Bookies Braced for Another Bumper 2018 Grand National

One for Arthur Grand National 2017.  

One for Arthur takes the Grand National title in 2017 as bookmakers prepare for a betting frenzy in 2018. (Image: Twitter/@AtTheRaces)

The 2018 Grand National is set to get underway on April 14 and this year the bookmakers are gearing up for another multimillion pound race.

Before the 40 runners and riders line-up on the starting line at Aintree, bookies across the country are expecting somewhere in the region of £300 million in wagers.

In 2017, the leading jump race in the world was screened on ITV for the first time, a move experts predicted would lead to impressive viewing figures.

Viewing Figures Down but Hopes High

However, despite the start time being pushed backed to 5:15pm and ITV having a larger overall viewership than previous broadcaster Channel 4, almost two million fewer people watched the race.

When Channel 4 aired the race for the final time in 2016, it attracted 10 million viewers which was 1.8 million more than 8.2 million who watched ITV’s inaugural broadcast in 2017.

Clement weather was blamed for the lower than expected figures, but industry insiders will be confident of more this year. Aintree Racecourse is predicting a turnout of more than 150,000 punters across the festival as a whole, with the majority buying tickets for April 14’s big race.

Should things go to plan, the Grand National race on its own should attract around £180 million in bets both live and online.

A Chance to Capture the Casual Punter

In preparation for the big day, the UK’s leading betting sites are all putting up their best offers. As well as free bets, odds boosts and cashback bonuses, the mainstream media will be rolling out its usual spread of Grand National features.

In previous years, everything from mathematical equations to psychic readings have been touted as a way for casual fans to pick a winner. For the betting industry, the Grand National is a chance to attract custom from people who don’t typically bet on horse racing events.

Because the outcome is notoriously difficult to predict for odds makers and the general public, there race is often likened to a lottery. In previous years, 100/1 longshots such as Gregalach (1929), Foinavon (1967) and Mon Nome in 2009 have all come from nowhere to win the race.

In 2017, Lucinda Russell’s One for Arthur clinched the £561,300 top prize after clearing the 30 fences safely and beating Cause of Causes into second.

Bookmakers will be hoping for more of the same this year as a win for the current favourite Total Recall (10/1) would result in a costly day at the races for the leading betting operators.

Share Now: