The Irish Grand National is one of the most important horse racing events in the country, and the fans are excited about this year’s race which will be held on April 10. Seasoned fans have already formed strategies when it comes to betting on their favourites, and if you were looking to do the same, this guide will help you understand all there is to know in order to do it right.

About the Event

The Irish Grand National is a well-known handicap race which is held at the Fairyhouse Racecourse every year on Easter Monday. It is run right-handed, over a distance of around 3 miles and 5 furlongs, and the participants have to jump twenty-four fences. The race welcomes all horses aged five years or above, and each one of them is given a particular weight to carry, depending on their abilities. The highest weight that can be allocated to a horse is usually 11 stone 10 pounds, but even that can be increased in special circumstances. The event holds the highest classification when it comes to Irish handicaps, which is known as Grade A, and it features the largest prize pool in the country which reaches a total of €500,000.

History of the Grand National

The Irish Grand National is one of the country’s sports events with the longest tradition, as it was first held in 1870, and it has made a number of horses famous ever since. The first one to ever win the race was Sir Robert Peel, while the title of the most successful participant ever belongs to Brown Lad who won three times during the 1970s. Throughout the years, the race never changed venues, but it did have its length changed at one point. Namely, before 1991, the race included 3 miles and 4 furlongs, which is one furlong less than today.

Where to Bet

If you are a big fan of the event and you’re planning to pay a visit to the venue, you can definitely place your bet at the Fairyhouse racetrack. However, if being on the spot is simply not an option, you can always go to one of the local betting shops. Or, if betting from the comfort of your own home, you can even opt for online wagering. Nowadays, you can easily find reputable platforms that list a number of trustworthy online operators that you can sign up with. By using their information, you will easily find a safe source to bet on The Irish Grand National, and if you’re really into creating smart strategies, you can quickly compare the odds from different providers. On top of that, as an online customer, you may score some attractive bonuses that will make the whole process even more exciting.

Things to Know Before Betting

If you are new to betting, you should know that you can actually wager before and during the race. The first option is known as ante-post betting, which means you’re placing a bet on your favourite weeks before the event. By doing so, you can make use of some amazing odds but have in mind that the strategy also entails a degree of risk. For instance, if it happens that your horse does not end up running after all, or it simply does not make the finals, you will lose your stake. However, some bookies are considerate towards their members so they offer refunds on such bets. The betting scene usually starts warming up around January of each year, but you will notice how the odds change as trials continue being held.

Understanding the Odds

The odds refer to the probability of something happening, and if you see a bookie posting an odd of 4/1, it means that they think the horse will win 1 in 5 times. Moreover, the odds tell you how much money you can get if the horse you wagered on wins the race. For example, if you bet €10 on a horse whose odds are 4/1, you will win €4 for every €1 that you wagered. Therefore, in this scenario, if your horse wins, you will go home with €40. This format is known as the fractional odds, and it is more commonly used in Ireland than other types like the decimal and the American format.

Different Types of Bets

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of bets you can focus on:

The Win Bet

The win bet is the most common, and the simplest category when it comes to horse racing. Here, you are betting on a particular horse to finish first in the race, and if it scores any other place, you lose your entire stake. Even if it wins second place.

The Place Bet

If you feel like you can predict that a horse will win a specific place such as the second or third, you can opt for the place bet. However, this category can get complicated if there are not that many participants in the event. If the race involves a lot of runners, the bookies will probably decide to pay out for the horses finishing fourth, fifth, or even sixth. But if the race is less crowded, they might only pay out for the first two or three places. Of course, this should not be the case with the Irish Grand National, but it is always good to check out the terms and conditions before wagering.

Each-Way Bet

An each-way bet literally consists of two different wagers, one of which is based on the win while the other one is about the place. And the same is done with the stake which is split in two - the win and the place. Therefore, in order to get a payout on the win bet, your selection needs to finish first, and in order to profit on the other half of the bet, a favourite of yours must cross the line as the second, third, or any other place that you wagered on.

Useful Tips

If you’re interested in creating strategies that can help you perform better, analyzing the stats about past winners can provide you with some excellent clues for future wagers. For example, if you take look at the past 11 races, you will notice that a total of 10 past winners were trained in Ireland, and 8 of the 11 top runners were up to 8 years of age. Moreover, following the odds blindly can easily trick you since there are examples where the winners were actually pre-defined with a quite low probability of being the first. After the 2019 winner, Burrows Saint, who was marked with the odds of 6/1, and was considered the third favourite to win the race ever since 2003, the trend was quickly interrupted by the events that followed. Therefore, in 2021, Freewheelin Dylan won the race at the incredible 150/1, while in 2022 Lord Lariat did the same despite the odds of 40/1. And today, Lord Lariat is one of the favourites for the 2023 event.

Current Trends

Again, if you focus on recent stats, you will be able to spot patterns that can be considered trends, and trends might continue in the event that is about to be held. Keeping such facts in mind can help you tremendously to come up with reasonable strategies. For instance, when it comes to the past 20 winners of the Irish Grand National, 19 of them carried less than 11 stones in weight. Lord Lariat, the 2021 winner, ended the race carrying only 9 stones and 12 pounds. Other big factors to consider are the age and the track record of each participant. Since bookmakers focus on the same criteria when they work on setting the odds, it is useful to get to know them yourself. That way you will always understand why bookies consider particular horses as favourites, and which betting decision will turn out to be the best for you.

Trainers to Keep an Eye On

At the moment, there is one trainer who dominates the market, and that is Dermot McLoughlin. This famous trainer is based in Bodeen, Meath, only a short drive away from Fairyhouse, and his successes have been praised by a number of racing enthusiasts. One of the staples of his career is definitely the 2021 success of Freewheeling Dylan who is known as the longest-priced winner in the history of the race. And after such a huge success, McLoughlin did it again when his trainee Lord Lariat dominated the course in 2022.

The Irish Grand National is approaching, and fans from all over the country are eager to find out how the current favourites will perform. Many punters have already placed their bets, while others wait for the event to come closer. Coming up with smart wagering strategies requires some knowledge, and now that you’ve learned all the key information about betting on this legendary race, you too can start making predictions.