Brand Expert: A Beginners Guide to Horse Racing and Betting at The Grand National
Travel & Days Out

Brand Expert: A Beginners Guide to Horse Racing and Betting at The Grand National

29 March 2019
David Morrison, Commercial Partnerships Manager at vouchercloud

David Morrison, Commercial Partnerships Manager at vouchercloud

The 2019 horse racing season is well and truly underway after March’s unofficial curtain-raiser in the shape of the Cheltenham Festival. Next on the horizon is everyone’s favourite barnstormer, the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. Running from Thursday 4th to Saturday 6th of April, the showpiece race of the week takes place at 5:15 pm on the final day of the Grand National festival. Widely regarded as the most popular race in the calendar, Aintree will see over 150,000 punters attend during the three-day meet and an astounding 600 million from around the globe tune in on Saturday afternoon to see the runners and riders navigate one of the toughest and most famous races in the world!


The Grand National is renowned for its unrivalled challenges during the 4 mile, 514 yard track, consisting of no less than 30 fences! Keep an eye out for the most famous gates on the course in Bechers’s Brook and The Chair. The latter at 5ft, 2 inches is the tallest fence on the course. This would be the same as jumping over Kim Kardashian on a horse, which I’m sure you feel better for knowing! Becher’s Brook sees a 6ft drop on the landing side, which is taller than any jockey that has ever participated in the race... probably.


Betting for Dummies 

Mention horse racing and the conversation usually finds its way to betting pretty sharpish, namely placing a little flutter on your steed of choice. Last years instalment saw nearly 13 million of us place a bet on the Grand National totalling a staggering £250 million wagered! 


If you were lucky enough to have bet on the 10/1 shot, Tiger Roll, jockeyed by Davy Russell then you won’t need us. You can go and make the most of the last couple of weeks, dishing out the tips and regaling us with stories of how you cleaned up last year! 


For everyone else, we’ve put together a quick beginners guide on some of the betting terms and markets you’re likely to come across to take the mystery out of the world of horse race betting... leaving you to focus on the important stuff like who has the best name or which is wearing your favourite colour!


Breaking down the jargon

There are hundreds of variations of markets and bets that can be placed on any horse race which can be a little daunting first time around so here we’re going to look at the two most popular bets available including single and each-way betting. 

Gambling at The Grand National  

Single or “To Win” Bets - A single or To Win bet is pretty much what it says on the tin. You place your stake on a single horse to win a race and, if they do, you get paid out at the odds you were offered when placing the bet.


Each-Way Bet - One of the most popular bets available, this allows your horse a chance to “place” as well as win. A place is when your horse doesn’t win the race but comes within a specified number of positions after the winner. 


Spreading risk 

You effectively spread the risk of your bet in exchange for a slightly lower return on a winner and a percentage of the potential winnings for a place. The return for a place varies from each bookie, but a standard offering is usually a quarter of the return you would have made. The number of places a bookie will offer for placements varies as well, bet365 are currently paying 5 places meaning your horse can finish anywhere 5th and above and you would see a return!


In this instance, you are actually splitting your stake between two outcomes and placing two bets, either your horse to win or to come within the places. As a result, your stake will appear as two payments when placing it. If your horse wins when placing an E/W bet you have actually won two bets, your horse to win, and the payment on a place at the fraction the bookie offered.

Track condition

As an example, had you bet £10 with bet365 on Tiger Roll To Win last year at 10/1, you would have seen a £100 return plus your stake back, so £110 in total. Had this same bet been placed Each Way you have to split it to £5 E/W, you would have won £60 (£50 for the win, £10 for the place) plus your stake so £70 total. Had he placed in the top 5 instead they offered a quarter of the payout for places so this would have seen a £17.50 return, £7.50 up including your stake.


So, now we have an idea of how to bet the important question are WHERE to bet? Well, we're here to help again! There are hundreds of options out there but if you’re looking for the best odds guaranteed with a price promise against their competitors look no further than BET365.


As for who to bet on, well this is where you come in armed with your new found knowledge on all things Grand National! A bet on any sport is supposed to bring enjoyment but always remember to only ever bet what you can afford and to gamble responsibly. If you need any other information please see:


The mini-glossary


The odds are the price that the bookies place on the outcome of an event happening.


The Field:

The list of horses that are included in a single race. For the Grand National, there are up to 40 runners taking part.



The performance of a horse over previous races.


The Going:

The condition of the ground at the course indicating the pace the track. British measurements include; Heavy, Soft, Good to Soft, Good, Good to Firm, and Firm.

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