The 2020 Grand National is fast approaching, and the betting markets are starting to flesh out. Twists and turns galore are to be expected in the run-up and in fact 12-1 second favourite in the betting, Native River has just dropped out of the race (and out of the Gold Cup) due to injury. Apparently it had accounted for 7% of National bets at the time. To keep abreast with the latest info, you wouldn’t go far wrong if you checked out the Grand National Betting Guide by FreeBets.com . With a thorough schedule and free bet, market and course guides, it’s a great way to stay informed and on the right side of winning. Beyond that, using trusted tipsters you may follow, and of course your own betting ability, the rest of it sits in the lap of the Gods.
As a brief, ‘at time of writing’ betting overview, the post Native River shake-up, has two time Grand National winner Tiger Roll as firm favourite at 5-1, Burrows Saint at 12-1 and Any Second Now at 16-1 in the betting markets. For many punters it will be hard to look beyond the credentials of Tiger Roll, being that he already has back to back Grand National wins (in 2018 and 2019) in the bag. Time will tell if this record breaking effort will pay off. It’s likely to have some pretty hefty bets riding on it and so it will be edge of your seat stuff for the betting public. There’s a fine line between being a winner and an ‘also ran’. Though as many an Olympic athlete has said, second (or silver in that case) is the worst place to finish in.
Along the same lines, American motor racing driver Bobby Unser is credited with saying, ‘Nobody remembers who finished second but the guy who finished second.’ That statement applies equally to horse racing but, in the case of the 1992 Grand National the ‘guy who finished second’ happened to be the eight-year-old Romany King. Trained by Toby Balding and ridden, more often than not, by Richard Guest, Romany King had been identified by your correspondent as a possible Grand National contender – and backed accordingly, at 25/1 ante-post – when finishing a creditable fourth, beaten 8½ lengths, behind Tipping Tim in the Ritz Club National Hunt Handicap Chase at the 1992 Cheltenham Festival.
In any event, Romany King was sent off at 16/1 joint-sixth favourite, behind 15/2 favourite Docklands Express, at Aintree, and, for much of the race, looked a likely winner. The Crash Course gelding led over Valentine’s Brook and, even when headed by the eventual winner, the aptly-named Party Politics – the 1992 General Election was due to be held five days later – two fences later, refused to go away. From the final fence, the pair drew clear of their rivals but, try as he might, Romany King could never quite get on terms with the giant Party Politics and eventually went down fighting by 2½ lengths. To his credit, he finished clear second, 15 lengths ahead of the third horse home, Laura’s Beau.
Romany King returned to Aintree in 1993 for the infamous ‘National that never was’ and was sent off 15/2 joint-second favourite behind his old rival Party Politics. Indeed, he was one of seven horses to complete the course, leading at the final fence before fading to finish third behind the ‘winner’, Esha Ness. Notwithstanding the debacle of 1993, Romany King also ran in the National twice more, falling at the fourth fence in 1994 and finishing a creditable fifth, beaten 14½ lengths, behind Royal Athlete, when 17lb out of the handicap proper.