Grand National Betting (2022) - What Do You Need to Know?

Original banner featuring a jockey on a horse followed by the words "English Grand National" next to the coat of arms of the event

If there’s one National Hunt horse race that continues to capture the attention of punters from across the globe, it’s the Grand National.

This is also one of the most enduring races run in the UK and Ireland, having been initially hosted in 1839 and since evolved to regularly offer a £1 million prize fund to runners and riders.

In this detailed guide, we’ll take a look at the history of the Grand National and its recent iterations, while offering some tips on the best and most commonly utilised betting markets! So, let’s get started!

Best Grand National Bookies

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Grand National Betting Tips and Popular Markets

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Before we delve into early favourites for the 2022 Grand National and the immense history of the race, it’s important to understand precisely how punters bet on this iconic race.

More specifically, we’re going to look at the most popular Grand National betting markets, and those that are likely to offer the best rewards:

  • Show and Place Bets: Backing outright winners isn’t overly popular in Grand National betting, thanks largely to the challenging nature of the course and the highly congested fields in play. A preferable strategy (particularly for risk-averse bettors) is to invest in ‘show’ or ‘place’, which payout when your runners place in the top three or the top two respectively. While this reduces your payout in instances where your chosen horse places but doesn’t win, it also optimises your chances of recouping at least some of your stake.
  • Trifecta Bets: For slightly more experienced for risk-averse punters, the trifecta wager is highly popular. With this type of bet, you must predict who will come first, second and third in the correct order, creating increased and enhanced odds while decreasing your chances of winning. However, you can improve the probability of the wager coming in simply by selecting a larger number of runners, but this will come at an increased cost and must be supported by your bankroll.
  • Each-Way Bets: While some may use the terms ‘place’ and ‘each-way’ interchangeably, these are actually different types of Grand National bets. While place bets only stake on achieving a top-four finish, for example, an each-way wager represents a split between a win bet and a place alternative. As a result, you’ll need to distribute your stake amount accordingly, but there’s no doubt that this can be an excellent way of profiting from the Grand National.
  • Quinella Bets: We close with ‘Quinella’ bets, which are only of average difficulty and ideal for risk-averse punters who want to hedge their risk. In this instance, your horses must finish first and second in either order, while a typical play here is to select three horses. So, if you wanted to wager £6, you’d bet £2 on each runner to create an even split. This wager type is available at most UK and Ireland bookmakers, and it has become increasingly popular on these shores over time.

Obviously, there’s a broad range of betting markets in play at the Grand National, although the four listed above offer excellent value when you consider the keenly contested nature of the race, its unique history and the challenging nature of its fences.

Just remember the importance of effective bankroll management when placing trifecta and similar bets, as you’ll have the opportunity to select multiple horses and potentially stake more than you can afford to lose if you’re not careful.

Grand National Odds – Who are the likely Contenders in 2022?

The Grand National is scheduled to be run in April next year, so it's too early to see a confirmed list of runners or their final odds (although we have included some initial price information below).

Even then, it can be hard to accurately predict a likely winner in this race, with just one of the last nine ante-post favourites actually coming in first at the Grand National (Gordon Elliott’s 4/1 shot Tiger Roll in 2019).

This year’s winner was the Rachael Blackmore-ridden Minella Times, who started the race at a price of 11/1 and was considered as something of an outsider amongst sportsbooks.

However, we can cast our beady eyes over the early contenders for the 2022 National, including last year’s surprise winner!

Minella Times

Let’s start with the obvious; as there are already rumours that last year’s shock winner Minella Times will compete again in 2022.

Part of Henry de Bromhead’s much-vaunted stable, his win in 2021 came despite the fact that he’d only previously started at three miles twice, although this did include an impressive second place at Leopardstown in December 2020.

Currently, you can lay a bet on Minella Times to repeat this year’s heroics at odds of around 20/1, which represents decent value give his pedigree in the race.

He’s also accumulated a record of three wins and five second-places in 11 steeplechase outings, so he’s sure to be a contender if he starts at Aintree in 2022.

Any Second Now

Any Second Now is arguably the early front-runner for the 2022 Grand National, having finished third at Aintree last year despite starting with a favourable ante-post price of 15/2.

Currently, you get odds of around 16/1 on him winning next year’s iteration, although some sportsbooks are offering slightly longer odds at around 20/1.

In 19 career steeplechase runs, Any Second Now has placed in top three on 12 separate occasions, winning in three instances and claiming five second-placed finishes.

This makes him a worthy favourite even at this early stage, and he’ll be there or thereabouts if he does represent the Ted Walsh stable in 2022.

Galvin

Galvin is one of the form steeplechase runners at present, having won his last five outings dating back to July 2020. This included a superb run at the Sam Vestey National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices' Chase at Cheltenham in March, which is a Grade II race that’s always highly contested.

Overall, the seven-year-old runner has won five of his nine steeplechase outings to date, while claiming two additional second-place finishes at Cheltenham and Punchestown.

What’s more, Galvin can currently be backed by some sportsbooks at 33/1, although he carries an average price of around 25/1.

This makes Galvin an exceptional each-way bet at this stage, as on current form he has an excellent chance of at least placing in the top-four.

Of course, these odds are subject to change before the race, so it’s important to determine if there’s value in the ante-post prices and whether it’s worth placing a bet before the list of 2022 Grand National runners has been confirmed.

Certainly, these three runners are amongst the early picks for experts and commentators, while each is highly likely to compete in the English Grand National of 2022. Below, we’ve also highlighted five of the most backed runners and their real-time prices, across three of our leading sportsbooks.

