Grand National Betting Offers & Free Bets – 9th, 10th & 11th April 2015

For some racing punters a month may not be quite enough time to recover from the four day rollercoaster that is the Cheltenham Festival. But for those racing fans who are ready for another feast of top jumping action, you're in luck, as Aintree’s three day Grand National Festival rolls up in early April.

Featuring many of the same horses to have run at Cheltenham, there are 10 Grade One contests over the three days which of course climaxes on the Saturday with the most famous steeplechase of them all – the Grand National.

Like we do with all major events, we've compiled a list of betting offers, free bets and money back specials which you can claim when betting on the Grand National and other races taking place at the festival.

Free Bets For New Customers

The most lucrative offers tend to be reserved for new customers as a thank you for signing up. And because a lot of the British public bet just once a year on the 'National, it means that a lot of you reading this probably don't have accounts with every online bookmaker. If so, we'd recommend first making use of the following highly recommended free bets and bonuses which can all be used in conjunction with the Grand National:

As well as the free bets listed above there are also a few very generous enhanced odds offers, many of which also come with extra money back or free bet offers as well. You can only claim these once when signing up, so pick the one you like the look of the most. You must also ensure use the correct registration page in order to activate the offer - we've linked to these below:

Number Of Places On The Grand National

One huge thing to look at when choosing who to place your bets with is the number of places they pay out to, as it can literally mean the difference between your bet winning or losing. Put simply the number of places is the position the horse can come in and win the 'Place' portion of an each way bet.

So if you horse comes in 6th and your bookie pays to 5 places, you will have lost your bet. But if they pay to 6 places, then you win. Bit of a no brainer to pick someone with the most places, right? Below you'll find a list of everyone who's offering more places than the standard 4 on the Grand National.

General Offers - All Customers

In this next section we'll cover the money back specials and other promotions that the bookies are offering on races at the festival. Most of these will be for the Grand National itself, and can be claimed by all customers (not just new ones).

Money Back If The Favourite Wins

SkyBet are offering money back on losing bets on the first race on both Day One (Thursday - Opening Day) and Day Two (Friday - Ladies Day) if the favourite wins the race. Max refund is £25, min is £5.

Risk Free £10 Bet

To celebrate the launch of their new horse racing section (right in time for the Grand National, too), 10Bet are offering all customers a £10 risk free bet. Simply bet £10 on any horse race and if your bet loses send customer support an email and they'll credit you with your money back!

3/1 Free Bet

This offer is available on all races at the festival, including the Grand National itself, and awards a free bet worth up to £25 every time you pick a winner that has an SP of 3/1 or more.

Money Back If Your Horse Falls Before The 7th Fence

Vernons are offering money back as a free bet if your horse falls before the 7th fence. This promotion is only for the Grand National itself and there is a maximum refund of £50 (min £1).

Grand National Festival Preview

Grand Opening Day – Day One, Thursday 9th April 2015

We kick off proceedings with the Manifesto Novices Chase. Run over a trip of 2m4f, the race often attracts runners from the Jewson Novice Chase at the festival as well as those to have looked in need of a step up in trip when running in the Arkle.

Pay close attention to anything Alan King sends to the second race on day one. He has now won the Anniversary 4YO Novice hurdle a record four times, with all of those wins coming since 2007.

In terms of the class of runner on display, the third race on day one is the best of the whole meeting. Initially introduced as a consolation race for those beaten in the Gold Cup, the standard of competitor attracted to this 3m1f Grade One Chase is often not far off the Gold Cup itself.

The fourth and final Grade One contest of the opening day is next on the agenda. Although run over around half a mile further than the Champion Hurdle it nevertheless often attracts a number of competitors from the Cheltenham event. Don’t bank on the Festival form holding up though as the combination of different track and trip often conspires to provide a different result.

Our next race may not be the highest class of the opening day but in terms of sheer spectacle it is perhaps the highlight. Run over the Grand National course and invariably attracting a maximum field, the Foxhunter Chase is an early preview of what to expect in the big one later in the week.

The penultimate race of the day is a two mile handicap chase named in honour of the great three time National winner Red Rum before a staying handicap rounds off the action on day one.

Ladies’ Day – Day Two, Friday 10th April 2015

First up on day two is a 2m4f Grade Three handicap hurdle. This is quickly followed by the Top Novices’ Hurdle which regularly attracts those to have taken part in the Supreme Novices Hurdle.

Given that the first two winners of our next race, the Mildmay Novices Chase, both went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, it is perhaps surprising that the contest wasn’t granted Grade One status until 2014. The field usually features a number of the most promising stayers around who do battle over the trip of 3m1f.

Race four is the 2m4f Melling Chase. The key form to look at for this race is that of the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The majority of winners over the years have run in one or other of these contests. Other useful trials include the Tingle Creek at Sandown and the Ascot Chase.

Named after the gentleman who first suggested the Grand National should be a handicap contest, the Topham Chase has proved a useful testing ground for future National contenders. Bindaree and Monty’s Pass both first experienced the National fences in this 2m5f contest before later winning the big one.

The Sefton Novices’ Hurdle is an obvious target for those horses to have pleased connections with their performances in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle. The rigours of Cheltenham often leave a mark on a horse however and it can often pay to look for a horse that appears to have been specifically targeted at this race.

It is worth keeping an eye on the final race on day two as there is always the possibility of a future star or two lurking in the bumper. The New One is amongst the best of the recent winners.

Grand National Day – Day Three, Saturday 11th April 2015

Even accounting for the fact they invariably make up the lion’s share of the field, five and six-year-olds have an excellent record in the opening Mersey Novices Hurdle. Over the years this has also been one of the better races of the meeting for those towards the head of the market. Concentrating on young fancied horses seems to be the way to go here.

A number of the Irish stars of the Cheltenham Festival often return to these shores for a crack at the Aintree prize money. There will no doubt be an Irish winner or two over the course of the three days but the stats say it is unlikely to be in the two mile Maghull Novices’ Chase. The British have dominated the third day’s second race over the years.

The final Grade One contest comes in the form of the Liverpool Hurdle. The race is one of the season’s top targets for staying hurdlers with the World Hurdle winner regularly having his next racecourse outing in this. The trip of three miles takes some getting but Aintree’s flatter track doesn’t sap the stamina in quite the same way as the undulations of Cheltenham.

With the biggest handicap race of the year edging ever nearer we first have a 3m1f handicap chase to take in. Look for horses with good form at the track who have been relatively lightly campaigned.

And now we come to the big one. The office sweepstakes will have been done, families up and down the country will be settling down in front of their televisions for the one time of the year when horse racing really does take centre stage for a large percentage of the population. The fences may have been softened slightly in recent years but they are still the most spectacular of the year and make for compelling viewing. The marathon trip of four miles and three and a half furlongs and the range of famous (not to mention imposing!) obstacles combine to make this the ultimate test of horse and rider.

An extended interval is offered in order to get our breath back before the conditional and amateur jockeys don their silks for a two mile handicap hurdle. Some may argue that with a wide variety of riding experience on display here it is wise to make your selection solely on the quality of the jockey.

There aren’t all that many mares-only bumpers over the course of a season, we have one here though as the final race before the curtain goes down on another year at Aintree.

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