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Alternative Grand National Guide

At this time of year, everyone here at 'Grand National Free Bets' gets swamped with 'Grand National Previews', and there's sure to be ton in our inboxes this year too.

To break from the usual monotony though, I'm proposing a slightly different tack. Rather than pin sticking, I will tell you why each of the horses can't win.

This is actually a particularly savvy tactic, as it virtually guarantees being 97.5% right. (i.e. there will only be one winner out of forty Grand National runners).

So, here we go, from the top to the bottom. Find your fancy and see why it can't win!

Grand National Runners

HEDGEHUNTER: Too much weight. Will likely complete, but won't win. Place possibilities.

EUROTREK: Too much weight. Fragile horse who could go wrong. Likes the fences and unlikely to fall.

L'AMI: Too much weight. French bred has never won the race. Ever. Many have tried.

MONKERHOSTIN: Too much weight. Probably won't stay. Not quite as good as he was this season.

THISTHATANDTOTHER: Too much weight. Slower than a particularly slow boat. On the downgrade.

BILLYVODDAN: Too much weight. Inexperienced. A likely casualty.

NUMBERSIXVALVERDE: Too much weight. No repeat winner since Red Rum.

IDLE TALK: Can't jump, won't jump. Oh, and too much weight.

ROYAL AUCLAIR: Too much weight. Probably on the downgrade. Will probably get round. Place possibilities.

CLOUDY BAYS: Dodgy jumper (fell in a hurdle race last time!), but good form. Outsider with a chance If he stands up.

KNOWHERE: Novice. Shouldn't be running in the race in my opinion.

KELAMI: French bred never won. Doubtful stayer. Classy enough.

POINT BARROW (16.5/1): No reason why he won't win, except that he isn't good enough on the day. My idea of the winner...

CELTIC SON: French breds don't win the National. One start this season and he failed to complete.

SIMON: On the upgrade, but a second season chaser and probably still too inexperienced.

BALLYCASSIDY: Dodgy jumper, on the downgrade.

CLAN ROYAL: French bred, so won't win. Had his chances in previous years. Even McCoy doesn't want to ride him this time. (A mistake in my opinion, as he still looks the pick of the McManus runners).

GALLANT APPROACH: Ground against him and he's probably not good enough.

LIVINGSTONEBRAMBLE: Non-stayer. Not good enough.

DUN DOIRE (15/1): Ground too quick. Every chance, aside from that.

KANDJAR D'ALLIER: Frenchie can't win.

SLIM PICKINGS: Second season chasers don't win the National.

ZABENZ: Ditto.


LONGSHANKS: Ground quick enough, but every chance. Has jumped round and I reckon he might well win it. Cracking value.

BOTHAR NA: Just not good enough.

GRAPHIC APPROACH: Probably not good enough. Makes a lot of mistakes so he may well not get round. No idea why I backed him!

HOMER WELLS: Second season chasers don't win the National, and he's probably not good enough anyway.

LIBERTHINE: Not a race for 'Les Grenouilles' but he has jumped round the fences before.

SILVER BIRCH: Not won for two and a half years and the ground on the quick side, but he comes here with a chance!

PHILSON RUN: Not good enough probably, and the turf will be fast enough.

PUNTAL (not on yet, currently trading at 150 on betfair): Sixth last year after over a year off, and has a squeak. Can't find a reason not to back him, so I will be backing him tomorrow!

THE OUTLIER: Ground too fast. Will be scared sh**less by the number of rivals in this race. (Never won with more than ten in the field).

TIKRAM: Non-stayer will be pulled up.

McKELVEY: Not good enough. Might get round.

NAUNTON BROOK (120/1): Bang out of form and probably not good enough. But will appreciate the faster ground, and could surprise a few people. (Still I don't expect to collect on this ticket!)

JACK HIGH: Was a 9/1 shot last year, and not without a chance this time. Might be too far back to mount a winning run (most winners are up near the pace throughout), and unseated last year.

SONEVAFUSHI: Should have run in the Hunter Chase. Not good enough for this.

JOE'S EDGE: Landed a touch for readers of this column at Cheltenham (50/1!). Scottish National winner who likes to hear his hooves rattle. In good form, and a sound jumper. The one I'm not on that I'm most worried about. You'll hear me cursing from your front room if this one wins!

LE DUC: Dodgy jumper, non-stayer. Say no more.

So there it is. I've told you why they can't win and I'll be more right than wrong, but I wouldn't waste any of the free bets that bookmakers are offering on them.

I've had a good deal more winners than not over the past ten years and, bizarrely (foolishly?!), I am reasonably confident about my chances tomorrow.

Longshanks is probably the best value bet in the race, in my opinion.

Good luck, whichever horse(s) you've selected, and lets hope the beasts and all the pilots get back for a glass of their favoured at the end of the day.