Grand National facts

Grand National facts & top tip!

The £1 million Grand National race at Aintree in 2021 starts at 17:15 on Saturday 10th April, only a few weeks after the Cheltenham Festival. How many of these Grand National Facts do you know?

Grand National facts

  • Tiger Roll (jockey: Davy Russell, trainer: Gordon Elliot) won the last two races that were actually run (2019 and 2018). The 2020 Grand National was cancelled, although the virtual version (which has exisited in recent years only) took its timeslot (and was televised on itv) – this was won by Potters Corner.
  • In 2017 One For Arthur (jockey Derek Fox, trainer Lucinda Russell) was victorious. In 2016 Rule The World (jockey David Mullins, trainer Mouse Morris) won.
  • Jockey Leighton Aspell famously won 2 years in a row (in 2014 on Pineau de Re, and in 2015 on Many Clouds).
  • The biggest starting price of a winner in recent years was in 2009 when Mon Meme (jockey Liam Treadwell) won at 100/1.
  • 13 mares have won, but the last was Nickel Coin in 1951.
  • 3 different greys have won (1 winning twice), with the last grey winner Neptune Collonges in 2012.
  • A female jockey has never won, but in 2012 Katie Walsh was the first to finish in the top 3 (finishing 3rd on Seabass).
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What are Decimal Odds?

What are Decimal Odds?

Having understood the ins and outs of Fractional Odds (traditionally used by UK bookmakers), we think it will be a useful exercise for you to understand the Decimal Odds system as well. Decimal Odds show how many times your original stake (INCLUDING your original stake) you will get back if your bet wins. Obviously, this number should always be more than 1.0 as you should always get back your original stake if you win, plus some profit. Compare that to Fractional Odds which only show the potential profit you will get back if you win (of course regardless of the odds system, you will always get your original stake back if you win).

Let’s look at some Decimal Odds examples:
6.0 – for every £1 bet you will get £6 back, if your bet wins (i.e. you make £5 profit, per £1 staked). 5/1 (Fractional Odds), and 6.0 (Decimal Odds) are equivalent.
1.2 – for every £1 bet you will get £1.20 back, if your bet wins (i.e. you make £0.20 profit, per £1 staked). 1/5 (Fractional Odds), and 1.2 (Decimal Odds) are equivalent.

Fractional Odds are popular in the UK & Ireland. Decimal Odds are popular in Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.… Read the rest

Grand National facts

What is Flat Racing?

In Flat Racing horses with the best speed or best stamina (or both of these) have the advantage, depending on the distance of each race. Jockeys also play a major part as they have to be able to get their horse to do the right thing (e.g. ‘ask’ them to go faster or slower). Thoroughbreds are the most common form of horse breed you will see in this form of racing. Natural grass race courses (also referred to as turf) are the most common. You will see some races run on synthetic or all-weather tracks (especially for flat races run in winter). Flat Racing generally takes places over shorter distances than National Hunt racing, and there are no obstacles in Flat Racing (as the name suggests).

Flat Racing (in Great Britain, at least) takes the form of (1) Conditions races, or (2) Handicaps.

  • In a Conditions race, horses carry weights. Females carry less weights than males. Older horses carry less weights than younger horses. Less successful horses carry less weights than more successful horses. Conditions races are not handicap races – as the weights are allocated according to the predetermined conditions of the race (not by an handicapper).
  • The most prestigious of the Condition races are the Pattern races (which are usually called Group races).
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fractional odds explained

Fractional Odds explained in detail

Bookmakers in the United Kingdom (and Ireland) usually quote prices using fractional odds (i.e. 5/1, 1/2, etc). How much do you really know about Fractional odds? Fractional odds show how much the bettor can profit, relative to their stake, IF their bet wins. In this article ‘Fractional Odds explained in detail’ we explain everything you will need to know about fractional odds.

  • Fractional odds show the payoff:stake ratio. The left hand number of the fractional odds is the amount of profit you will make IF your bet wins (PAYOFF), and the right hand number is the amount you will have to gamble (STAKE). IF your bet loses, you forfeit the stake. If your bet wins, you get your stake back AND the payoff.
  • 5/1 odds mean that if you bet £1, you will make £5 profit if your bet wins (i.e. if your bet wins the bookmaker will return you original stake of £1 AND pay you £5 profit). Remember, the odds just show a ratio – you don’t have to bet exactly £1. If you bet £2, you make £10 profit if your bet wins. If you bet £60, you make £300 profit if your bet wins.
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horse racing explained

Horse Racing Explained

There are 2 popular types of horse racing that take place in Great Britain: these are Flat Racing, and National Hunt Racing. In this ‘Horse Racing Explained‘ article, we explain the difference between these two types of the sport. We also explain what exactly a furlong is (a common term you will hear in relation to the length of horse races).

