Once the Cheltenham Festival is over race fans turn their thoughts to the next big event in the jump calendar ‘The John Smiths Grand National’. The race, held at Aintree since 1839, is easily the most famous steeple chase in the world and offers close to a £1,000,000 in prize money across the 3 day event.

The excitement can be felt across the country as the jockeys tussle for a position in the line up before the race begins, then the tape goes up and the thunder sounds as the 40 strong pack hurtle on to the first fence. The Grand National has a reputation that, more than any other race, brings the nation together for a collective flutter on the outcome. In fact the total gambled on the event every year is a staggering £80,000,000.

Have you have picked a winner this year? If not then we have a few tips to help you make up your mind. When picking a horse you should consider its age, typically a horse of twelve years old is considered to be beyond its finest, so go for between 8 and 12 years old. You should also consider its capability to finish, particularly a long race such as the Grand National, so has the horse won a similar length race before? Does the horse have an Irish connection? It may seem an odd question but if you study the history of the Grand National you will see that the majority of winners are Irish.

The favourite for the race is currently Prince De Beauchene after winning the John Smiths Handicap Chase last year, Junior and Ballabriggs are also favoured to take the race with Treacle, West End Rocker and Burton Port all under 25/1.