 frames in succession to lead 21–15.On the final day Joe made a 101 break to take a winning 37–35 lead. The spectators cheered for nearly a minute when Joe made his century.In October 1940, during The Blitz, Thurston's Hall was destroyed by a parachute mine which demolished the south-western corner of Leicester Square no tournaments were played during the remainder of World War II.

The World Snooker Championship - Sponsored by Betfred

Post-war era (1946–52)

1946Joe Davis
1947Walter Donaldson
1948Fred Davis
1949Fred Davis
1950Walter Donaldson
1951Fred Davis
1952Horace Lindrum

The championship resumed in 1946 and Joe Davis met Horace Lindrum in the final, a repeat of 1936 and 1937. The final was organised on a much larger scale than anything previously. The Royal Horticultural Hall in London was converted to a snooker venue, seating 1,250. The match was extended from one week to two, allowing up to 30,000 spectators to be accommodated with prices ranging from 5s to £3. Davis maintained a small lead throughout and won, early on the final day, leading 73–62. Davis made six centuries in the final, setting new championship records of 133 and 136. The event proved a financial success for the players, Davis receiving £1,800 and Lindrum £550 together with the championship table and all the equipment, their share of the gate receipts.

In October 1946 Joe Davis announced that he would "retire" from the World Championship. Davis had never lost a match in the championship from its inception in 1927. He did not, in any other sense, retire from snooker, continuing to play in other tournaments and exhibition matches for many years. There were a record 20 entries for the 1947 championship. 13 had to play in a qualifying competition, the winner joining the other 7 in the quarter-finals. The semi-finals were completed by the middle of March but the two finalists, Fred Davis and Walter Donaldson, agreed to delay the final until the autumn so that it could be played at the rebuilt Thurston's Hall, now renamed Leicester Square Hall. The final was again over 145 frames and was played from 13 to 25 October. Donaldson got off to a good start, leading 44–28 after the first week and eventually taking a winning 73–49 lead early on the 11th day. The first qualifying match for the 1948 championship started just 5 weeks later. Fred Davis and Walter Donaldson again reached the final. This time it was Davis who got off to a good start, leading 45–27 after the first week. The second week was closer but Davis eventually took a winning 73–49 lead on the 11th day. Fred Davis and Walter Donaldson met again in the 1949 final. Donaldson led 39–33 after the first week but Davis pulled ahead on the second week and eventually took a winning 73–58 lead.

After three finals at Leicester Square Hall the 1950 final moved to Blackpool Tower Circus, moving out of London for the first time since 1934. The final was reduced to 97 frames over 8 days. Fred Davis and Walter Donaldson met, yet again, in the final. The score was level at 18–18 after three days but Donaldson pulled ahead to lead 45–39 at the start of the last day. Donaldson won 4 of the first 7 frames on the final day to lead 49–42 and win back the championship. The 1951 final was a repeat of the 1950 final, same venue and another Fred Davis/Walter Donaldson contest. Davis led 44–28 after six days and, although Donaldson won 8 of the 12 frames on the seventh day, Davis won comfortably early on the final day.

Following a dispute between the Professional Billiards Players' Association (PBPA) and the Billiards Association and Control Council (BACC), members of the PBPA boycotted the championship. The BACC thought the championship should be primarily a matter of honour, and financial considerations should come second. As a consequence of the boycott there were only two entries, Australian Horace Lindrum and New Zealander Clark McConachy. Both players were well past their best. McConachy had played in the recent News of the World Tournament but had performed badly, losing all 8 of his matches. Although Lindrum did not play in the News of the World Tournament, he had been receiving more generous starts in recent handicap tournaments and had even withdrawn from a tournament in 1950, complaining about his overly generous handicap which gave the public the wrong impression about his ability. Lindrum won the championship easily, reaching a winning 73–37 position early on the 10th day, becoming the first non-British player to win the World Championship.

The World Snooker Championship - Sponsored by Betfred

World Professional Match-play Championship (1952–57)

1952Fred Davis
1953Fred Davis
1954Fred Davis
1955Fred Davis
1956Fred Davis
1957John Pulman

Having boycotted the official championship, the Professional Billiards Players' Association (PBPA) established their own championship called the PBPA Snooker Championship which attracted 9 entries. The entries did not include Joe Davis, who chose not to enter the new tournament. Fred Davis and Walter Donaldson were given byes to the semi-final stage. They both reached the final again, although Donaldson had a close match against Albert Brown. The final was over 73 frames and was held at Blackpool Tower Circus. Davis had the best of the first four days and led 29–19. Donaldson won 16 frames on the last two days but Davis held on to win the championship. Davis made a break of 140 in the final, a record for championship play, beating brother Joe's 136 set in 1946. The second unofficial championship was called the 1953 World Professional Match-play Championship and resulted in another final between Fred Davis and Walter Donaldson. The 71-frame final and was the last held at Leicester Square Hall before its closure in 1955. The match was tied at 33–33 at the start of the final session but Davis was again successful. Fred Davis and Walter Donaldson met in the 1954 final, held in Manchester, the eighth successive final between the pair. The final was the most one-sided of the eight finals, Davis taking a winning 36–15 lead early on the fifth day.

After his heavy defeat in 1954 Walter Donaldson chose not to enter in 1955. Fred Davis met John Pulman in the final at Blackpool Tower Circus. Davis got off to a good start and held on to win his seventh championship. Fred Davis and John Pulman met again in the 1956 final, played again in Blackpool. The match was again close but Davis won for the eighth time. The 1957 championship attracted only four entries and was held over two weeks in Jersey. Fred Davis, the reigning champion, could not afford to travel such a distance and did not enter. John Pulman beat Jackie Rea in the final to win his first world title. In the recent News of the World Tournament Pulman had been handicapped as the fourth strongest player. None of the three higher-handicapped players (Joe Davis, Fred Davis and Walter Donaldson) played in the championship and, with little interest in the event, there was no championship in 1958.

Challenge matches (1964–68)

April 1964John Pulman
October 1964John Pulman
March 1965John Pulman
late 1965John Pulman
late 1965John Pulman
April 1966John Pulman
March 1968John Pulman

No world championship, official or unofficial, was held between 1958 and 1963 but in 1964, with the approval of the BACC, the championship was revived on a challenge basis. The first contest was played in Burroughes Hall, London in April 1964 between 40-year-old John Pulman and 50-year-old Fred Davis. Pulman won the 37-frame match 19–16 to become the official world champion. Pulman won two further challenge matches played at Burroughes Hall, beating Rex Williams in October 1964 and then Fred Davis again in March 1965.

In late 1965 John Pulman and Rex Williams played a long series of short matches in South Africa. Pulman won 25 of the 47 matches to retain the title. Williams set a new championship record with a break of 142 in the 24th match. After this series of matches Pulman played the South African Fred Van Rensburg, winning 39 frames to 12. Back in England, Fred Davis met John Pulman for the third time. There were 7 separate matches played in Liverpool. Pulman won 4 of the first 6 matches to retain the title.

After April 1966 there were no more contests until Australian Eddie Charlton challenged John Pulman and the pair met in a 73-frame match in Bolton, played in March 1968. Pulman led 19–17 at the half-way stage but then pulled ahead and won the match 37–28. This was to be the last challenge match as the championship then reverted to a knock-out format.

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Knockout tournaments (1969–76)

1969John Spencer
1970Ray Reardon
1971John Spencer
1972Alex Higgins
1973Ray Reardon
1974Ray Reardon
1975Ray Reardon
1976Ray Reardon

In 1969 the WPBSA took over regulation of the professional game from the BACC and staged a knockout tournament. 8 professionals entered, 4 from the 1950s and 4 new professionals. The first match, played in late 1968 saw the end of John Pulman's reign as champion, beaten by one of the new professionals, John Spencer. Spencer led 24–18 after the final afternoon session and clinched the match by winning the first frame in the evening with a 97 break. Spencer and another of the new professionals, Gary Owen met in the final at the Victoria Hall in London. Spencer won the 73-frame final 37–24. Spencer lost to Ray Reardon at the semi-final stage of the 1970 Championship. Reardon went on to win the final against John Pulman to win his first title.

The next world championship was held in Australia in late 1970. For the only time there was a group stage with 9 players, the top 4 moving on to a knock-out stage. Ray Reardon and John Spencer met in one semi-final with Spencer winning easily. The other semi-final was between two Australians, Warren Simpson and Eddie Charlton. Simpson caused a major upset by beating Charlton. In the final in Sydney, Spencer led throughout and won the 6-day final 37–29. 1972 saw the emergence of Alex Higgins. winning his two qualifying matches he beat John Pulman, Rex Williams and then Spencer in the final to win the title at his first attempt. At 22 years, 345 days Higgins was the youngest world champion. Previously only Joe Davis had won the title while under the age of 30, being 26 years, 27 days when he won in 1927.

The 1973 Championship marked a change in format, with the tournament played over two weeks at a single venue rather than over an extended period. 16 played in the first round, the 8 winners playing 8 seeded players in the second round. In the semi-finals, defending champion Alex Higgins lost 23–9 to Eddie Charlton while Ray Reardon beat John Spencer 23–22. In the 5-day final Charlton led 7–0 after the opening session but Reardon led 17–13 after two days. The match continued to be close but Reardon pulled ahead on the final day to win 38–32, for his second title. The 1974 Championship followed a similar format but with somewhat shorter matches and event reduced to 10 days. 60-year-old Fred Davis beat Alex Higgins in the quarter-finals before losing to Ray Reardon. Reardon met Graham Miles in the 3-day final. Reardon led 17–11 after two days and won comfortably 22–12.

The 1975 Championship was held in Australia. Twenty-seven players competed including 8 from Australia, 16 from the United Kingdom, two from Canada and one from South Africa. Ray Reardon beat John Spencer and Alex Higgins to reach the final where he met Eddie Charlton. The final was held near Melbourne but matches were held in many locations, the semi-finals having been held in Canberra and Brisbane. In the final Reardon won 10 of the 12 frames on the second day to lead 16–8 but Charlton won the first 9 frames on day 3 to lead. Reardon then led 23–21 before Charlton won 8 frames in a row to lead 29–23, needing just 2 of the last 9 frames to win. However Reardon then won 7 frames in a row to lead again and, although Charlton levelled the match at 30–30, Reardon won the deciding frame.

The 1976 World Snooker Championship was held at two venues; half the draw was held in Middlesbrough and half in Manchester, which also hosted the final. Alex Higgins won three close matches to reach the final, where he met Ray Reardon. Reardon led 24–15 at the start of the last day and, winning 3 of the first 4 frames, took the title 27–16, his fourth successive title. There were a number of problems during the tournament including the standard of the tables. This was the first year the championship was sponsored under the cigarette brand Embassy.

Crucible era starts (1977–80)

1977John Spencer
1978Ray Reardon
1979Terry Griffiths
1980Cliff Thorburn

In 1977 the championship was played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield where it has remained ever since. 16 players competed, 8 seeds being joined by 8 qualifiers. John Spencer beat defending champion Ray Reardon 13–6 in the quarter-finals. and met Cliff Thorburn in the final. The final was close with the score being 9–9 after the first day and 18–18 after two days. Spencer led 22–20 after the first session on the final day and pulled ahead to win 25–21 in the final session. Defending champion John Spencer lost to Perrie Mans in the first round of the 1978 championship. Eddie Charlton beat Cliff Thorburn 13–12 in the quarter-finals, winning the last 5 frames, but lost to Ray Reardon in the semi-finals. Charlton led 12–9 after three sessions but Reardon won all 7 frames in the fourth session and eventually won 18–14. In the other semi-final Perrie Mans met 64-year-old Fred Davis and won 18–16. Ray Reardon won the final 25–18 to win the championship for the sixth time. At 45 years, 203 days Reardon became the oldest World Champion. The first seven players to win the World Snooker Championship all won a championship in their 40s, the last of which was Reardon. No player since has won in their 40s.

The 1979 championship was won by Terry Griffiths. Griffiths had only been a professional for 7 months and played two qualifying matches to reach the Crucible. In the semi-final Griffiths was trailing 16–17 to Eddie Charlton, before winning 19–17 at 1.40 am, and then beat Dennis Taylor 24–16 in the final, winning the record first prize of £10,000. Bill Werbeniuk made a break of 142 in his quarter-final match against John Virgo, equalling the championship record set by Rex Williams set in South Africa in 1965. The 1980 championship was extended to 24 players. Players seeded 9 to 16 met a qualifier in the first round, the winner meeting one of the top 8 seeds in the second round. A number of changes were made to accommodate the extra matches, including reducing the final to 35 frames. In the final Cliff Thorburn met Alex Higgins. The match was level at 9–9 after the first day and level again at 13–13 after the final afternoon session. During the evening session the scores was tied at 16–16 before Thorburn made a 119 clearance in frame 33 and a break of 51 in frame 34 to win the championship.

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Steve Davis years (1981–89)

1981Steve Davis
1982Alex Higgins
1983Steve Davis
1984Steve Davis
1985Dennis Taylor
1986Joe Johnson
1987Steve Davis
1988Steve Davis
1989Steve Davis

Despite being the number 13 seed, Steve Davis was the favourite for the 1981 championship. Davis won a close match 10–8 against Jimmy White in the first round and beat three past world champions to meet 14th seed Doug Mountjoy in the final. Davis won the first six frames of the final but only led 10–8 at the end of the first day. Davis led 14–12 at the start of the final evening session and won the first four frames to win 18–12. At 23-years-old, Davis was the second youngest champion. Doug Mountjoy set a new championship record of 145 during his semi-final match against Ray Reardon.

The 1982 championship was extended to 32 players with 16 seeded players and 16 qualifiers. There was a surprise in the first round when Tony Knowles beat defending champion Steve Davis 10–1. In the semi-finals Jimmy White led 15–14 and 59–0 before missing an easy red with the rest. Higgins then made a 69 clearance and then won the deciding frame to reach the final. Higgins met Ray Reardon in the final. The score was 15–15 before Higgins won three frames in a row to win the championship, finishing with a clearance of 135, thereby denying Reardon the chance to win a seventh world title.

Cliff Thorburn made the first maximum break in the world championship in 1983 during his second round match against Terry Griffiths. The importance of this achievement at the time is demonstrated by the fact that play was stopped on the other table. This was the break that gave the World Championship one of its most iconic words of commentary, "oh, good luck mate" on the final black, courtesy of Jack Karnehm. Thorburn beat Griffiths in a final frame decider, a match that finished at 03:51, the latest ever finish for a match at the Crucible. Thorburn then also won his quarter-final and semi-final matches in the deciding frame. Exhausted and deflated by the news that his wife had suffered a miscarriage meant that the final against Steve Davis was one-sided with Davis winning 18–6. The 1984 final was between Steve Davis and Jimmy White, in his first final. Davis led 12–4 after the first day but White won 7 of the 8 frames on the final afternoon. Davis led 16–12 at the evening interval and, despite a comeback from White, Davis won 18–16.

In the 1985 final, Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis 18–17 on the final ball of the final frame, in one of the most closely contested matches of all time. It finished at 00:19. With an audience of 18.5 million, it remains the most watched programme in the history of BBC2, as well as the record post-midnight audience for any channel in the United Kingdom. In the 1986 final Steve Davis met 16th seed Joe Johnson. Johnson led 13–11 at the start of the evening session and won 5 of the first 6 frames to win 18–12. Johnson had trailed 9–12 in his quarter-final against Terry Griffiths but won the last 4 frames to win 13–12. Joe Johnson and Steve Davis met again in the 1987 final although, on this occasion, Davis was the winner by a score of 18–14.

Steve Davis and Terry Griffiths met in the 1988 final. The score was 8–8 after the first day but Davis pulled ahead on the final day and won 18–11. Steve Davis made his 7th successive final in 1989 meeting John Parrott. Davis led 13–3 after the first day and won the first five frames on the final day to win 18–3. Davis won £105,000 for his victory, a new record.

Hendry dominates (1990–99)

1990Stephen Hendry
1991John Parrott
1992Stephen Hendry
1993Stephen Hendry
1994Stephen Hendry
1995Stephen Hendry
1996Stephen Hendry
1997Ken Doherty
1998John Higgins
1999Stephen Hendry

In 1990 Steve Davis failed to reach the final for the first time since 1982, losing in the semi-finals 16–14 to Jimmy White. In the final Stephen Hendry beat White 18–12 becoming, at 21 years, 106 days, the youngest ever world champion. In 1991 Hendry, the number 1 seed, lost in the quarter-finals to Steve James. The final was between John Parrott and Jimmy White, Parrott winning 18–11.

In 1992 Jimmy White became the second player to make a maximum break in the world championship, during his 10–4 first round win over Tony Drago. Defending champion John Parrott beat 10–0 Eddie Charlton, the only whitewash in the Crucible era. Stephen Hendry met Jimmy White in the final. White led 14–8 but Hendry won 10 frames in a row frame to win 18–14. In 1993, James Wattana, from Thailand, became the first Asian player to the reach the semi-finals, where he lost to Jimmy White. The final was one-sided, with Stephen Hendry beating White 18–5. Total prize money reached £1,000,000 for the first time.

In 1994 Jimmy White reached his sixth final, meeting Stephen Hendry for the fourth time in the final. Hendry led 5–1 but White won 6 frames in a row to lead 7–5. Thereafter the match was always close and the match went to a final frame. White missed a black off the spot, after which Hendry made a break of 58 to clinch the title. Fergal O'Brien made a century in his first frame at the Crucible, the only player to do so. In 1995 Hendry and White met in the semi-finals, where Hendry won again, making a maximum break during the match. In the other semi-final Nigel Bond beat unseeded Andy Hicks. In the final, The final was initially close until Hendry won 9 frames in a row to take the score from 5–5 to 14–5. Hendry eventually won 18–9. Hendry made a record 12 century breaks during the tournament.

In 1996 Peter Ebdon reached the final beating Jimmy White, Steve Davis and Ronnie O'Sullivan on the way. He met Stephen Hendry in the final. Ebdon led 4–2 in the early stages but Hendry eventually won 18–12 to win his fifth successive title. There were 48 century breaks during the final stages, a new record. In the first round of 1997 championship Ronnie O'Sullivan made the fastest maximum break in snooker history, taking just 5 minutes and 20 seconds. The final was between Stephen Hendry and Irishman Ken Doherty. Doherty led 15–7 before Hendry won 5 frames in a row. Doherty then won the next three frames to win 18–12, ending Hendry's winning run of 29 consecutive matches.

Stephen Hendry lost to Jimmy White in the first round of the 1998 championship. Doherty reached the final again meeting 22-year-old John Higgins. Higgins won 18–12, making 5 centuries in the final. There were 59 centuries during the tournament of which Higgins made 14, both records. The following year, Stephen Hendry won his seventh and final world title, the most in the modern era. In the final he beat Mark Williams 18–11. In the semi-final between Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan each player made 4 century breaks, the 8 centuries being a record for a world championship match.

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The class of '92 (2000–13)

2000Mark Williams
2001Ronnie O'Sullivan
2002Peter Ebdon
2003Mark Williams
2004Ronnie O'Sullivan
2005Shaun Murphy
2006Graeme Dott
2007John Higgins
2008Ronnie O'Sullivan
2009John Higgins
2010Neil Robertson
2011John Higgins
2012Ronnie O'Sullivan
2013Ronnie O'Sullivan

The period from 2000 to 2013 was dominated by three players, all born in 1975 and all turning professional in 1992. Ronnie O'Sullivan won five times in this period, John Higgins three times and Mark Williams twice. Higgins had also won in 1998.

In 2000 Stephen Hendry was beaten 10–7 in the first round by Crucible debutant Stuart Bingham. In his semi-final Mark Williams trailed 11–15 to John Higgins but took 6 frames in a row to win 17–15. In the final Williams met fellow Welshman Matthew Stevens. Stevens led 13–7 but Williams made another comeback to win 18–16, becoming the first left-handed champion.

Ronnie O'Sullivan won his first world championship in 2001, defeating John Higgins 18–14 in the final. O'Sullivan led 14–7 before Higgins won four frames in a row. O'Sullivan looked likely to win the title in the 31st frame as he led 17–13 and 69–6. However he missed a red in the middle pocket and Higgins won the frame with a break of 65. Higgins made a break of 45 in frame 32 but O'Sullivan made an 80 break to take the title.

Stephen Hendry beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 17–13 in the semi-final of the 2002 Championship, Hendry reaching his ninth final. Peter Ebdon beat Matthew Stevens 17–16 in the other semi-final. Stevens led 16–14 but Ebdon won the last 3 frames. The final went to the deciding frame where Ebdon made a break of 59 and clinched the title. There were a record 68 centuries in the tournament including a record 16 by Stephen Hendry who made 5 in the semi-final and a further 4 in the final.

Mark Williams won his second World title in 2003 by defeating Ken Doherty 18–16 in the final. Prize money peaked in 2003 with the winner receiving a record £270,000 and the 32 Crucible players getting at least £15,000. Ronnie O'Sullivan made the fifth maximum break in the World Championship, becoming the first player to score two 147s in the event.

