The Grand National is one of the most popular events on the sporting calendar and is watched by millions of fans around the world. The iconic steeplechase is one of the biggest betting events of the year, although not every single punter tends to wait until April to finalize their selections. Savvy bettors often enjoy a wager on the ante-post market, and this tends to enable them to get slightly better value. We look at three contenders who have proved extremely popular in the ante-post market so far.
Tom Lacey’s eight-year-old chaser was victorious in the McCoy Contractors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick on January 11th, seeing off a stiff challenge from Captain Chaos. It is a contest which has previously produced a number of Grand National winners including Aurora Encore and One For Arthur, and the ante-post market has since responded favorably.
His handicap rating will rise significantly following back-to-back successes and that will allow him entry into the Aintree showdown on April 4th.
Kimberlite Candy requires soft ground to thrive and connections are likely to be checking the long-term forecast over the next couple of months. He’s already proven over the Aintree fences having chased home Walk in the Mill in the Becher Chase and is likely to relish this step up in trip.
The money has already starting to come in for the JP McManus runner and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the price drop further over the coming weeks.
The history-making 10-year-old secured a second successive victory in last year’s event and the well-backed favorite is likely to be amongst many people’s tips for the Grand National once again in 2020. Speaking to Betfair’s Barry Orr, Trainer Gordon Elliott suggested that there’s ‘no reason why’ the Grade II Boyne Hurdle winner can’t make it three on the bounce at the Merseyside track.
Tiger Roll began the calendar year by returning to the gallops following a routine procedure and many punters have responded by backing him in the ante-post market. The favorite is now available at around 7/1 to secure an unprecedented third consecutive victory in the four-miler.
He is reportedly in ‘great nick’ and could return to Navan in mid-February. He may also make an appearance at the Cheltenham Festival before heading to Aintree to defend his crown.
There has been a small amount of interest in Lucinda Russell’s Big River over the last few weeks and the Scottish raider could be a lively outsider in this year’s contest. The 10-year old finished fourth in the Ultima Handicap at Cheltenham in 2019 and was last seen winning over the larger obstacles on January 12th. The majority of the chaser’s victories have come at Kelso, although he also put in an eye-catching performance in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
Big River is yet to tackle the Aintree fences, although he is unlikely to be fazed by the distance. The trainer has previously enjoyed success in the iconic race and will be hoping that her charge can follow in the footsteps of 2017-winner One for Arthur.
There are likely to be plenty more market movements ahead of the Aintree extravaganza; however, these three runners have made an early impression on ante-post punters and this trio of hardy chasers are all looking to further enhance their reputations in 2020.