The velvet curtain has been drawn back at the BHA offices, revealing the hard work of chief handicapper. With the runners for the 2023 Grand National now declared, it’s time to take a look at four horses who could make a big impact on Saturday’s race.
The betting market is, as always at this time of year, in constant flux. The favourite yesterday, Corach Rambler, is only joint favourite today as Noble Yeat’s and Delta Work creep up in the odds.
But despite the movement here and there, most of the runners aren’t showing any major swings and those that have consistently been around 33/1 or 50/1 are still there or thereabouts.
So where is the value in the betting, and could any of the outsiders really put in a performance to surprise everybody? Noble Yeats did it last year when going off at 50/1, so anything is possible.
Ran in last year’s race and finished in eighth place when he was just 7-years-old. Another year older and fresh off the back of a win in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown (3m4f) and this grey could make a bigger impact in 2023.
With Harry Cobden on board, and just one pound more than he carried last year, Coko Beach could defy the stats and outrun his 33/1 odds.
Eva’s Oskar, one of the four grey runners in 2023, hails from Tim Vaughan’s stable and has attracted attention with odds of 50/1.
The Grand National requires horses with long-distance experience, as those accustomed to middle distances may not perform well in races spanning four miles or more.
However, Eva’s Oskar has already shown promise, finishing fourth in the 4m1f Eider Chase at Newcastle, one of the longest races of the jumps season.
To top it off, he carried a massive 12 STONE! With a more manageable weight of 10-01 and impressive performances in a Handicap Chase win at Cheltenham (3m2f) and a second-place finish in the Jewson (3m3f), Eva’s Oskar looks like a solid each-way selection.
Despite having only competed in three races this season, Mister Coffey shouldn’t be dismissed as a contender for the Grand National.
Trained by Nicky Henderson, who has yet to win the race, Mister Coffey has placed in seven of his eight chase starts, although he hasn’t managed to secure a victory yet. However, Rule the World, the 2016 winner, had a similar record prior to the race.
Mister Coffey’s third-place finish in the challenging National Hunt Challenge at Cheltenham is also noteworthy, particularly as the winner of that race, Gaillard Du Mesnil, has much shorter odds of just 12/1.
Additionally, Mister Coffey carried a significant 17lb more weight in that race than he will at Aintree, which could work in his favor.
He has potential to place and could be a viable option for an each-way bet.
Back On The Lash
Back On The Lash boasts an intriguing track record, having competed five times as a cross country specialist at Cheltenham.
While he tends to perform well in races during the winter season, his performance at the March Festival leaves much to be desired.
Notably, the weight he carries is a significant factor, often differing by more than a stone between the two races. However, for the 2023 Grand National, he will carry a mere 10-00, one of his lowest weights to date.
Moreover, he possesses impressive jumping skills and experience in long-distance races. With his odds having already shortened from 80/1 to 33/1, Back On The Lash could make for a promising each-way bet.
100/1 Winners Of The Grand National
The Grand National is known for producing surprise results, with several long-shot winners over the years. Here are some of the most notable instances:
Mon Mome (2009): This 100/1 outsider stunned the racing world when he won the Grand National by 12 lengths. It was one of the biggest shocks in the history of the race.
Foinavon (1967): Foinavon’s victory is still considered one of the most unlikely in Grand National history. He was a 100/1 shot and only won the race because of a pile-up at the 23rd fence that held up most of the field.
Caughoo (1947): Caughoo was another 100/1 winner of the Grand National. He was ridden by Eddie Dempsey, who became the youngest jockey ever to win the race at just 17 years old.
Gregalach (1929): Gregalach was a 100/1 outsider when he won the Grand National in 1929. His victory was notable because he was carrying the heaviest weight ever for a winner of the race.
These victories show that in the Grand National, anything can happen, and long odds do not necessarily mean a horse is without a chance.
100/1 Runners In The 2023 Grand National
While the betting markets do fluctuate, there are always one or two runners that go off at 100/1 in the Grand National.
At the time of writing this, there are four with odds of 100/1. They are:
- Escaria Ten – odds have fluctuated between 50/1 and 100/1
- A Wave Of The Sea – odds vary between 66/1 and 100/1
- Cape Gentleman – consistently at 100/1
- Francky Du Berlais – consistently at 100/1
Can any of them make an impact on Saturday? Escaria Ten has previously run in the National and finished 9th last year, though a very long way off the winner.
Francky Du Berlais was running very well in the Glenfarclas Chase at Cheltenham before he refused to jump the last fence, but really isn’t on great form.
Cape Gentleman has no form over the longer distances and A Wave Of The Sea has never started at more than three miles and has pulled up twice this season.
For the 2023 Grand National, it looks like the 100/1 odds accurately reflect the chances of any of them winning but anything can happen on the day and one may even sneak into the places.
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