Ronnie O'Sullivan won his second world title in 2004 by defeating Graeme Dott 18–8 in the final, despite Dott having led 5–0.

Shaun Murphy won the 2005 championship by defeating Matthew Stevens 18–16 in the final. Murphy was only the second qualifier to win the World Championship, after Terry Griffiths in 1979. Murphy won 2 qualifying matches and then 5 matches at the Crucible to take the title.

Graeme Dott beat Peter Ebdon 18–14 in the 2006 final. The match finished at 00:52 am, the latest finish in the final. This was the first Championship sponsored by a betting company after the banning of tobacco sponsorship. Dott won £200,000 for his victory with the 32 Crucible players getting at least £9,600, both significant reductions on the 2003 prize money. In the last round of the qualifying competition Robert Milkins had the first 147 break made during qualifying for the championship. Despite his maximum, Milkins lost to Mark Selby.

The 2007 Championship was won by John Higgins who beat qualifier Mark Selby 18–13 in the final. The match finished at 00:55 am, even later than the 2006 final and setting another record for the latest finish in the final. Shaun Murphy came back from 7–12 down to win his quarter-final match against Matthew Stevens, but lost in the deciding frame of his semi-final to Mark Selby.

The 2008 Championship was won by Ronnie O'Sullivan who beat Ali Carter 18–8 in the final. Both O'Sullivan and Carter had made maximum breaks earlier in the tournament, the first time there had been two 147 breaks in the same World Championship. It was O'Sullivan's third maximum in the Championship.

John Higgins won his third world title in 2009, beating Shaun Murphy 18–9 in the final. Michaela Tabb refereed the final, becoming the first woman to do so in a World Championship final. There were a record 83 century breaks in the Championship, well ahead of the previous highest of 68. Stephen Hendry won his 1000th frame at the Crucible Theatre, the first play to do so. The championship included the longest ever frame at the Crucible which lasted 74 minutes 58 seconds between Stephen Maguire and Mark King.

The 2010 Championship was won by Neil Robertson who beat qualifier Graeme Dott 18–13 in the final, becoming the fourth non-British winner of the title after Horace Lindrum, Cliff Thorburn and Ken Doherty.

John Higgins won his fourth world title in 2011, beating Judd Trump 18–15 in the final. 21-year-old Trump became the youngest finalist since Stephen Hendry in 1990. Trump had beaten David Gilbert in the qualifying competition and then defeated defending champion Neil Robertson in the first round.

Ronnie O'Sullivan won his fourth world title in 2012, defeating Ali Carter 18–11 in the final. On the opening day Hendry made his third maximum break at the Crucible, equalling Ronnie O'Sullivan's record. He announced his retirement from professional snooker following his loss to Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals. Aged 17 years, 45 days, Luca Brecel became the youngest player to compete at the Crucible.

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan retained the title in 2013 despite having played only one competitive match all season. He defeated Barry Hawkins 18–12 in the final to win the title for the fifth time. He broke Hendry's record of 127 career Crucible centuries, finishing the tournament with 131. He also became the first player to make six century breaks in a Crucible final.

Mark Selby: Three wins in four years (2014–17)

2014Mark Selby
2015Stuart Bingham
2016Mark Selby
2017Mark Selby

Mark Selby won the world title in 2014 by beating defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan 18–14 in the final, having trailed 5–10. Selby won a record £300,000 for his victory; the prize exceeding the previous highest of £270,000 in 2003, although prize money for first round losers remained at £12,000.

Selby lost 9–13 in the second round of the 2015 Championship to Crucible debutant Anthony McGill. Stuart Bingham won the title, defeating Ronnie O'Sullivan 13–9 in the quarter-finals, Judd Trump 17–16 in the semi-finals, and Shaun Murphy 18–15 in the final to win the first world title of his 20-year professional career. At the age of 38, Bingham became the oldest player to win the title since Ray Reardon in 1978. The tournament set a new record for the most century breaks made at the Crucible, with 86.

Defending champion Stuart Bingham lost 9–10 against Ali Carter in the first round of the 2016 Championship. Mark Selby defeated Ding Junhui 18–14 in the final to claim his second world title. Ding was the first Asian player to reach a World Championship final. There were 86 century breaks made during the Championship, equalling the record set in 2015. A new record of 10 centuries in a professional match was set in the semi-final between Ding Junhui and Alan McManus, with Ding also setting a new record of 7 centuries by one player in a World Championship match. Mark Selby and Marco Fu set a new record for the longest frame of snooker ever played at the Crucible, 76 minutes 11 seconds.

Prize money for the 2017 Championship was a record £1,750,000 with the winner receiving £375,000. Prize money for first round losers was a record £16,000, exceeding the £15,000 players received in 2003. In a high-quality and tightly contested semi-final, defending champion Mark Selby beat Ding Junhui 17–15 in a repeat of the previous year's final. Selby met John Higgins, in a repeat of the 2007 final. Higgins was the second oldest Crucible finalist at 41 years, 348 days; only Ray Reardon had been older. Selby trailed 4–10 during the second session but then won 12 of the next 14 frames to lead 16–12. Higgins won the next three frames but Selby took the title 18–15, becoming champion for the third time in four years, joining Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, and Ronnie O'Sullivan as the only men to have successfully defended the title since its move to the Crucible

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Top performers of the modern era

The 'modern' era is considered to start in 1969, when the championship reverted to a knock-out tournament format from a challenge format. In the modern game, the best record is that of Stephen Hendry, who won seven times in the 1990s. Steve Davis won six times in the 1980s, as did Ray Reardon in the 1970s.

or better
Stephen Hendry Scotland721232725.9%
Steve Davis England621103020.0%
Ray Reardon Wales611001931.6%
Ronnie O'Sullivan England511132620.0%
John Higgins Scotland42802417.4%
John Spencer England31601816.7%
Mark Selby England31501423.1%
Alex Higgins Northern Ireland22701910.5%
Mark Williams Wales21512010.5%
Cliff Thorburn Canada1261195.3%
Peter Ebdon England1240244.2%
Shaun Murphy England1240166.7%
Ken Doherty Ireland1230195.3%
Graeme Dott Scotland1230195.6%
Dennis Taylor Northern Ireland1150214.8%
Terry Griffiths Wales1130195.3%
John Parrott England1130233.3%
Joe Johnson England1120812.5%
Neil Robertson Australia1030147.8%
Stuart Bingham England1010129.1%
Jimmy White England06101250%
Eddie Charlton Australia0280210%
Matthew Stevens Wales0260160%
Ali Carter England0231160%
Barry Hawkins England0140130%
Ding Junhui China0130120%
Judd Trump England013090%
Nigel Bond England0120150%
Perrie Mans South Africa0120130%
Gary Owen Wales012070%
John Pulman England0120110%
Graham Miles England0110120%
Doug Mountjoy Wales0110170%
Warren Simpson Australia011040%
  • Active players are shown in bold.
  • Only players who reached the final are included.
  • In the event of identical records, players are sorted in alphabetical order by family name.


Bookmaker Betfred is the current sponsor

Except for two championships played in Australia, all championships from 1969 to 2005 were sponsored by tobacco companies. In 1969 and 1970 the championship was sponsored by John Player under the brand Player's No.6. The Gallaher Group sponsored under the brand Park Drive from 1972 to 1974, while from 1976 to 2005 Imperial Tobacco sponsored under the brand Embassy. Legislation in 2003 placed restrictions on tobacco advertising, including sponsorship of sporting events. Embassy received special dispensation to continue snooker sponsorship until 2005.

Since 2006 all championships have been sponsored by betting companies. In 2006 took over the sponsorship of the event, and they signed a five-year deal, but pulled out after just three years. were the sponsor from 2009 to 2012, followed by Betfair in 2013, Dafabet in 2014 and by Betfred again, from 2015 to 2018.

Television coverage

Before the world championship moved to the Crucible in 1977, TV coverage was very limited. In the 1950s, the BBC occasionally showed snooker on television, including 30-minute programmes of the 1953 and 1955 finals, with commentary by Sidney Smith. Despite the launch of Pot Black in 1969 there was little coverage of the World Championship. There was some coverage of the 1973, 1974 and 1976 championships in Manchester on one or two Saturday afternoon Grandstand programmes each year. Commentary was by Ted Lowe.

BBC TV coverage for the first Crucible championship in 1977 was increased but was limited to highlights of the semi-finals and some coverage of the final on Grandstand and a late night highlights programme. The commentator was Ted Lowe with the highlight programmes presented by Alan Weeks. The 1978 championship was the first to have daily BBC TV coverage with 14 nightly highlights programmes as well as Saturday afternoon coverage on Grandstand. Ted Lowe commentated while the programmes were presented by David Vine and Alan Weeks. In 1979, TV coverage was extended to include an early-evening "Frame of the Day" as well as live coverage of parts of the final. David Vine was the presenter while the commentary team was extended to include Jack Karnehm and Clive Everton. In 1980, TV coverage included daily live coverage for the first time. Coverage of the final was interrupted to bring live coverage of the Iranian Embassy Siege.

David Vine continued to be the main host for BBC TV coverage until 2000. For some years commentary was primarily by Ted Lowe, Clive Everton and Jack Karnehm although John Pulman, Vera Selby and others were used. In 1986 Jim Meadowcroft, John Spencer and John Virgo were used as summarisers. From 2001 to 2009 the BBC coverage was hosted by Hazel Irvine or Ray Stubbs. From 2010 Hazel Irvine took over with highlights presented by Rishi Persad. In February 2013, the BBC announced that Rishi Persad had been replaced by Jason Mohammad. Commentators have included Willie Thorne, Dennis Taylor, John Virgo, John Parrott, Steve Davis, Ken Doherty, Stephen Hendry, Terry Griffiths and Neal Foulds.

In January 2013, it was announced that the BBC had renewed their contract to broadcast the Triple Crown tournaments up until the end of the 2016/2017 season. Eurosport also provides coverage of the event, with commentators including Joe Johnson, Mike Hallett, Neal Foulds and Alan McManus. Often Eurosport cover both matches simultaneously on their two British Eurosport channels.

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sports betting

The Ugly Truth about Online Sportsbook Reviews

As a gambling industry commentator, I’ve spent most of my life talking about Sportsbooks, Casinos, and Bingo sites.  Heck, I’ve even spent a whole lot of time chatting about lotteries of all things.  The underlying theme and of course, the awful truth behind all of it, is always the same.  And it almost always will be.

The gambling industry as a whole relies heavily on partnerships with online affiliates.  How this works is pretty simple.  People not dissimilar to us create and develop websites that offer potential players information regarding the gambling product in question and then send those potential players on to the operator and take a percentage of the net revenue created.  I’m sure that you, as a reader and likely someone who is interested in finding a genuinely good betting home for yourself finds this to be a reasonable proposition.  After all, it’s the affiliate that’s put in all the hard work here, collected the information, wrote about it in a good manner, and marketed their website and so on.  And actually, I would completely agree with you.  On the surface, this is a great business model.  Players get the operator that’s right for them, affiliates create an income and operators get new business.

Unfortunately you don’t have to dig too far beyond the surface to discover that actually, the truth is far from the rosy picture of free market capitalism that’s painted above.

So let’s get the shovel out....

5 Reasons Most of what you read online about Sportsbooks is untrue

The Ugly Truth Revealed

1 - Top 10 Lists.

The vast majority of affiliates do not decide on which Sportsbooks to promote by testing them out to find out which is the best.  It’s not based on user friendliness, customer service, interesting design, trustworthiness, strong promotions or whatever other scoring factor you come across online.  Actually it’s based on just three things.  The level of commission offered by the operator, how many clicks turn in to registrations and how many registrations become depositors.  When you read about an online Sportsbook on almost any gambling comparison website...  The reason that Sportsbook is there is based on the above. 

I hope that you’ll agree when I suggest that this culture of monetization reaches a level of dishonestly that’s on the wrong side of any imaginary red line you may have preconceptions of.  (there are no red lines).

2 - Misleading Statements

Something that I’m sure you see quite often when your browsing through Google search results are terms like “best odds only at” or “xyz free bet only available through us”.  Both these things are almost always untrue.  Certainly the best odds element.  Odds are fluid things that are constantly changing all over the market.  It’s a little like saying, invest in Apple, the fastest growing stock in the exchange, and simply stating it as a fact that will last till the end of time.  Except what makes it even worse is that by the time the affiliate has hit upload on their WordPress dashboard, the statement is probably already false.  

The other side to this is the idea that you can only get “xyz free bet or offer” if you click through a certain website.  Well let me be the bearer of some news here.  If you simply go directly to the Sportbook itself and straight up ask them for that offer, they will be happy to give you it.

3 - Search Engines

When you Google a term like, “best no deposit Sportsbook”, the web pages you are given know exactly what you want.  They know essentially which category of player you fit in to and even the kind of strategies required to make you more likely to deposit and not just register and take the free bet.  Moreover, they have no interest in showing you genuinely good free bets.  Far from it.  In fact, it’s often the case that you’ll find an array of sportsbooks that either offer a low minimum deposit (and no free bet), or a choice of actual free bets which are so wrapped up in terms and conditions you’ll likely end up depositing anyway.

Is that providing a real answer to your search query?  I don’t think so.

The same is true on the opposite end of the scale.  If you search for a term along the lines of “best high roller Sportsbooks”, you won’t find a list of Sportsbooks that are highly suitable to the needs of higher stakes gambling.  Instead, you’ll find a sales funnel that is conversion rate driven and completely based around the psychology of the typical higher stakes bettor.  So it’s completely true that even before you click one of your Google search results, you are already being categorised in to a group that will be more likely to make “us” a profit if presented with XYZ.

Is that providing a real answer to your search query?  I don’t think so.

4 - Unlicensed Gambling

Perhaps that’s a term that you’re not too familiar with.  But let’s be clear here.  All affiliates, good and bad, are very familiar with this term.  Essentially we’re talking about a Casino, Sportsbook, Bingo site or any gambling operator which is operating without a licence in a country that requires a licence to do so.  Generally the law is bypassed by operating the gambling site from an offshore country untouchable by the law of the land it’s promoting to.

Ladies and gentlemen, these operators are everywhere.  Some of the big names you spin slots at, place bets at, maybe every day... could well be one of them.  These operators don’t have to be bound by the rigorous terms and conditions regime required by the likes of the UK Gambling Commission, and you certainly wouldn’t be able to act on it if you won a £1,000,000 progressive slot and they didn’t pay.

But then if you think back...  Why didn’t the website you seen the ad on tell you about this underground scandal which has swept through the industry from day 1?  Surely it’s the responsibility of marketers to lay bare to this obviously vital information.

Well...  In case you hadn’t already worked it out.  These operators tend to pay a higher commission, so very often the affiliates are the last people willing to talk about them.

5 - Social Media Affiliates

This is a breed of affiliate that will very rarely allow their audience to even know that they are an affiliate (something I deem to be completely wrong). They will more often than not call themselves tipsters.

Now I won’t deny the truth of the fact that there are some excellent tipsters out there.  For instance, we don’t tip very often but we hired the services of a professional for our Cheltenham piece which eclipsed 90% in success.  But this wasn’t done for profit; we’d have made more money if everyone simply lost.  We did this because we believe in what this industry is supposed to be.  A hub of information on the side of the player and the operators with the leaning always going towards the player, never the other way around.  And of course we made it abundantly clear that these are just suggestions in case the reader just doesn’t know anything about the horses.

The unfortunate truth about tipsters, often even the good ones.  Is that they are encouraging an increased feeling in the prospective player that they are likely to win.  A player which has clicked through and deposited to a Sportsbook on the advice of a tipster, feels more certain of winnings than one that didn’t.  Maybe that’s stating the obvious but it’s important talk about.  Because it’s wrong.  These players have no more chance of winning than the next guy.  No tipster is good enough to make that true, unless of course their name is Mystic Meg!  So in my humble opinion, tipsters are doing wrong by players here and it goes against the very fabric of what we’re supposed to be doing as affiliates.

There’s Nothing Quite like the Truth

Now that you’re fully aware of the truth about Sportsbook marketing, I truly do hope that you feel a little refreshed.  Certainly now you have a few more tools with which to use when making your next  choice when it’s time to bet on that exciting derby games, or “that” horse your mate keeps banging on about.  What was the name again?  Do email us!

So now let’s talk about a few industry secrets you can make use of to genuinely get the most from your betting experience.  A couple of interesting ‘hacks’ if you will.

The 3 Sportsbook Hacks that Nobody is Talking About

You didn’t get them from me... no, really!

1 - Free bets and bonuses

The retention and acquisition department of any Sportsbook worth its salt is always inexplicably linked with the customer service department (we call them the CRM guys).  9 times out of 10, the decision on an enhanced bonus or an extra free bet is nothing more than a swivel of the computer chair and a quick question away for the person you’re talking with on live chat.  Customer service at an online gambling operator is no different from the customer service at your phone or electricity supplier.  You can push them for a better deal!  They don’t want to lose your business.  So if you ever feel like trying it...  Here’s the killer chat.

You: “Hi there, I just signed up and wanted to have a quick chat”

Operator: “Sure what do you need?  + obligatory security questions”

You: “Well, I’m planning to do all my betting on this year’s World Cup (or any event) at your Sportsbook and intend to make quite a lot of deposits.  Could you please extend another deposit bonus on to deposit 2 and 3 so that I can make the most out of my budget”

Operator: “I’m terribly sorry sir we aren’t necessarily able to do that”

You: “Could you please ask as I will have to continue shopping around otherwise.  I need to find the right Sportsbook for this”

Operator: “Ok I’ve spoken with my supervisor and he has agreed that we can offer you the typical welcome bonus + XYZ”

End of conversation.

That’s typically how it goes.  That “XYZ”....  You’ll always get it.

So when an affiliate website offers you an exclusive bonus.  It’s just that they did that conversation before you.  You’ll get more if you just do it yourself.

2 - The Best Odds

Everyone will price match manually on a decent sized bet.  (£40 upwards).  If your sportsbook doesn’t have the best odds and you can’t be bothered switching.  Jump on to live chat.  They’ll do it to keep you.  Normally they’ll enhance it a little to make sure.

3 - Ran out of funds but still have a bet to place? Don’t worry!

It’s such an annoying feeling.  You deposit £40 in anticipation of some exciting live betting during the weekend’s matches.  You spend ages checking out form and tips until you finally decide what you’re probably going to bet on.  Problem is, that match is 3 hours away.  And when it finally arrives, you’ve already dwindled away your wagers on cheeky little in play bets that didn’t come through for you.  So annoying.

Well, there’s even a trick for this one.  Jump on live chat.  You have a bet you really want to place now but you can’t deposit again until the morning (which you intend on doing).  Please may I have a free bet. 

You’ll have to push.  But you’ll usually get it.  Although this one is likely going to work only once or twice.

The one thing left to cover, what is a good Sportsbook?

And Where Will I Find Them?

It’s a really simple question and actually the answer is also really simple.  A good Sportsbook is a Sportsbook that you enjoy using.  They all essentially do the same thing and knowing which one is right for you can only come from experience.  It’s unfortunate that for most people, they’re not using the Sportsbook that’s best for them.  They sign up to one, get used to it and are forever blind to the excellent options out there.  Often these are the Sportsbooks that are constantly all over the television (some of them are good by the way).

Still need help deciding what a good Sportsbook is to you?

Okay, here’s how I decide.

  • Loads bets quickly in to the slip without lag (I love live betting).
  • Has a design that doesn’t wear on the eye after a while.
  • Has a very responsive live chat.
  • Has a good system for in play football coverage. Either live stream or stats animation.
  • Does a good job of covering major events.
  • My inbox gets hit with cool promotions a few times a week.
  • Has a Casino too which includes my favourite slots.

It’s as simple as that folks!

Here are a few Sportsbooks we think you may actually like

(Based on Quality Not Commission)

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joshua vs parker

Joshua vs Parker

Anthony Joshua begins his journey to undisputed champion when he takes on Joseph Parker on the 31st March.

Could Anthony Joshua become the next heavyweight undisputed champion? The last time there was an undisputed champion in heavyweight division was by British boxer Lennox Lewis in 1999 to 2000. 

If Anthony Joshua can succeed second time round in Cardiff he will be one step closer to being part of British heavyweight history with only Deontay Wilder standing in his way.

The Bet King will provide you with everything you need to know prior to Joshua vs Parker fight including date, time, channel plus stats, odds, undercard and favourites.

Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker confirmed heavyweight title unification on the 14th Jan
 Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker confirmed heavyweight title unification on the 14th Jan

When and what time is the Joshua vs Parker fight?

The Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker showdown is happening on Saturday 31st March 2018. 

There is no official start time for the ringwalk but Eddie Hearn has hinted the AJ ringwalk will be between 10:15pm and 10:30pm (GMT). The fight is likely to take place no later than 10:30pm (GMT).

The undercards will start prior to the big clash with LIVE coverage starting from 6pm (GMT) in the UK.

How can I watch or live stream the Joshua vs Parker?

The boxing event will be broadcasted live from 6pm on Sky Sports Box Office (Sky Channel 491), Sky Sports Box Office HD (Sky Channel 492) and live streamed on the Sky Go app on your mobile, tablet or laptop until 1am Sunday 1st April.

