One of the most interesting battles in the run up to the start of the Grand National is for who starts the race as the favourite and the battle to become the Grand National 2011 favourite looks as competitive as ever.
The interesting thing is, the record of the favourites so this really is a battle that should be kept an eye on. Click here to see a full list of runners, their latest odds and expert tips from the Grand National Guide website.
Although plenty can change before the start of the race, the most likely Grand National 2011 Favourite looks to be Ruby Walsh’s grand national horse The Midnight Club. With Ruby Walsh having twice ridden the winner of the Grand National, The Midnight Club will get the best assistance from saddle but he could still be replaced as favourite as we saw last year, when the eventual Grand National winner Don’t Push It was very well backed on course with minutes to go and he ended up winning the race as joint favourite. With Hedgehunter winning as favourite in 2005 and Comply Or Die doing similar in 2008, the favourites must always be respected in the Grand National despite how competitive the race is.
Realistically there are still seven or eight horses who could theoretically start as the favourite and picking the exact favourite may not matter too much because horses at 16/1 or under have dominated in recent years so narrowing the field to these runners can usually help find the winner. In fifteen of the last twenty Grand Nationals, the winner has started at 16/1 or less which is a great record if following the best backed horses and it could be worth once again looking at the best backed seven or eight horses.
That leaves just five winners of the Grand National in the last two decades that have won the race at odds bigger than 16/1, you would have expected many more considering you normally get at least thirty runners who are bigger than 16/1. Getting rid of three quarters of the field based just on what odds they are may not seem the best idea but it really has paid its way in recent years, even if backing all of the remaining horses.