Monday, 16 September 2019

What's the Strangest Bet in History?

Las Vegas Tattoo
Love to bet? 

In this modern age of gambling, almost half of the population love to chance their luck. Whether it's horse racing, football, tennis, a night at the casino or you can't keep away from those online slots. There's one thing you can guarantee - you're not alone!

Go visit Casumo Casino games and enjoy the casino lounge for 200% up to £50 + 20 Free Spins.  

I guess, the majority of punters bet on pretty normal stuff. You may find the odd person who specialises in something unusual, exotic or plain wild. They may keep it quiet almost embarrassed by their preoccupation. Let's face it, come 25th December, someone will be looking out of the window to see if it's a white Christmas. Get in! 10/1 winner with a few snowflakes falling from the heavens.

There must have been some very strange bets placed over the years. A population of billions of people on planet Earth. There must have been a number of very, very, very strange bets. 

Searching the internet we found a couple of bets that you may consider very strange if not a little humorous.

A Tattoo Too Far

We can't be sure this particular character won a bet for the most absurd tattoos but he was infamous for all the wrong reasons. This bloke's branding may not have come to our attention but for being arrested. The mugshot showed a man in his early twenties and inked on his forehead were the words: PSYCHO. On one cheek he had a tear and the other a heart. What are the odds of seeing some like that down your street? 

Clever Bet for a Big Guy

Betting isn't always about the fittest, strongest, best athletes. Surely the big, rotund bloke has no chance of winning a race against a young whippersnapper? As we know, the wise man builds his house upon the rocks. Which tells us something very important when gambling. 

The wise, intelligent and cunny often take the spoils. 

The story originated back in 18th century England when local butcher Mr Bullock challenged the Lord of Barrymore to a race. Mr Bullock was a big, big man. In this day and age, he would be considered morbidly obese. He liked his food and enjoyed pies. He was unfit, slow, and looked to have little hope of winning. 

The Earl of Barrymore was fit, ready and eager. He was an athlete. How could he possibly lose? 

Such was his confidence that he placed a huge bet on himself. He was a short-priced favourite. 

To make the challenge fair, Bullock asked for two conditions:

  • A 35-metre head start
  • He chose the course 
The Earl was so sure he would win, he accepted. No conditions could stop him winning. 

Mr Bullock, the canny soul, chose the race to be held in London with very narrow streets. With his 35-metre lead, his ample size blocked the Earl's path and there was no way he could pass the burly butcher who tormented his opponent by chomping on one of his pork pies as he crossed the winning line. 

Be careful not to gamble with a fat man with a pie. 

Saturday, 14 September 2019

He won £10,000 at the casino. Why stop betting?

betting, Uri Geller, Casino
It's interesting to watch others gamble. To appreciate their understanding, philosophy & methodology.

Perhaps most gamblers don't even consider this point. For many, gambling is just something you do: pastime, hobby, fun, buzz... It can be any number of things. Some psychologists may even say that really people gamble because they want to lose. 

''Although, I guess some people consciously think ''who gives a f***'' 

We've all seen people betting like that. Bizarre.

Each to their own. Only a fool limits others. I could watch some random bloke in the bookmakers, bet in hand, and think ''what does he know?'' 

But what does he know? 

The truth of the matter is unless you know really know someone they may be the best or worst gambler in the world. Although it is part of the human condition to make inferences, it doesn't pay to think you know others. 

It pays for each individual to question, reflect and learn from what they do in all aspects of life including gambling. With self-reflection, we have an opportunity to learn. I would rather learn from my mistakes, even more, others. Why? 

Because they are usually less costly for us, personally, and help keep us on the right path which may lead to success. 

I went to Grosvenor casino at Great Yarmouth on Friday night. I went with my two brothers. It is a social evening rather than going to take them to the cleaners. For anyone who knows anything about gambling at fixed odds, it would be a stupid exclamation. Do you think you can beat fixed odds? The casino rake will slowly, slowly, slowly...take its profit (your loss). 