It will cost UK audiences £19.95 or people watching Sky Sports Box Office on Virgin TV it costs £19.95 for SD and £20.95 for HD.

Viewers in the United States will be able to tune in on Showtime Sports.  

There will also be LIVE commentary from Sportsmail's Tom Farmery on Saturday 31st March 2018 from 6pm (GMT). 

Where is the fight happening? 

The showdown between AJ and Parker will be held at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales which has a capacity of 74,500.

Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker bout will take place at Cardiff's Principality StadiumAnthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker bout will take place at Cardiff's Principality Stadium

This was the venue last used by Anthony Joshua when he made a heavyweight title defence against Carlos Takam in which he retained the title with a TKO in the tenth round. 

If you're looking to have a little flutter on this fight then we highly recommend Grosvenor Sport right now. Register now and get DOUBLE the odds on either fighter (below)

The Aintree Grand National Runners 2018

Grand National Runners 2019 Guide

Grand National 2019 Runners

The Top 6 Horses of The 2018 Grand National

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Trainer: Gordon Elliott, Ireland

Weight: 10-12 Jockey: Davy Russell

Form: 331P-2P51 Age: 8

Odds: 14/1 28/1



Trainer: W. P. Mullins, Ireland

Weight: 10-10 Jockey: David Mullins

Form:  3P/1419-0P Age: 10

Odds: 40/1 80/1



Trainer: Gordon Elliott, Ireland

Weight: 10-5 Jockey: Jack Kennedy

Form: 45324-212 Age: 13

Odds: 50/1 100/1



Trainer: A. J. Martin, Ireland

Weight: 11-7 Jockey: Barry Geraghty

Form142-591F3 Age: 8

Odds: 11/1 22/1



Trainer: Neil King

Weight: 10-5 Jockey: Bryony Frost

FormPP-63U152 Age: 11

Odds: 50/1 100/1



Trainer: Noel Meade, Ireland

Weight: 10-4 Jockey: Sean Flanagan

FormP285-090P Age: 11

Odds: 66/1 132/1


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The Bet King's Star System

Field Leader  

Has a Good Chance 

Chance of Placing 

Could Struggle 

Low Chance of Placing 

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Aintree Grand National 2018 bets, tips and odds | Everything you need to know about Grand National Day

The Best Grand National 2018 Guide online

Grand National Runners 2019 - final 40 runners announced

The final list of runners and riders for the 2019 Grand National at Aintree on Saturday has been announced, with Gold Present the only withdrawal at the final 48-hour declaration stage.

Check out the latest in the line-up for the Grand National 2019 Runners here.

Best Slots Online will show you all the best slots to play at while you enjoy the racing.

The Jonjo O'Neill-trained Minella Rocco, runner-up in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup, will shoulder top weight of 11st 10lb, with Noel Meade's Road To Riches sneaking in at the bottom of the 40-runner field.

Blaklion is one of two runners for Nigel Twiston-Davies after he finished fourth in last year's race and he will be joined by stablemate Double Ross.

Gordon Elliott will aim to cap an unbelievable season with Tiger Roll, Ucello Conti and the 13-year-old Bless The Wings.

He is not the only teenager in the race, though, as fellow 13-year-old Raz De Maree will try to supplement the Welsh National he won in January when he was ridden by James Bowen.

This time Bowen rides Shantou Flyer for Richard Hobson, while his elder brother Sean will be on Warriors Tale for Paul Nicholls, who also runs Vicente.

The Last Samuri was second to Rule The World two years ago and while he was unplaced last year, trainer Kim Bailey was delighted with his third behind Tiger Roll in the Cross Country at Cheltenham last time.

"I'm very happy with his preparation and I thought he ran a fantastic race in the Cross Country," Bailey told At The Races. "He's as good as he was two years ago, but unfortunately he's carrying nearly a stone more than he was then, which makes it difficult."

Total Recall, Gold Cup third Anibale Fly, Seeyouatmidnight and Baie Des Iles, for the husband-and-wife team of Ross O'Sullivan and Katie Walsh, are other fancied runners.

Bryony Frost will ride in the National for the first time when she is reunited with Milansbar, on whom she won the Classic Chase at Warwick in January.

Rachael Blackmore will also ride over the Aintree fences for the first time as she has been recruited by Mouse Morris to partner Alpha Des Obeaux.

The four reserves are Thunder And Roses, Delusion of Grandeur, Walk In The Mill and Vintage Clouds. If any of the 40 confirmed runners are taken out before 1pm on Friday, the reserves will step up in the order in which they appear on the racecard.

day one

It's finally arrived! Today was the opening Day of the Randox Health Grand National 2018 and we've been bringing you all the latest coverage, live from the course at Aintree.

The Grand National festival is one of, if not the , key event in the sporting calendar, and we have been looking forward to it all year. Thursday kicked off three full days of world-famous racing.

All the results from day one

If you’re just getting home from work, or you’re just catching up on day one of the Grand National, here are all the results from Aintree:

1.45pm Manifesto Novices’ Chase (Grade One), 2m4f, £100,000

  • 1st Finians Oscar 5/2
  • 2nd Renes Girl 8/1

2.20pm Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (Grade One), 2m1f, £100,000

  • 1st We Have A Dream 2/1
  • 2nd Gumball 20/1
  • 3rd Apples Shakira 13/8F

2.50pm Betway Bowl Chase (Grade One), 3m1f, £190,000

  • 1st Might Bite 4/5F
  • 2nd Bristol De Mai 5/1
  • 3rd Clan Des Obeaux 8/1

3.25pm Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade One), 2m4f, £250,000

  • 1st L’Ami Serge 5/1
  • 2nd Supasundae 11/10F
  • 3rd Clyne 25/1

4.05pm Randox Health Foxhunters’ Chase, 2m5f, £45,000

  • 1st Balnaslow 11/2
  • 2nd Bears Affair 20/1
  • 3rd Greensalt 66/1

4.40pm Red Rum Handicap Chase, 2m, £90,000

  • 1st Bentelimar 10/1
  • 2nd Theinval 5/1
  • 3rd Gino Trail 10/1
  • 4th Doitforthevillage 10/1

5.15pm Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NHF (Grade Two), 2m, £45,000

  • 1st Getaway Katie Mai 15/8F
  • 2nd Midnightreferendum 25/1
  • 3rd Duhallow Gesture 10/1

Aintree Grand National Ladies Day 2018

The most fashionable day of the racing calendar has come and gone; this was Ladies Day 2018!

Following the success of opening day, thousands of racegoers were expected to come through the gates at Aintree racecourse today - and they didn't disappoint.

With the highlights of the day including the Style Award, Ladies Day saw full-racing fans in their finery.

ladies day

All the results from Ladies Day

1:40pm - The Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle

  • 1st Jester Jet 20/1
  • 2nd Eaton Hill 20/1
  • 3rd Who Dares Wins 13/2F
  • 4th Wilde Blue Yonder 14/1

2:20pm - The Aintree Top Novices’ Hurdle

  • 1st Lalor 14/1
  • 2nd Vision Des Flos 11/4
  • 3rd Bedrock 33/1

2:50pm - The Mildmay Novices’ Chase

  • 1st Terrefort 3/1F
  • 2nd Ms Parfois 9/2
  • 3rd Elegant Escape 4/1

3:25pm - The Melling Chase

  • 1st Politologue 11/1
  • 2nd Min 11/10F

4:05pm - The Randox Health Topham Chase

  • 1st Ultragold 14/1
  • 2nd Shanahans Turn 14/1
  • 3rd Theatre Territory 10/1
  • 4th Kilcrea Vale 12/1

4:40pm - The Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle

  • 1st Santini 6/4F
  • 2nd Roksana 9/1
  • 3rd Tower Bridge 8/1

5:15pm - The Weatherbys Private Bank Standard Open NH Flat

  • 1st Portrush Ted 25/1
  • 2nd Kateson 16/1
  • 3rd Harambe 33/1

Watch the Grand National 2017


Its estimated that a quarter of the UK adult population will bet on the Randox Health sponsored Grand National 2018. Most people will have a small each-way bet on a horse they fancy from the list of Grand National runners 2018 for no other reason than the fact that they like the name. Of course there’s nothing wrong with picking a horse for that reason, as pre-race favourites have a dire record in the race.

The Grand National 2018 is famed for its unpredictable nature and rightly so, in the past century five 100/1 shots have triumphed over the famous fences. However, the Grand National is far less of a lottery than many people believe.  One thing is for sure, everyone will be looking for the Grand National 2018 best odds! As one of the biggest UK sports betting events of the year, it's no wonder so many people go mad for it!

Trends and statistics have emerged over the last 20 years which can help you identify those runners who have the potential to run a big race.  Whether you decide to follow the trends and stats or choose your horse based on its name, silk colour or jockey riding we can tell you everything you need to know about this year's hopefuls including where to find the grand national 2018 best odds.

A TV audience in excess of 10 million will tune in to watch the drama of the 2018 Grand National unfold on the 14th of April at 5:15pm. Along with those watching at home a 70,000 strong crowd will be at Aintree racecourse to cheer on the horses from the first fence to the final furlong.

Grand National Runners 2018 - Tips | Favourites | Info

** As soon as the final line up is announces we'll have that information and analysis for you right here **

Horses that have run in previous Aintree Grand Nationals are always a good place to start. When it comes to looking for horses that will run well in the 2018 race, this trend is up with 5 of the last 16 winners of the Grand National having been unplaced in the previous year’s race.  Here are our best Grand National tips for 2018’s favourites or at least the ones we expect to make the cut.  The Grand National runners 2018 are as follows.


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The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained, Blaklion, who ran a gallant fourth in the 2017 Grand National, heads most of the bookmaker markets around the 25/1 mark. But many of the layers are going much shorter (14/1 – 16/1). This horse will be 9 years-old come April 2018, which is the perfect age for this race. 14 of the previous 27 winners were aged 9 or 10 years-old. The Twiston-Davies yard have also won the race twice in the past, with Earth Summit (1998) and Bindaree (2002).

They certainly know what’s needed to prepare Grand National horses. With another year on his back, we can expect Blaklion to be stronger this time. Being only 8 ¼ lengths back from the winner – One For Arthur – in 2017, we know he stays this 4m 2 ½ f trip well.

We can expect his handicap mark to be higher this year, but having proved he can tackle the tricky Grand National fences suggests his connections will aim at giving him another crack in April. Being placed before though does, however, mean he’s got a big negative trend to overcome that has seen just 1 winner or placed horse from the previous year’s race go onto win 12 months later. But he could still be one for the each-way backers. However, as soon as the ‘once-a-year’ punter remember his name from last year, there is also a big chance his 25/1 price will be a lot, lot shorter on the day. Don’t forget 12 months ago he was sent off as the 8/1 favourite! Our Grand National tips would be to back him now, with the view to his price being a lot shorter on the day.

Minella Rocco

At the time of writing this Jonjo O’Neill-trained runner is yet to taste the National fences, but after running second to Sizing John in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup is another that, if making the final line-up, would add a bit of class to this years Grand National. The yard won this race in 2010 with Don’t Push It – another JP McManus-owned runner – and at just 8 years-old there should be a lot more to come from this classy chaser.

Having said that, he’s not started his 2017/18 campaign well with heavy defeats at Punchestown and Cheltenham, so he’d need to bounce back from those efforts if he’s to be considered at this stage. He’s also won just one of his 11 chase starts, at the time of writing – with his last victory coming back at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.

With that in-mind, he’s a horse that has gone well more often than not at Prestbury Park so connections may well prefer a tilt at the Cheltenham Festival again, rather than running in this race – we’ll see.

The Last Samurai

Many people will recall this horse being the runner-up in the 2016 Grand National. He would have cost the bookmakers a few quid that day after being well-supported into 8/1 joint-favourite.

He’d won the Grimthorpe Chase (a recognised Grand National Trial race) by an easy 10 lengths the month before. He figured in the 2017 Grand National too, but could only manage 16th, but to his credit he was burdened with a massive 11-10 that day. Since 1978, 120 horses have tried to win with more than 11-5, with just two winners; Many Clouds (11-9) in 2015 & Neptune Collonges (11-6) in 2012.

This race will certainly be a target again and being that he’s got round in the last two renewals then he’s becoming a regular in the race. We can expect the handicapper to relent a bit on his mark. So, our Grand National tips would include watching that closely. A lot will depend on the handicapper. But he returned to the track this season with a decent second at Kempton over an inadequate trip to show he’s still in love with the game.

Native River

Another horse that is proving to be popular in the Grand National betting market. If Native River makes the race, he would certainly be a class act in the line-up. This Colin Tizzard-trained runner will only be 8 years-old by April but he’s already a Hennessy Gold Cup and Welsh National winner. He also rounded off last season with a decent third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He’s won at Aintree in the past, but he’s yet to tackle the Grand National-style fences. This may be seen as a negative with 7 of the last 15 winners having tasted these fences before.

That said, he’s a good jumper that heads into the 2017/18 off the back of 10 chase runs and he’s yet to finish out of the first three in these, let alone fall in any of them! Our Grand National tips are that he’ll be a big player if connections opt for this route, rather than the Gold Cup. Though, if he does head to Aintree for this race then a lot will depend how much weight the handicapper gives him – we’ll know that later in the season.

Cause of Causes

A horse that went from strength-to-strength last season and many racing fans will remember him winning the unique Cross Country race at the Cheltenham Festival in 2017. Having won over those tricky obstacles, the National fences looked sure to suit. This proved right in the 2017 Grand National after finishing a 4 ½ length second to One For Arthur. He was sent off at a well-fancied 16/1 12 months ago so the 33/1 on offer now looks a tempting price.

He’s another that will have the negative trend of past placed horses to overcome and is sure to have more weight this time. However, his ability to handle the course is a big plus. With the gap between the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree in 2018 being almost 4 weeks then there is a good chance this Gordon Elliott-trained runner can try and defend his Cheltenham Cross Country crown before heading to Aintree once again.

Vieu Lion Rouge

The Pipe Pond House stable that are certainly no strangers to landing this race. They won the prize in 1994 (Miinnehoma) and 2008 (Comply Or Die). This horse will be 9 years-old by April and is another that punters might recall after running a fair sixth last year. He was eventually 27 lengths behind the winner. But that was still a top effort for at horse that had only run 10 times over fences. He actually went second after three out but failed to sustain that effort. So, many will look at that with stamina concerns.

He was 7th in the 2016 running so the fences and getting round don’t seem to be an issue. It’s just whether he fully gets this 4m2f trip. At this stage, the 40/1 price with Coral looks about right. With another year on his back then he may return this season a stronger horse. The Grand National tips point to take away could be that he’s in another race that he gets round but finds 5 or 6 too good again.

Saint Are

If there is a horse still in training that deserves to win a National it’s this fella. He’s run well in four Grand Nationals now, and has finished 2nd and 3rd in two! This horse will be 12 years-old by April. But with four Grand Nationals already under his belt, he’s becoming a regular fixture in this world’s greatest steeplechase. He was a gallant third 12 months ago and only beaten 8 ¼ lengths. While in 2016 he was pulled-up, finished 2nd in 2015 and 9th in 2013. He’s raced at Aintree many times before too and seems to love the flat nature of the track. So, our Grand National tips point will be to keep his age in mind. Providing it doesn’t catch up with him, he’s another to have on your radar. Though, probably more in terms of grabbing another place, rather than winning.


From the Paul Nicholls yard that have won the Grand National once before (2012, Neptune Collonges).

This horse will be 9 years-old by April, but punters will also might remember him from last year as he was sent off 16/1 in the 2017 running. However, he got no further than the first fence that day after coming to grief under jockey Brian Hughes so that might put some people off backing him again. However, it’s worth noting he’s a National winner in his own right too after landing the Scottish version in 2017 after that fall and has returned to the track in 2017 in similar form with a decent return run at Cheltenham in November. The handicapper is sure to give him a chance and if he’s got anything near the 10-10 in weight he had 12 months ago then this improving staying chaser is certainly one to consider.

Definitely Red

Another horse Grand National fans might remember from 2017. This Brian Ellison-trained runner was almost sent off as favourite (10/1). Punters backed this improving stayer into that price from around 20/1 on the morning.

Despite failing to reward his followers he did have his excuses. His saddle eventually slipped and was pulled-up. But before that he had been badly hampered at the 6th fence (Bechers Brook) and never really recovered from that.

He’ll be 9 years-old come April so is another that looks to be the perfect age now. Providing he has an injury-free season, this race certainly looks a firm target for him. Our top Grand National tips here are that he’s sure to be a lot shorter in the day than the 33/1 being offered now. Especially once the novice punters recall his name from 12 months ago.

Pleasant Company

This Willie Mullins-trained runner was backed down to 11/1 from much bigger prices on the day. He ran well, too, after finishing 9th that day and despite being 28 lengths back from the winner. He did lose all chance when stumbling badly at the 25th fence. The horse stayed on well after that under Ruby Walsh.

But after proving he’s another that can handle the fences then he’s one to note. Again, his current price of around 40/1 looks big considering his was backed into 11/1 last year. He’ll be 10 years-old this time, while that track experience from last year would have taught him a lot. It’s hard to know if he’ll give the race another go. But barring any injuries, we feel that this would certainly be a race on his agenda this season.

Go Conquer

This horse could be one to have on your radar and follow as the season progresses.

It’s hard to 100% know at this stage if the horse will head to the Grand National, or other targets. But this is another from the Jonjo O’Neill yard that won the race in 2010. This horse will be 9 years-old come the race, which looks the perfect age and having returned to the track. This season, with two wins at Fontwell and Ascot, he’s clearly a horse still on the up.

He’s a front-running sort so if he doesn’t head to the National he’ll have to do it the hard way from the front. But the plusses surrounding that are that he’ll stay out of trouble and any loose horses. He’s also tasted these fences in the past when 17th (of 29) in the Topham Chase at the Grand National meeting 12 months ago. That race might also be a possible target too. The trip would also be a bit of an unknown as the furthest he’s gone to date is 3 miles. Though, he’s caught the eye so far this season and looks a horse to note.

How are the Grand National 2018 Runners Chosen?

Every year a maximum of 40 horses line up at the start of the Aintree Grand National and 600 million people worldwide tune in to watch them tackle the 30 notoriously difficult fences in a bid to put themselves into the history books. But how do those particular runners and riders make it to Grand National day?

A horse will be entered into the Grand National runners 2018 if it meets the minimum criteria for qualification and the owner and trainer feel that their horse is capable of handling the race. Not all horses are suited to the long Aintree course or have the necessary jumping ability. Even if a horse gets entered that doesn't guarantee a place at the starting line.

The race is open to horses aged seven and upwards that have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more and who are allotted a rating of at least 120 by the BHA Handicapper.

The entry date for the race is always at the end of January, with the names and numbers announced by the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) the following day. In 2017 there were 110 entries, 2016 had 126 entries, an increase of 28 on the 98 entered in 2015.

The BHA Head Of Handicapping then takes the list of entries and frames the weights. In other words, he decides which horses will carry the heaviest weights and which will carry the least. The handicap system is designed to give every horse a fair chance of winning the race, good horses will carry more weight than those perceived to have less ability.

The maximum weight any horse can carry in the 2018 Grand National will be 11st 10lbs and the minimum is 10st. Each runner's weight will be largely determined by their OR (Official Rating) and the higher the rating, the higher the weight. Although the Grand National is the only race in Britain in which the Handicapper can ignoring the official ratings if he wishes, often to the consternation of owners and trainers.

Horses are then put in descending order from the highest to the lowest weighted and that also determines their race number. The top-weighted horse is number one, second heaviest weighted horse is number two and so on.

The weights are then announced, in 2017 it was on February 14th, and from then on a series of ‘Declaration Stages’ take place. At each of these stages, horses can be withdrawn from the proceedings by their trainers and as they are removed and the entries get whittled down so even horses that have not initially made the Top 40 may now do so as entries above them are taken out.

The very last declaration stage takes place at 10am on the Thursday immediately before Grand National 2018 day. This is the point where the top 40 horses will be near completion along with four additional reserves.

The following morning, Friday, at 10am any non-runners must be declared and be replaced by one of the four reserves. This is also the point where any horses who were previously allocated weights of less than 10st will have their weight increased to meet requirements.

Criteria for Jockeys Wishing to Participate

The criteria for professional or amateur jockeys wanting to take part in the race are very specific. Grand National Runners 2018 must have ridden not less than 15 winners in chases or hurdle races under the Rules of Racing and/or the Rules of the Irish National Hunt Committee and ridden not less than 10 of these winners in chases.

A champion jockey like A.P. McCoy who primarily rode horses for super owner J.P. McManus had his pick of horses in the race before he retired. Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty are other top jockeys who can often choose their rides and odds will tumble on any horses chosen by the pair.

Amateur jockeys are now a rarity in the Grand National compared with races early days. Sam Whaley-Cohen is probably the most famous amateur rider in recent years and he enjoys a record over the Aintree fences which is the envy of many a professional.

Other jockeys will usually ride for the yards that retain them or a trainer will engage their services just for this race. In recent years a number of high profile jockeys have missed the race due to injuries picked up at the Cheltenham festival which is the last major National Hunt meeting before Aintree.

Don't be put off backing a less well known jockey or even one who has never ridden the course before. In 2013 jockey Ryan Mania won the race at his first attempt!

Grand National Runners 2018
Champion Jockey A.P McCoy

Grand National History

The Grand National at Aintree has been a British sporting institution since 1839. A horse called Lottery won the inaugural race and Captain Becher fell at a now world famous brook. In those days, horses jumped a stone wall, crossed ploughed land and finished over two hurdles. Read about the legends and key moments that have gone down in Grand National History.

The course was founded by William Lynn, a syndicate head and proprietor of the Waterloo Hotel. He leased land in Aintree from William Molyneux, 2nd Earl of Sefton. Lynn set out a course and built a grandstand. Lord Sefton laid the foundation stone on 7 February 1829. The race was then known as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase.


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Early Grand National HIstory

The Grand National Runners 2018 come from a very long line of ultra elite horses.  There is actually much debate regarding the first official Grand National. Some leading historians, including John Pinfold, assert that the first running was in 1836 and won by The Duke. This same horse won again in 1837, while Sir William was the winner in 1838. These races have long been disregarded because of the belief that they took place at Maghull and not Aintree.

Some historians have unearthed evidence that suggest those three races were run over the same course at Aintree. Also, that they were regarded as Grand Nationals up until the mid-1860. Contemporary newspaper reports place all the 1836-38 races at Aintree although the 1839 race is the first described as “National”. To date, though, calls for the Nationals of 1836–1838 to be restored to the record books have been unsuccessful.In 1838 and 1839 three events transformed the Liverpool race from a small local affair to a national event.  That's incredible to think that this became the biggest sportsbook betting event of the calendar 

Firstly, the Great St. Albans Chase was not renewed after 1838. This left a major hole in the chasing calendar. Secondly, the railway arrived in Liverpool, enabling transport to the course by rail. Finally, a committee was formed to better organise the event.These factors led to a highly publicised race in 1839. It attracted a larger field of top horses and riders, greater press coverage and an increased attendance. Over time, the first three runnings were forgotten, securing 1839 its place in Grand National history as the inaugural race.

By the 1840s, Lynn’s ill-health blunted his enthusiasm for Aintree. Edward Topham, a respected handicapper and member of Lynn’s syndicate, began to exert his influence. He turned the chase into a handicap from a weight-for-age race in 1843. He took over the lease in 1848 and one century later, the Topham family bought the course outright.

Grand National Fact Box

It was over 40 years ago that Red Rum recorded the first of three victories in Grand National History. This earned him pride of place in the record books forever. He remains the only horse to have won three Grand Nationals and, was known to be a phenomenon.

Bred to be a sprinter, Red Rum won the grueling four-and-a-half mile chase in 1973, 1974 and 1977. He finished second on his other two starts, to become the greatest Grand National performer ever.

The Grand National Runners 2018 Horse Race is often called the world's greatest steeplechase. The race is one of the most famous steeplechases in the world. It is a unique test of horsemanship for the rider and also a test of a great significance for a horse.


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Before the Turn of the Century

The following year the race was held in Maghull (Still in Liverpool) This race was also won by The Duke but this time was ridden by Mr Potts as Captain Becher could not get to the course as the previous day he had been riding at St Albans, of course in those days travel was slow and it was almost impossible to get to the course. This year the race was named as Grand Liverpool Steeplechase.

The following year again at Maghull was another success. The Duke was again running being ridden by captain Becher but on this occasion he finished third and the winner of the race is not clear as official records show the winner as Sir Henry however there was no horse called Sir Henry running. The race was actually won by Sir William.

The following year (1839) was to be what every official record shows as the first Grand National even though at this time it was still called the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase. The race was won by Lottery and he goes down in the history books as the first winner of the race. Captain Becher was also running that year but fell into the brook at the fence that now holds his name.

The Grand National Runners 2018 are preceded by an extraordinary history of success, failure and tragedy. 


Since these early years there have been many changes and stories of The Grand National horse race. In 1839 the name of the race was changed to The Liverpool and National Handicap Steeplechase and as the name suggests the race became a handicap race. In 1847 the race was given the title of The Grand National Handicap Steeplechase. A name it still holds today.


1850/1851 saw the first duel winner of the race when Abd-El-Kader was the winner on both occasions. 1869 was to see the first Grey winner, The Lamb who also went on to win the race three years later. This was nothing short of miraculous given that the horse had been suffering from a wasting disease in the time between these races. 1893 saw another remarkable story when a horse called Cloister won the race by 40 lengths.


In 1895 a very good horse, The Wild Man from Borneo won the race and his stuffed head is still at the course in the room that has been used to interview the winning connections.  The late 1800's also saw the greatest of all horses to run in The Grand National, the duel winner Manifesto.

Redrum Making History in 1977

After the Turn of the Centuary

Soon after the turn of the century it was a horse called Moifaa was the remarkable winner in 1904 when a ship bringing him to the race from New Zealand was lost and the horse had to swim ashore, 50 miles it was said, to an island, he was later recovered and when on not only to run in the race but to win the race.

The outbreak of the Great War was not to stop the race and it was held at the racecourse at Gatwick now the site of one of London's busiest Airports. The 1920's saw the introduction of Radio to the race when in 1927 the B.B.C. brought the race to it's biggest ever audience to date when Sprig was to be the victor.

The Second World War was to see the only interruption of the race. The race was not run between 1941 and 1945 and the course at this time was used for military purposes. In 1946 as soon as the military were gone the operation was put into place for that year's race and on the 5th of April Lovely Cottage won the 1946 Grand National.

The following year 1947 was to see the race run for the first time on a Saturday, at the request of the Prime Minister Clement Attlee, who was said to have suggested the move would be "in the interests of British industry". Caughoo was the winner that day. Up until this time the Aintree racecourse had been owned by Lord Sefton but in 1949 he sold the course to Tophams Limited for a sum of 275,000 pounds.

In 1952 the Tophams had a dispute with the B.B.C. over the radio coverage and this lead to the family doing their own commentary of the race, if anybody is ever in any doubt that race commentary is a difficult job then a brief listen to this commentary will tell you different. It can only be described as dreadful and it was soon handed back to the professionals.

1960 was the year when the B.B.C. was to show the race "live" on Television for the first time. Merryman II won that year and the B.B.C. have been doing a great job ever since. 1963 was a year of note when the horse that came 7th, bore a very well known owners colours that of the film star Gregory Peck.

1967 saw the biggest price winner; Foinavon won the race after he was the only horse to jump a very small fence in the race. There was a great pile up at the fence and this horse ridden by John Buckingham when on to score at odds of 100/1. The fence was later named after the horse.

The late sixties and early seventies saw a good number of good horses win the race, Red Alligator ridden by Brian Fletcher, Gay Tripridden by Pat Taffe, Well to Do ridden by G. Thorner, but it was 1973 when one of the greatest stories started. All the talk this year was of one of the greatest steeplechasers ever The great Crisp.

He was to carry top weight of 12 st and this he seemed to do easily. Crisp was way out in front for a long way until caught close home with a horse carrying almost 2 st less. But history was to show that then young pretender that day would turn out to be the only horse in The Grand Nationals history win follow up his win with two others and was to become the most famous Grand National horse of all time, of course it was Red Rum.

In the 1974 Grand National, Red Rum was now the top weight with 12st to carry but he won again. He was to wait another three years to taste victory again in 1977 when he became the only three times winner of the race. Between his wins he came second twice. First in 1975 to L'escargot and then in 1976 to Rag Trade.

1977 was also another landmark year as it was to see the first ever female jockey in the race, Charlotte Brew may not be a well known name in racing today but back in 1977 she was the person all the commentators wanted to interview as she has the title as being the first Woman to ride in the Grand National.

Today women are unquestionably accepted as equally competitive jockeys and the Grand National Runners 2018 will likely include a number of female Jockeys.

Pre-Millennial Grand National History of Note

Good winners of the 80's included Ben NevisGrittarHallo DandyWest Tip but two horses where going to make their connections famous in this decade. The 1981 Grand National saw a previously crocked horse making his big race entry named Aldaniti and a jockey who had recently recovered from cancer Bob Champion win the race this caused tears of joy to a whole nation of race lovers.

1983 was another landmark year when the first ever woman trainer won the race when Corbiere put Jenny Pitman's name on the role of honours. Mr Frisk won the 1990 race on fast ground in a record time. He was also ridden by an amateur, Mr. M.Armitage.

The 1991 Grand National was to see a horse called Seagram win the race. His name was the same as the race sponsors who did not own the horse. However they were asked if they wanted to purchase the horse some time before the race but declined the offer. In 1992 was another memorable winner. There was to be a general election in the UK and by coincidence this year saw a giant of a horse called Party Politics win.

The following year 1993 was again to be a landmark year as the race had to be declared void after a second false start was not heard by half of the jockeys who went on to complete a full circuit of the track. A number of jockeys actually did a second round and they did not know until the end of the four and a half miles that the race would be declared void for a false start.

This may seem strange but around this time there were a lot of protests being held on the course and the jockeys ignored the officials trying to stop them as they thought wrongly that they were protesters. The horse that finished first that day was Esha Nessnow known as the horse that won the National that never was.

The 1994 Grand National saw another famous win when top UK comedian Freddie Star's horse Miinnehoma won the race. Although Freddie was not at the course he was interviewed on the phone for the TV cameras in one of the most bizarre interviews on TV when the viewers could only here one side of the conversion that of his trainer.

The 1995 Grand National saw Jenny Pitman win the race for the second time with Royal Athlete. The 150th running of the race in 1997 was another bizarre story when a bomb scare meant that the course had to be evacuated and the race postponed until the Monday, to allow the course to be searched. The winner on this famous occasion was Lord Gyllene.

The 1998 Grand National saw the Aintree press manager win the race with his syndicated horse Earth Summit. The race in very soft ground. Earth Summit also won the Scottish and Welsh Nationals in his career. 1999 saw a remarkable father and son win the race, Tommy Carrbury a previous winner as a jockey was the trainer, saw his son Paul partner Bobby Jo to victory.

The Grand National Runners 2018 will not only be competing for the coveted grand national trophy but also to earn their place in a history as important as any!

A Big Start to the New Millennium

The year 2000 race unbelievably was the same another father and son combination win when the trainer Ted Walsh saw his son Ruby win on Papillon. 2001 Saw Red Marauder win in good style in a race ran in bottomless conditions. All the horses fell with the exception of two horses the winner and the second Smarty.

The 2002 Grand National was won in good style by Bindaree who won as so many horses do, by catching a horse on the run in. The 2003 Grand National was the turn of Monty's Pass to win the race but his win was to be overshadowed by one of his owners who had bets on the horse to win a total of over 800,000 pounds.

Grand National Fact Box

The course is nearly two and a quarter miles in length and has 16 unique fences including the famous Bechers Brook. The fences have an added problem for horses, the famous drop fences where the landing side of the fence is lower than the take off side, this means the horse approaching the fence is unaware of the drop until in the air.

At The Chair Fence the reverse of this occurs. It is the biggest fence on the course and the landing side is higher than the take off.

In the Grand National the horses have to complete almost two circuits of the course and jump 30 fences and then complete a long 494 yard run in which has been the downfall of many in the past. There are two fences that are jumped only once and this is on the first circuit and they are the famous Chair and the water jump.


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Historical Grand National Statistics

More Stats than you'll know how to Analyse

Important Horse Stats

  • Red Rum is the most successful horse, winning the Grand National three times: 1973, 1974 and 1977.
  • The oldest winning horse was Peter Simple, aged 15 (1853); the youngest were Alcibiade(1865), Regal (1876), Austerlitz (1877), Empress (1880), Lutteur III (1909), all aged 5.
  • Abd-El-Kaderwas the first horse to win back-to-back Nationals, in 1850 and 1851. The Colonel, (1869 & 1870), Reynoldstown (1935 & 1936) and Red Rum (1973 & 1974) have also retained the crown.
  • Moiffawon in 1904. As one of the strangest Grand National stats, he disappeared a year earlier. On a trip to Liverpool from New Zealand, Moiffa’s ship was wrecked. The horse was presumed lost at sea before turning up on an outcrop south of Ireland.
  • Golden Millerwon in 1934 and became the only horse to complete the Cheltenham Gold Cup-Grand National double. Garrison Savannah narrowly failed in 1991.
  • Manifestoran in more races than any other horse. Between 1895 and 1904, he ran eight races, winning two and coming third three times. He only failed to finish once.
  • Two Russian horses, Reljefand Grifel, competed in the 1961 Grand National, but neither finished. Horses from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Norway have also run with similarly disappointing results. Hungarian chaser Buszke was pulled up in 1868. While Czechoslovakian Gyi Lovam (1931), came to grief at Becher’s. He was remounted but fell again four fences later. Czech-trained EssexFraze and Quirinus carried automatic top-weight but didn’t complete. The 2000 renewal saw the first Norwegian-trained runner, Trinitro, fall at the first fence.
  • Japanese thoroughbred, Fujino-Ocaptured four consecutive renewals of the prestigious Nakayama Daishogai. He was sent to Britain to be trained for Aintree by Fulke Walwyn in 1966. He was given the automatic top-weight but failed to get competitive.

International Horses and Mares

  • Five winners were bred in France — Alcibiade(1865), Reugny (1874), Lutteur III (1909), Mon Mome (2009) and Neptune Collonges(2012). Mely Moss, runner-up to Papillon in the 2000 Grand National. The 1996 and 2015 runners-up Encore Un Peu and Saint Are, were also French bred.
  • In 1998, Earth Summit, owned by a six-strong partnership, became the first winner of the Grand National who was also successful in both the Scottish and Welsh Grand Nationals.
  • Only three greys have won the Grand National – The Lamb(1868 and 1871), Nicolaus Silver (1961) and Neptune Collonges (2012). Suny Bay finished second to Lord Gyllene in 1997 and filled the same spot behind Earth Summit in 1998. King Johns Castle was second in 2008.
  • Thirteen mares have won the Grand National, but the most recent was Nickel Coinback in 1951. Since then, the mares Gentle Moya (2nd 1956), Tiberetta (3rd 1957 and 2nd 1958), Miss Hunter (3rd 1970), Eyecatcher (3rd 1976 and 1977), Auntie Dot (3rd 1991), Ebony Jane(4th 1994) and Dubacilla (4th 1995) have all finished in the first four.
  • In 1923, Sergeant Murphybecame the first US bred horse to win. He is also the joint-second oldest horse to win, at 13, alongside Why Not (1884). The US bred Battleship, son of the famous Man o’ War, became the first (and so far only) horse to have won both the Grand National (in 1938) and the American Grand National (which he won four years earlier).
  • 1991 was the seventh and final year that the Grand National was sponsored by Seagram. Aptly, the race was won by a horse named Seagram, bred in New Zealand. 1997 saw another New Zealand-bred winner in Lord Gyllene.


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Important Jockey Stats

  • George Stevens is the most successful jockey in the history of the National with five wins. His final triumph came in 1870. Stevens died three months after finishing sixth in the 1871 race.
  • Together with the Lincoln Handicap run on the Flat at Doncaster, the Grand National forms leg two of the ‘Spring Double’. The only jockey to have won both contests is Dave Dick, who captured the Lincoln in 1941 and the Grand National in 1956.
  • Bruce Hobbs was the youngest jockey to have won the race. The 17-year-old triumphed aboard Battleship in 1938.
  • The late Dick Saunders is the oldest winner of the Grand National, partnering Grittar to victory in 1982. Saunders was 48 and the first member of the Jockey Club to partner a Grand National winner.
  • Brian Fletcher (1968 Red Alligator, 1973 and 1974 Red Rum) shares a 20th century record with the legendary Jack Anthony (1911 Glenside, 1915 Ally Sloper, 1920 Troytown), both jockeys having ridden three National winners.
  • Plenty of riders have won the Grand National on their first attempt. The most recent are Ryan Mania (2013 Auroras Encore), Liam Treadwell (2009 Mon Mome), Niall ‘Slippers’ Madden (2006 Numbersixvalverde), and Ruby Walsh (2000 Papillon).
  • Ruby Walsh holds the best record of current jockeys, having won the Grand National twice, in 2000 and 2005.
Grand National 2018 Runners
The Master - Ruby Walsh

International Jockey Stats

  • Jockey William Watkinson recorded the first success for Australia in 1926. He was killed at Bogside, Scotland, less than three weeks after winning the Grand National.
  • Prince Karl Kinsky, an Austro-Hungarian nobleman, was the first jockey from outside Britain and Ireland to ride, winning on board his own mare Zoedone in 1883.
  • Tsuyoshi Tanaka, became the first Japanese jockey to ride in the Grand National in 1995, although he fell at the first fence on The Committee.
  • American amateur Tim Durant was 68 when 15th on Highlandie in 1968 (although he remounted at Becher’s second time).
  • Peter Scudamore technically lined up for thirteen Grand Nationals without winning but the last of those was the void race of 1993, so he officially competed in twelve Nationals.
  • Many other well-known jockeys have failed to win the Grand National. These include champion jockeys such as Terry Biddlecombe, John Francome, Josh Gifford, Stan Mellor, Jonjo O’Neill (who never completed) and Fred Rimell.
  • Three jockeys who led over the last fence in the National but lost on the run-in ended up as television commentators: Lord Oaksey (on Carrickbeg in 1963), Norman Williamson (on Mely Moss in 2000), and Richard Pitman (on Crisp in 1973). Pitman’s son Mark also led over the last fence, only to be pipped at the post when riding Garrison Savannah in 1991.
  • As a least inspiring Grand National stats, in 2012, Richard Johnson beat the record for the most rides in the National without a win. He has now ridden in the race 19 times without bettering the runner up spot in 2002 on What’s Up Boys. There are 12 other riders who have never won (or have not as yet won) the National, despite having had more than 12 rides in the race.


JockeyYears CompetingResultNumber of Attempts
David Casey1997-2015Finished 3rd once15
Jeff King1964-1980Finished 3rd once15
Robert Thornton1997-to dateNever top three14
Bill Parvin1926-1939Finished second once14
Tom Scudamore2001-2015Never top three14
Graham Bradley1983-1999Finished second once14
Chris Grant1980-1994Finished second three times13
Stan Mellor1956-1971Finished second once13
David Nicholson1956-1971Never top three13
George Waddington1861-1882Finished second once13
Walter White1854-1869Finished second once13
Andrew Thornton1996-2013Never top three13



  • Charlotte Brew became the first in 1977. Female jockeys have participated in 19 Grand Nationals. Brew attracted media attention when partnering her horse Barony Fort. Grand National stats and figures show that she was a guest on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show and the Daily Mirror. She was also unseated in the 1982 race.
  • Geraldine Rees became the first to complete the course (albeit in last place) in 1982. She fell at the first a year later and went on to train for 12 years in Lancashire, before retiring in 2010.
  • In 2012 Katie Walsh (sister of Ruby Walsh) achieved the best placing by a woman to date – 3rd place on Seabass. In 2013, she rode Seabass as favourite, but only finished 13th. She also led up Papillon, trained by her father and ridden by Ruby to win in 2000.
  • National winning trainer, Venetia Williams, also rode in the race, falling at Becher’s first time when riding 200-1 chance Marcolo in 1988.
  • Nina Carberry, now assistant to Noel Meade, is the most experienced female rider, finishing on four of her five starts.
  • Gee Armytage had to pull up her mount, Gee-A, in 1988. A dual Cheltenham Festival-winning rider, she is the sister of Marcus Armytage – rider of the 1990 winner Mr Frisk – and became personal assistant to multiple champion jump jockey A P McCoy.
  • Rosemary Henderson finished fifth when aged 51 on her own 100/1 shot Fiddlers Pike in 1994. She subsequently wrote a book, ‘Road To The National’, about her exploits.
  • There was huge media interest in Carrie Ford when she finished fifth in 2005 on Forest Gunner. The horse was trained by her husband Richard. Ford, then 33, had given birth to her daughter 10 weeks earlier.



