Festival Trials Day 2017

Six of the Best Grand National gambles:

The first Saturday of April is usually Grand National day at Aintree Racecourse, one of the most iconic days in the British sporting calendar. Here’s a list of six of the best Grand National gambles.

The race dates back to 1839 – when it was won by the appropriately named horse Lottery.  It’s a race that’s steeped in romance and folklore, and interspersed with stories of great gambles – some of which paid off and some of which didn’t.

In the last 50 years, the world’s greatest steeple chase may have witnessed seven victorious favourites, but there have been long-priced winners too, most notably in recent years Mon Mome in 2009 at 100/1.

Here are six of the best Grand National gambles…


Trainer Edward Studd bet £1,000 at 40/1 on his own horse Salamander. His £40,000 winnings equate to more than £3 million in today’s money.


Legendary Irish trainer Vincent O’Brien was so confident of the chances of Early Mist that he told the horse’s owner Joe Griffin to have a big bet. He walked off with £100,000.


Nearly fifty years ago, the locally-trained Red Rum was sent off the 10/1 joint favourite, with wads of cash wagered on him in Liverpool. He caught the other joint favourite Crisp in the shadow of the winning post in one of the greatest Grand National finishes ever.


Papillion was 33/1 on the morning of the race, but tips from several prominent newspaper pundits saw an enormous sum of money bet on him. He won at 10/1.


Owner Mike Futter landed £800,000 after betting on his horse Monty’s Pass at ante-post prices up to 66/1. The eventual starting price was 16/1.


Champion jockey Tony McCoy had never won the Grand National. His mount thirteen years ago – Don’t Push It – was definitely one of the best Grand National gambles. It was backed into 10/1 joint favouritism. The sweetest victory ensured celebrations across the land. 

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