The only way you can win betting at the casino or any fixed odds is to get lucky, stick your winnings in your pocket, and go home. If you go to the casino once a month with that approach you may even win money. If you get lucky. 

I don't bet much money at the casino. I bet on the roulette. A single number and corner. If the single/corner number comes up it pays 43-2. In that sense, if I get lucky, my little bit of luck pays 43 x £5 = £215. If that coincidence comes early in the evening it's a good day. I put the money in my pocket, or at least my stake, and conclude, with a smile: ''You won't be winning anything from me tonight.'' 

There was a bloke at the casino with his wife, playing roulette. She was standing by watching proceedings. He didn't look like he had two five pence to rub together. But as I have said, it doesn't pay to limit others. For all I know, he may have been the richest man in the room. The staff knew his name, so he was clearly a regular. 

''He was betting £300 a spin. He bet wide and far across the table with £5 chips. Plenty of stacks of chips on single numbers''

I like watching people bet. Why? Because I know about betting from a professional perspective. I never bet for fun on my speciality of two-year-old horse racing. I bet because like a professional stockbroker - it's business. Every gambler in life, unless it is illegal or insider trading of some kind, is the same. Don't be fooled into thinking one gamble is different from another. The only difference is the person and their understanding, knowledge, professionalism, insight...or lack of it. The best gambler, investor, call him what you may, wins. 

I bet at the casino for ''fun'' but even then I try to play with some logic. I don't even like saying I bet for ''fun'' even at the casino but it is one of the few exceptions to my rigid rules. Principles, guidelines, foundations to your gambling knowledge are the key to success. 

''I don't like losing'' 

I definitely don't bet to lose. I can take a small loss at the casino because I do class it slightly different being more sociable (still hate saying those words). Thankfully, I am winning. Truth.

But back to this bloke... 

He wasn't doing too well, then hit on a winning streak. Number nine was hot and he got lucky a good few times. After a couple of hours, he cashed his money to £100 chips and had probably four or five grand. 

Not bad. 

However, my question, thoughts, understanding, wasn't to do with the amount of money won.  

What went through my mind was: ''How do you view your gambling?'' 

He was clearly a regular at the casino. He mentioned the day before he won £10,000. Did he regard himself as a pro gambler? You know what I'm thinking, hey? Or you should do if you have any understanding of gambling. 

Fixed odds. It is the equivalent of betting at a table and the banker has horns sticking out of his head, a ruddy complexion, and the room feels rather warm. In fact, you just placed a bet against the devil himself. No f****** wonder he's smiling. 

Fix odds. How can you win long term? Infrequent bets. Perhaps. Cheating. You can win cheating. You need that in your armoury of skills (especially at the casino). 

''But the security is tighter than Uri Geller's underpants''

You won't get out the door with a bent spoon from the restaurant. 

Good luck to all gamblers. I love to see a winner. Only a loser wants to see someone lose! But if you bet too regular at the casino I would fear that one evening that devil will steal what once looked to be a burgeoning purse. 

When betting it pays to stop and consider whether your bet is based on skill. 

I mean you wouldn't want to play chess against a world champion unless you knew better or fancied you had the odds in your favour? Skill is an asset which you can use to win. Fixed odds like to wave their magic wand with the illusion that you can beat the book. It is the hardest, strongest, most confident, ruthless opponent, you will ever meet.   

Long term you will lose.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

When You Run Out Of Luck

What is luck? 


Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.

Synonyms:  good fortune, good luck, success, successfulness, prosperity, advantage, advantageousness, felicity (I thought that was a woman's name!!!!) [Luck, B****]

Here's a few more if you're feeling inspired by the word: a stroke of luck; informal fluke, a lucky break "with luck you'll be in Marseilles tomorrow night"

We've all heard the quote: ''The harder I work the luckier I get.'' To be fair, that's being clever rather than lucky. It's like having a joke at someone who just relies on luck. 

