Once the Cheltenham Festival is over race fans turn their thoughts to the next big event in the jump calendar ‘The John Smiths Grand National’. The race, held at Aintree since 1839, is easily the most famous steeple chase in the world and offers close to a £1,000,000 in prize money across the 3 day event.

There is nothing quite like the sensation of building anticipation as the jockeys persuade their horse into line. Then the tape rises and the race is on as 40 horses hurtle down towards the first fence. At this race more than any does the nation have a flutter on the outcome, novices and seasoned gamblers alike, with a staggering £80,000,000 bet on the Grand National every year.

So who will you be betting on this year? Well if you haven’t decided yet here is a couple of tips to help you choose your winner. First pick a horse that is between 8 and 12 years of age (a racehorse is considered beyond their best after the age of 12). Pick a horse that has already won a race over 3-4 miles showing them to be capable of finishing the grueling Grand National. Finally bet on the Irish, simple enough but if you browse the history of the Grand National you will see the majority of winners have an Irish connection.

The favourite for the race is currently Prince De Beauchene after winning the John Smiths Handicap Chase last year, Junior and Ballabriggs are also favoured to take the race with Treacle, West End Rocker and Burton Port all under 25/1.