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Can Americans Bet on the Grand National Race?

There’s popular horse races taking place all over the world that you can bet on, but few can match the Grand National for intrigue and the spectacle on show.

Held every April at the Aintree Racecourse in England, 34 horses do battle over a mammoth four miles and two furlongs, jumping fences so high and deep that they’ve been given their own names, like Becher’s Brook and The Chair.

You can wager on the Grand National, so here’s a few pointers to help mark your card.

Reading the Lines

When betting on Grand National racing, your sportsbook may display their odds in fractional, decimal or the traditional American way. For example, the two favorites for the 2024 race – I Am Maximus and Vanillier – are available at +1000. This number dictates how much you would win for a $100 wager – in this case, $1,000. You can figure out your potential payout relative to that equation, e.g. a $5 bet would win $50.

It makes sense to follow the horse race tips of experienced pundits and those who keep close tabs on the sport of horse racing – they may be able to help you to place more informed bets on the Grand National.

Understanding the Weights

Some horse races are open-weight, which means that the horses simply run at their natural weight.

Others are handicap races, where each horse has weights attached to their saddle. The idea is to create a fair, level playing field, by handicapping the best horses with a heavier weight, while allowing the slower horses to run with minimal weight added.

The perfect scenario is that all horses have a chance of winning, although for a race like the Grand National this rarely plays out as true. The lower-rated horses have a smaller handicap but lack the speed, stamina and jumping power to win such a classy race, while the top weights – despite being the best-rated horses – are so inconvenienced by carrying a 12 stone handicap that it’s very difficult for them to win as well.

As such, picking horses from somewhere in the middle of the weights is a smart strategy, although the idea is to find those horses that are ‘well in’ – which means the handicapper has let them off with a light weight relative to their ability.

Going the Distance

There aren’t many high-grade horse races around the world that are contested over such a long distance as four miles, two furlongs.

This is a very specialist skillset, particularly as the ground in the UK in April tends to be on the softer side – which tests the stamina and running power of the horses even more than it normally would.

The Grand National fences are huge too, so this is a race that really does reward those with tremendous staying power and determination.


When plotting your bets, it’s certainly worth examining which horses have shown suitable talent over long distances – three miles would be the absolute minimum. Those that have delivered ‘staying on’ performances over longer trips can be considered to be Grand National contenders.

By following the pointers outlined in this article, maybe you’ll be able to predict the Grand National winner this year!