2017 Grand National Betting Preview: Double Shuffle to land Aintree marathon glory

One of the premier sporting showpieces will take centre stage at Aintree at 5:15pm on Saturday afternoon, as the 2017 Randox Health Grand National will see 40 horses line up for what will be a spine-tingling occasion on Merseyside, and yet again a top quality field has been assembled for the world's greatest steeplechase.

  • Six of the last eight winners have been 25/1 or bigger
  • Five of the last eight winners have carried 11st or more
  • Five of the last seven winners have been aged 10 or older

The winning horse and jockey will need class, guts, determination and a bit of luck along way, as they will tackle 30 fences over four-and-a-quarter miles, and only the toughest equine and human partnership will come out on top, and be propelled into National Hunt history, and we try and decipher the head-scratching puzzle here.

Saturday 8th April - 5.15pm OddsWon/LostBet
2017 Grand National Tips    
Tips Double Shuffle (each way)    Best Bet @ 40 / 1  
Shantou Flyer (each way) @ 66 / 1  

The Favourites

Brian Ellison's Definitly Red and David Pipe's Vieux Lion Rouge are currently battling it out for favouritism for this year's race, and both are 11/1 shots with Betfair Sportsbook, and the classy duo have strong credentials heading into this contest, as the former has won the Grimthorpe Chase and Rowland Meyrick this season, while Vieux Lion Rouge built on his Becher Chase win over the National fences by landing victory in the Grand National Trial at Haydock Park.

Of the pair I'd be inclined to stick with Definitly Red, as he is a stayer on the upgrade, and there could be more improvement to come, but Vieux Lion Rouge was seventh in last year's National, and is significantly higher in the weights this time around, and with his stamina not fully guaranteed to stretch then he is certainly one of the fancied ones to avoid.

Kim Bailey's The Last Samuri finished a gallant runner-up in this race 12 months ago, but he has snuck up the handicap all season, with creditable efforts in a host of top races, and off top weight he may just find it tough to emulate last year's feat, and at 16/1 with Betfair is hard to fancy.

The JP McManus-owned pair of Cause Of Causes (14/1 with Paddy Power) and More Of That (12/1) are interesting, but the former was only able to finish eighth two years ago, so it could be worth siding with More Of That, who is the classiest horse in the race, having finished sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and if he takes to this unique test could go very close, so is certainly one for the shortlist.

Former RSA Chase winner Blaklion is another class angle, but he has often found one too good this season, and is worth avoiding at 14/1 with Betfair, while Pleasant Company has to warrant respect from Willie Mullins stable, but the 16/1 shot may find this a bit tough, but Lucinda Russell's One For Arthur is one further down the weights that heads to Liverpool in terrific form, and at 18/1 with Betfair could be the most solid each-way bet from the leading principles, as he stays for ever, which was highlighted in his Classic Chase win at Warwick, and could still be open for more improvement, and should go well.

Each Way Players

Paul Nicholls won this in 2012 with Neptune Collonges, and the Ditcheat handler saddles five in this year's race, but of that quintet it's Saphir Du Rheu (20/1) and Vicente (25/1) that make most appeal, as the former ran a huge race in last month's Gold Cup, while the latter was a notable winner of the Scottish National at Ayr last season.

Former bet365 Gold Cup winner The Young Master has a touch of class on his day, and at 20/1 with Paddy Power is another with huge each-way credentials, while Highland Lodge has a fine record over these fences, and the former Becher Chase winner is another eye-catching contender at 25/1.

However, the real eye-catching each-way contender is the Tom George-trained DOUBLE SHUFFLE, who has improved for his recent step up to three miles, and having put up two fine performances at Kempton Park is one that could outrun his lofty 40/1 odds, and could play a star role here.

Grand National Trends followers will be quick to say that seven-year-olds have a very poor record in the race, but Double Shuffle certainly doesn't lack experience, having already run over fences ten times in his career, and off an attractive weight of 10st 12lbs he could put up a monster effort here, and he is the selection to land the Merseyside marathon.

Outsiders With A Chance

Six of the last eight winners of the Grand National have been 25/1 or bigger, with 100/1 shot Mon Mome winning in 2009 showing that the big-priced runners are not to be completely dismissed, and in this year's race there are some lively outsiders that could run big races.

Just A Par will be another shot fired by the Nicholls gun, and the former bet365 Gold Cup winner has bundles of stamina, and at 50/1 is interesting, while Roi Des Francs (66/1) will be aiming to hand Gordon Elliott another Grand National success, and is another to not scratch off the shortlist.

But, Rebecca Curtis's Shantou Flyer (66/1) is worth a second look at the top of the weights, as he won a decent Chelltenham handicap chase earlier in the season, and while stamina is certainly a worry, if he can take to the idiosyncrasies of this race then could be an outsider that performs with credit.

2017 Grand National Odds

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