We all like a bit of a flutter when the biggest sporting events of the year take place. The Olympics, World Cup, Champions League, Masters and Wimbledon are always the biggest returns for the bookmakers after all.
I do too. Maybe once a month I’ll stick an accumulator on the football and I almost certainly will bet on the Masters in a week or two. A few weeks ago was the first time I’d ever won a bet – whether this was because my bets were ridiculous or that betting on football is a bit of a mug’s game remains to be seen.
It was only last year that I realised how much of a big deal the Grand National was too. And so I was pretty annoyed with myself when I didn’t take part. But this year I am.
The Grand National for those of you who don’t know, is an annual race that takes place at Aintree, near Liverpool. First run in 1839, it’s held in such high regard because of the winner’s prize that sits at £975,000 this year.
I’ve opted for three horses, Imperial Commander, Ballabiggs and The Rainbow Hunter who I’ll probably put each way bets on (to win money even if they don’t come first). I’ve picked a high, middle and outsider just to cover my bets a little bit.
I had a quick look on the BBC this morning, on the Racing Post website and even FHM, who had an article with predictions from an expert, a psychic and an 8 year old. I looked at odds and their form, but to be honest I came to those three because of the names.
I’m not alone either, with 50% of the country supposedly deciding upon horses because of the names they are given.
The only downside is that I’ll be at work when the race itself takes place, so I’m planning to avoid Twitter and Facebook on the journey home and watch it myself with no idea who has won.
UPDATE: So I didn’t do very well. In fact, all three of the horses I bet on didn’t even finish the race, so I did spectacularly abysmal to be even more precise. It’s a good job this only happens once a year so I don’t have to lose a pocketful of money to how bad my luck is!
The finding out was a bit spoiled, since I couldn’t find a re-run of the race anywhere and then eventually came across the Daily Mirror’s site, and could avoid the announcement of the winner. At least I didn’t waste 15 minutes waiting around to not win anything at all I suppose.
There we are then, I lost my Grand National virginity today, and it was really quite painful.