1977Charlotte BrewBarony Fort200/1Refused, 26th fence
1979Jenny HembrowSandwilan100/1Fell, 1st fence
1980Jenny HembrowSandwilan100/1Pulled up, 19th fence
1981Linda SheedyDeiopea100/1Refused, 19th fence
1982Geraldine ReesCheers66/1Completed, 8th & last place
1982Charlotte BrewMartinstown100/1Unseated, 3rd fence
1983Geraldine ReesMidday Welcome500/1Fell, 1st fence
1983Joy CarrierKing Spruce28/1Unseated, 6th fence
1984Valerie AlderBush Guide33/1Fell, 8th fence
1987Jacqui OliverEamons Owen200/1Unseated, 15th fence
1988Gee ArmytageGee-A33/1Pulled up, 26th fence
1988Venetia WilliamsMarcolo200/1Fell, 6th fence
1988Penny Ffitch-HeyesHettinger100/1Fell, 1st fence
1989Tarnya DavisNumerate100/1Pulled up, 21st fence
1994Rosemary HendersonFiddlers Pike100/1Completed, 5th place
2005Carrie FordForest Gunner8/1Completed, 5th place
2006Nina CarberryForest Gunner33/1Completed, 9th & last place
2010Nina CarberryCharacter Building16/1Completed, 7th place
2011Nina CarberryCharacter Building25/1Completed, 15th place
2012Nina CarberryOrganisedconfusiong20/1Unseated, 8th fence
2012Katie WalshSeabass8/1Completed, 3rd place
2013Katie WalshSeabass11/2Completed, 13th place
2014Katie WalshVesper Bell40/1Completed, 13th place
2015Nina CarberryFirst Lieutenant14/1Completed, 16th place



  • Vincent O’Brien trained three successive winners – all different horses – in the 1950s. The roll of honour read Early Mist (1953), Royal Tan (1954) and Quare Times (1955).
  • The last permit-holder to train the Grand National winner was the late Frank Gilman. The Leicestershire-based farmer was responsible for Grittar in 1982.
  • Jenny Pitman, Venetia Williams and Sue Smith are the only women to have trained a Grand National winner. Pitman captured the race for the first time with Corbiere in 1983. She succeeded for a second time with Royal Athlete in 1995 and finished second with Garrison Savannah in 1991. Superior Finish took third spot for the trainer in 1996. The last of her 39 runners, Nahthen Lad in 1999, came 11th. She also trained the winner of the National that never was – Esha Ness. Venetia Williams was successful with Mon Mome in 2009, whilst Sue Smith trained the 2013 winner, Auroras Encore.
  • According to Grand National stats, Fred Rimell and George Dockeray are is the most successful National trainers. Each guided four different horses to victory. Rimell trained ESB (1956), Nicolaus Silver (1961), Gay Trip (1970) and Rag Trade (1976). Dockeray trained Lottery (1839), Jerry (1840), Gaylad (1842) and Miss Mowbray (1852). Ginger McCain also had four winners, but with two horses, Red Rum (1973, 74 and 77) and Amberleigh House (2004). His son, Donald, joined the roll of honour by training 2011 winner, Ballabriggs.
  • Fred Winter has a unique place in jump racing history. He won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle and Grand National as a trainer and jockey. Winter trained two Grand National winners – Jay Trump (1965) and Anglo (1966). He partnered two victors, Sundew (1957) and Kilmore (1962) during a remarkable career.



  • Two French-trained horses have won the Grand National, Huntsman (1862) and Cortolvin (1867). Both were trained by Yorkshireman Harry Lamplugh, who also rode Huntsman to victory. Lutteur III, noted as a British-trained Grand National victor, held plenty of allegiance to France. His jockey Georges Parfremont and owner James Hennessy were Frenchmen. The horse only arrived at the Epsom yard of trainer Harry Escott that season to get accustomed to English racing.
  • The only Welsh-trained horse to win was Kirkland in 1905. Although, Evan Williams has remarkably had a horse placed in five consecutive renewals.
  • Rubstic, trained by John Leadbetter in Roxburghshire, became the first Scottish-trained winner, with victory in 1979.
  • Irish-trained horses have enjoyed by far the most success of international participants. There were 16 winners since 1900, including six since 1999. Also, a number of Irish-bred horses (including Red Rum, Golden Miller and Many Clouds) have won under English trainers.
  • Since 1900 five successful jockeys went on to train Grand National winners as well. These are Algy Anthony, Tommy Carberry, Aubrey Hastings, Fulke Walwyn and Fred Winter.
  • Martin Pipe broke many records during his training career. He had more runners in a Grand National than any other trainer. He saddled 10 of the 40-strong field in 2001, with the remounted Blowing Wind doing best in third place.



  • The Prince of Wales (King Edward VII), owned 1900 Grand National winner, Ambush II.
  • A number of other famous names have owned a National winner. These include Freddie Starr (Miinnehoma, 1994), Anne, Duchess of Westminster, (Last Suspect, 1985), Teasie Weasie Raymond (Rag Trade 1976), Gregory Peck (Different Class 1968) and Fred Pontin (Specify, 1971).
  • In 1950 Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother had her first runner in the race in Monaveen. Six years later she would witness her Devon Loch collapse just yards from victory.
  • Grand National stats show Trevor Hemmings, enjoyed his hat-trick win in the race. He owns Hedgehunter (2005) Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds.
  • Hemmings is now one of the leading owners are alongside James Machell and Noel Le Mare.
  • The first success for an American came in 1923. Sergeant Murphy had been bought by John Sanford, and given to his son, who was at Cambridge University.
  • Jock Hay Whitney was one of the unluckiest owners in the history of Grand National stats. Whitney was responsible for 14 runners between 1929 and 1951. Sir Lindsay finished third in 1930 and Thomond II occupied the same position in 1934 and 1935. The multimillionaire had the opportunity to buy future dual Grand National winner Reynoldstown.
  • American sewing-machine heir F Ambrose Clark sold the seven-year-old Kellsboro’ Jack to his wife Florence for £1. Trainer Ivor Anthony thought it would bring luck. Kellsboro’ Jack, who started at 25/1, won by three lengths.
  • Jim Joel was 92 when Maori Venturi won the 1987 Grand National. Noel Le Mare was 89 when Red Rum gained his record-breaking third Grand National in 1977.
  • Bryan Burrough, a 23-year-old stockbroker owned Corbiere, who was trained by Jenny Pitman, to win in 1983. Brian Walsh was 26 when Silver Birch took the 2007 renewal.


2018 Grand National Colours and Silks

When picking a horse to back for the Grand National, many times the form book goes out of the window. This is often the case with ‘once-a-year’ punters preferring to keep things simple. These punters often opt for the best-looking jockey silks or even side with their favourite colours. If you follow horse racing, you’ll know that the colours a jockey wears won’t impact the chance of winning. If you’ve studied the form, you won’t care if the jockey is wearing pink polka dots on his silks. Here’s a little more on Grand National colours.



The Jockey Silks Are To Help Commentators and Punters – The main reason why jockeys wear different colours is so punters (and the race commentators in the modern era) can tell the horses apart. The Jockey Club first introduced jockey silks in 1762 after many racegoers complained that they didn’t know which horses were which. Imagine having 40 horses in the Grand National and all jockeys are wearing black. You’d be none the wiser if your horses was winning, fallen or in last place!



In the early days of jockey silks the Jockey Club introduced plain colours to keep things simple. But in the modern era there are hundreds of different styles and colours, plus some more recognisable than others.

The silks are actually associated with the owner of each horse and not the jockeys. Therefore, if a jockey has 6 rides at a meeting on a particular day there is a good chance they will be getting changed into new silks for each race.

Once an owner registers his colours with the jockey club then each horse they own will run in those colours.



It’s actually more common than you think. Yes, the business of owning a race horse is an expensive one. But there are also a lot of very wealthy owners in the sport that have a whole string of horses.

Therefore, there is every chance these big owners will have more than one runner in certain races – so what happens?

It’s simple, they just change the colour of the cap. So, they will run with the same main silk colours (design). But depending on how many horses that owner has in the race, each jockey will wear a different colour cap so punters can still tell them apart.

The jockey wearing the original colour cap will generally be thought to be riding what the owner thinks is his best chance in the race. But it doesn’t always pan out like that – after all this is horse racing and anything can happen!

A recent Grand National example of this would be in the 2016 running of the race as the eventual winner – Rule The World – who is owned by one of Ireland’s biggest owners – The Gigginstown House Stud. They actually had three horses in the 2016 Grand National – First Lieutenant, Sir Des Champs and the winner – Rule The World. However, the winner was actually wearing a blue cap (not the original first choice maroon star), or even the second string white cap that Sir Des Champs wore.

The other main jumps owner that punters will recognise are the green and gold horizontal stripes of popular Irish owner JP McManus. He’s won the Grand National once before (Don’t Push It, 2010), and actually had four runners in the already mentioned 2016 Grand National. So, 17.5% of the 40 runners that year were owned by either McManus or Gigginstown!



With 40 runners heading to post each year then it’s not really the kind of race you see the same horse winning – after all the last horse to win back-to-back Grand Nationals was the mighty Red Rum in the 1970’s. However, whereas we’ve not seen a repeat winner for over 40 years ,we have had an owner that’s won the race three times since 2005!

Step forward – Trevor Hemmings.

His famous green and yellow quartered silks were worn by the 2005 winner – Hedgehunter, the 2011 hero Ballabriggs and most recently in 2015 by Many Clouds. All three were trained by different stables too as Mr Hemmings likes to spread his horses around. Hedgehunter was trained by Willie Mullins in Ireland, while Ballabriggs was for Donald McCain and Many Clouds gave trainer Oliver Sherwood his first Grand National winner.



Over the years, whether you are a ‘once-a-year’ punter or not you will start to remember certain Grand National colours popping up year-after-year. We’ve already mentioned the big owners like Trevor Hemmings, JP McManus and Gigginstown House Stud so racing fans will always latch onto horses that are running for these powerful owners.

However, some Grand National bets will simple be placed on a horse that has a jockey wearing a set of silks that stand out, or even a favourite colour. The same rule applies to certain names of horses with non-racing fans latching on to memorable names that might have a connection with their own lives. If your favourite colour is pink and you spot a horse with a jockey wearing pink then there is every chance you might be drawn to that runner.



Once an owner has a horse that makes the final 40 runners in the Grand National his next job is to find a jockey that will ride it. It goes without saying – just like in any sport – the top jockeys with plenty of experience, or ones that have ridden winners in the race before, will be hot property.

However, some jockeys don’t get much of a choice. Big owners – like JP McManus – might have what’s called a ‘retained jockey’ and this means that jockey will ride all their horses. Yes, if – like we’ve mentioned – that owner has a few horses in the race then that retained jockey will have a choice to make on which horse to ride – and they don’t always get it right!

Preventing Grand National Deaths | Horse & Jockey Safety and Welfare

In the build-up to the Grand National, there are always safety and welfare issues that are raised. The 2018 Grand National is expected to be no different. Since the year 2000, there have been eleven Grand National deaths. But in general, deaths in horse racing are still fairly rare. On average, one horse dies for every 250 races run. Having said that, the figures for the Grand National are a lot worse. Between the years 2000 and 2010 there were seven fatalities from the 439 horses that went to post.Over the years Aintree race officials and the British Horse Racing Authority have introduced a number of safety-related changes to the Grand National to make the race safer. This is not only focused around the horses, but also the jockeys. 40 horses running over 30 of the most demanding fences naturally comes with it’s risks. Animal welfare

organisations had long been lobbying for the race to be altered, or even banned altogether.However, in recent times, things have certainly improved on the safety and death toll front. The last of Grand National deaths being Synchronised in 2012. The 2017 race saw just four horses unseat their riders and another four fall. This means 32 either finished the race or were pulled-up without taking a tumble or losing their jockey.




This recent improvement has been put down to several factors. These include altering the fences and also reducing the actual length of the race.

From 2016, the Grand National distance was shortened from 4m4f (4 ½ miles) to 4m2f. The thinking behind this was to reduce the length of time it took to get to the first fence. There are 40 horses that are revved-up at the start of the race. Therefore, there was a tendency to head towards the first fence too quickly, resulting in mistakes and falls.

Other alterations to the fences have included adding in plastic inserts to make the centre of certain obstacles more forgiving. With 16 fences, 14 of which are jumped twice, these changes have clearly made a big difference. Another area the welfare campaigners have focused on in recent times has been the landing side of certain fences being lower than the take-off side. This clearly adds to the difficulty for both horse and jockey with those against it seeing this as a way of tricking the horses. To combat this the Aintree track have made various alterations to the landing side of certain key fences – like Bechers Brook – making the landing side level a lot closer to the take-off side.

The welfare surrounding the Grand National is also not just during the race, but after the contest. The Aintree track and racing officials have put ‘hosing down’ facilities in place to quickly cool down the runners.

In a race like the Grand National there is always going to be people that oppose the race. However, with changes to the length of the course and certain fences, it’s clear these have made a positive impact to the reduction of Grand National deaths in recent years .

The Grand National is billed as the world’s greatest steeplechase. The event provides a stern test for both horse and jockey. Of course, everyone inside and outside of racing wants to make the race as safe as possible, but officials also have to strike a balance that keeps the test of winning the Grand National a unique one and at the moment it looks like they are achieving just that.


What time is the Grand National 2018?

You can watch the Grand National at 5:15pm on Saturday 14th April 2018 on ITV1

So, when is the Grand National 2018?

This year, the tapes go up on the 2018 Aintree Grand National Meeting on Thursday 12th April with the Grand National Start times first race at 1:45pm and broadcasting beginning for the race at 2:20pm on ITV1. The Aintree Grand National Festival is always spread over three days (Thursday-Saturday) with the Grand National staged on the Saturday. The gates open at 10:30am each day so racegoers have time to get into the course. The action continues over the three day event. Friday 13th April is Ladies Day and Grand National Day is the sell out day on Saturday 14th April 2018.



In recent years the Grand National start times have been put back to 5:15pm and is now shown on ITV1. The later race time is mainly to attract more viewers as when the race was run around 4pm there were generally a lot of other sporting events – like football – going on at that time too. So now you can watch the Grand National at 5:15pm on Saturday 14th April 2018.

As the Aintree gates open around 10:30am each day, racegoers will have plenty of time to get into the course before the first race. With bars and restaurants open all day, plus corporate boxes and suites offering lunch before the racing starts, then many racegoers will flock to the track between 10:30am and 11am in order to make the most of their day.

The track will also have other entertainment going on so if you are attending the 2018 Grand National Meeting on any of the three days then be sure to explore. Generally, there are shops and stalls onsite that will sell anything things like racing fashion or racing memorabilia like pictures or books.

Also look out for competitions dotted around the track – for example ‘Best Dressed Lady’, Best ‘Dressed Man’, or ‘Best Dressed Couple’. There can often be some decent sponsors prizes for the winners, like cash or even a car! To help you plan your Grand National Day here are the expected running times for each race over the three days.

Grand National Thursday – A Day for Champions

In 2018 the opening day of the Aintree Grand National Meeting will also have a new look and feel. Grand National Thursday is set to honour the local sporting talent that’s come out of Merseyside with a ‘Champions Lounge’.The three-day Aintree gets going each year on the Thursday. Despite the crowds being nowhere near as big as Grand National Day, it’s still a hugely popular day on the jump racing calendar. The Aintree racecourse can still expect around 35,000 people to come through the turnstiles and outside the Cheltenham Festival this is one of the most popular racing days for jump racing fans. The racing gets going on Merseyside at 1:45pm and with seven top-class races to enjoy the Thursday card always attracts runners from National Hunt yards from both the UK and Ireland.


The date of the Aintree Grand National Meeting can often vary and this is mainly due when Easter falls each year. In 2018 the three-day meeting is actually a bit later that usual with Easter Sunday being on April 1st this year. This is great news for both trainers and punters though as the gap between the Cheltenham Festival and the Aintree Grand National Meeting in 2018 is longer than some previous years.

With the 2018 Cheltenham Festival finishing on Friday 16th March, and the opening day of the 2018 Aintree not until the 12th April then there is a full 26 days between the two. This gives horses, that would have raced at Cheltenham, a little bit longer to recover, plus it also gives trainers more time to prepare their runners – meaning there’s a much better chance we’ll see the top horses running at both these big festivals in 2018.


The event will open day one with a new name ‘A Day For Champions’ with the main attraction being a Champions Lounge where racegoers can chat to sporting heroes from both past and present. The lounge will be hosted by BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker next to the Aintree parade ring. Q&A sessions with rumoured stars like Michael Owen, Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Sharp and Olympic gold medallist Sam Quek ready to mingle with the Aintree race goers.

Some say this is the BEST day on the UK Jump Racing calendar offering FOUR grade one races. A number of Merseyside sporting champions will be there for the new Opening Ceremony, and attending the new Champions Lounge. Aintree will also use this day to collaborate with the RAF for their centenary celebrations.



  • 45 The Merseyrail Manifesto Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f 100,000
  • 20 The Doom Bar Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 1f 100,000
  • 50 The Betway Bowl Steeple Chase (Grade 1) 3m 1f 150,000
  • 25 The Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f 200,000
  • 05 The Randox Health Foxhunters’ Steeple Chase (Class 2) 2m 5f 40,000
  • 40 The Betway Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3) 2m 90,000
  • 15 The Goffs Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2) 2m 1f 45,000

 Aintree Grand National Ladies Day

The three-day Aintree Grand National Meeting continues each year on the Friday with Ladies Day. This day, in modern times has been earmarked by many as the ‘fun day’ of the the Grand National festival. Dubbed #FabulousFriday, you can expect a sea of fashion, bubbles and famous faces. With a bigger 45,000 crowd expected at the Grand National Ladies Day 2018, attendance ramps-up from the opening day. While there are high calibre races to bet on, it’s generally party-time for much of the afternoon.Of course, there is top-class racing to enjoy too with seven decent contests that start at 1.40pm. But for many of the 45,000 crowd, the attention is primarily on the other side of the track, with events like the ‘Style Award’. Style Ambassadors mingle with the crowds in the the Red Rum Garden to find the winner of this coveted award. With big prizes like cars, holidays and cash up for grabs, Grand National Ladies Day is a hugely popular day in the UK Jump racing calendar.In 2018 the day also falls on Friday 13th, so let’s hope it’s not an unlucky one for punters! In recent years, the day has also become famous for celebrities, mainly in the Liverpool and Manchester areas, making an appearance at the track – with Coleen Rooney being a current example. With many tabloid newspapers covering the day, this day has a certain hype for the who’s who of the glossy magazines.



Believe it, or not and unlike Royal Ascot Ladies Day, there is no official dress code for Ladies Day.

However, if you did turn up on Ladies day in tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt, not only would you feel extremely out of place there is a chance you’d not be let in anyway.

Ladies Day is called that for a reason. If you are attending then you have to get into to spirit of the day and dress up. For the ladies this means colourful dress and hats, while for the men you’ll look out of place if you are wearing anything but smart trousers a shirt and a jacket!



With demand up, prices are also on the increase on Ladies Day. The cheapest ticket £43 for entry into the Tattersalls Stand.

This goes up to £115 for an upper seat in the Lord Sefton Stand, or if you prefer something a bit more in the middle of the Tattersalls and the Lord Sefton Stand then the Lord Daresbury or Princess Royal Roof options at £88 might appeal.



  • 40 The Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 4f 70,000
  • 20 The Crabbie’s Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m ½f 100,000
  • 50 The Betway Mildmay Novices’ Steeple Chase (Grade 1) 3m 1f 100,000
  • 25 The JLT Melling Steeple Chase (Grade 1) 2m 4f 200,000
  • 05 The Randox Health Topham Steeple Chase (Grade 3) 2m 5f 120,000
  • 40 The Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m ½f 100,000
  • 15 The Weatherbys Champion Standard Open NH Flat (Grade 2) 2m 1f 45,000


Getting to Aintree

Aintree Racecourse is situated on the outskirts of Liverpool, just one mile from the M57 and M58, which link the M62 and M6. Follow the A59 to Liverpool and the signs as you approach the racecourse for routes to the car parks. Many races are held at Aintree, the most important of which is the Grand National. Full address: Aintree Racecourse, Ormskirk Road, Aintree, Liverpool. L9 5AS.



  • From the South:
    Leave M6 at J21A and join M62 west. Leave M62 at J6 to join M57, follow signs for the races.
  • From the North:
    Leave M6 at J26 and join M58, follow signs for the races.
  • From Mersey Tunnel:
    Follow signs for Preston, then for A59, then signs for the races.



Limited on-course parking is available for the Grand National meeting. This can be booked by calling the booking line on 0844 579 3001.

Other than Steeplechase and County Car Parking, there is no other car parking in and around Aintree Racecourse. Buses, taxis, private hire and trains all operate to Aintree and special arrangements will have been made for them.



Take bus services: 300, 311, 345, 350 and 351 both to and from Liverpool. From Bootle New Strand take route 61A. For further information on bus routes, contact Traveline or visit Mersey Travel.



The nearest mainline station to Aintree is Liverpool Lime Street. Liverpool Central Station is just a short walk from Lime Street, and from here you can catch a train to Aintree. Trains depart from Liverpool Central every 7 and a half minutes during the Grand National, and every fifteen minutes on race days outside of the Grand National. It takes fifteen minutes to get to Aintree on the train, and Aintree Station is directly opposite the racecourse.

Rail enquiries: 08457 48 49 50
Merseytravel: 0871 200 22 33



Liverpool John Lennon Airport is the nearest airport to the racecourse and is a 20 minute drive by road. Alternatively, take a bus to Liverpool South Parkway Merseyrail station where you can catch a train to Aintree (change at Liverpool Central or Moorfields onto the Ormskirk train). Manchester Airport is approximately a 45 minute drive by road.


Grand National Stands and Enclosures



Aintree has five main grandstands. These include; The Princess Royal Stand, The County Stand, The Queen Mother Stand, The Earl of Derby Stand and The Lord Sefton Stand. Within the Grandstands, racegoers can purchase a choice of standing or reserved seat badges. All Grand National stands have full bar, catering and betting facilities.



