Sporting Index: Spread betting on the Grand National

Bill Esdaile
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FINDING the winner of a 40-runner 4m 4f handicap steeplechase over 30 testing fences isn’t the easiest of tasks and many will be scratching their heads again this year after the 66/1 shock 12 months ago.

Sporting Index are predicting a winning starting price this time of between 20.5 and 21.5, so if you are expecting another turn up, buy at 21.5 and sit back and cheer on the rags!

Let’s say a 33/1 shot wins, you’d win 11.5 times your stake (losing 11.5 times if the winner is returned 10/1).

The key thing with many of the spread bets available on the world’s most famous race is that you don’t have to nominate the winner. You can bet on the winning distance being more than 6.75 lengths or less than 5.75, or even whether or not the number of lengths that separate the first and last horse home is more than 145.

One market that really catches my eye this year is the prediction on the total number of finishers which is currently pitched at between 17 and 18. There have been much publicised safety modifications made to the fences over the last two years and there is no getting away from the fact they are safer than ever.

Last year, although only 17 finished, it was interesting that there were only two fallers (the previous seven runnings had seen 11, 10, 11, 12, 11, 7 and 11 fall respectively). There is every chance that the record of 24 finishers set in 1984 could soon be under threat as the race becomes safer.

For those looking for a more traditional bet on the race, Sporting Index are offering a 100 Race Index which allocates points right down to seventh place (100-70-50-30-20-10-5), which is better than any each-way terms fixed-odds operators offer. A prediction is made on the number of points every horse in the race will get – for example, current favourite Teaforthree may be 18-21 on the index – and you can buy or sell, depending on whether you fancy them to do well or badly.

Sporting Index are offering all City AM readers an exclusive offer which covers up to £100 of cumulative net losses across your first three bets, so there is no better time to try the most exhilarating betting experience around. To find out more details visit