Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap Betting Tips – 17th February 2018
We’re right into the heart of the preparations for the Grand National Free Bets. The race is still some weeks away but trainers of all of those with a hope of competing at Aintree are putting their charges through their paces.
For many, that means a trip to Haydock Park this weekend for the Betfred Grand National Trial.
As the name suggests, this is viewed as one of the premier preparatory races for the Grand National so if you’re thinking of having a bet in the big one, it makes sense to keep an eye on what happens at Haydock.
Run over a distance of three miles, four furlongs, the Betfred Grand National Trial is a suitably tough test of stamina while there are 22 fences to be navigated along the way.
We’ve got an exciting line up of horses set to go to post at Haydock so let’s see if we can increase the excitement by finding some winning bets.
Just ? days until the @Betfair Ascot Chase— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) February 7, 2018
The sponsors have priced up what could be a thrilling renewal
Top Notch 11/4
Coney Island 3/1
Waiting Patiently 7/2
Cue Card 8/1
Fox Norton 8/1
12/1 Bar pic.twitter.com/6LcQsFDtnZ
Past Five Winners
2017 – Vieux Lion Rouge, aged 8, ridden by Tom Scudamore, trained by David Pipe
2016 – Bishops Road, aged 8, ridden by Richard Johnson, trained by Kerry Lee
2015 – Lie Forrit, aged 11, ridden by Peter Buchanan, trained by Lucinda Russell
2014 – Rigadin De Beauchene, aged 9, ridden by Robbie Dunne, trained by Venetia Williams
2013 – Well Refreshed, aged 9, ridden by Joshua Moore, trained by Gary Moore
Picking Through the Trends to Profile a Winner
The Grand National is a notoriously difficult race to pick the winner of. The recent past is littered with winners at very big prices but it’s a little different in the Grand National Trial.
Vieux Lion Rouge won at 8/1 last year, we’ve had multiple winning favourites and the biggest priced winner in the last 15 renewals was Rambling Minster at 18/1.
It always makes sense to have multiple options in these sort of big field handicaps but the lesson here is to not rule out shorter priced horses for the sake of it.
In terms of the calibre of horse, it’s interesting to note that all of the last 15 winners had at least two wins over fences to their name and the majority of those wins came over a distance of at least three miles.
Eight and nine-year-olds make up the bulk of recent winners and while older horses have a decent record, there hasn’t been a single winner aged five or six.
The Dutchman Looks the Best Choice at the Head of the Market
Colin Tizzard knew that he was getting a quality horse when The Dutchman made the switch to his yard. He initially sent his new charge to compete over hurdles before reverting him to the larger obstacles last time out.
That move paid off handsomely as The Dutchman romped home over 25 furlongs in the Peter Marsh Handicap.
Tizzard sends his eight-year-old back to Haydock confident of his chances of success. With even more room for improvement, The Dutchman certainly looks the most tempting of all the favourites at 6/1 with Boylesports.
Two Each-Way Fancies to Consider
As well as backing the Dutchman, we’d suggest that you supplement your betting with an each-way play on both Mysteree (14/1 with Sky Bet) and Yala Enki (16/1 with Betway).
Mysteree was very disappointing last time out when pulled up in the Welsh Grand National as he’s normally full of fight, especially on heavy ground. He could challenge the leaders if back to his best.
As for Yala Enki, he’s trained by Venetia Williams who should always be respected in this sort of race. Fourth at Haydock in January, this battler just needs to jump well to hav