It’s early days, but that’s often the best time to grab some excellent value in the betting in the Grand National Festival at Aintree.

The smart money lies with the longshots at each-way value, as history often proves and you could do a lot worse than picking a reliable bookie such as Paddy Power to select your bets with this time ‘round.

Legendary horse racing handicapper Phil Smith has given top weight Tidal Bay an excellent opportunity of winning the first £1?million Grand National at Aintree by letting the beast in at 7lb light in a set of weights published this week.

The Crabbie’s-sponsored race features a 45-strong field in the 140-149 rating bracket at present, but expect some non-runners to emerge between now and race day on April 5th. As per custom, however, it’s the big-name guns who gain most of the attention prior to the big race day.

If Smith had adhered with the published BHA ratings, Tidal Bay would still be topweight on 11st 10lb, but he would be conceding 5lb to Long Run and 7lb to Hunt Ball. Remarkably, at Aintree he is 4lb better off with both so we’re tipping great value on now at 16/1.

Other notable big-hitters in the betting include Teaforthree, the current favourite at 12/1 and Colbert Station at 20/1. If you’re looking for another ‘Mon Mone’ or ‘Aurora’ moment and fancy a long shot, you could do a lot worse than looking at the form of Rubi Light and Hunt Ball, at 50/1 and 66/1 respectively.

Chances are, we haven’t even mentioned a placer here come the big day, which is half the beauty of the world-renowned Grand National! Whoever you choose, it’ll be a spectacle to behold.


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