Runners

Bet 365

888sport

Unibet

Trainer

Any Second Now

20/1

20/1

20/1

Ted Walsh

Minella Times

20/1

20/1

20/1

Henry de Bromhead

Time to Get Up

20/1

20/1

20/1

John P. McManus

Tiger Roll

28/1

33/1

33/1

Gordon Elliott

Galvin

33/1

25/1

25/1

I. Ferguson

Grand National Free Bets Offers

As you can imagine, sportsbooks flock to offer lucrative and Grand National-themed welcome offers when the race comes around in April.

The 2022 iteration will be no exception to this rule, and we’ll share the very best offers and Grand National free bets as they’re promoted by operators!

BookmakerOfferClaim
Bet365€50 worth of Bet Credits Claim Now
William HillPut Down a €10 Bet and Receive Free Bets Worth €40 Claim Now
888sportWager €10 on any Horse Race and you will be Given 6 x €5 Free BetsClaim Now
BetVictorMake a €10 bet and get free bet bonuses that are worth €30Claim Now
UnibetGet up to €40 back if you lose your first race bet and €10 casino bonusClaim Now

Aintree’s Grand National Festival – The Key Dates and Races

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Of course, this iconic race is actually part of the three-day Randox Grand National Festival, which is scheduled to take place from Thursday 7th April to Saturday 9th April in 2022.

This features an impressive nine Grade One races overall, before the final Saturday culminates with what’s renowned as the single greatest steeplechase of them all!

So, here’s a more comprehensive breakdown of the 2022 Aintree Grand National Festival, and confirmation of the full list of races.

Thursday, 7th April

Time

Race

13:45

SSS Super Alloys Manifesto Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

14:20

Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)

14:50

Betway Bowl Chase (Grade 1)

15:25

Betway Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)

16:05

Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Chase (Grade 2)

16:40

Close Brothers Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

17:15

Goffs UK Nickel Coin Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat (Grade 2)

Friday, 8th April

Time

Race

13:45

Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

14:20

Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

14:50

Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

15:25

Marsh Chase (Grade 1)

16:05

Randix Topham Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

16:40

Doom Bar Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

17:15

Pinsent Masons Handicap Hurdle (Grade 2)

Saturday, 9th April

Time

Race

13:45

EFT Systems Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

14:25

Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

15:00

Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

15:35

Ryanair Stayers Hurdle Liverpool (Grade 1)

16:15

Betway Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

17:15

Randox Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

18:20

Weatherby’s Standard Open National Hunt Flat (Grade 2)

The History of Grand National Festival

As we’ve already touched on, the Grand National was first run at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool in 1839, since when it has become the most valuable jump race in the whole of Europe.

It quickly became a national event that captured the imagination of punters nationwide too, particularly after the Great St. Alban Chase (which initially clashed with the steeplechase at Aintree) was cancelled. Then, a railway line opened from Manchester to Liverpool, linking directly with the route that ran between London and Birmingham.

This opened up the event to visitors from the length-and-breadth of the UK, which in turn prompted the formation of event organisers and the first attempts at marketing the race.

It has barely looked back since this point in time, producing some truly iconic races and winners in the years since. In 1956, for example, the irrepressible Devon Loch was romping home in the final straight after clearing the final fence, only inexplicably jump and then collapse to the turf just 40 yards from home (he subsequently scrambled to finish second).

1967 saw the incredible triumph of the 150-1 shot Foinavon, who ambled to victory after multiple runners tumbled at Fence 23. In fact, Foinavon only missed the carnage as he was so far behind the pack at that time in the race, while he still managed to almost lose his lead in the final straight!

The race continues to produce outstanding drama and shocks to this day, while the most recent iteration in 2021 saw a cumulative prize fund of £750,000 and a winner’s cheque of £375,000 awarded.

Your FAQs - Answered

Before you bet on the 2022 Grand National, it would only be natural if you have a select few questions about the race, the venue and the likely runners and riders.

We’ve address some of these below, while aiming to provide some answers and clarity to help you make informed decisions!

Should I Back an Outright Winner at the National?

As we’ve already mentioned, the Grand National often features around 40 runners and some of the most challenging fences imaginable. In fact, notorious fences such as Belcher’s Brook and The Chair are considerably larger than any others found on conventional National Hunt tracks, which is why the race is so incredibly hard to win.

Because of this, outright win bets are often forlorn at the Grand National, even when backing a short-priced favourite. So, consider your options wisely and review the full range of betting markets in play before staking your hard-earned cash!

How Do I Bet on the National?

There are several channels through which you can bet on the Grand National, with Aintree home to numerous on-site bookmakers who accept cash wagers.

However, we’d recommend wagering on your smartphone where possible, as this enables you to get the best odds in real-time and place multiple bets on various races across the three-day meeting.

Is There a Dress Code at Aintree?

Unlike some racecourses and meetings, Aintree doesn’t have an official dress code for the Grand National.

However, smart and business-casual attire is often preferred by organisers, while hats are also optional and frequently worn by visitors. Remember, this meeting is also a carnival of colour, so don’t be afraid to brighten your look and strive to catch the eye (although sportswear and fancy dress are strictly prohibited)!

How Do I Get to Aintree?

The Aintree Racecourse is located on the A59 in Liverpool, just one mile from the M57 and M58 (which link the M62 and M6).

To locate full directions and learn more about parking at the venue, click here and scroll down to check out different transport options.