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

Original banner featuring a jockey on a horse followed by the words "Irish Grand National" next to the coat of arms of the event and the sponsor which is Boyle Sports

In 2022, Fairyhouse will host the famous three-day Easter Festival from Saturday 16th to Monday 18th April, providing one of the highlights of the season for horse racing fans on the Emerald Isle.

Easter Monday will be particularly exciting, as it features the Boyle Sports Irish Grand National, which is the richest chase in the Irish Calendar and one of the most anticipated events in the Ireland sports realm.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look ahead to the 2022 iteration of the race while casting our eyes back over its incredible history.

Best Irish Grand National Bookies

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Irish Grand National Betting Tips – How to Wager on the Irish Grand National

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The Fairyhouse Easter Festival (and particularly the Irish Grand National) is chock-full of glamour, music and high-octane entertainment, with these three days of National Hunt Racing putting €1.25 million in prize money up for grabs.

Before we take a closer look at the upcoming 2022 National, however, let’s review some of the most popular bet types and why they’re heavily favoured amongst punters.

  • The Single Win Bet: We’ll start with the single most popular bet, which requires you to select just one runner to win a particular race. Here, you’ll place your entire stake on the horse in question coming first and winning the Irish Grand National, and any other placing will ensure that your wager fails. Typically, this type of wager is challenging in a busy and hotly contested event such as the National, while National Hunt races and steeplechases are harder to predict due to the presence of difficult hurdles.

Top Tip: We’d recommend that you don’t invest too much of your bankroll backing straight winners, as the Irish Grand National is incredibly hard to call with any degree of accuracy.

  • The Accumulator Bet: With multiple races running over the course of the three-day meeting, you may well be tempted to place an accumulator bet at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival. This can feature anywhere between four and 20 selections within a single wager on average, including the Irish Grand National, the RYBO Handicap Hurdle and the Grade 1 TUE Gold Cup. Odds are calculated cumulatively from your selections, creating extended prices and potentially larger returns.

Top Tip: You should aim to limit the number of selections in your acca bet to no more than six, while it’s better to opt for short-price runners that incrementally increase your chances of winning.

  • The Place and Show Bets: Place and show bets are very popular in races such as the Irish Grand National, as they enable you to profit even in instances where your selected winners don’t win. With a place bet, your horse will need to finish first or second, while a show wager requires your runners to come home in first, second or third. Show bets arguably offer a little more value, particularly for risk-averse punters who are seeking incremental returns that are as risk-free as possible.

Top Tip: These wagers afford you an opportunity to back contenders and slight outsiders rather than short-price favourites, with this type of runner renowned for doing quite well in the Irish Grand National.

  • The Each-Way Bet: Each-way bets are similar to place wagers, although in this case you’ll effectively split your stake between backing a horse to win and place in the top four. So, if you wager £1 on a particular runner, £0.50 will be placed on a win and the remaining £0.50 will back a placed finish. Both eventualities payout at a reduced price in relation to the advertised odds, but you’re effectively increasing your chances of recouping some of your stake.

Top Tip: Similar to place bets, each-way wagers are ideal when backing fancied outsiders to race well and finish in the top four. Just remember that your total stake is split between the two potential outcomes, so you’ll need to commit the right amount to optimise value.

Irish Grand National Odds – A Look at Historical Prices and Trends

As if to reinforce the challenge of predicting an Irish Grand National winner, this year’s iteration saw the 150/1 shot and rank outsider Freewheelin Dylan secure one of the biggest shocks in the history of this prestigious race.

What’s more, the nine year old (who was expertly ridden by Ricky Doyle) led from the front at Fairyhouse, fighting off multiple challengers to see off Run Wild Fred (9/1) by one and ¼ lengths.

The gelding recorded his sixth steeplechase win in 20 outings in the process, also seeing off Enjoy D’Allen (40/1) into third as the 9/2 ante-post favourite Latest Exhibition trailed in fourth.

The takeaway here is clear, with Freewheelin Dylan’s success continuing a trend that has seen just three ante-post favourites win the Irish Grand National in the last decade. During the same period, other outsides have joined Freewheelin Dylan in winning this iconic race, including General Principle (20/1), Thunder and Roses (20/1), Liberty Council (50/1) and Lion Na Bearnai (33/1).

So, although we’ve yet to see any odds listed for the 2022 Irish Grand National (you can rest assured we’ll publish here just as soon as they’re released), you should definitely consider the form and give consideration to viable runners regardless of their ante-post price.

There are other factors that can help you to make the most of the Irish Grand National 2022 odds, and we’ve outlined some of these below.

Weight Matters

The Irish Grand National is a handicap race, which means that the highest-rated horses carry the most weight.

Make no mistake; this is a genuinely important consideration, especially over the course of a long and challenging race that covers a distance of 3 miles and 5 furlongs.

Of course, this also explains why short-price favourites often struggle to live up to their billing at Fairyhouse, with the best runners required to carry the top weight of up to 12 stone. According to historical data, only Red Rum has successfully carried this weight to victory in the National, with this achieved way back in 1936.

Overall, the majority of Irish Grand National winners have carried 11 stone or less, so you should keep this in mind when studying the form ahead of 2022.

Age

As an extended steeplechase race, the Irish Grand National requires great stamina if a horse is to ultimately prevail.

Typically, most horses won’t gain the stamina required until their nine-years-old, which is one of the reasons why Freewheelin Dylan fared so well earlier this year.

Conversely, runners typically diminish in terms of their performance once they reach 12, so older horses may not offer good value regardless of their ante-post price.

