The Grand National at Aintree is the biggest betting event of the entire year in Great Britain, bar none.
Holding that status means the race attracts once-a-year players and professionals alike, with both groups needing the same information in advance of the race.
Grandnational.org.uk is a resource many people will be using for runner guides, odds, course information and more as we head towards April 10th, so we take a look at what’s on offer and how useful the site is.
Betting Offers for the Event
For the vast majority of us, the Grand National is all about having a bet. With that, those coming to grandnational.org.uk may want to get hold of some good betting offers from bookmakers.
Links to the Tote, Paddy Power, Betfair and more are easily found on the site, however, they tend to simply be each bookmaker’s new customer offer. No betting sites can promise Grand National offers specifically, at least not until closer to the event.
In truth, any specials on the Grand National won’t be available until bookies release them closer to the race. The site can only provide specific Grand National promos when they exist so we’ll all be waiting. So really, any links to betting sites are simply an affiliate link, the host site taking a cut from the bookmaker in exchange for sending apparent new customers their way.
Info on the Runners and Riders
The list of up-to-date runners in the Grand National and their latest odds is easily found and appears in a very good, large font alongside the owner’s colours.
Punters should always be aware however that we will not know who is running in the National until two days before the race, so a “runners” guide is simply based on the ante-post odds list which tells us who the most likely contenders will be.
We do love how the runners section is laid out. Big and bold, the colours, where the horse was bred and most of the relevant information is placed next to each horse in an easy-to-follow way. The only thing missing that we can see is some information on the horse’s form.
Navigating the Site
Getting around the site and finding what you want is particularly easy. Only seven main links are placed on the top menu, five of them containing sub menus with further links.
The site has a professional look and is in keeping with what you’d expect of something attached to the Grand National, the only confusing thing being the .org web address. This alone will lead some people to think it’s official, which it isn’t, though to be fair part of the logo reads ‘Your Unofficial Guide’, albeit in small writing.
The best part of this whole site, we found, is how well it works on mobile versus the desktop version. Using a smartphone to view it, you can flick straight down to the prospective runners for the 2021 race and see all the information you need on screen for each horse.
Those using grandnational.org.uk right up to race time will find viewing it via a mobile device very beneficial indeed.
Does the Site Feature All the Info We Need?
The most comprehensive section of the site is the ‘Watch & Event Info’ section. This is to be expected as it features permanent links with information on how to watch the race, getting to Aintree, course information, weights and entries and so on which is all accurate and well written.
In truth, most people looking for this sort of info would likely head to an official Aintree or Grand National site. Similarly, there are already specialist websites for comparing odds, getting tips, receiving news and finding out what each horse’s official rating and associated weight will be for the race.
The purpose here then, one would think, is for grandnational.org.uk to pull all of that information into one place which it doesn’t quite manage.
While there is a link to ‘news’, we’d love to see all the latest placed right there on the main page. Listed runners and odds are all fine, and the site does that brilliantly. When they change, it’s because something has happened either in a prep race or in the yards and that is what punters need to know.
To make grandnational.org.uk a proper ‘one-stop shop’ for all things Grand National, we really need to know the latest on all the runners, addressing why they are fancied and giving punters news on recent performances, injuries, trainer quotes etc. Let’s see if they add that soon.
The news section is just a little hidden and isn’t always up to date. Though we suspect they’ll start to pick up their news section soon, as they did in previous years. As soon as a potential Grand National contender has run, we should really be reading here how well they did and what it means for their chances at Aintree. Let’s see what they come up with this year.
Choosing a Bet
There’s plenty here to help you choose a bet for the Grand National, there’s no doubt there. Just be aware that the ‘Research & Statistics’ section is more general and won’t help with any analysis of the horses running this year.
Take a read through the prospective runners list and you’ll get a small bio on each horse. This info will tell you about the horse and why it is a contender. This, along with viewing a horse’s current odds, will help you to choose a bet if you aren’t taking the race too seriously.
If you are a pro or would at least like to choose your bet like a pro, you’ll need to head somewhere more official to take a closer look at horse form for now. It would make sense that adding horse form would be the next step for Grandnational.org.uk - so let’s see whether they do.
The key point to address is whether or not the casual player could use this site to garner enough information with which to make an informed bet on the Grand National.
There are tips given, while those who simply like to pick a horse based on its name or colours can also get the information they want. With up-to-date odds listed too, there is enough information here for amateurs to be able to take on and turn into a bet for sure, though the pros may just be heading elsewhere while we wait for form info to be added..
Overall, the site is professional, comprehensive and easy to work your way around.