Seats: Always in popular demand, these seats offer excellent views overlooking the home straight. However, enhancements to the seats make this enclosure one of the most sought after places on the racecourse. Firstly, the enhancements include a newly extended and refurbished lounge with Champagne and Seafood concessions. The stand is situated between the Chair and the Water Jump, hence, offering a view of the final 200 metres. The seats in this stand are mostly undercover.

Roof: Is partially covered standing area, with the Tommy Wallis Suite as its dedicated bar. This enclosure offers a unique vantage point over the racecourse. It is the most suited of the Grand National stands for viewing the exciting final few minutes of every race.



Roof: With a birds-eye view directly over the winning post, you can always see who’s won before anyone else. A beautiful uncovered area, as well as traditional architecture ensure this standing enclosure is popular with racegoers.



Seats: Located close to the start and finish lines and adjacent to the Red Rum Garden, the Queen Mother Stand excellent. It is completely covered, therefore protecting racegoers from the elements. Queen Mother Seats are accessed from the front of the grandstand. Grandstand badges provide designated tote betting within each enclosure, big screen viewing and access to the Parade Ring and Winner’s Enclosure.

Queen Mother Stand Seats are the only section of Grand National stands that are also available with Winner’s Bar badges. Furthermore, the Winner’s Bar occupies the former Weighing Room. Its walls are covered with historical artefacts and tributes to Grand National legends.

Roof: Located just yards past the Grand National finish line, the Queen Mother Stand Roof offers premium standing viewing. It’s close to where the horses enter the racecourse, the Parade Ring and Winner’s Enclosure. It’s also not far from the Red Rum Garden.



Seats: Open for the first time at the 2007 Grand National meeting, the Earl of Derby and Lord Sefton grandstands were designed to offer first-class viewing facilities for the 21st century spectator. Subsequently, both stands fit the brief perfectly.


Each of these Grand National stands provide two levels of tiered, covered seating (Upper and Lower), higher than any other seated enclosure at Aintree and hence provide breathtaking views over the entire course. Both levels permit access to a private saddle bar overlooking the horse-walk tunnel and Parade Ring, ensuring racegoers are in the hub of the day’s excitement.

Set at a unique angle, overlooking the Grand National start and finish, you probably won’t want to leave your seat all day. Finally, the tiers of seats leave you with a 360° impression of the famous course – the place to be to soak up the magic that is Aintree.

Terraces: Not to be confused with roof badges, the terraces are lower than other standing enclosures but offer a prime spot, closer to the action than anywhere else on the racecourse. Located either side of the horse walk, be the first to cheer a winner on its way back to the Winner’s Enclosure as well as witness the colourful preparations of horses and jockeys at the Grand National start.



Part of the atmospheric Tattersalls Enclosure, these covered, temporary seats offer great views up the home straight. With a dedicated bar for West Tip seats, you can enjoy luxury, as well as explore the rest of the Tattersalls Enclosure. These seats are always in great demand, so early booking is essential to avoid disappointment.



The Tattersalls Enclosure was greatly enhanced in 2007 with the completion of the new Aintree Pavilion. This new permanent facility supplies one of the largest and most atmospheric enclosures. As well as permitting access to the new Aintree Pavilion, Tattersalls tickets allow racegoers to sample bars and catering areas within the Red Rum Garden and the legendary Irish bar within the Princess Royal Stand. Tattersalls tickets also permit access for viewing of the Parade Ring and Winner’s Enclosure, ensuring you sample the best of Aintree’s unique atmosphere during your visit.

From the Tattersalls Enclosure, racing is mainly viewed from the large Aintree Mound in front of the Aintree Pavilion. Although this facility is not undercover, it does offer great views of the horses racing up the home straight. There is large-screen TV viewing directly in front of the mound. Live music can be found in various locations within the Tattersalls Enclosure, ensuring racegoers are entertained throughout the day.

Steeplechase Enclosure
The Steeplechase Enclosure is a great place to experience the atmosphere of the Grand National. Situated on the far side of the Melling Road, this enclosure allows great viewing of the Grand National itself. A new seating facility, overlooking the Mildmay course, has been created so this Grand National Stands offers viewing of all other races. It is open on Grand National day only. There is no access to the Parade Ring or Winner’s Enclosure from this area. However this area does have its own bars, catering, betting facilities, big screen viewing and live entertainment.


Platinum County Lounge
The newest style bar experience at the racecourse today. This exclusive lounge area offers racegoers comfort and luxury for a special day at the Grand National. With reserved covered seats in the County Stand, overlooking the Water Jump and Winning Post, you’re therefore in prime position. You’ll receive premium benefits in this VIP facility. This exclusive area features a private entrance, a reserved seat, complimentary racecard, raceday hostess plus a souvenir badge. Last but not least, you’ll have access to a dedicated Champagne bar (open for an additional hour following the final race). Although this package is not inclusive of food or drink, there is access to the luxury catering concessions.



The Winner’s Enclosure at Aintree has provided some of the sport’s most memorable and compelling images. Over the years, this is where ecstatic connections have greeted their returning hero. However, 2006 marked the opening of a new Parade Ring, incorporating the Winner’s Enclosure for the Grand National. The new facilities are designed to allow many more racegoers to witness these thrilling scenes.



There is limited car parking for a fee at the racecourse. The easiest way to reach Aintree is therefore by rail, with Aintree Station directly opposite the racecourse. Limited on-course parking is available with the Steeplechase parking being the nearest car park. This can be booked from August 2011 by calling the course’s Booking Line on 0844 579 3001.

Other than Steeplechase and County Car Parking, there is no other car parking in and around Aintree Racecourse. Buses, taxis, private hire and trains all operate to Aintree and special arrangements have been made for them.



The County carpark, situated next to the racecourse, is suitable for disabled parking. However, all spaces are limited, consequently, early booking is absolutely essential for access to Grand National stands. The Princess Royal Stand and Queen Mother Stand offer the best disabled facilities. There are toilets and lift access on all floors.



Although there is no official dress code, smart is preferable. Sports clothes and fancy dress are subsequently not permitted in the Grand National stands.



Food and drink cannot be brought onto the racecourse and will be confiscated by security staff upon arrival. Aintree has a wide range of food and drink concessions on offer in all enclosures. As a result, picnics can only be consumed in the Steeplechase Car Park.



Open from 10am on each day of the meeting, get to Aintree early to make the most of your day. Make sure to allow for racecourse security procedures.



Thursday’s and Friday’s races start at 2pm, whilst on Saturday; racing begins at the slightly earlier time of 1.45pm. The Grand National itself is at 4.15pm. On each day, racing concludes at around 5.30pm.


Grand National Prize Money | Prize Fund

The Grand National is one of the world’s richest horse races in terms of Grand National Prize Money. With £1 million in total prize money again in 2018, it’s no surprise the race will attract another big field. Over the years the Aintree Grand National has had many race sponsors, Though the current supporter of the world’s Greatest Steeplechase is Randox Health.In recent years we’ve seen Canadian gin firm – Seagram Distillers – sponsor the race from 1984 to 1991. While since then we’ve had Martell (1992-2004), John Smith’s (2005-2013) and Crabbie’s (2014-2016). Plus, unlike the big championship races like the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle, the Grand National is a race that everyday horse racing owners have a chance of winning.Yes, they still need a touch of class and, of course, stamina to win the race. But being a handicap, this always makes the Grand National open to a variety of horses of different ability.


We see heavyweight owners like Trevor Hemmings, JP McManus and Gigginstown House Stud win the Grand National. But in recent years we’ve also seen Grand National Prize money going to the likes of Auroras Encore, Pineau De Re and One For Arthur. They are winning the race for everyday owners, that might only have a few horses running under their name.



In the Grand National 2017, we saw the Lucinda Russell-trained One For Arthur win the race at 14/1 for owners Deborah Thompson and Belinda McClung. These two unknown owners hit the big-time when landing the £560k first prize. With a £1million prize haul, it pays out even on the 10th-placed horse. Getting £1k for just completing the course can pay it’s way.

With 40 runners, this means only 25% of the horses will get prize money. But going down to 10th place is much further down than any other race on the racing calendar.

The winner receives a cool £561k – a life-changing amount for most horse racing owners, plus with all the spin-offs and public appearances at Grand National winner can make afterwards then many boast their earning this way too. With a £350k difference between finishing first and second, the stakes are high. Just a nose – like in 2012 when Neptune Collonges beat Sunnyhillboy can be a bitter blow for the runner-up – not just in the prestige of winning the Grand National, but also by the small sum of £350k!

Third takes home just over £100k, while 4th pockets £52k in cash, with 5th netting £26k – not a bad day’s work if you can get it!



In terms of the jockeys, a National Hunt rider will receive in the region of approx £169.85 over jumps per ride, which in the whole scheme of things when it comes to the Grand National is pretty insignificant. We are sure most jockeys would ride in the race for free!!

Some jockeys have personal arrangements with owners and they receive a riders’ retainers fee for riding all that owners horses. Powerful owners like JP McManus is an example of this, who has had AP McCoy riding for him in the past for a reported £1million a year.

As well as their riders’ fees, the winning jockeys will also get a percentage of the prize money. On average this is around 8-8.5% for a winning ride, or 4-5% for a placed finish. Therefore, based on this the winning jockey of the Grand National in the present day will pocket around £45k for riding the winner!



1st £561,300
2nd £211,100
3rd £105,500
4th £52,700
5th £26,500
6th £13,200
7th £6,800
8th £3,600
9th £2,000
10th £1,000


Grand National Fences and Course

The Grand National fences are the ultimate test of horse and jockey. The race comprises two full circuits of a unique 2¼ mile (3,600 metres) course. Along the way, challengers face 30 of the most testing fences in the world of jump racing.The Grand National was originally designed as a cross-country steeplechase when it was first officially run in 1839. The runners started on the edge of the racecourse, racing out over open countryside towards the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The gates, hedges and ditches that they met along the way were flagged. These provided them with the earliest incarnation of today’s Grand National fences to be jumped along the way.


Posts and rails erected at the two points where the runners jumped a brook.The runners returned by running along the edge of the canal before re-entering the course at the opposite end. The runners then ran the length of the racecourse before the second circuit and finish at the stands. The majority of the race therefore took place not on the actual Aintree Racecourse but instead in the adjoining countryside. That countryside was incorporated into the modern course but commentators still often refer to it as “the country”. This confuses millions of once-a-year racing viewers.Nowadays, around 150 tonnes of spruce branches from the Lake District, are used to dress the Grand National fences. Each fence used to be made from a wooden frame and covered with the distinctive green spruce. However, a radical change for the 2013 renewal saw that frame replaced by a softer material known as “plastic birch”.



Following safety reviews after both the 2011 and 2012 renewals, a number of changes were made to the course. This included some reductions in Grand National fences or the drop after fences, plus the levelling of landing zones.

Since 2013, the start of the race is now 90 yards closer to the first fence. This reduced the race to four miles and three-and-a-half furlongs, from four-and-a-half miles. Measures were also introduced to stop horses getting caught up in the starting tape.

In particular, the start now includes the ‘no-go’ zone. This is defined by a line on the track extended from 15 to 30 yards from the starting tape. The starter’s rostrum has been moved to a position between the starting tape and the ‘no-go’ zone. This reduces the potential for horses to go through the starting tape prematurely.

The tapes themselves are also more user-friendly, with increased visibility. While there is now a specific briefing between the starters’ team and the jockeys on Grand National day.

The changes to the start are aimed at slowing the speed the first fence is approached at. While moving the start further away from the crowd reduces noise that can distract the horses.

The makeup of all of the Grand National fences changed significantly in 2013. The new fences are still covered in spruce, but wooden posts have been replaced by “plastic birch”. On top of that birch, there’s fourteen to sixteen inches of spruce that the horses can knock off. The outward appearance of the Grand National fences remains the same.

Other measures included £100,000 being invested in irrigation to produce the safest jumping ground possible. This includes a new bypass and pen around fence four to catch riderless horses.



There is a hazard to overcome even before the race starts. The build up, parade and re-girthing prior to the off lasts for around 25 minutes. This is over double the time it takes for any other race.

With 40 starters, riders naturally want a good sight of the first fence. After the long build-up, their nerves are stretched to breaking point. This means the stewards’ pre-race warning to go steady is often totally ignored.



1 & 17: Thorn fence, 4ft 6in high, 2ft 9in wide – The first often claims many victims as horses tend to travel to it far too keenly. As described above, the drop on the landing side was reduced in 2011.

2 & 18: Almost the same height as the first but much wider at 3ft 6in. Prior to 1888, the first two fences were located halfway between the first to second and second to third jumps. The fence became known as The Fan after a mare refused at the obstacle three years in succession. But it lost that name when the fences were relocated.

3 & 19 Westhead: This is the first big test with a 6ft ditch on the approach guarding a 4ft 10in high fence.

4 & 20: Plain fence, 4ft 10in high and 3ft wide. In 2011, the 20th became the first fence in Grand National history to be bypassed. It followed an equine fatality on the first circuit. In 2012, it was reduced in height by 2 inches to 4 foot 10 inches (1.47 metres). It was regarded as the hardest fence on the course to jump, along with Becher’s Brook. Its landing area was smoothed out ahead of the 2013 race.

5 & 21: Spruce dressed fence, 5ft high and 3ft 6in wide. Its landing side was also levelled in 2013. It was bypassed on the final lap for the first time in 2012. Medics needed treat a jockey who fell from his mount on the first lap and had broken a leg.



6 & 22 Becher’s Brook: Although the fence looks innocuous from the take-off side, the steep drop on the landing side, together with a left-hand turn on landing, combine to make this the most thrilling and famous fence in the horse racing world. The fence actually measures well over 6 ft on the landing side. A drop of between 5 and 10 in from take off lies on the other side. Horses are not expecting the ground the disappear under them on landing. Riders need to sit back and use their body weight to act as ballast to keep the horses stable.

As described above, there have been a number of alterations to make it fairer and safer for horse and rider. The whole field managed to clear the obstacle on the first circuit last year.

Becher’s Brook earned its name as one of the most famous Grand National fences when a top jockey, Captain Martin Becher, took shelter in the brook after being unseated. “Water tastes disgusting without the benefits of whisky” he reflected.

7 & 23 Foinavon Fence: Basically an ‘ordinary’ fence (4ft 6in high and 3ft wide) that was made famous in 1967 when Fionavon was the only horse to scramble over it at the first time of asking, following a mass pile-up. The jump is the smallest on the course. Though, coming straight after the biggest drop, it can catch horses and riders out.


8 & 24 Canal Turn: Made of hawthorn stakes covered in Norway spruce, it gets its name from the fact that there is a canal in front of the horses when they land. To avoid it, they must turn a full 90 degrees when they touch down.

The race can be won or lost here. A diagonal leap, taking the fence at a scary angle reduces the turn on landing. With 30 or more horses often standing at this point, not every rider has the option to take this daring passage. Before the First World War, it was not uncommon for loose horses to continue straight after the jump. They’d end up in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal itself. There was once a ditch before the fence but this was filled in after a mêlée in the 1928 race.


9 & 25 Valentine’s Brook: The third of four famous fences to be jumped in succession. It is 5ft high and 3ft 3in wide with a brook on the landing side that’s about 5ft 6in wide. The fence was originally known as the Second Brook. But it was renamed after a horse named Valentine was reputed to have jumped the fence hind legs first in 1840.

10 & 26: Thorn fence, 5ft high and 3ft wide that leads the runners alongside the canal towards two ditches.

11 & 27 Booth: The main problem with this fence, which is 5ft high and 3ft wide, is the 6ft wide ditch on the take-off side.

12 & 28: Same size as the two previous fences, but with a 5ft 6in ditch on the landing side, which can catch runners out.

The runners then cross the Melling Road near to the Anchor Bridge. It’s a popular vantage point since the earliest days of the race. This also marks the point where the runners are said to be re-entering the “racecourse proper”. In the early days it was thought there was an obstacle near this point known as the Table Jump. It may have resembled a bank like those seen at Punchestown in Ireland. In the 1840s the Melling Road was also flanked by hedges and the runners had to jump into the road and then back out.

13 & 29: Second-last fence on the final circuit, it is 4ft 7in high and 3ft wide. This is the other obstacle to have had its landing side smoothed out ahead of the 2013 renewal.

14 & 30: Almost the same height as the previous fence and it is rare for any horse to fall at the final fence in the Grand National.



15 The Chair: The final two jumps of the first circuit form the only pair negotiated just once. They couldn’t be more different. The Chair is both the tallest (5ft 2in) and broadest fence. It has a 6ft wide ditch on the take-off side.

The landing side turf is actually raised six inches above the take-off ground. This has the opposite effect to the drop at Becher’s. After having stretched to get over the ditch, horses are surprised to find the ground coming up to meet them. This is spectacular when horses get it right and, for all the wrong reasons, when they don’t.

This fence is the site of the only human fatality in the National’s history. Joe Wynne sustained injuries in a fall in 1862. This brought about the ditch on the take-off side of the fence. The fence was the location where a distance judge sat in the earliest days of the race. On the second circuit he would record the finishing order from his position. He would declare any horse that had not passed him before the previous runner passed the finishing post as “distanced”, a non-finisher. The practise ended in the 1850s but the monument where the chair stood is still there.

The fence was originally known as the Monument Jump but The Chair came into more regular use in the 1930s.

16 Water Jump: This 2ft 9in fence brings the first circuit to an end. The sight of the runners jumping it at speed presents a terrific spectacle in front of the grandstands. The fence was originally a stone wall in the very early Grand Nationals. On the final circuit, after the 30th fence, the remaining runners bear right, avoiding The Chair and Water Jump, to head onto a “run-in” to the finishing post.



The 474-yard long run in from the final fence to the finish is the longest in the country. It has an acute elbow halfway up it that further drains the stamina reserves of both horse and jockey.

For numerous riders, this elongated run-in has proved mental and physical agony. The winning post seems to be retreating with every weary stride.

Don’t count your money until the post is reached as with the rest of the Grand National course. The run-in can, and usually does, change fortunes. The likes of Devon Loch, Crisp and Sunnyhillboy have all famously had defeat snatched in heat breaking fashion.



No visit to Aintree would be complete without taking the opportunity to see some of these famous fences close up. The whole course can actually be walked on the morning of the race (subject to ground conditions and security requirements). Walkers should leave an hour to do a circuit, which must be completed one hour prior to the first race. Maps, guiding racegoers to the start point, are located around the racecourse.



Historically, the allocation of weights for the Grand National was crucial for the prospects of trainers, jockeys and owners. The Grand National Handicap has cleared the path to big-race glory or produced a burden too heavy to overcome.

Unlike the other most prestigious steeplechase of the year, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Grand National is a handicap race. This means horses carry differing weights according to their previous form. The idea behind the Grand National handicap is to make for a more even race. The handicapper’s ultimate (though unfeasible) aim is for all horses to pass the winning post in a dead heat.

The Grand National is the only race where the British Horseracing Authority’s Head of Handicapping, Phil Smith, can use his discretion to determine the weights. He can personally select what each horse will carry and can deviate from the normal handicap ratings.

The “best” horse in the race is given the top weight (about 11st 10lb). The weights allotted to the other horses are set in relation to this. This means if the top-weighted horse drops out, the weights for others may alter but will not change in relation to each other.



Even if a horse is allotted 8st 12lbs, it must carry 10 stone, the required minimum. This means some horses will be carrying possibly a stone more than they should be (known as being out of the handicap). This disadvantage should suggest they are likely to perform less well than their rivals. Many punters will automatically put a line through horses who are out of the Grand National handicap. As the quality of the horses has improved, few horses if any are running off anything other than their mark.

In allocating a weight to each horse, handicapper Phil Smith must take a variety of factors into account. This includes form – a horse’s recent/previous performances and the course: the so-called ‘Aintree Factor’. This begs the questions, does the horse like the track? Is (s)he proven over long trips?

The final field is determined by each contender’s rating. The highest-weighted horses given preference in a maximum field of 40.

Until Many Clouds, no horse carrying more than 11st 7lb had won since Red Rum‘s 1977 third victory, (11st 8lb). However, in the 25 runnings between 1984 and 2009 only one winner (Hedgehunter, 2005) carried more than 11st. The win in 2010 of Don’t Push It carrying 11st 5lb clearly heralded a change in this trend. Many Clouds shouldered 11st 9lbs.



Five of the last seven winners in the Grand National Handicap have carried at least 11st. There is now a widespread view that horses at the top are no longer at a big disadvantage. In part, it’s due to a new formula for handicapping the National devised in 2001. Essentially the handicap has been compressed, decreasing the gap between the top and lowest weighted horses, creating a more competitive race.

According to Phil Smith: “Looking back over the history of the race, we realised that the highly weighted horses had a moderate record, so we thought something needed to be done to try to not overburden the better horses.”

