Belfast Telegraph

The Punter: Picking the favourite at the Grand National

Those who like to do something a little different on the National, should take a look at which horse will start favourite.

At the moment, The Midnight Club heads that market at 9-4 but risk a few pounds on What A Friend at 4-1. The reason is simple. He is partly owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and the media will hype up his chances come Saturday.

Also, all Manchster United fans will want to be on and that is likely to see a late rush on What A Friend.

As for the number of finishers, with the standard of runners improving each year, around 17-18 has been the recent average. Up to and including 14 is 10-11 favourite, but 18 or more is the call at 11-4.

It's 8-11 for no false starts and evens for one or more. False starts are rare and that 8-11 looks banker material, while another bet that may appeal is Paddy Power's 4-1 that a horse will lead at The Elbow which comes after the last fence, and lose.

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