So, try to select a runner aged between nine and 12 to optimise your chances of picking a winner (or at least a horse that can secure a placed finish).

The Going

The ‘going’ is also a key consideration when betting on horse racing, but particularly during steeplechase events over long distances.

Given that the Irish Grand National is run in April, we can expect the runners to contend with ‘soft’ going conditions, as this occurs relatively cool and slightly wetter weather.

This is hard for horses to run on, creating an even more open race where the perceived advantage of favourites is diminished considerably.

Arguably, this favours the out-and-out stayers rather than simple speed merchants, but it’s important to review the going closer to the race and make a more informed decision.

Each Runner’s Track Record

Last, but not least, is each runner’s track record. Given the nature of the Irish National, this is a far more insightful metric than the listed odds, as it highlights the runners, jockeys and trainers who have previously fared well at the race (or similar steeplechase events).

You can study the form closer to the time of the race to gather this information, but try to do this as soon as possible so that you can benefit from extended ante-post odds on your selected runners.

Irish Grand National Free Bets Offers

Of course, it may be a little early for betting on the Irish Grand National, particularly as sportsbooks often run associated bonuses and free bets in the build-up to the race.

We’ll be sure to list these here just as soon as they become available, so keep your eyes peeled as we continue to update this page.

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Fairyhouse Fixtures – Beyond the Irish Grand National

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The three-day Fairyhouse meeting features 23 stellar races, including the £100,000 RYBO Handicap Hurdle and the Mares Novices Hurdle Championship Final (in addition to the Irish Grand National).

We’ve listed a detailed race card for each of these days below, so that you can plan your trip (where applicable) and pencil in the races that matter to you!

Saturday, April 16th 2022

Time

Race

1.15

Maiden Hurdle

1:45

Memorial Hunters’ Chase

2:20

Mares’ Chase (Listed)

2:55

National Handicap Chase

3:30

Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Series Final (Grade B)

4:05

RYBO Handicap Hurdle (Grade A)

4:40

Mares Flat Race (Listed)

5:15

At Arctic Tack Stud (Pro/Am) Flat Race

Easter Sunday, April 17th 2022 (Gold Cup Day)

Time

Race

1:50

Maiden Hurdle

2:20

Novice Handicap Hurdle

2:50

Novice Hurdle (Grade 2)

3:20

Mares Novices Hurdle Championship Final (Grade 1)

3:50

BMW Novice Hurdle (Grade 2)

4:25

Novice Handicap Chase (Grade B)

5:00

Gold Cup Novice Chase (Grade 1)

5:30

George Mernagh Memorial Sales Bumper

Easter Monday, April 18th 2022 (Gold Cup Day)

Time

Race

2:05

Novice Handicap Hurdle

2:40

Studs Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2)

3:15

Steel Handicap Hurdle

3:50

Underwriting Exchange Hurdle (Grade 2)

4:20

Devenish Chase (Grade 2)

5:00

The Irish Grand National (Grade A/1)

5:30

Handicap Chase

The History of the Irish Grand National

The rich history of the Irish Grand National can be traced back to 1870, with the inaugural running won by a horse called Sir Robert Peel. This race took place at the current Fairyhouse venue, while the winning stable banked a cool 167 sovereigns.

During its formative history, the race was often won by horses trained at the Curragh, with 10 such victors announced by 1882. The Easter Monday fixture quickly became a national hit, regularly attracting racegoers from Dublin and eventually becoming known as the ‘Dubs’ Day Out’.

Initially, the race was run over a distance of three miles and four furlongs, but the course was extended by an additional furlong in 1991. In the race’s recent history, it has been sponsored by a number of different brands, with Ladbrokes lending their name to the event between 2011 and 2014 and Boyle Sports taking over the following year (they remain the primary commercial sponsors to this day).

Thanks to the continued commercialisation of the Irish Grand National, it now has a cumulative prize fund of €500,000, with the winner of the 2022 race likely to bank a cool 270,000.

Interestingly, several winners of this race have also won its similarly iconic English counterpart at Aintree, although none have achieved this feat in the same year.

Ascetic’s Silver first achieved this feat in 1906, while Rhyme ‘n’ Reason, Bobbyjo and Numversixvalverde have followed suit more recently.

Your FAQs Answered

To complete our guide, we’ve taken some of your most frequently asked questions and tried to provide some clear and concise answers.

You can review these below, while this resource also provides some valuable information for those interested in the Irish Grand National and Easter racing at Fairyhouse.

When is the Irish Grand National?

The 2022 Irish Grand National will take place on Easter Monday (April 18th) at 5:00pm GMT. This timing is now fixed, so be sure to book your tickets as soon as possible if you want to watch the race in person!

How Do I Bet on the Irish National?

Another good question! In truth, you’ll find plenty of pop-up and permanent bookmakers on-site at Fairyhouse, many of which continue to take cash wagers throughout each day. However, we’d recommend betting through one of our approved sportsbooks through your smartphone, so that you can compare the best odds in real-time and benefit from live promotional offers.

What’s the Best Type of Wager for the Irish National?

As we’ve already touched on, this year’s Irish Grand National winner romped home despite starting with an ante-post price of 150/1! So, backing an outright winner is tough, with this also borne out by historical data. So, consider the merits of place, show and each-way betting, so that you can profit even in instances where your various selections don’t come home in first!

Is There a Dress Code?

Like the Aintree Grand National in England, there’s no official dress code when attending the Irish equivalent. However, the organisers do recommend wearing ‘smart casual’ attire when attending the Bobbyjo Bistro or Private Suites, while outlining that offensive or fancy dress is unacceptable.