Some 15 years ago, the Grand National field was still largely made up of horses out of the handicap. They were carrying the minimum 10st weight. On the final race card these could sometimes account for 70% of the field. But, as we’ve already said, in the past few years, every horse has got into the handicap proper. In 1999, the lowest-rated horse in the race had an official rating of 110. In the 2011 renewal, the lowest-rated horse, Golden Kite, has a rating of 135. So, the quality of the field increased by 25lbs in that 11 year period. Last year’s bottom weights had a mark of 139.

The result is that the top weighted horses will have only a few pounds more than their rivals. Officials will be giving no more than a stone and a half to any runner. It’s a far cry from a century ago, when Manifesto, the 1897 and 1899 winner, gave 48lb to some horses in the 1900 race.



All of this means that shouldering a burden of 11st or more – previously considered insurmountable – is no longer the task it used to be. When Hedgehunter carried 11st 1lb in 2005, he was the first National winner to carry over 11st in 22 years. But 2009 winner, Mon Mome, carried 11st to win the race in a year in which the top four horses all carried 11st or more, whilst the 2010 winner – Don’t Push It – carried 11st 5lb and the runner-up – Black Apalachi – carried 11st 6lb.

In a single, idiosyncratic race like the National, there will always be outsiders. But it is likely that Aintree has seen the last of winners such as Bobbyjo who, carrying 10st in 1999 and racing from 14lbs out of the handicap, streaked to victory by 10 lengths. In fact, the recent dramatic increase in the quality of horses taking part means Bobbyjo wouldn’t have made the starting line in any of the past 10 runnings. According to Smith: “Weight is important but it’s not the be all and end all, it’s just the trainers who think it is.”

Thus, whilst Red Rum remains the last horse to win the Grand National Handicap off top weight (and the first since the 1930s), it may not be long before that achievement is repeated – 2013 winner, Neptune Collonges, was the fifth top weight, whilst only former Gold Cup winner Lord Windamere had more weight than Many Clouds.

As sporting sights go, few can match the sheer excitement of 40 horses thundering towards the first fence at Aintree in the Grand National.


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Grand National Runners 2018 – Horses

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Weight: 11-9 / Age: 9 / Jockey: S. Twiston-Davies / Trainer: N. Twiston-Davies
Fourth in the 2017 Grand National. Rated 9lbs higher this year, but loves these fences and has been popular in the betting since winning the Becher Chase here in December.

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Weight: 11-4 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: W. Mullins
A fast-improving chaser from a top Irish yard that won the Grand National in 2005. An easy winner over hurdles at Leopardstown to protect his handicap mark, plus too the Ladbrokes Gold Trophy Handicap back in December – runs in the race for the first time, but a big player.

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Weight: 10-12 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: G. Elliott
Pulled-up in the Irish National last season, but the winner of the 4m race at the Cheltenham Festival in 2017. Will stay the trip and having finished in the top three in 10 of his 15 chase starts often runs well. Only 8 so there could be more to come.

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Weight: 11-10 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: J. O’Neill
Was a cracking runner-up in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but hasn’t really built on that since. Dangerous to dismiss though as hails from connections and the trainer that teamed up to win this in 2010.

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Weight: 11-7 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: K. Bailey
Was second in the 2016 Grand National, but well back in 16th 12 months ago. Rated 2lbs lower this year, but is still 10lbs higher than this second in 2016. Loves the track and fences, but could be more likely to be placed than win.

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Weight: 11-7 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: AJ Martin
Never raced at Aintree and done most of his racing in Ireland. From a shrewd stable and his Paddy Power Chase win over Christmas brings a top-level of form to the race.

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Weight: 11-1 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: G. Elliott
Runner-up in the 2017 Grand National and rated only 3lbs higher this time. Gets in with a nice weight and hails from a yard that won this race in 2007. Looks sure to go well again.

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Weight: 10-10 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: W. Mullins
Looks to be very well-handicapped off a mark of 148 and only 10-7 to carry. Third in the 2017 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival is smart form but does need to prove he can stay this much longer trip – all runs have been over 3m1f or shorter.

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Weight: 11-3 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: N. Henderson
Been a real improver this season. His powerful stable are still looking for their first winner in the race, but at just 8 years-old there could be more to come. Did fall in the Topham Chase, over these fences, last season though.

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Weight: 10-12 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: Willie Mullins
High-class hurdler in his day. Been running with credit in decent Grade One races in Ireland. Won 4 and been placed in 7 of his 10 chase starts. From a powerful stable that won this in 2005. Looks another interesting one of those at bigger prices, but would be another that would need to prove himself over this trip.

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Weight: 11-9 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: S. Thompson
Was third in the 2016 Scottish National so staying the trip is not an issue. Lightly-raced for a 10 year and could be dangerous with just 10-8 to carry.

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Weight: 10-13 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: P. Nicholls
Has won the Scottish National twice before and owned by Trevor Hemmings, who has won this race three times in the past. Unseated at the first fence 12 months ago and has fallen/unseated in 3 of this last 8. A player, but needs to might need to jump better.

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Weight: 10-12 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: A. Honeyball
Ran a gallant 8th in the Grand National in 2017. Gets in off the same mark so every chance again, but if he couldn’t win it last year off this rating (beaten 28 lengths) he’ll need to improve.

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Weight: 10-9 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: G. Elliott
Had his supporters in the race 12 months ago, but unseated at the 22nd fence when in mid division. Rated 2lbs lower this year so every chance of going well. Was also fourth in the 2016 Becher Chase over these fences.

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Weight: 10-10 / Age: 12 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: I. Williams
Has winning form over the Grand National fences when winning the Grand Sefton here in December. Light weight, but not getting any younger at 12 – since 1996 we’ve seen just one winner aged 12.

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Weight: 10-12 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: D. Pipe
Was sent off a well-fancied 12/1 for the race in 2017. Was a fair 6th that day, but beaten 27 lengths. Only rated a pound higher and has winning form over these fences (2016 Becher Chase). Stronger horse now and could be dangerous if bouncing back to form.

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Weight: 10-10 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: W. Mullins
9th in the Grand National in 2017 and off a pound lower mark would have a chance of improving on that run. Debatable whether he got home though 12 months ago.

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Weight: 10-7 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: S. Smith
An improving 8 year-old chaser that gets in with a light weight. From a yard that’s won this race before and should get the trip, having won over 3m5f last time. Looks one of the better outsiders.

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Weight: 10-8 / Age: 13 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: G. Cromwell
8th in the 2014 running and unseated in the 2017 Grand National. At 13 years-old he’s likely to find some younger legs improve past him. However, staying will be fine and he did turn back the clock to win the Welsh National this season at Chepstow.

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Weight: 10-3 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: S. Smith
From a yard that’s won this race before. Fourth in the Welsh National and has won at Aintree in the past. A very consistent sort, but does tend to finish second more times than winning. One for the shortlist from the bigger-priced runners.

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Weight: 10-7 / Age: 11 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: E. Williams
The yard has never won the race, but had many placed in it. Not getting any younger at 11, but with 10-4 gets in with a very light weight. Well-handicapped on old form - was 12th in the 2016 running of this race off 6lbs higher.

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Weight: 10-5 / Age: 11 / Jockey: Bryony Frost / Trainer: N. King
Won the Classic Chase at Warwick in January, but failed to follow-up off a 9lb higher mark next time in the Eider Chase. Not the most consistent, but has been second over 4m1f in the Midlands National so getting the trip is fine. Might want soft ground though.


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Weight: 10-10 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: C. Tizzard
Won the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in January, but pulled-up in the Grand National Trial since. Only had 8 chase runs and been placed in the top 3 in 6 of those. Acts on most ground and does have the form to run with credit.

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Weight: 10-11 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: P. Nicholls
Would need to prove he gets the trip, but could be interesting. Bought by leading Grand National owner – Trever Hemmings – recently and hails from the Paul Nicholls yard that won this in 2012. Nice weight with 10-8 and could go well if taking to the fences.

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Weight: 10-5 / Age: 13 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: G. Elliott
Likes these sort of fences – often goes well in the Cross Country race at the Cheltenham Festival, but at 13 years-old looks too old.

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Weight: 11-1 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: R. Hobson
Often finishes second! Has run some solid races this season but has won just 1 of his last 16 races. Only 8 years-old so has time on his side, however, pulled-up in the 2017 race too when hampered. 3lbs lower this year.

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Weight: 11-3/ Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: M. Morris
Ran second in the 2016 Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and has since been 8th in the 2017 Irish National. Another classy Irish runner that is often seen in Graded races, while his yard took this race in 2016 for the same connections.

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Weight: 10-7 / Age: 7 / Jockey: Katie Walsh / Trainer: R. O'Sullivan
Been running well in Ireland and improved a lot for the step up in trip to 3m4f last time. But only a 7 year-old so might be one for the future – the last 7 year-old to win the Grand National was in the 1940’s!

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Weight: 11-0 / Age: 12 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: J. Kiely
Former winner of the Grade One Punchestown Gold Cup and has run well in some top races during his career. Another of the old brigade though at 12, so likely to find some younger legs get the better of him.

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Weight: 10-5 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: D. Dennis
Could be dangerous with only 10-2 to carry. Third in the Welsh National and actually 2lbs lower here. Acts on most ground and finished in the top three in 7 of this 10 chase starts.

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Weight: 11-11 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: F. O’Brien
Won the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup and was 7th in this race 12 months ago. 12 years-old now, but rated 3lbs lower than last year and off just 10-3 could be dangerous. A high-class chaser in the past and if retaining any of that ability looks one of the more interesting of the longer-priced runners.

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Weight: 10-9 / Age: 12 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: T. George
Ran another blinder in the race last year (3rd) and was second in 2015. 12 years-old now, but loves this race and these fences so although he’s likely to find a few too good again, does look a good e/w option – races off the same rating as last year (3rd).

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Weight: 11-6 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: H. de Bromhead
Classy on his day, but a horse that has had his issues over the years. Would be dangerous to rule out if finding his old form, but hasn’t really shown signs he will based on recent runs.

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Weight: 11-11 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: F. O’Brien
Pulled-up in both the Welsh National and the Eider Chase this season. A very light weight (10-8) would make him dangerous to rule out and these owners have often done well in the race.

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Weight: 10-4 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: S. Smith
The yard won the 2013 Grand National. Another that likes to race up with the pace and with just 10-1 will feel like he’s got a feather weight. Got tired over 4m1f last time, but did have 11-12 that day. Could surprise at fair odds.

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Weight: 10-13 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: J. O’Neill
His yard won this race in 2010 so know what’s required. Like to front run, so weill at least be staying out of trouble. Needs to prove himself over this longer trip though and last win came off a 9lb lower mark.

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Weight: 10-4 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: M. Morris
From the Mouse Morris yard that won this in 2016. Unseated at the 9th in the 2017 Grand National when badly hampered by a loose horse. 2lbs lower this year and off 10-1 gets in with a light weight.

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Weight: 10-12 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: W. Mullins
Often well-fancied for his races and was a 32 length Grade One winner at Navan last season. However, has been a beaten favourite many times this season and often flattered. The trip would also be a huge unknown and despite having bits of top form also looks an unreliable sort.

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Weight: 10-4 / Age: 11 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: N. Meade
Talented chaser on his day, but at 11 years-old is not getting any younger. Not been firing of late either – so is age finally catching up with him?

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Weight: 9-11 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: N. Mulholland
Starting to look very well-handicapped. Won the 2016 Bet365 Gold Cup off 148 and is now rated 135. 6th in the Becher Chase this year gave him more experience of the fences, but did fall – when still in touch - in this race in 2017. Looks interesting.

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Weight: 10-7 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: W. Mullins
Only had a handful of runs over fences so that would be a worry. Fair bits of form, but pulled-up in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown in February.

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Weight: 10-7 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: C. Longsdon
Looks to have a nice weight and ran a blinder to be 2nd in the 2017 Kim Muir at Cheltenham. 13th in the 2016 Grand National too – but beaten over 100 lengths that day and only a pound lower. Acts on most ground.

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Weight: 10-7 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: W. Mullins
A decent handicapper that won the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham this season. Would need several to come out of the race to get in though, plus this extreme trip would be a huge unknown.

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AS DE MEE flag

Weight: 10-7 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: P. Nicholls
Unseated in the Becher Chase here in December so that’s a slight worry, but has also been 5th in a Topham Chase (2017) and won the 2016 Grand Sefton over these fences. Improving chaser and with his course experience dangerous to rule out.

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Weight: 10-11 / Age: 7 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: N. Meade
Ran well to be second in the BobbyJo Chase at Fairyhouse in February and if building on that has a chance, but might be another with a bit to prove over the trip.

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Weight: 11-2 / Age: 11 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: F. O'Brien
Another of the older brigade at 11 years-old. Was pulled up in the 2017 race though and only 2lbs lower this time. Does, however, have 6lbs less to carry this time and was a good winner at Cheltenham in Nov over 3m3f so should be fine over the trip. Could be dangerous to rule out of the bigger-priced runners.

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Weight: 10-0 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: N. Meade
Only 8 years-old so could be one for the future. Not been firing this season though – having been pulled-up in 3 of her last 4 races and would also need a lot of horses to come out of the race to get in.

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Weight: 9-13 / Age: 7 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: P. Nicholls
A promising young chaser that ran a blinder to be 4th in the Ladbrokes Gold Trophy this season at Newbury – beaten just 13 lengths behind Total Recall. Only 7 years-old though and the last horse aged 7 to win the National was in the 1940’s.

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Weight: 10-6 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: S. Coltherd
A real stayer that won the Tommy Whittle Chase this season at Haydock. 9lbs higher for that win but wasn’t disgraced when second in the Peter Marsh off this rating next time. Was 6th in the Grand Sefton so has handled these fences and with a light weight is another of the bigger-priced runners that could surprise.

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Weight: 10-5 / Age: 12 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: N. Twiston-Davies
Likes to race up with the pace, but at 12 years-old is not getting any younger. Pulled-up in the 2016 race but is rated 7lbs lower this time. Hard to get too excited but does hail from a yard that have done well in the race – winning it twice before.

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Weight: 9-13 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: P. Bowen
This 8 year-old is an improving chaser that ran a solid second in a Listed Chase at Ascot in Feb. Lightly-raced over fences so there should be more to come and his yard – despite never winning the National – often do well at the track.

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Weight: 10-9 / Age: 11 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: J. Candlish
Has done well for an older horse over the last few years. Also has a good win-to-runs ratio over fences. First time over these fences though and would need to prove stamina over this trip.

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Weight: 10-7 / Age: 13 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: P. Griffin
13 years-old now and it’s rare horses this old win the National. Stamina to prove too with most runs around 3m or shorter.

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Weight: 10-1 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: V. Williams
The Venetia Williams yard won the Grand National with a 100/1 shot in 2009 so you never know! Doesn’t have a bad chase record – being placed in the top three in 7 of his 12 starts but hasn’t set the world alight yet this season.

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Weight: 10-7 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: D. Skelton
Would get in with a light weight which is a plus. Has also run well at Aintree in the past (Mildmay course). Also best on good ground so conditions will be key on the day.

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COGRY flag

Weight: 10-0 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: N. Twiston-Davies
Another from the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard that have done well in this race. Used to be a suspect jumper but has ironed a lot of those issues out. Stays well but unseated in the 2016 Becher Chase over these fences so that would be a worry.

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Weight: 9-9 / Age: 8 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: T. Martin
From a shrewd yard. Was sixth behind Total Recall at Leopardstown in February but has only won once over fences from 19 starts and this would be his first try over these fences.

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Weight: 10-1 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: N. Meade
Would need quite a few to come out of the race to get in. Pulled-up in the 2017 race but is a massive 14lbs lower this time.

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Weight: 10-0 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: M. Scudamore
Staying is his game. Won the 2017 Eider Chase over 4m and was second in the Midlands National that year too. Would probably want the ground soft though – if it did then could outrun his odds.

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Weight: 10-1 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: G. Elliott
From a top yard that won this in 2007. Would need a fair few to come out of the race but looks to be running into form after a solid 4th at Leopardstown last time out. Was also 5th in the Irish National in 2017 so staying the trip will be fine. If getting in the race, one to consider of the bigger-priced runners.

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Weight: 9-12 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: D. McCain
A useful horse on his day but has had his issues. Returned at Musselburgh recently with a fair 6th of 11. Should improve for that, however, has been pulled up on his last two visits to Aintree.

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Weight: 9-8 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: M. Morris
From the yard that won this in 2016. Been poor this season though and would need a lot to come out of the race to get in.

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Weight: 10-6 / Age: 11 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: V. Williams
Another from the Venetia Williams yard that has won this race before. A decent stayer on his day and was 10th in this race in 2017. Is 5lbs lower this time and with just 10-3 would have a featherweight for a horse that is a proven stayer.

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Weight: 11-0 / Age: 11 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: V. Williams
17th in the race 12 months ago and gets in off the same mark – therefore, hard to get too excited about, but softer ground might help his cause.

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OUT SAM flag

Weight: 9-6 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: G. Elliott
Now with the powerful Gordon Elliott yard, but is on a long losing run now and also unlikely to get into the race.

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Weight: 9-13 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: R. Curtis
Ran well in a Grade Three Chase at Kempton in Feb. Also ran a solid third over 4m1f at Musselburgh this season so staying will be fine. Would have an outside chance but would need several to come out of the race.

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Weight: 9-13 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: R. Curtis
Stays well and has run well in many staying races over his career. Turned back the clock at 13 years-old to be 2nd in the Welsh National this season so you never know! Would ideally want soft ground and we don’t see many 13 years-old winning the National!

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Weight: 9-3 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: K. Lee
Another that would need a lot to come out to get in and even if he did would probably be running out of the handicap too – which would make his task even harder!

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Weight: 9-8 / Age: 9 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: V. Dartnall
Was 12th in the Scottish National in 2017 but is 7lbs lower here. Has won over 4m1f so will get the trip, but unlikely to get into the race.

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Weight: 10-0 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: D. Skelton
Dan Skelton-trained but pulled-up in the Grand National Trial at Haydock last time. Better ground would suit though and has won this season.

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Weight: 11-3 / Age: 10 / Jockey: ? / Trainer: K. Lee
Not been running well this season and pulled-up in the Becher Chase over these fences in Dec. Unlikely to get into the race though.


Where is the smart money going?

Blaklion currently heads the 105 entries for the 2018 Grand National and at this stage can be backed around 10/1* to win the race. This Nigel-Twiston-Davies-trained 9 year-old was fourth in the 2017 Grand National and has returned this season better than ever. We last saw him winning the Becher Chase – a race that is also run over the National fences at Aintree – in December. He carried 11-1 to be fourth 12 months ago off a mark of 152, so we can expect the handicapper to have his rating to a similar level this time. The horse’s next target is in the Haydock Grand National Trial (Feb 17th) before heading to the National as the favourite of the Grand National Runners – here’s what his trainer – Nigel Twiston-Davies – said after his Becher Chase victory:

“You want 7-4 to get round, don’t you? It’s a relief. It’s what we hoped for and what we expected. Blaklion didn’t quite get home in the National but we could see in the National that his fencing was superb. He’s got this Red Rum-type of way of getting over the fences, he’s small but very agile and accurate. I’m sorry to use his name but he reminds me of Red Rum, though he’s got a lot do to be anything like him! He was only beaten eight lengths last year (in the National) and he has another year under his belt. Other things will pop out of the woodwork I’m sure but he must have a very good chance if we ride him with more restraint like we did today. We have only got eight lengths to find. He will probably wait until the Grand National Trial at Haydock, then the National” – Nigel Twiston-Davies, trainer. (Racing Post)

Twiston-Davies, who don’t forget has won the Grand National twice before, also has Bristol De Mai, Splash Of Ginge and Flying Angel amongst the 105 entries. Blaklion beat another Grand National stalwart in recent years – The Last Samuri – by 9 lengths in this season’s Becher Chase and is another that has the Merseyside marathon as his target. This Kim Bailey-trained runner was 16th in the 2017 National, but also runner-up in 2016 behind Rule The World. He continued his preparation for the Grand National with a fine fourth in the Cotswold Chase behind Definitly Red at Cheltenham on January 27th and at 20/1 in the betting he’s sure to be popular again on the day.

“That confirmed The Last Samuri not a Gold Cup horse and that’s why we came here. He was flat out but has still run a very good race. He’ll more than likely go straight to the Grand National now” – Kim Bailey, trainer (Racing Post)

Definitly Red is another big player ahead of the 2018 Grand National. He was well-fancied in the 2017 renewal, but was pulled before the 9th fence after being badly hampered in the race. This 9 year-old has certainly improved this season and was very impressive in winning the Grade Two Cotswold Chase in January. With around 4 weeks between the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the National this year he should have plenty of time to take in both races. He’s around 20/1* in the Grand National betting market, while his trainer – Brian Ellison feels he’s the best he’s ever trained.

