The two most competitive meetings of the National Hunt season take place at Cheltenham and Aintree and with that thought in mind we take a look here at how the shorter priced horses perform at the meeting over the past ten years. We already know that if you are short-priced punter over the last 10 years at the Cheltenham Festival  it has proved a very tough ask to make money. Those placing Grand National bets should remember this.

So how would you fare at Aintree? The short answer is not well, with only one of the past ten years producing a profit at SP if you had supported all of the runners that started at 2/1 or under. Over that time you would have had 75 bets which would have produced 22 winners but a level stakes loss of £24.34 – the only year that you would have made a small profit would have been in 2006. That year there were two winners from four contenders within the specified price range, conversely the worst year was 2005 when just Moscow Flyer was successful from seven contenders.

Last season would have seen the losses continue when just two winners resulted from the seven qualifiers – Peddlers Cross (5/4) and Big Buck’s (30/100) being the only two successful candidates with Zaynar, Menorah, Somersby, Sanctuaire and most notably Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander all swept away. It’s worth looking out for the Grand National betting offers to get better value.

That looks at the statistics at the top level but are there any trainers that we can trust when it comes to turning out the short priced runners – of the trainers likely to have runners at this year’s Aintree meeting one stands out and that’s Alan King who has a record of 3/7 with runners priced at 2/1 or under. Should we be wary of anyone, well yes, looking at the figures Paul Nicholls runners in that price range need very careful consideration as over the last ten years he has saddled 15 runners of this type and only two have been successful – Big Buck’s being responsible for both of those victories. You may possibly want to avoid Philip Hobbs contenders at that price also as he is 0/4 – his Menorah failing at 7/4 last year.

Short prices at the Cheltenham Festival came with a wealth warning and it seems that the same warning should be issued to punters before the 2011 Grand National Meeting.

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