Grand National: Blacklion popular with ante-post bettors

Bets have been flooding in for the most valuable National Hunt race in Europe in recent weeks. Bettors have switched their attention to the Grand National following the end of the Cheltenham Festival just under two weeks ago.

Many of the horses expected to run had an outing at Cheltenham, however a horse which skipped the festival has been the most popular choice with punters in recent weeks. The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Blaklion last ran at Haydock in February, where it was beaten around three lengths by current National favourite Vieux Lion Rouge.

Blacklion is currently 14/1 third favourite but as short as 11/1 with some bookmakers. Over the last two months he has been amongst the favourites, however he could’ve been backed at 40/1 for the annual show-stopper back in January. Since the final race at Cheltenham the Twiston-Davies-trained horse has accounted for 7.7% of all Grand National bets via Oddschecker.

The second most popular horse since Cheltenham has been Cause Of Causes following his impressive win in the Cross County Chase. Following that success, he was cut from 33/1 to as short as 14/1 with one bookmaker. The Gordon Elliott-trained horse can be backed at 16/1 despite being as short as 12/1 elsewhere. An impressive win at Cheltenham has led to Cause Of Causes accounting for 5.7% of Grand National punts since the festival finale.

Ucello Conti was last seen finishing fourth at Naas earlier this month but despite the 9yo’s form, the Gordon Elliott-trained horse has been popular with Oddschecker users, accounting for 5.14% of bets since Cheltenham. 13/1 second favourite Definitly Red has only captured 4.7% of bets placed on the National, despite winning at Doncaster last time out.

As for the favourite Vieux Lion Rouge, only 4.3% of Oddschecker users have backed the David Pipe-trained horse. The 8yo finished seventh last year, and has two outings since winning, both times with Tom Scudamore on board. Unfortunately, 4.4% of bets have already lost, due to Minella Rocco pulling out of the race.

The Oddschecker users’ outside selection for the race is Pendra. The JP McManus-owned 9yo heads to Aintree in great shape having finished a fine second in the Kim Muir Chase at Cheltenham and he can still be backed 66/1.

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