“I thought the other horse (American) was going better, but Danny took a pull to lie a couple of lengths off him and when he gave him a kick in the belly he took off. Definitely Red just got better every year and the plan this year was to keep him fresh. Today would tell us if we went for the Gold Cup, so we’ll go now. He wants good ground, I think he’ll be better on it as he’s not short of speed. He just doesn’t like it tacky. It’s a good place to have a winner. You’ve got to have a good horse to come here and he’s the best I’ve ever trained” – Brian Ellison, trainer. (Racing Post)

The current British champion trainer – Nicky Henderson – is yet to win the Grand National but has three entries at this stage. Gold Present, who won well at Ascot in December, looks the best hope at around 25/1 in the betting. The form of that Ascot win has since been franked with the second – Frodon – winning easily at Cheltenham in January.

“Gold Present is a proper steeplechaser. He’s a very good jumper – that’s what he’s good at so you have to make sure you use it. He stays well but he’s not shy of a gear or two” – Nicky Henderson, trainer. (Racing Post)

Vyta Du Roc, who won well in the first-time cheekpieces at Cheltenham in January, and O O Seven are Henderson’s other entries.

The Irish Challenge – Grand National Runners

Of the 105 entries, Ireland’s champion trainer – Willie Mullins – is responsible for 10. In total, the Irish have 40 of the 105 entries, so Mullins-trained runners account for 25% of all the Irish horses.

Mullins has won the Grand National once before (Hedgehunter, 2005) so knows what’s required. Poldam and Rathvinden are two of his leading fancies, but the improving Total Recall looks his main player. This 9 year-old ticks a lot of boxes and it was interesting that connections ran him over hurdles last time at Leopardstown to keep his chase handicap mark down. They clearly wanted to get a run into him, but to save his chase mark running over hurdles could turn out to be a shrewd move. The horse dotted-up in that 3 mile Leopardstown race by 3 lengths and is generally second favourite in the Grand National Runners betting at 16/1*.

Don’t forget Total Recall also won the Ladbrokes Gold Trophy (Hennessy) this season at Newbury, beating the useful Whisper by a neck. He’s a big player at this stage, but he’s also entered in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so a lot will depend on how he fares in that race.

Gordon Elliott, who won the Grand National in 2007 with Silver Birch, is the other main Irish trainer and also has 10 of the 105 entries. Mala Beach and Outlander, who ran a close second in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown in February, look his main players – Mala Beach is around 40/1* and Outlander is 33/1*.

The 10 year-old Outlander is owned by Gigginstown House Stud, who took the Grand National in 2016 for the first time with Rule The World, and is one of 11 entries for these powerful owners.

Other leading owners to note are JP McManus, who won the race with Don’t Push It in 2010 wearing his famous green and gold colours. He’s got seven of the 105 entries, including the 2017 runner-up Cause Of Causes (25/1*), the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup second – Minella Rocco (20/1*) and Paddy Power Gold Cup hero Anibale Fly. Mouse Morris is another of the Irish yards to have had success in the race in recent times. He won the Grand National in 2016 with Rule The World and will be looking to follow-up with Rogue Angel and Thunder And Roses, who are his entries.

Back on the domestic front, trainer Paul Nicholls is another handler that’s won the race recently. He took the prize for the first time in 2012 with Neptune Collonges and has six entered. Vicente (33/1*), who already has a National to his name – the Scottish version – looks his main hope. He hopes to give owner Trevor Hemmings his fourth win in the race. His 9 year-old was well-fancied for the 2017 Grand National, but fell at the first. Hemmings also has Welsh National fourth – Vintage Clouds (50/1*) – entered.

The winner of that Welsh National – Raz De Maree (50/1*) – is another who holds an entry, but this 13 year-old will be looking to become the oldest Grand National winner since Sergeant Murphy landed the prize in 1923!

John Baker, Regional Director, The Jockey Club Racecourses North West, said: “We are delighted with the excellent quality of entries for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National, which once again offers a total prize fund of £1 million.

“It is also pleasing to break the 100-barrier for the fourth time in five years in terms of the number of entries and we continue to receive very strong support from Ireland.

“The 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival offers record prize money of £3.21 million and preparations are well underway at Aintree for what will be an outstanding three days of racing.

“We are now eagerly anticipating the unveiling of the weights for the world’s greatest chase, with the surroundings of BAFTA in London providing a suitably prestigious backdrop.” (Jockey Club Racecourses)

*All odds at time of publishing. All subject to change.

Grand National Runners 2018

A GENIE IN ABOTTLE (IRE)7Gigginstown House StudNoel Meade IRE10-08149
ABOLITIONIST (IRE)10M Albon, J A Provan & C E StedmanDr Richard Newland10-04145
ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS (FR)8Slaneyville SyndicateWillie Mullins IRE10-09150
ALFIE SPINNER (IRE)13Alan Beard & Brian BeardKerry Lee9-06133
ALPHA DES OBEAUX (FR)8Gigginstown House StudMouse Morris IRE11-00155
AMERICAN (FR)8The Jago Family PartnershipHarry Fry11-02157
ANIBALE FLY (FR)8J P McManusTony Martin IRE11-04159
ARBRE DE VIE (FR)8Susannah RicciWillie Mullins IRE9-11138
AS DE MEE (FR)8The Stewart Family & Judi DenchPaul Nicholls10-08149
BAIE DES ILES (FR)7Mrs Z WentworthRoss O’Sullivan IRE10-04145
BALLYALTON (IRE)11John WestwoodIan Williams9-11138
BEEVES (IRE)11Paul & Clare RooneyJennie Candlish10-06147
BELLSHILL (IRE)8Andrea & Graham WylieWillie Mullins IRE10-07148
BLAKLION9S Such & C G PalettaNigel Twiston-Davies11-06161
BLESS THE WINGS (IRE)13Adrian Butler/S P O’ConnorGordon Elliott IRE10-02143
BONNY KATE (IRE)8Patricia HuntNoel Meade IRE9-11138
BRAQUEUR D’OR (FR)7Corsellis & SeyfriedPaul Nicholls9-10137
BRAVISSIMO (FR)7Susannah RicciWillie Mullins IRE9-05132
BRISTOL DE MAI (FR)7Simon Munir & Isaac SouedeNigel Twiston-Davies11-09164
BUYWISE (IRE)11T Hywel JonesEvan Williams10-04145
CAPTAIN REDBEARD (IRE)9Stuart ColtherdStuart Coltherd10-03144
CARLINGFORD LOUGH (IRE)12J P McManusJohn Kiely IRE10-11152
CAROLE’S DESTRIER10Mrs C SkipworthNeil Mulholland10-05146
CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA)10J P McManusGordon Elliott IRE10-12153
CHASE THE SPUD10Mrs C BanksFergal O’Brien10-08149
CHILDRENS LIST (IRE)8Susannah RicciWillie Mullins IRE10-04145
COGRY9Graham and Alison JelleyNigel Twiston-Davies9-11138
DANCING SHADOW (IRE)9The Dancing ShadowsVictor Dartnall9-05132
DEFINITLY RED (IRE)9Phil & Julie MartinBrian Ellison11-10165
DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR (IRE)8McGoldrick Racing 3Sue Smith10-01142
DOUBLE ROSS (IRE)12Options O SyndicateNigel Twiston-Davies10-02143
EDWULF9J P McManusJoseph O’Brien IRE11-09164
FINAL NUDGE (IRE)9Corbett StudDavid Dennis10-02143
FLYING ANGEL (IRE)7R J RextonNigel Twiston-Davies10-07148
GAS LINE BOY (IRE)12The Three GracesIan Williams10-07148
GENERAL PRINCIPLE (IRE)9Gigginstown House StudGordon Elliott IRE9-12139
GO CONQUER (IRE)9Paul & Clare RooneyJonjo O’Neill10-10151
GOLD PRESENT (IRE)8John & Barbara CottonNicky Henderson11-00155
GOODTOKNOW10Burling Lee MacEchern Nolan PotterKerry Lee11-00155
HENRI PARRY MORGAN10Ednyfed & Elizabeth MorganPeter Bowen9-06133
HOUBLON DES OBEAUX (FR)11Mrs Julian BlackwellVenetia Williams10-03144
I JUST KNOW (IRE)8M B Scholey & The Late R H ScholeySue Smith10-04145
KNOCK HOUSE (IRE)9Tim LeslieDonald McCain9-09139
KRACKATOA KING10J C Harrison Lee & T Howard PartnershipKerry Lee9-00127
LONG HOUSE HALL (IRE)10Carl HinchyDan Skelton10-05146
LORD WINDERMERE (IRE)12Dr Ronan LambeJim Culloty IRE10-03144
MAGGIO (FR)13Douglas Pryde/James BeaumontPatrick Griffin IRE10-04145
MALA BEACH (IRE)10Chris JonesGordon Elliott IRE11-03158
MILANSBAR (IRE)11Robert BothwayNeil King10-02143
MINELLA DADDY (IRE)8Roddy Owen & Paul FullagarPeter Bowen9-10137
MINELLA ROCCO (IRE)8J P McManusJonjo O’Neill11-07162
MISSED APPROACH (IRE)8Alan & Andrew TurnerWarren Greatrex9-11138
MORNING ASSEMBLY (IRE)11Clipper Logistics Group LtdPat Fahy IRE10-02143
MYSTEREE (IRE)10Lynne MaclennanMichael Scudamore9-11138
NOBLE ENDEAVOR (IRE)9Chris JonesGordon Elliott IRE10-13154
O O SEVEN (IRE)8Christopher HanburyNicky Henderson10-11152
OUT SAM9D CharlesworthGordon Elliott IRE9-03130
OUTLANDER (IRE)10Gigginstown House StudGordon Elliott IRE11-08163
PAIROFBROWNEYES (IRE)9Fibbage SyndicateWillie Mullins IRE9-10137
PENDRA (IRE)10J P McManusCharlie Longsdon10-04145
PERFECT CANDIDATE (IRE)11ISL RecruitmentFergal O’Brien10-13154
PHIL’S MAGIC (IRE)8Lyreen SyndicateTony Martin IRE9-06133
PLEASANT COMPANY (IRE)10Malcolm C DenmarkWillie Mullins IRE10-07148
POLIDAM (FR)9Simon Munir/Isaac SouedeWillie Mullins IRE10-05146
POORMANS HILL (IRE)7V Caldwell/Mrs K CaldwellGordon Elliott IRE10-05146
RATHVINDEN (IRE)9Ronnie BartlettWillie Mullins IRE10-09150
RAZ DE MAREE (FR)13James J SwanGavin Cromwell IRE10-05146
REGAL ENCORE (IRE)10J P McManusAnthony Honeyball10-09150
RELENTLESS DREAMER (IRE)9Nigel MorrisRebecca Curtis9-10137
ROAD TO RICHES (IRE)11Gigginstown House StudNoel Meade IRE10-01142
ROCK THE KASBAH (IRE)8Diana WhateleyPhilip Hobbs10-08149
ROGUE ANGEL (IRE)10Gigginstown House StudMouse Morris IRE9-05132
SAINT ARE (FR)12David FoxTom George10-06147
SAMETEGAL (FR)9John & Barbara CottonPaul Nicholls10-00141
SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT10Mrs A M ThomsonSandy Thomson10-08149
SHANTOU FLYER (IRE)8Carl HinchyRichard Hobson10-12153
SILSOL (GER)9Michelle And Dan MacdonaldPaul Nicholls10-03144
SIR MANGAN (IRE)10Frank McAleavyDan Skelton9-11138
SIZING CODELCO (IRE)9Ann & Alan Potts LimitedColin Tizzard10-13154
SPLASH OF GINGE10Jim NeildNigel Twiston-Davies9-11138
SUB LIEUTENANT (IRE)9Gigginstown House StudHenry de Bromhead IRE11-05160
TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR)11Boultbee Brooks LtdVenetia Williams10-11152
THE DUTCHMAN (IRE)8SprayClad UKColin Tizzard10-07148
THE LAST SAMURI (IRE)10Paul & Clare RooneyKim Bailey11-04159
THE YOUNG MASTER9Mike Burbidge & The Old MastersNeil Mulholland9-08135
THEBARROWMAN (IRE)8D KeysAdrian Keatley IRE9-04131
THIRD INTENTION (IRE)11Robert and Sarah TizzardColin Tizzard10-03144
THREE FACES WEST (IRE)10Paul & Clare RooneyPhilip Hobbs10-03144
THUNDER AND ROSES (IRE)10Gigginstown House StudMouse Morris IRE10-01142
TIGER ROLL (IRE)8Gigginstown House StudGordon Elliott IRE10-09150
TOTAL RECALL (IRE)9Slaneyville SyndicateWillie Mullins IRE11-01156
TRAFFIC FLUIDE (FR)8Galloping On The South Downs PartnershipGary Moore10-10151
UCELLO CONTI (FR)10Simon Munir/Isaac SouedeGordon Elliott IRE10-06147
VALSEUR LIDO (FR)9Gigginstown House StudHenry de Bromhead IRE11-03158
VIC DE TOUZAINE (FR)9A Brooks & G MooreVenetia Williams9-12139
VICENTE (FR)9Trevor HemmingsPaul Nicholls10-10151
VIEUX LION ROUGE (FR)9Prof Caroline Tisdall & John GentDavid Pipe10-09150
VIEUX MORVAN (FR)9M L BloodstockJoseph O’Brien IRE9-12139
VINTAGE CLOUDS (IRE)8Trevor HemmingsSue Smith10-00141
VIRGILIO (FR)9C J Edwards, D Futter, A H RushworthDan Skelton10-04145
VYTA DU ROC (FR)9Simon Munir & Isaac SouedeNicky Henderson10-06147
WALK IN THE MILL (FR)8Baroness HardingRobert Walford10-00141
WARRIORS TALE9Michelle And Dan MacdonaldPaul Nicholls10-08149
WILD WEST WIND (IRE)9Simon W ClarkeTom George10-03144
WOUNDED WARRIOR (IRE)9Gigginstown House StudNoel Meade IRE9-12139
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Grand National Runners 2018 Guide







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Best Odds Guaranteed – get best odds guaranteed on horse racing at 888Sport. If you take the price on a horse and that same horses starting price is larger you’ll get paid out at the bigger odds. This offer applies to UK and Irish horse racing only. T&C’s apply.

American Sports

America Acca Insurance – quite similar to the football Acca Saver offer but this time for American sports. This time if you place a 5-fold or bigger accumulator across NHL, NBA, NFL, MLS and MLB of £5 or more at odds of 1.30 on each leg or bigger and the bet loses by one leg you’ll get a refund as a free bet. Max refund £25. T&C’s apply.

888Sport – Bet £10 Get £30

888Sport are currently offering unique bonus to all their new customers. They will award £30 in free sports bets (2x £10 regular and 1x £10 mobile) to all new customers who sign up today and place a £10 bet.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Click here to open an 888Sport account.
  2. Click one of the ‘Join’ or ‘Register’ buttons on screen.
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  4. Log into your account.
  5. Deposit £10.
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  7. Win or lose get £30 in free bets total!

Bet £10 GET £30 at 888 Sport!

T&C's apply, 18+, New customers only.

Current Casino Promotions

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888 Casino Review

888 Casino welcomes players from United Kingdom  


888 Casino has come a long way when it comes to providing online casino games. The games at the site are powered by Random Logic software and consist of traditional gaming options such as Slots, Table Games and Video Poker.

As far as quantity goes, they offer less than the average site, but they are, after all, an award-winning casino.

Plus, other than having slightly less slots to play than on other sites we really cant fault 888 Casino and its no wonder that they've been so successful and have an army of loyal players.

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888 Poker has its pros and cons. Internet poker is relative because hundreds of online card rooms compete for business. In such an industry with dozens of key factors, competitors inevitably will have some advantages over any given brand. Below are a list of the relative advantages and disadvantages you’ll encounter when choosing 888poker over the rest of the competition.

5 Benefits of Playing for Money at 888poker
  • Legit Poker Site: The 888 brand is one of the Top 5 online gambling companies, with reliable payments, player liquidity at a global level, and state-of-the-art software and ID verification technology.
  • £88 No-Deposit Bonus: 888poker has the biggest no-deposit bonus among the top online poker sites, with £88 free play cash to play Texas Hold’em before funding your account.
  • Full Range of Poker Events: 888 Poker has a huge community of poker players, so it has a comprehensive schedule of daily poker events: sit & go tournaments, MTTs (multi-table tournaments), heads-up poker tournaments, and poker satellite events.
  • Huge Weekend Tournament Schedule: The weekend schedule has the kind of guaranteed prize pools card players search the Internet to find. The Mega Dozen, the Mega Deep, and Turbo Mega Deep are the big Sunday guaranteed tournaments, while The Whale, the Hurricane, and the Typhoon are the high roller events. Each high stakes tournament has satellite events throughout the week, so players can win their way into big events for as little as £5 buy-in fees.
  • 888poker Club Free Events: 888 Poker has freeroll events for new depositors and loyal members as well. Each new depositor receives tickets into two £1000 freeroll events, which happen twice each week (you have a month to redeem the ticket). The 888poker Club has a 10-tier free tournament schedule, ranging from £50 to £10,000 prize pools. 888 Poker also has random events throughout the year, such as the Tweet-for-a-Seat £888 guaranteed events.

GET £20 for free at 888 poker!

T&C's apply, 18+, New customers only.

Current bingo Promotions

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888Ladies Bingo is a subsidiary of the 888Holdings, mainly recognised for operating the world’s largest online social establishment – the Casino on Net and the Pacific Poker website. The site has a fresh, eye-catching, well-designed and compact look, with minimum advertisements and pop-ups, which makes it an enjoyable gaming experience for the users; however, sometimes the navigation is slow because of the large images & animations on the website.

Deposit £10 get £40 to play at 888 Ladies!

T&C's apply, 18+, New customers only.

UK’s favourite gambling comparison portal!

Horse Racing Tips – Bet King (UK’s favourite tipster)

Are you looking for free tips from a proven tipster? then look no further! The Bet King has an impeccable record when it comes to horse racing tips. Take a look at some of the testimonials and the exclusive free betting offers available here too.


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Cheltenham Gold Cup Runners

Cheltenham Gold Cup Runners

16 Mar 2018 15:30 Cheltenham

Winner: £649,380 (Penalty: £369,822 )
Distance: 3m 2f 70y;
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P Townend
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R Johnson
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James Bowen
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Lizzie Kelly
Red, white chevron, white chevrons on sleeves, quartered capTOTAL RECALL
D J Mullins

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Cheltenham Festival 2018 bets, tips and odds | everything you need to know about Cheltenham Festival

Online Casino – Tips for finding the best online casino offers in 2018

Best Online Casino Offers

Here at Bet King Compare we search the online betting and gaming markets to bring you the best offers available. We are also here to provide tips, articles and tons of useful information to make your online betting experience more enjoyable. We only display offers from trusted Online Casinos and Betting Sites which have passed several tests and been reviewed thoroughly by our experts.

Top Rated Brands


This UK-based casino has been making some pretty big noises online, not least thanks to their diminutive spokesman: Verne ‘Mini-Me’ Troyer as ‘The Boss. However, there’s certainly nothing pint-sized about bgo, especially the enormous jackpots you have a chance of winning there!. Read Full Reviewplay now

mr green

After entering the online gambling work in late 2008, Mr Green’s refreshing layout, unique sense of humor, and distinctive visual style provides something different from the usual online casino experience.

It’s the little things that really sell this Swedish company as distinct from its rivals; fun trivia facts relating to the player’s choice of game in the corner of the screen, for instance, or the unusual and striking imagery used throughout the website. Read Full Review

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JoReels Casino is among the latest addition’s to the online casino gaming world, and among the latest picks for review by us…

The casino is owned and run by MT Secure Trade limited, a firm incorporated in Malta and licensed and regulated by both Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission. Perhaps, the one thing we really love about this casino, besides its crisp site design, is the king like treatment that it affords both new and professional players. Read Full Review

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Power Spins is an exciting casino experience – they want you to enjoy free spins every day and they start you off with up to 50 spins when you make your first deposit as a new member.

The site is from the people at bgo, so they know what they are doing – slots are already a big part of This site has some table games, but the focus is definitely on the slots. Read Full Review

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jackpot strike

Jackpot Strike Casino is another new entry into online gaming scene, brought by Nektan in May 2016. While the company itself has not been around for decades, thanks to its clear focus on mobile gaming opportunities and a sound business strategy, they have quickly grown into a leading B2B mobile gaming content developer and platform provider. Jackpot Strike joins more than 20 online casinos operated by this reputable company. Read Full Review

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pots of luck

Ireland, and the Irish, are emblems of good luck and prosperity — just ask the wee leprechaun at the end of the rainbow! The luck of the Irish is a phrase you’ve probably heard exclaimed many a time, whether it’s to do with sports or on the casino floor. Now you can test out if you’re lucky too at Pots of Luck Casino. Read Full Review

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william hill

William Hill Casino is owned and operated by the UK based William Hill Company founded by William Hill back in 1934. Originally just a sports book, the expanded services now include, in addition to sports betting, a full service casino. The site also includes a separate poker room and bingo room.

The casino itself is relatively new, originating in 2009. Actually, there are three casinos in one which gets to be rather confusing: the Bonus Casino, the Vegas Casino, and the Live Casino. Read Full Review

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Grand National Runners 2018 Guide

FIFA World Cup 2018 – bets, tips and odds | everything you need to know about the World Cup




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