Luck. It rhymes with another word beginning with the letter F. That's what most punters say when they rely on luck because it is akin to putting your faith in the Witched Witch of the West if you're hoping to swap those ruby slipper. She's more likely to smoke your broomstick than fill your pockets with cash or four-leaf clover. 

I know most people say to win at gambling it is all about skill. Yes, I know most people have not one ounce of skill [take my word for it] and rely 100% on luck. In that sense, they do get lucky on occasions. Have you found that alongside luck putting pound signs in front of your eyes it also has the affect of amnesia, because those lucky bleeders sure do forget their losers?  

Good luck to you. 

Anyway, luck does play a part in every aspect of life and gambling. 

I would rather be lucky with a bet to win £10,000 than one to win a fiver. And it can certainly happen both ways. 

Lady Luck. Who is she? I wrote a post musing over this subject: When Lady Luck Catches Your Eye.

Just imagine if you could buy a bottle of luck. It would be like Henry Cooper with a dab of Brut behind each ear. Even Henry could have done with a touch of luck when fighting Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] in London, 1963. The Enry's Ammer making the man himself (Clay) see stars. Unfortunate timing at the end of the round and Angelo Dundee stating years later than he made a tear in the glove, gaining four or five seconds of luck while he changed the pair. Cooper, always a gentleman said it didn't make any difference to the fight. I don't think we would have been calling it luck in this day and age, more like a scandal and unsporting behaviour. As they say, all is fair in love and war.  

Gamblers don't rely on luck to win long term but lady luck or the luck of the devil does come into play short term. 

Sometimes, we all need a touch of luck. 

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

The History of Antigua | 5 Things to do in Antigua

Jolly Harbour
I haven't travelled much beyond the UK.   

Well, that is likely to change in the very near future because I've been invited to stay in West Palm Beach, Florida, United States. Looking forward to living the life of Americano, blue jeans and chinos. 

It's funny how holiday destinations come to mind from vicarious routes, not so much from flicking through brochures but the people we meet. My good friend has travelled widely and runs the excellent website Best Antigua

I feel I have learned much about this tropical paradise and, who knows, I may well go there myself. 

I think the best way to learn about a new holiday destination is to investigate. I haven't any knowledge of the history of Antigua so I thought I would appreciate the history of this idyllic island retreat with a little research. 


Firstly, Antigua is an island in the West Indies, known by the local population as Wadadli. It is one of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. Did you know Antigua and Barbuda became independent within the Commonwealth of nations on 1st November 1981? 

The name Antigua means ''ancient'' in Spanish, relating to an icon found in the Seville Cathedral.    

Interesting Antigua:

  • The island is roughly 87 km in circumference  
  • Population of 80,161 (2011 consensus)
  • Economy is reliant on tourism and agriculture
  • 32000 live in the capital St John's 
  • English Harbour called Nelson's Dockyard (after Lord Nelson) 

English Harbour

On the south-eastern coast is a noted destination for its yachting and sailing. In fact, at the end of April - the beginning of May the Antigua Sailing Week holds the annual world-class regatta.   

Antigua Economy 

Antigua is reliant on tourism and known as a luxury Caribbean escape. The island has a single airport. The official currency is the East Caribbean dollar although many prices are shown in US dollars. 

Early Antiguan History

Originally the homeland for the Guanahatabey people. Christopher Columbus was the first European to visit in 1493.

The first people to settle in Antigua were the Arawaks who migrated to the island by canoe from Venezuela. 

Christopher Columbus

Named the island ''Antigua'' in 1493 in honour of the ''Virgin of the old cathedral'' in Saville, Spain. It was known as Britain's ''Gateway to the Caribbean''. Lord Nelson, a famous figure in Antiguan history, arrived in the 18th century to preserve the commercial shipping routes. 

Antigua Sport

Cricket is a leading sport in Antigua. In fact, Vivian Richards came from this Caribbean island, playing for the West Indies, captain of the team. There are a number of golf courses in Antigua, while football and basketball are becoming more popular. 

