Candid caller

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TODAY at Aintree, the Grand National is once again under starter's orders. Given its unique popularity with the nation, this week the Candid Caller asked: do you have a flutter on the National, how do you choose a horse and what, if you were given one, would you call it?

William Hill of Warringstown, Co Armagh: 'I've always had a flutter on the Grand National. I usually put on about pounds 10. I pick my horse at random, whatever grabs me I back.

'I'd call a racehorse Gone With The Wind.'

Ruth Race of Notting Hill, west London: 'Yes, I'll have a bet but pick the horse quite literally with a pin. I close my eyes and wherever I point that's my horse.

'I'd call a racehorse Little Fluffy Cloud.'

Charles Saddler of Aberdeen: 'I'll have a go on the National, I have done for years. I pick my horse purely by chance, a combination of interesting name and good price.

'I'd call my racehorse Aberdeen Angel.'

Mary Paddock of Birmingham: 'My husband and I are pensioners. We don't place bets because we have to be very careful with our money. If we had the money I'd pick horse number three, as three is my lucky number.

'I'd call it Harry's Horse after my husband.'

Peter Ladbroke of Liverpool: 'I normally put a few quid on the National. To pick one, I read all the names and one just always appeals. I'm not into the prices or any of the technical stuff.

'I'd call my horse Shergar.'

John Betts of Bradford: 'I usually have at least pounds 5 on the National and back the rank outsider, the one with the highest odds. I've never won yet, but if I ever do the pay-off should be good.

'I'd call a racehorse Bad Betts.'

Kate Willetts of the Horse and Jockey pub, Ross-on-Wye: 'I'll definitely have a flutter and I follow horses quite closely. I pick my horse carefully after studying the form.

'If I had a horse I'd name it Buster's Bargain, after my dog Buster, a purebred which I luckily got for nothing.'

Peter Corral of Bournemouth: 'Of course I'll have a flutter on the National. I usually go for any horse with a colour in the title, such as Red Rum.

'If I had a horse, I'd probably call it Gold Digger, after the Busby Berkeley musical.'

Jane Tipp of Manchester: 'My husband and I usually have a bet each. He tends to pore over the form and study all the odds. I just go for anything with a witty name. Mind you, neither of us have ever won.

'I'd call a racehorse Mum's Pride And Joy after my little son Adrian.'

George Whipp of Swanage: 'I'll have a fiver on the race, but no more. I'll quickly pick a horse at the last minute. I go purely on instinct but I don't know one end of a horse from another.

'I'd call my horse Malcolm, it's such a silly name.'

Peter Stable of Southampton: 'I usually back the favourite in the National and this year's no exception. I'll back Zeta's Lad.

'If I had a horse I think I'd call it Greased Lightning.'

Elizabeth Whinnett of Leicester: 'I never have a bet on the National, horse racing has never interested me.

'If I had a horse I'd call it Can I Have The Money Instead, Please.'

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