We all have our methods. Some of us will study form all year round, others will pick a name at random on the day. But one thing’s for sure, as far as horse racing goes, you don’t get many bigger contests than the Grand National.
Shops up and down the country will be packed out from as soon as doors open, right up until roughly 17:35 after winning slips have been cashed in.
The weather looks like it’ll hold out for a cracking day of sporting action and all eyes will be on the big race at Aintree.
And if you’re struggling to decide who takes your fancy, we’ve put our heads together in the Ladbrokes News office to give you the perfect horse to get behind – based on which football team you support.
Once you’ve found the horse that applies to you and your team – you just know you have to back it. Think of the mums across the UK that went to see Take That in 2016 only to discover a horse called Rule the World was running in the Grand National just a few months later at 33/1…
Here are our top picks that relate to football teams across the land. And if your side doesn’t feature, it’s worth getting on Just A Par (33/1).
After all, it is Masters weekend…
Man United, Liverpool or Arsenal
Look no further than Definitly Red, currently joint-favourite at 11/1. These teams know all about what it feels like to head into a huge sporting event as favourite, so Brian Ellison’s eight-year-old is certainly a horse you can relate to.
Call us superstitious, but isn’t it a little odd that Vincent Kompany started just his first game of the year for City in the same week that Pleasant Company (14/1) is running in the National? An impressive horse with arguably the best jockey in the field (Ruby Walsh) riding him, this could be a great shout.
With one hand on the Premier League trophy, Chelsea’s attention will now turn to the Emirates FA Cup in an attempt to complete an impressive double. With that in mind, Blues fans should look no further than Double Shuffle (40/1) on Saturday.
Foxes supporters have to back Wonderful Charm (33/1) in honour of the man who was at the forefront of Leicester’s remarkable campaign last season. The East Midlands outfit will forever be in debt to the affable Claudio Ranieri, who brought us some of the most memorable moments in the Premier League era. Need we say any more?
We wouldn’t be surprised to see that most of the bets placed on Saint Are (33/1) have been down on the south-coast. Like the Saints in the Premier League, Tom George’s charge is certainly capable of causing an upset. Davy Russell will be riding Saint Are on Saturday, and we may be clutching at straws here but the jockey was brought up in Cork, where Southampton striker Shane Long began his career. Coincidence or fate?!
The clue is in the title here, and we’re expecting plenty of Millwall supporters to get behind Blaklion (12/1), one of the frontrunners for Grand National glory. Blaklion has raced at Aintree on two previous occasions, finishing third and fourth. Add those two numbers together and you get Millwall’s current position in League One. OK, maybe we’re looking into this a little too much!
Like Blaklion, the clue really is in the title here with Gas Line Boy (80/1). Rovers fans will happily cheer on anything related to The Gas! If it can get around the 4m2f course, plenty think it’s capable of grabbing a place. Similarly, Rovers find themselves in a position in League One where a solid run between now and the end of the season could see them nick a play-off spot. The parallels are uncanny!
Wounded Warrior’s (50/1) recent form might not be much to write home about but a closer inspection reveals a number of past glories. This horse beat market fancy Definitly Red on his point-to-point debut in 2013 before downing the likes of Grade 1 winner Killutagh Vic and last year’s Grand National hero Rule the World in subsequent outings. Yes, he needs a big upturn in fortunes, but like Leeds, he could be about to roar back into life.
Like the Highlands outfit, Highland Lodge (22/1) punches above its weight and always gives it his all. He won the Becher Chase over the National fences in 2015 and finished a close second in the most recent renewal behind Vieux Lion Rouge. That course form and experience gives him a shout.
And that just about completes our list! Let us know if you think we’ve missed any more football-related horses running, or tell us how you go about making your selections in the comments section below!
Click here for a full list of Grand National odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing