The Weekend Wager Grand National Special

Posted on April 3, 2009 by  

Welcome to this the latest ‘Weekend Wager’ free betting column produced by Mike Bishop from the Secret Betting Club and Money Maker Review service.

I work as part of the team at the Secret Betting Club where we uncover exactly which experts, systems and tipsters you should follow to make money betting. As well as proofing dozens of tipsters we also include monthly articles on professional gambling tips and betting strategies. Every article and review we put together is also listed at our new member’s website Money Maker Review.

1. Mike Says

It’s the biggest race of the year and at 4.15pm tomorrow afternoon all of the country will collectively stop what they are doing and fix their eyes on Aintree racecourse and the Grand National. At 4 miles and 4 furlongs and with 31 fences in total, it’s a tough old race, which will attract a huge number of bets with everyone and their Grandma having a wager.

To help you pick out a winner, we have help from two of the finest horse racing minds who give their thoughts on how to whittle down the 40 strong field to the most likely candidates. If you are yet to have a bet or need a few pointers on the race, you could do a lot worse than to use their advice. If however you have been given a horse in a sweepstake, well done if you’re on one of the shortlisted horses!

As luck would have it, I find myself at a wedding tomorrow afternoon, so I hope in between the wedding nuptials and long speeches I will be able to find a TV and watch the famous old race. At the very least I must be sure to put my phone on silent as I have no doubt it will be red-hot tomorrow with friends wanting a bit of help in picking out their own punt for the race. Already this week I have been unable to venture out the house without meeting at least one person who with a sly nudge-wink combo has asked me “Let me know what you have for the National Mike”. While this all helps my ego, the truth is I personally don’t have a clue who’s going to win. Tomorrow I’ll simply be lining up my bets from the battery of successful tipsters I track and will be placing my bets accordingly.

Of course, the Grand National is just one race out of hundreds for many of us who make money on horse racing. With each of the 40 runner field trying their hardest to win and with luck needed in running, its not the usual race to bet on for many shrewd punters, but its good to be able to enjoy your betting with friends and family at least once a year!

2. The Next Week In Betting

Aside from the big horse race there is still plenty to have a punt on over the next week, with Formula 1 moving over to Malaysia after a rip-roaring start to the season last week. Brawn lead the way again in the market with that man Jenson Button 2/1 top fave to win the race at 2/1 and his teammate Rubens double the price at 4/1 (both odds with Bet365). It is however tropical storm season in Malaysia and after visiting just a few months ago, let me tell you when it rains there, the heavens really do open and you do not want to be driving a car at a few hundred MPH if it does so! Rain is forecast as well so we could well see a crazy old race and the evens on their being less than 15 classified finishers with Blue Square looks worth an interest.

Thankfully the distractions of International football are over for a few months as those games are perennially very difficult to bet upon. The big news domestic wise is the return of the Geordie Messiah with Alan Shearer taking over the mantle at Newcastle. Let’s just hope his team-talks are more inspiring than his match of the day analysis! There are plenty of Newcastle themed betting specials over at Oddschecker, such as the 66/1 on them staying up and reaching the Champions league next season or the 100/1 on them going unbeaten for the rest of the season (both bets with Coral). They are still best priced 5/4 with Extrabet to go down and after highlighting them at 15/8 to do this recently, I think the value has gone now on that price. Perhaps Sunderland at 11/2 for relegation with Bet365 might be worth a bite of though as they have been in dreadful form lately and are only 3 pts off the drop.

As for this weekends matches, its squeaky bum time once again for Messrs Benitez and Ferguson and their sides as they face Fulham away and Villa at home respectively. United despite losing their last 2 games or as short as 2/5 to beat Villa which looks mighty short considering they will be without Rooney, Berbatov is carrying a knock and Tevez is coming back from a draining 6-1 loss at altitude in Bolivia on Wednesday. Liverpool are also very short at 4/6 with Betfred and I would plump for Fulham to win at 5/1 with Bet365 as value. They are in good form, don’t concede many at home and are well organised. Elsewhere there are plenty of relegation dogfights with Hull – Portsmouth, Bolton – Middlesbrough & West Brom – Stoke being the clichéd ‘6 pointers’ that you get at this stage of the season. None of those games are likely to see much in terms of skilful high quality football, not least West Brom V Stoke, where I fancy the away team to quite literally batter their way to victory at 13/5 with Skybet.

Cricket wise there are 2 games starting this Friday with the final ODI between West Indies & England and the first ODI between South Africa and Australia. Already I picked out England to take the series at around 5/4 on Betfair so I will be siding with the West Indies to win this game at 10/11 with Sporting Bet. One market I do like is which side will hit the most sixes and West Indies at 4/6 with Blue Square looks like buying money. The home team have hit 23 sixes in this series in comparison with England’s measly 3 so this price appears stonking value!

Good luck with whatever you’re having a punt on this week.

3. Tipping Legends Column

The Tipping Legends are 2 horse racing specialists who both have an in-depth knowledge of the sport and will be supplying a full rundown of some of the weekend’s feature races and betting angles. These guys know their stuff when it comes to racing, ignore at your peril.

The Grand National

Tomorrow National Hunt racing stages the long distance steeplechase of the year….The Grand National, and before you start making your selection(s) it is worth looking at several factors.

(1) This race has improved out of all recognition as thirty years ago it was a total lottery with dreadful drop fences, largely moderate horses, many inexperienced jumpers and amateur riders with absolutely no experience. Thankfully things have changed for the better and the fences whilst still tough are much fairer on the landing side. Horses have to reach a certain rating to qualify and amateur riders have to have achieved several wins and quality rides in order to take part.

The most significant change without doubt is the serious improvement in the quality of horses taking part. The race is now a hotly contested handicap chase with some of the best long distance chasers in training. Far different from years ago when owners and trainers were loath to risk their horses for fear of them breaking down or worse!

It is quite valuable as well these days, with £900,000 of added prize money this year. At the 4 day stage, we are left with 69 entries, which means that quite a few of the lower weights will not get a run as the safety limit is 40 runners.

(2) We could look at stats for hours and make them talk backwards if we wish. It’s easy to find what you are looking for if you ignore those stats that cloud the picture!

However a glimpse of some figures over the last 30 years are most interesting

(a) 17 of the last 30 winners have started at 14/1 or shorter.
(b) Only 5 favourites have won in last 30 years, with 4 of those having come in last 13 years and they all went off at 7/1!
(c) Only 6 Irish trained winners in last 30 years BUT they have all come in last 10 years!
(d) Only 4 winners have carried 11st or more in the last 30 years and only once in last 20 years (Hedgehunter 11st 1lb).
(e) Only four 12 yr old winners and only three 8 yr olds have won.
(f) Whilst only 4 winners have carried more than 11st, 14 winners over the last 30 years have carried between 10st 6lbs and 10st 11lbs.

Now we have cracked it! We are looking for an Irish trained horse, aged between 9-11, carrying less than 11st and with a Starting Price of 14/1 or less (unless he starts favourite in which case an SP of 7/1 is preferable)

Going through the card and only 3 Irish trained horses tick all the boxes, L’ Ami, Southern Vic, and Himalayan Trail. It is worth watching the prices as L’Ami is the only one who may be as short as 14/1.

Maybe though it is the turn of the English based trainers in which case, Butlers Cabin, Parsons Legacy and Rambling Minster tick the boxes. Now it is quite possible that only two of these six go off as short as 14/1 or below. Namely Butlers Cabin and Rambling Minster

Now I have got it down to a 2 horse race!! End of problem as I will back them both and do them as a forecast!

But wait! Just a niggling doubt in my mind. They have had no rain at Aintree for weeks, and the going will be on the firm side of good that’s for sure. So that should give the horses carrying the most weight a great chance this year. No problem, back to the drawing board!

Not as bad as I first thought with only 4 in the short list. Black Apalachi, Hear The Echo, State of Play and My Will. They all carry 11st 5lbs or less (no winner carried more than this in last 30 years)

Got to whittle this down now and have just spotted that My Will is the magical 7/1 in most ante post lists!!!! Wow!!!

Now I have found the answer, I will back Butlers Cabin, Rambling Minster & My Will in a tricast and for good measure do all three in the last leg of my Scoop 6. I must stop rambling and book the Securicor van for 4.30 pm on Saturday!

Good luck and good racing. I do believe that this year the quality, well backed horses will prevail. There are too many of them to let an outsider win, oops just remembered Foinavon!!!

4. Herbie Fogg Grand National Analysis

This special Grand National analysis has been produced by professional backer, Herbie Fogg, who uses statistical analysis to gain an edge and make a profit from horse racing. It focuses on the key trends that matter and has produced the winner in 9 of the last 11 renewals (excluding heavy ground) – with amazing results.

How to pick the winner

The Grand National has become one of the most statistic sensitive races around and dominated by Irish bred horses, tactically prepared to carry an attractive weight. Chasing experience and good jumping are also vital attributes and here we show you how to sort through the field and analyse jumping records to identify the leading contenders:

Phase 1 – shortlist all horses that meet the following criteria:

Will conceivably go off at 20/1 or less
Aged between 8 and 12 years old
Weight carried 11-1 or less
Have previously won a chase of at least 3 miles, worth at least £17000, of any kind
Have run in at least 9 chases, of any kind
Scratch anything bred in France (FR)

After this phase in 2008, your shortlist would have looked like this:

Comply Or Die – finished 1st at 7/1
Snowy Morning – finished 3rd at 16/1
Bewleys Berry – finished 5th at 12/1
Cloudy Lane – finished 6th at 7/1

Phase 2 – analyse jumping record:

Put a line through anything that ran as a novice chaser in the last 10 months – ignore novice handicaps. Then put a line through anything that has fallen more than once in career – ignore BD (brought down) and UR (unseated rider).

Add up the total number of chases of any kind run in career to date:

10 – 12 runs – allow 1 incident of BD or UR
13 – 29 runs – allow 2 incidents of BD or UR
30 runs or more – allow a maximum of 3 incidents of BD or UR

After this phase in 2008, your shortlist would have been:

Comply or Die (IRE)
Bewleys Berry (IRE)
Cloudy Lane (GB)

Divide your betting bank and wager 3 points to win on selections bred in Ireland, and 1 point to win on all others. If you had decided to wager a total of £100 on these 3 horses in 2008, your stakes would have calculated as follows:

Comply Or Die – £42.85 @ 7/1, a profit of £299.95
Bewleys Berry – £42.85 @ 12/1, a loss of £42.85
Cloudy Lane – £14.30 @ 7/1, a loss of £14.30

Total net profit = £242.80 (+ 16.98 points at £14.30 per point)

In addition to finding 9 of the last 11 not run on heavy ground, this system would have identified McKelvey who was 2nd to Silver Birch in 2007 only by act of God – he damaged a tendon near the end of the race and crossed the line lame, losing by just 3/4 of a length – one of the unluckiest losers of all time. That’s racing, but it’s good to know.

Apart from Silver Birch, the only winner to evade detection on this basis since 1997 is Bindaree at 20/1 in 2002, who before his National victory had never won a valuable chase of any kind of 3 miles or more.

If we apply this knowledge to the 2009 Grand National field on 31st March would look as follows – with current average and (max) bookmaker odds:

Parsons Legacy (IRE) – 20/1 (25/1)
Darkness (GB) – 20/1 (25/1)
Rambling Minster (GB) – 10/1 (11/1)
Southern Vic (IRE) – 16/1 (22/1)
Kilbeggan Blade (GB) – 20/1 (22/1)

The system only applies to horses that go off at 20/1 or less, so this is just a shortlist – but most of these should do.

Moving outside the strict trends, others to consider on the cusp would be State of Play who carries just 1lb more than the trends weight ceiling of 11st 1lb, and Butler’s Cabin who has a perfect profile in every way except for the French hoo-doo – nothing bred in France has won since 1909, although they have come close. Could this be the one to do it? It may be folly to rule him out too quickly.

Big Fella Thanks is interesting. Harry Findlay named this horse after his supreme champion greyhound, who, Harry tells us, he wouldn’t swop for any horse, including Denman. It’s taken Harry a long time to find a horse he thinks worthy of the name – that’s how much they think of him. But, Ruby is sitting on My Will….

Age and experience are the problem – Big Fella Thanks is 7, still technically a novice, has only run in 6 chases and unseated rider on 1 occasion and that stacks everything against him in this race. But in terms of pure talent he lacks for nothing, and when beaten into 3rd by Nacarat in the Racing Post Chase he simply confirmed he wants a good deal further than 3 miles on drying ground, and Aintree’s lush well-watered good ground should be absolutely ideal to any horse who likes a little juice.

If he can win this race, it would be a Grand National fairytale and the birth of legend – but he’s being forced to run as next year he’ll be too high in the weights, and the chances are it’s come too soon. I can’t back him (although 20/1 is awfully tempting), but for backers who like their Grand National winners served up with a Cinderella story, this could be your man – or perhaps Butler’s Cabin, particularly if AP McCoy takes the ride.

To arrive at a final shortlist, review the runners on the morning of the race, with the benefit of final declarations, non-runners and likely starting prices – giving careful consideration to a covering bet on Butler’s Cabin.

Bon chance,

Herbie Fogg.

5. The Winabobatoo Weekender

Winabobatoo are English Premier League, Football League and Scottish Premier betting experts. Using their own excellent football system to often ‘Win a bob or two’ for their members, they are sharing one of their ‘star’ bets every week with us. Star bets are their best rated, best value bets and worth following in with a few bob of your own.

My plans to give you one of my “Away Form System” bets have run aground again this weekend as there aren’t any! So it’s a “Play Away” system bet this weekend. I introduced this “system” to my Winabobatoo members last November and the results so far have shown 25 winners from 51 bets, returning 61.92 points to one point level stakes’ bets. That’s a profit of 10.92 points, or 21% profit on turnover. The average odds of the winners have been 2.47 (nearly 6/4) and the win rate has been 49%.

It is extremely difficult to find around 50% winners with average odds as high as almost 6/4, but that is the challenge we face if we want to make profits in the region of 20% on turnover. Most people who find 50% winners will be backing teams priced at 4/5, and not 6/4, so will consequently end up losing in the long run.

Today’s advice is to take promotion chasing Reading to beat Coventry. All my ratings confirm Reading’s superiority, and the price is 11/8 (2.38). I would expect Reading to win between 45% to 50% of the time, so the odds on offer more than cover the risk involved, which is the name of the game when searching for long-term profits.

Have a bet on Reading to beat Coventry at 11/8 (2.38) available with Totesport, BlueSquare, Stan James, SkyBet, and Corals.

Good luck with your betting.

Mike Lindley ( )

6. Skeeve’s Non-League

Skeeve is our resident Non-League betting expert who will be sharing with you his best advice for this weekend’s domestic non-league card. What Skeeve doesn’t know about all things semi-pro aint worth knowing and the bookies hate it as lets face it they know next-to nothing about football at this level.

Hi everybody,

That’s why I improvise a draw-no-bet from time to time, Blyth conceded a late equaliser last weekend, but we’ve made +0.4 unit profit instead of losing the whole stake (five units).

20 89 125.88 14-2-4 +36.88 141.4%

This could be a tricky weekend in the Blue Square leagues – a lot of short odds, a lot of questionable motivations, a lot of ‘must win’ games. Well, hard work beats everything in the long run, but that’s why this is a busy Friday for me and instead of writing about it, I’ll do some more work and check out some crucial team news. One thing is certain – 2009 has been absolutely amazing so far (+130 units profit in three months, 39.6% RoI).

The membership and the waiting list are both closed for the rest of the season. Everyone who ends the season as a Skeeve Picks subscriber will be offered a spot for next season and if someone drops out, I’ll contact the first guy on the waiting list for next season. If you want to be on the waiting list for next season, feel free to send me an e-mail.



Blue Square South DOUBLE: WIMBLEDON – Team Bath 1 @1.40 & NEWPORT – Fisher 1 @1.36 (1.90 @Coral) 5 units

Team Bath improved a bit at the end of March, but, I’ll say it again, they haven’t been the same team since Abbott left them back in November and they were on a terrible run (1:2 at terrible Havant, 0:0 at St Albans who were missing their best scorer, 0:3 at poor Bognor, 1:2 to 16th Weston, 0:3 to 13th Braintree) before the recent two wins (2:1 at the biggest candidates for the third relegation spot Thurrock when they’ve scored two goals in the last four minutes, 2:0 vs disoriented Chelmsford who are still 5th, but with only one win and four defeats in the last seven matches). ”…Team Bath have nothing really to play for so will be relaxes and here to enjoy themselves, and that is always a dangerous proposition….”, said Wimbledon’s manager Brown – I’m glad he understands that, but I’m sure he’ll get these three points that are absolutely crucial for the Dons, especially after that unlucky 1:2 defeat at Eastleigh (Eastleigh’s defender Jordan scored a goal with his hand, check it out on YouTube). Wimbledon weren’t very good away from home lately, but before that shock 0:1 defeat to Welling they had eight home wins in a row (3:0 Newport, 3:0 Fisher, 5:1 Braintree, 3:1 Chelmsford, 2:0 Hayes, 3:2 Bath City, 2:0 Worcester, 2:0 Dorchester) and they’re still the best home team in the league by far (14-2-2, 43:14, no other team scored more, no other team conceded less). I think it’s time for Main’s 15th league goal in 2009, but even if he doesn’t score, Kedwell or Ibe (or even old Rocky Baptiste, Dons’ latest signing) probably will. Btw Wimbledon have no suspension problems and much less injury doubts than last weekend.

I don’t want to be disrespectful to Fisher, they’ve put up a good fight, but they’re already relegated, 18 defeats in the last 20, still no money for the players, eight defeats and a 2:2 draw at Basingstoke in the last nine away matches. Newport are safe and it’s only human to assume that they’ll be unmotivated – I assure you they won’t, their manager Holdsworth wants to end this season with a smile on his face and not with a job application in his hands and that 0:4 defeat to Bath City didn’t happen that long ago (they’re better than that result, after all it was their only defeat in the last five – three of those were wins). After that, Newport were very solid at improved St Albans (1:1), even missed a penalty, and good enough at Bognor who just won’t give up (1:0), but the most important thing is the return of their best scorer Reid. He’s been absolutely crucial for Newport this season and even though he wasn’t in the starting line-up in the last five matches due to his injury, he’s still managed to score both times he came on from the bench. With him and Foley upfront, young Armitage on the bench and Cochlin in the defence, back where he undoubtably belongs, Newport’s squad looks much healthier and they should beat Fisher comfortably – even if Reid only gets half an hour.

(1.86 at Sportingbet and Victor Chandler, 1.82 at Expekt btw, 1.80 at Bet365 and also at BetFred btw, 1.76 at Paddy Power, Skybet and also at Gamebookers btw, 1.75 at StanJames…)

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