However, sailing is one of the most popular sports hosting the Antigua Sailing Week and Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Hundreds of yachts arrive from across the world. 

Also, it's a great haven for sports fishing, featuring many big competitions. Windsurfing is a popular attraction although in recent years kite-surfing has surpassed this activity. Kite-surfing or kite-boarding is a regular sight at Jabbawock Beach. You may be familiar with Andre Phillip who is one of the major names in kite-surfing and resident of the island. Barduba is a popular destination too. 


If you love wildlife, Antigua is home to one of the rarest snakes in the world, the Antiguan racer. This harmless reptile, which was close to extinction with just 50 left at one time, has been boosted by conservation efforts. Once only found on Great Bird Island, it has been reintroduced to Rabbit Island, Green Island and York Island. 


Ringed with coral reefs, the island is ideal for scuba diving. 

5 Things to do in Antigua

  1.  Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours (ideal snorkelling and kayaking)
  2.  Historic sites (Shirley Heights, a restored military lookout for beautiful harbour views)
  3. Museums (Betty's Hope, was a sugarcane plantation) 
  4. Nature and Parks (Nelson's Dockyard, Half Moon Bay, Darkwood Beach)    
  5. Horseback Riding Tours

Monday, 26 August 2019

Alex Bird Vs Phil Bull - Professional Gambler Golden Rules

Gamble like a rhinoGolden Betting Rules - Alex Bird: 

1. Change in the going - no bet. From fast ground to soft turns the form book upside down. 

2. Take note of the over round - the percentage bookmakers take out of the race. With the exchanges this factor has been helped but on big race days - such as the Grand National - it can still making betting a bad deal. 

3. Bird loved a good each-way bet. He find an 8 - 10 horse maiden and take advanatge, especially if the favourite was odds-on by betting on the second or third fav. He's combine the second and third favourites in each-way combination bets. 

4. He'd note good apprentices. A good apprentice with a 7lb claim can be worth a few lengths. 

5. Don't be first show - the majority of runners drift in teh betting from the first show. Taking second show prices will increase your winnings by 10% over a season. 

6. Bird didn't like handicaps. 

7. Also, never bet in three-year-old maidens, particularly those only for fillies.

In association with 

Golden Betting Rules - Phil Bull 

1. Temperament is vital - winning and losing. Treat them the same! Long term counts. 

2. Study the form the same for each race. Don't search for bets - a no bet is a no bet.

3. It's an old maxim  - never bet more than you can afford to lose. Don't attempt to make your fortune in a day.

4. Bet when the odds are value. If you think a horse should be 7/1 if its 2/1 don't back it, but if its 10/1 bet. If correct long term you will make a profit.

5. Don't follow tipsters - work hard to find your own angle (it's not simple). 

6. Never bet a horse ante post unless you now it will definitely run.

7. Don't bet each-way in either races with big fields or handicaps. One fifth fifth of the odds is not good value.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

It's Like Having John Gosden on Speed Dial

John Gosden
The 2017 Flat turf season has begun.

Interesting to see the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes was split into two divisions. I have been following this race since 1988 and to my knowledge, it is the first time this has happened. In so many ways this race is synonymous with our journey into horse racing. A love found from my father and expertise founded by my twin brother. Tony wasn't interested in simply taking a brief look at a race card and making a bet. He dug deeper than anyone within the sphere of two-year-old horse racing and the first person in the world to research the significance of pattern race entries specific to juvenile horses. In fact, it was acknowledged by Nick Mordin's column in The Weekender many moons ago, who was literally startled by this data in pinpointing the best unraced and lightly raced two-year-old colts and fillies in training. Group entries have changed their format over the years but still a major part of our analysis. How do you think we manage to keep ahead of the game? 

As mentioned in my marketing talk:

 ''It's like having John Gosden on speed dial...''

Thanks, John. 

You are welcome to join our free mailing list at Group Horse which details 10 Dark Horses throughout the year. This inside information will be an eye-opener for many readers. It may well be the first glimpse into a deeper understand which goes beyond the surface structure the bookmakers and general pundits may want you to believe.   

Every piece of true knowledge that has worth in pounds, shillings and pence. It's hard fought. 

That is why, in future, it will literally have a price on its head. If you want something of value it most definitely has a price. Else, you'd go to Hatton Garden, pick up a ten carat diamond ring for the misses...and walk out the door without paying. Mmmmmmmm, I wonder why that doesn't happen! 

All this information doesn't grow on trees. I know as you read these words you may think easy come easy go. Yeah...right. So, you're a plumber, well come round mine and fix this leaking tap and I'll say thank you in ten different languages but don't expect a penny from me. 

I've got this really colourful language that I'm just dying to tell you... 

Even these words take time. The understanding and expertise behind each word took years to appreciate. You might think how can these words be worth anything. But, as usual, for many, you're wrong.

When you read these words they encompass a depth of understanding. They have an air of confidence. 

You bet they bloody do...

I asked the question the other day about the big gambler at the casino asking: How do you view your gambling?

It's an interesting question. 

To many gamblers, it might be the most uninteresting question ever written on planet Earth. If that is your answer, I would suggest you should stop betting at once! (That is said with tongue in cheek because it really doesn't concern me what anyone does). Your win, your loss. Roll a dice. 

Think about this question.

What separates you from other

Everyone kind of has their own way of doing things, hey. You only have to watch someone playing darts to notice their throw is unique to them. How many ways can you throw a dart? If I said 7.125 billion you'd think it's quite a number. The population of planet Earth. Yes, I know babies, the very old or people with disability may not be able to throw a dart, but you get what I'm trying to say.

But, let's say, how do you, personally, select a ''winning'' horse?

I've had this conversation with my good friend Eric Winner. Yes, he is the bloke who runs a website of a similar name. 

I know lots of very interesting people with many, varied, sometimes inspiring approaches to gambling. I listen, learn, steal...the best bits. 

I could tell you 10 pieces of information and guarantee 
you made money gambling 

The thing is, it seems easy to say. Easy to read. But that information wasn't easy to find. It took thousands of hours to learn. I could say something to you. You may accept what I say, take it or leave, or even think what does that bozo know.

I've had people do all those things. It is the reason why I don't say much to most people about my betting. I'm not being funny, but when it comes to two-year-old horse racing I can confidently say I know more than you. It's a fact. It's like going to the doctors and trying to explain to him how the heart works. 

The thing that makes me smile is that I am a generous person and have given a few gems of wisdom away for free but people disregard them because of a multitude of reasons. Basically, it boils down to people thinking:

  • You simply can't beat the bookmakers. 
  • Wrong. 
  • You can't know anything I don't know. 
  • Wrong
  • Or they think the world is flat. 
  • Wrong. 

I often assess people in how many ways they can be wrong. If you meet a wrong 'un. I'm not being funny but save your breath or if you have enough for one last sentence, tell them to...


I had originally detailed F*** O**

I rarely swear in conversation. It has much more impact on the page and gets the message across in a nice, succinct form. 

If you want to be successful at anything you need to know that little bit more than most. That little bit more may put you 80% ahead of the game. That's why it pays to specialise. Know your niche. Who the hell knows everything? What is everything? Why would you want to know everything? 

Chop off your head, replace it with an old monitor and have a smilie screensaver as your face, a brain strapped to your back in the shape of a modified, but old, desktop PC. The downside is that you won't get a joke! 

You don't need to know everything, bloody thing.

I don't care how hot it is in Cuba because I live in a Fenland town. The weather's always like four seasons in a day. You need to have confidence in something that works. Even if you have a strange affliction about knowing things that shouldn't even register in a sensible mind you still have just 24 hrs in a day to process all this gunk. 

Best to work in an efficient, relaxed, if you can, manner.

