How to win every year on the Grand National

10/04/2015 | By | Reply More

So the Grand National is upon us and that monumental task faces us again, picking a winner from 40 runners. Worse than that, all our friends will want a tip as well.

Picking the winner from this incomprehensible field is a bit of a nightmare. There are some common trends that are touted each year. Horses that haven’t won over three miles are generally not considered, as are horses with no experience of large fields. Positives are age, experience, proven stamina, not too much weight and a recent run.

From a punting perspective it’s really hard to find a winner, but broadening your punt can help.

Narrowing the field

Of course, you start to whittle down the field, but there can still be a lot of contenders in a field of forty. So it makes sense to pick more than one to cover a few angles. Rather than picking five runners and backing them with a tenner, you need to look at ‘dutching’ to achieve the right risk and reward. If you are not familiar with the concept of dutching, it is the process of placing more than one bet in a market to create a pre-defined profit. When dutching you do things backwards; you decide how much money you would like to make, which runners you want to make it on them if they win, and away you go.

The first thing to note is that Dutching allows you to back more than one runner for a level profit. If you went up to a bookmaker and said ‘I would like £50 if the favourite wins, £20 if the 2nd, 3rd or 4th wins and break even if the next two come in’, he would look at you as though you had gone bonkers! While it seems impossible that you could ever place this sort of bet, it is possible using Bet Angel. You can use form, judgement or clairvoyance to pick a winner, but dutching makes finding a winner just so much easier. You are not limited to picking just the winner, you can change your approach so you can identify a group of horses that are likely to win and you will profit even if only one of those goes on to win.

Where to the winners come from?

This is where we can turn our attention to the data on the race. If we looking at the outright win market we still have a hefty task in front of us. Winners can pop up anywhere in the field. You can have a stab at dutching a large part of the book but you have to cover a great deal to catch that elusive winner. 57% of winners since 2008 have come from the first 14 in the field, or 18 if you cover to the next winner. It’s difficult to use a level stake because of the chance of catching a massive winner dwarfing a smaller return. You have to use proportional staking and that happens when you do some dutching. In the period we covered it was almost impossible to find a dutch bet covering the front of the field in the win market that worked. But covering the back half of the field did work. But it’s pretty hit or miss; therefore we need to look at the place market.

Finding a place market winner

If you look at finding the winner 50% of the time in the place market it is much easier. If you cover the front 10 in the field that delivers that strike rate, but is it profitable? In four of the last six years it has been profitable and overall in that period, more profitable if you exclude the favourite. The most profitable strategy has been to dutch the second to sixth favourite, which would also would have won in the same number of years, but yielded a much better return. It’s important to note that none of the above would work if you used level stakes.

In its conventional use you can place a ‘dutch’ bet to cover part of the field in a race. You would do this because you are pretty sure one of these selections will win but you are uncertain about exactly which one. In the Grand National so much can go wrong. Loose horses can impede runners, they could clip a fence, run out while avoid some melee in front. So it makes sense to pick a mixture of obvious contenders and a few others. First you need to decide how much you are going to win, then make your selections. The software takes care of the complex calculations and works out what stake is required. Next you apply that profit to the runners you want to cover by clicking and selecting them. One click on the ‘place bets’ button and your bet is placed!

So, in summary, given the large number of runners in the Grand National, you should stand a good chance of over-turning the odds using a technique such as dutching. You can now do this simply, easily and quickly using Bet Angel and a bit of dutching.

Trading the Grand National

Trading the Grand National is a curious game. Unlike other racing markets, prices tend to remain fairly stable for most of the lead up to the race. However, each year you get several horses that become ‘the housewives favourite’ and the market prices generally shorten for these horse. You usually get one of two horses than have a story to tell. Predominant in recent years is the headlines about whether a lady jockey will finally win, so it’s not unusual to see prices shorten. We have the added extra of Tony McCoy’s last ride at the National this year.

When the papers hit nations tables tomorrow the money will start coming for these horses. Pick up on it early enough and you will have a nice trade on your hands. I did a good interview for BBC which explains this in much more depth and is worth a watch!

It’s a tactic that has worked well for me over a number of years, so I suggest you download Bet Angel and give it a go!

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Category: Featured, Horse Racing

About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

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