  • Flat Racing – run on courses where there are no obstacles present (i.e. it is flat). Distances for Flat Racing are between 5 furlongs 2 miles to 2 miles 5 furlongs 159 yards. Some of the best examples of flat races are the Royal Ascot festival, and the five races known as the British Classics – 1,000 Guineas (Newmarket), 2,000 Guineas (Newmarket), The Oaks (Epsom Downs), The Derby (Epsom Downs), and St.Leger (Doncaster).
  • National Hunt Racing – run on courses with obstacles, taking the form of a Hurdles race or a Steeplechase race. They are generally run over longer distances (2 miles to 4 and a half miles) than the Flat Racing mentioned above. The best examples of National Hunt Racing are the Grand National (Aintree) and the Cheltenham Festival.
    • Please note slightly confusingly, there are also National Hunt Flat Races (also known as Bumpers) – which are run under National Hunt rules, but there are no obstacles on the course (13 – 20 furlongs are common distances for these races).
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horse racing form

How can Horse Racing Form be used to make better bets?

When placing a bet with your bookmaker on a horse race, you may see each horse’s form indicated. You can also see horse racing form in newspapers which carry race cards. What do the letters, numbers, and other characters mean?

They tell you how each horse has performed in their most recent races. This may help you decide how each horse will perform in the current race that you are thinking of betting on. The important thing to remember is that the rightmost entry is the most recent race, the 2nd entry from the right is the 2nd most recent race, etc.

A number from 1 to 9, means that the horse finished in that position (a limitation of the form guide, is that it does not tell you how many horses ran in that race). If the horse finished outside of the top 9, the number 0 is shown. If the horse did not finish the race, you will see the reason indicated by one of the following letters: B,F,P,R,S,U which respectively stand for Brought down, Fell, Pulled up, Refused, Slipped up, and Unseated rider. You might also see the following characters: is used to separate years, and / is used to separate racing seasons.… Read the rest

wisdom of the crowd

How does Wisdom of the Crowd affect odds?

  • Wisdom of the Crowd refers to the phenomenon that a large number of individuals in a group, will usually be able to make better decisions than any individual in that group.
  • For example, at a funfair say their was a big jar with an unknown amount of marbles. People were asked to guess the number of marbles (with the closest getting a prize). If you took all the guesses and averaged them (provided there was a sufficient number of people in the group) it would usually come close to the actual number of marbles in the jar. Obviously, the more people who participated the closer to the actual number you would get.
  • This happens, because individual noise is filtered out.
  • In the case of betting odds, Wisdom of the Crowd also has an effect as bookmakers are forced to lower prices getting a lot of betting action (and increase prices not getting a lot). So, highly backed outcomes get their prices lowered, and less well back outcomes get their prices increased.
  • However, for Wisdom of the Crowd to work people have to be making rational and independent decisions. In the case, of marbles in the jar at the funfair this may be the case.
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value betting gut instinct

Why is Value Betting superior to using Gut Instinct?

If you keep placing bets on outcomes of events, just because you fancy teams/players to win (Gut Instinct), without considering the odds fully then you will likely be losing money in the long run. Value betting involves independently considering if the odds offered are better than the true probability of the outcome happening, and only placing bets if that is the case. Let’s start our Why is Value Betting superior to using Gut Instinct? article off with an example:

Let’s say you are considering placing a bet in an event in which there are two outcomes only, e.g. the final of a competition where either team/player A wins, or team/player B wins (no draws possible). You need to calculate the true probabilities of the outcomes. This requires taking into account a lot of factors (prior results, injuries, officials, form etc. – variables will depend on what event you are betting on), and coming up with a statistical model (which may require, amongst other things weighting the factors).

Let’s say you calculate A wins two-thirds of the time, and B wins one-third of the time:
Two-thirds of the time is the same as odds of 1/2*, i.e. for every 1 time they don’t win, they will win 2 times.… Read the rest