Grand National 2014 betting: Tidal Bay, Burton Port and The Package get the nod to make the most of history, form and conditions

Tidal Bay could become the first top weight to taste success since stalwart Red Rum in 1977

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The Independent Online

Tidal Bay can become just the fourth horse aged 13 and the first top weight since Red Rum in 1977 to win the Grand National today. Burton Port has the form from the past to play a prominent part in today’s race. The Package has the jumping ability to complete the course and make the payout places. These are my three against the field for the first one million pound Grand National.

The race has a global audience of 600 million people and is on the only day in the racing year on which non-regular racing fans place a bet. Offices run sweepstakes for what is known as the People’s Race. It is the race that the professionals say is the one they would like to win most. It is unique in terms of distance and the type of fences and a sell out crowd of 71,000 people will be watching it in person at Aintree today.

Tidal Bay has been given a chance by the handicapper as the weight he carries is seven pounds less than what would apply in a normal handicap. That means in theory that Tidal Bay has seven pounds in hand over the most of the rest of the field but not Long Run, also given an advantage in the context of its form elsewhere.


If the race was run off level weights Tidal Bay would be a clear favourite. He is the best horse in the race but the question is whether he can carry the weight to beat horses carrying up to almost two stone less. He proved in the bet365 (formerly the Whitbread) in 2012 that he can win a major staying handicap carrying a big weight. The horse will be given plenty of time to get into the race and can move into contention with two fences remaining before taking control on the long run-in.

Burton Port is trained by Jonjo O’Neill who has a great record with staying chasers. He has won a National and Gold Cup with this type of horse and Burton Port will be prepared to be at his peak today. In the past the horse has form with Denman that brings him into the mix today. A recent trial at Newbury suggested he was back to his best and his proven level of form makes him a leading contender.

The Package is a horse further down the weights that could outrun its odds. The horse is trained by David Pipe who won the race with Comply Or Die in 2008. The Package ran a decent race at Cheltenham in the context of the Grand National and has the form and potential to make the payout places at least.

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