The Grand National at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England is the most famous steeplechase in the world. Each year, 40 runners line up to try to add their name to the history books in the unique contest over the larger fences.
With the weights for the 2020 now officially out, here is a look at who are the best bets for the race this year.
Tiger Roll (+500)
With Grand National odds of +500, Tiger Roll is the bookmakers’ favorite to win the Aintree feature this year. Gordon Elliott’s runner is bidding to win the race for the third straight year, a feat no horse has managed in history.
The handicapper has handed the Irish horse top weight of 11st-10lb, however, he showed once again in 2019 that he loves the marathon contest, so he has a great chance of passing this latest test.
Tiger Roll returned to action last month in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan. He looked well in that hurdles contest, which is a good sign as he looks to justify favoritism at Aintree once again. If he does come out on top, he will be the first horse to prevail from top weight in the race since Red Rum in 1977.
Bristol De Mai (+2000)
The second-highest racehorse in the Grand National field this year is Bristol De Mai. It is surprising that Nigel Twiston-Davies’ runner is as big as +2000 in the betting.
Bristol De Mai has featured in some of the biggest National Hunt Races on the calendar, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup where he finished a close third in 2019.
The highlight of his career so far was when he blew the field away at Haydock in the 2017 Betfair Chase as the +110 favorite. He followed that up 12 months later by defending his crown in the early season Grade One event.
Bristol De Mai is unlikely to have any issues with the fences at Aintree. If his trainer feels he has what it takes to win the race, it is a big endorsement as Twiston-Davies has been successful twice before in the Grand National.
Ballyoptic will go into the Grand National 6lb lower than his current mark. The 10-year-old has shot up the weights following his recent success in a Listed race at Ascot, which makes him a great bet at +2500.
This will be Ballyoptic’s second shot at the 4m2½f contest. He came down in the closing stages of the race in 2019. That experience should help the horse this year as he will know exactly what to expect at Aintree.
Twiston-Davies’ chaser was second in the Scottish Grand National in 2018. He finished just a nose behind Joe Farrell in an agonizing near-miss for his connections at Ayr. They will be hoping he can go once place better in Liverpool and scoop the £500,000 first prize.
This year’s Grand National will be streamed around the world on April 4. The starter is scheduled to let the 40-runner field go at 17:15 in what is always an exhilarating contest to watch.