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Grand National Free Bets and Race Guide

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The Grand National is widely considered to be the best and most famous steeplechase in the world of horse racing. Held annually at Aintree racecourse in Liverpool, the National attracts television viewers from around the globe. In past years as many as 700 million have tuned in to the event; an amount equivalent to about 10% of population of the entire world!

The Grand National itself is one race, but there are actually a few days worth of races in the build-up to the main event. Sometimes people forget about these races, favouring the big one, yet there is some good money to be made if you’re canny about your betting choices. Here I’ll tell you a little bit more about the days around the Grand National as well as other useful information you might want to consider before placing your bets.

Grand National New Customer Free Bets

freeFirst things first, you need to know about free bets. Bookmakers know that the Grand National is an event that millions of people bet on, even folk who have never placed a bet before in their life. Strangely however many betting sites are scared of the Grand National as they fear they could get battered if they offer a free bet and one of the favourites win.  Luckily there are plenty of good bookmakers that do offer new customers free bets and bonuses, and all of these are shown in the table at the top of this page.

There are often some brilliant offers that you can take advantage of in the build-up to the big race. The beauty of these offers is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a first-time bettor or a long-time friend of betting world, as a new user you will be able to take advantage of them.

There are two key things you’ll want to consider when it comes to looking at the offers being made by a bookie. Is the offer a bonus or a free bet?

That may sound like semantics but actually the difference can be key when it comes to trying to make use of your winnings. Free bets tend to be ones where you get, for example, a £5 token that can be used on the Grand National itself. Normally you’ll have to pick a horse that meets certain minimum bet requirements and you won’t get your stake back with any winnings that you earn, but the winnings themselves are in real cash with no conditions.

Bonuses, on the other hand, tend to be given out proportionally to what you deposit. So a free bet might be “Deposit £10 and get a £10 free bet on the Grand National!”, whilst a bonus will be along the lines of “Deposit up to £100 and we’ll match whatever you put into your account!”. Bonus money often needs to be ‘rolled over’ or bet again a certain number of times before it can be withdrawn as real cash.  These rollovers also usually have minimum odds so you can't just put it all on a dead cert.

Typically speaking bookmakers will ask you to deposit a certain amount of money into your account in order to get given either the free bet or the bonus. You may also have to place a bet that meets minimum odds requirements, such as Evens or greater. There might be a limit to how much you can win, too. The bookie may, for example, say that you can place a £10 free bet token on whatever you want but you won’t be able to win more than £1000.

Some bookies might offer you a ‘Risk Free Bet’ and that might tempt you. Bear in mind that this means you place your bet and if it wins then great, you keep the winnings! If it loses, however, then you’ll get your stake back (or a portion of it) in free bet tokens that can be used on other races as long as you meet the minimum requirements.

These are all the sorts of things that you should be keeping an eye out for when you’re looking around the bookmakers to see who has got the best offers at Grand National time. The final thing I’d recommend that you look out for is how you actually claim the offer. Some bookies will credit your account with the free bet or bonus as soon as you meet their criteria, whilst others will ask you to enter a code when you sign up, such as GRAND10 or the likes.

At FreeBetOffers we of course look at free bets and welcome packages for new customers that can help make your bets more valuable.  It is still important of course that you pick the right Grand National horses and runners in the first place!

Grand National Festival & Race Guide 2018

Day One Thursday 5th April - Grand Opening Day

Day One at Aintree is on the 6th of April and is sometimes known as Liverpool Day, given that the racecourse is on the city’s outskirts. Don’t think that because it’s the first day of the races that there won’t be anything good to bet on, though. There are four Grade 1 races that you’ll want to think about placing a bet on:

The Manifesto Novices Chase at 13.40; the Anniversary 4YO Novices hurdle at 14.15; the Betfred Bowl at 14.50 and the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle at 15.25.

The day builds up to the Red Rum Chase, which takes place at 16.40. Named after the famous horse that won the National an unmatched three times during the 1970s, this Grade 3 race is run over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 176 yards.

Day Two Friday 6th April - Ladies Day

This is perhaps the second-best known day of the Aintree calendar after the Grand National itself - Ladies Day. The visitors to the course like to dress up to the hilt and do their best to impress and why shouldn’t they? After all, there are competitions run during the day to find the most stylish race goer. The national tabloids might like to sneer and judge, but these are people who have worked hard atop get their ticket and want to enjoy themselves. More power to them, I say.

Anyway, back to the races and there are two Grade 3 races here to whet your appetite. The day gets underway at 13.40 with the Alder Hey Handicap Hurdle, run over two miles and four furlongs. There are then a series of Grade 1 races to keep you interested before the Crabbie’s Topham Chase at 16.05. Plenty of fun to be had when it comes to placing a wager on Ladies Day!

Day Three Saturday 7th April - Grand National Day

The main event takes place on the 8th of April, with the whole day building up to it. The Grand National itself takes place at 17.15 and is run over four miles, two furlongs and seventy-four yards. It is a race of endurance, skill and bravery as the horses tear around the track and jump thirty fences on their way to victory or failure. The prize money for the race is £1 million; not a bad sum of money all things considered!

Some of the most famous fences in the world of horse racing are located at Aintree. Here’s some details about five of them:

Becher’s Brook - This is the sixth and twenty-second fence that the horses have to make it over. It’s about five foot high but the real trick for the jockeys and horses comes in the fact that the landing side is around 6-10 inches lower than the side they take off from.

Foinavon - Straight after Becher’s the horses have to jump Foinavon. It’s not one of the larger fences on the circuit but is still tricky. That is reflected in the fact that is named after a horse who won the race in 1967 after avoided a massive pile-up of the other horses in order to romp home at 100/1. That’s the sort of story that makes the National such an exciting race to watch.

Canal Turn - The pressure doesn’t let up after Foinavon, with the Canal Turn up next. Once again this isn’t a large fence, but there’s a ninety degree turn that jockeys need their horses to navigate if they’re hoping to have a chance of winning.

Valentines - There’s little romantic about this dance that comes hot on the heels of the Canal Turn. It’s a five foot fence with a brook of more than five foot attached to it. Get this wrong and both horse and jockey could be getting wet.

The Chair - Horses only have to jump this fence once and it’s little wonder. The fifteenth fence on the circuit has a brook of more than six foot before the jump, which is over five foot high. Unlike Becher’s this is actually lower on the take-off side than the landing.

History Of The Grand National Race

gnThe Grand National is known as being one of the most intimidating steeplechases in the world and it’s easy to see why. Unlike with many races it is rather common for the favourite not to win. It was founded by the owner of the Waterloo Hotel, William Lynn, in 1839 and has taken place most years since then. Obvious exceptions include those that would have occurred during the First and Second World Wars.

There have been other incidents at Aintree, including in 1993 when the race was declared void after a jockey became entangled with the starting tape yet 30 of the 39 horses continued to run and seven of them finished. In 1997 the IRA made two bomb threats that forced the race to get moved from the Saturday to the Monday. With hotels booked up, the people of Liverpool threw open their doors and welcomed in the jockeys, owners and racegoers to their homes in order to ensure the terrorists didn’t win.