Find your niche. 

This post was going to mention the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes... but I think the wisdom of this post may benefit you more.   

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Gambling: The Concept of Time...

Gambling: The Concept of Time
As the John Rowles song goes: ''If I only had time, only time...''

Betting, keeping up with the two-year-old horse racing, let alone anything else, takes time. At times, far too much time. It's the way it is. From my perspective, there's an overflow of racing. I won't say poor racing because I kind of like betting good juveniles when making their second or third start against inferior opposition.

It's like a conveyor belt from the Generation Game. Instead of winning prizes, you store horses in your hippocampus (that's not a place hippos camp) and wait for that synaptic nerve to fire up like an inch of pure magnesium. Which, somehow, with years of experience and knowledge leads to a bloody good winner. 

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say there is too much racing because someone somewhere knows it stretches the stamina of even the most big-lunged beast with a brain the size of diploblokeus. ''There's too much racing'' is often the voice of those who actually have some understanding of what they are doing rather than the greyhound mentality which cannot see enough races. 

I once chatted to someone who said they preferred greyhound racing to horse racing because there wasn't so long to wait for the next race. I didn't say anything but I was horrified by the statement. To me, it was like saying they preferred painting by numbers compared with a true artist who loved (or was tormented) by each and every stroke. 

Each to their own. (I know who I would rather be).

It is difficult when you have three or four two-year-old races with a five or ten-minute gap and then a meeting is running late. However, efficient, professional and hardworking, no one can really look at two things at once. 

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Betting While Sitting on the Sofa in West Palm Beach

Ocean Pointe, Key Largo, Florida
Ocean Pointe, Key Largo, Florida
In many ways my life is good. 

I guess that is a statement many people could say. I guess it is a statement many people wish they could say. 

It is all too easy to take what we have for granted. Sitting here on the sofa in West Palm Beach, Florida. A few days ago spending three days in a lovely hotel in Key Largo, a wonderful view from room 2410 at Ocean Pointe. Overlooking the sea, the sound of birds, and watching people fish for tarpon. Our room called the Tarpon Suite. A memorable place made all the more special to be with my beautiful Marlene and family. 

From there we had a day at Key West. The drive from Key Largo to Key West memorable for the long bridges which spanned the sea. A place memorable for being the home of Ernest Hemmingway, Robert Frost and Tennessee Williams. The sight of frigate birds flying high in a blue sky, waiting to catch a fish chased by a bottle-nosed dolphin. 

It's a very artistic, bohemian and tolerant place. 

We parked the car behind CVS. The parking attendant, who wasn't very attentive, was in his late 70s (if not older). He had long grey hair, bleached a sandy blonde and beard to match. I couldn't help thinking he must have been a surfer back in the 1950s because he had a kind of windswept look. He seemed a little spaced out. Probably exhausted from the sun and paid a pittance to do a job which bar needing the cash no one really wants to do. He lived in one of the most beautiful parts of the world but, by his attire, a week away from being homeless if not living on the streets. 

Back to West Palm Beach. It always seems hot in Florida. A beautiful view from the house overlooking palm trees and a little birdbath I purchased for the ground doves, blue jays and cardinals. 

I have been working from home. Luckily I don't have to do the 9 - 5 because I run these websites and bet to keep my head just above the waterline. I don't want to be swallowed by a flying fish.

It is too easy to not appreciate how good life is at times. To not thank those who are part of your life. To be reflective of the people who are no longer here but always in your heart.

I wish my Dad was here to be part of my day. We could sit on the sofa together and bet on the couch which was made for two. 

God bless.

Casinos, Horse Racing and Woolly Sheep!

Bjorn Nielson & East Wind Racing Ltd
Well, I'm back from Great Yarmouth's Eastern Festival. Three days of racing action and a good time had by all at the casino in the evening. I must admit, I do enjoy the brick and mortar casinos but for those who love playing online, take a look at and follow lucky number 33 on the roulette which served me very well on the Norfolk coast. A single number and corner is a good plan because if you get lucky it pays well.  

