I love the Grand National.
Sure there are ongoing concerns about horse safety, that will always be the case when you throw 40 riders over 30 of the biggest jumps in racing, but in terms of excitement it really can't be beat.
It's als othe occassion where everyone wants to have a bet, that gives the bookmakers a great chance to make some money, and with their increased overround, they do just that.
40 horses, 40 riders, and the winner will be the bookmakers.
Come the day of the race the high street bookmakers will be experiencing their busiest day of the year, in terms of customers if not money changing hands, as the country comes out on mass to place £5 each way bets on the horse with the name or colours they like the best.
So what do the bookmakers do with this fantastic bonus of additional customers and bets? They squeeze it for everything it’s worth.
The Grand National is notoriously hard to predict, in the last eight years winners have started at odds from 7/1 (Comply or Die as joint favourite) to 100/1 (Mon Mome).
2014 - Pineau De Re 25/1
2013 - Auroras Encore 66/1
2012 - Neptune Collonges 33/1
2011 - Ballabriggs 14/1
2010 - Don’t Push It 10/1 joint favourite
2009 - Mon Mome 100/1
2008 - Comply or Die 7/1 join favourite
2007 - Silver Birch 33/1
When it is such a crap shoot the bookmaker does tend to attempt to protect itself, but frankly they can do that with their standard over inflated overround. To put a book together with a 140%+ overround as some of them have for the 2015 Grand National is frankly profiteering.
William Hill 130%
Paddy Power 145%
BetFair 110% (including commission
Smarkets 107% (including commission)
Those prices were correct at going to press.
You might be thinking that the isn’t really a problem, everyone bets at around the same odds on the same runners and it doesn’t make a difference. A horse going off at 25/1 might seem long to a once a year mug punter, but if the true odds on that horse winning are more like 100/1 or 200/1 then that punter has been ripped off.
The real difference in the true odds and the bookmaker odds can be seen at the betting exchanges. Smarkets will both be offering far better odds in the run up to the event, and their overround will be nearer 105% (though you also need to factor in the commission of 2%).
Disgraceful profiteering from the bookmakers on the one day when everyone has a bet. They also drop sign up bonuses (see BetFred as an example, down from bet £10 for £30 to £5 for £5) and offers as far as possible as it's a free crack at customer acquisition.
Even if you have just one bet this year, then you want to get the best odds. Go to a betting exchange and at least get the price you deserve on that three legged outsider………...who’s got every chance of winning.