Now that the 2020 Grand National entries have been revealed and the weights are out, betting interest in the world’s most famous steeplechase at Aintree is starting to heat up.
While dual winner Tiger Roll heads the betting on merit, he will carry topweight around the Merseyside racecourse on Saturday, 4 April. He is vulnerable on that basis, so it may pay to look at some horses at bigger odds. With that in mind, here are four lively outsiders for the 2020 Grand National.
Lord Du Mesnil
Trained by Richard Hobson, Lord Du Mesnil could be the dark horse of the Grand National. His rise through the ranks this season has been nothing short of impressive. A novice chaser last season, his Official Rating at the beginning of this season was so low he wouldn’t have even made the entry requirements for the race.
But race after race, Lord Du Mesnil has chased his way through the classes and with each solid performance has increased his rating. Three back-to-back Handicap Chases at Haydock have shown stamina and grit with the 7-year-old winning over 3m4f.
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) December 21, 2019
He will run again before the National and is prominent in the National Hunt Chase betting at the Cheltenham Festival at odds of around 12/1. This market confidence suggests that stamina tests like that 3m 6f event are what he wants.
Don’t be surprised if he goes on from Cheltenham to Aintree and he’s a 50/1 chance with Paddy Power for success on Merseyside. Lord Du Mesnil is a 20/1 shot for the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham (March 10th), so don’t be surprised to see his odds for the National drop if he runs well at the Festival.
In fact, most horses mentioned here will likely be at Cheltenham in March so keep an eye on that for clues to the National and betting market movements. Indeed, freebets.co.uk has a full guide on how to get the best Cheltenham free bets, so it’s possible to have a free hit before the main event at Aintree.
Of course, most eyes at Cheltenham will be on Tiger Roll, who is the 4/5 favourite (Betfair) for his third consecutive Cross Country Chase, in what will be seen as a warm-up for the Grand National for Gordon Elliot’s horse. But others like Magic of Light (33/1, Mares’ Hurdle) have a shot at both Cheltenham and Aintree glory.
Ramses De Teillee
David Pipe, who won the Grand National in 2008 with Comply Or Die, is playing a very shrewd game with Ramses De Teillee this season. Last year’s Welsh Grand National and Grand National Trial runner-up has been kept over hurdles this term so far in what appears to be a move to protect his handicap chase mark.
The Pond House trainer has exploited his novice status over the smaller obstacles by winning a couple of races, including a Grade 2 at Doncaster when staying on superbly. Although pulled up in last year’s Grand National, nothing went right for Ramses De Teillee.
His reins snapped, making it impossible for the jockey on board to steer him around Aintree. With better luck in-running and at odds of 40/1 with Betfred, it could be well worth punting that Ramses De Teillee to give a better account of himself this year.
Nicky Henderson has pretty much done it all in his training career – except for winning the Grand National. Ok Corral wasn’t always the easiest horse to train in his younger days but bounced back to form with a win in the Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster when last in action.
Ok Corral (9/1) wins the Listed Skybet Chase today @DoncasterRaces for trainer Nicky Henderson.
— 3 FURLONGS OUT (@3furlongsout) January 25, 2020
Off the back of that effort, Seven Barrows handler Henderson was talking up an Aintree bid for this JP McManus owned horse. As he looks to be handicapped out of a race like the Kim Muir at Cheltenham, this could well be the end of season target for Ok Corral who is overpriced at 40/1 with Betway for the Grand National.
Horses who win the Scottish Grand National at Ayr cannot be ignored, because they have proven their stamina a marathon four miles. Takingrisks won this feature handicap chase north of the border last season for Penrith trainer Nicky Richards.
The son of jumps racing legend Sir Gordon Richards is no strange to big race success in his Cumbria stables. Simply Ned has given the yard many great days in recent years, so it would be no surprise to see Takingrisks outrun best Grand National odds of 50/1 with Ladbrokes, especially after landing a Listed event at Newcastle this season.