Looking at the result for today's racing. Plenty of two-year-old races to review. A number slip into two divisions. Nine juvenile races in a little over two hours!

These backends two-year-old races reveal a mixed bag of horses. Those fit and primed for the day, others sent out for a run, while a few look more like sheep.

Always love John Frankham's quote: ''That one looks a bit woolly!''

So what have we seen on this autumn afternoon? Perhaps a couple of two-year-olds who will be winning sooner rather than later - most probably next start. Ideal betting opportunities to get stuck into.

1:30 Nottingham - 

Keep an eye on Karl Burke's Exalted Angel. This bay colt, a son of Dark Angel, is held in some regard by connections and seriously backed from 14/1 [Betfair] to 4/1 SP with bookmakers. He ran on well, finishing third. I suspect connections were half anticipating a win. Will go well on his second start. A decent prospect. 

1:40 Salisbury - 

A fair course to spot talented two-year-olds. Ed Walker is a superb trainer to follow and Ginistrelli is worth putting in your notebook. This bay colt is a son of Frankel out of a twice-winning mare. Racing in the familiar silks of Bjorn Nielson & East Wind Racing Ltd, this 475,000 guinea yearling purchase ran on with a purpose to finish fourth in the hands of Gerald Mosse. Definitely, a horse you want to be with next time out. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

The Oldest Grand National Winners

Oldest Grand National Winners
If there is one race which captures the mind it has to be the Grand National. This April 8th will be no different from many before but if you want to watch the most famous steeplechase in the world make it all the more tantalising to login to William Hill to bet on the Grand National

A testing course of 4 miles 3 ½ furlongs. Forty horses will make the line-up. Two demanding circuits, 30 fences, and run in that saps the energy of all but the winning horse. It's enough to make a young horse feel old. This leads into the fascinating question.

Who is the oldest winner of the Grand National?

Well, we can answer that quite simply but we need to go back into the archives to 1853. In this year a horse called Peter Simple won at the age of 15. This bay gelding was trained and ridden by Tom Oliver in the ownership of Josey Little. He was 9-1, so his seniority didn't deter bettors.

What may surprise readers is that this was Peter Simple's second win of the Grand National. He won in 1849 aged 11 when trained and ridden to victory by Tom Cunningham owned by Finch Mason Jr.

In fact, four other horses have won the Grand National twice: The Duke 1836, 1837, Abd-El-Kader 1850, 1851, The Colonel 1869,1870 & Reynoldstown 1935, 1936.

The only horse to win three races is the legendary Red Rum who proved successful in 1973, 1974 & 1977. Ginger McCain's star was also runner-up on two other occasions.

But back to the old timers who have proven, they can win almost at any age. Peter Simple defied his age because the next oldest horses to win were aged13.

They were:

  • 1894 – Why Not 5/1JF
  • 1923 – Sergeant Murphy 100/6

So just 3 horses have won aged 13-years and older.

In this modern era, horses aged 12 are not without a fighting chance. In fact, 7 horse have won since 1969.

The most recent trained by Ginger McCain, who made the headlines with Red Rum, but this time it was Amberleigh House in 2004. Ridden by Graham Lee, he was returned at odds of 16/1. This bay son of Buckskin was an exceptional jumper and raced over the National fences at Aintree on 11 occasions (5 in the National) without falling. He made his Grand National debut in 2001 when bought down at the Canal Turn, the 8th fence.

His second best performance in the National came in 2003 when finishing third behind Monty's Pass.

Looking at this year's entrants, there are a couple of horses that may well run age 12.

Maggio is trained by Patrick Griffin and presently odds of 50/1.

The only other runner who may just sneak into the maximum 40 entrants on the day is Raz De Maree trained by Gavin Cromwell. This son of Shaanmer is priced 40/1.

In recent years horses aged 9 – 11 years of age have proved best.