How I picked the 2024 Grand National winner! 5 ways to make your winning selection

 The post title is a little presumptive of course, in that my time machine is on the blink. Essentially though, regardless of whether we’re a gambling professional or casual punter we all have our own unique way of picking the horses we bet on. Some approaches more sensible and analytical than others of course, and with the Grand National just around the corner if you’re looking for a method of picking a winner, I present to you five ways to make selection for the Grand National 2024.

Office sweepstakes

If you’re an office worker there is often the standard ‘pick it out of a hat’ or first come first served’ style of horse racing betting when it comes to picking your selection. It’s all just a bit of fun and if yours romps home you get to paint yourself as office savant for the day, and if it doesn’t nobody particularly cares. Should you all be throwing in a bit of money in as the prize, then there may well be peer pressure to ‘reinvest’ it in rounds of drinks if you win, and so it’s not to be taken too seriously!

Cold, hard, analysis

Followers or form and professional gamblers alike often draw assessments of a horses chances and value via statistics and various subjective and objective measures, long before others have considered doing so (if they ever do), and so even though there’s many aspects of luck to the Grand National, these individuals often at least have a foundation and reasoning behind their decisions. That approach doesn’t promise anything on any specific day, but as a long term approach it should eventually pay dividends.

I just like the name / the odds

The average Joe may well like the thrill and the spectacle of the Grant National, but they’re understandably not losing sleep over making a selection. It can often just come down to liking the name of a horse, and preferably alongside it liking the odds too. If a horses name resonates with you, there’s nothing more thrilling than hearing it blare out again and again during the race as you realise you’re ‘somehow’ still in with a shot with a couple of furlongs to go. And if yours romps home, who cares what the reasoning was behind the pick!

Ask a budgie

If you’re a fan of Carry on Films you may well have seen the comical Carry on at your Convenience. One plotline sees a housewife struggle to get their pet budgie Joey to talk. Her and her husband eventually work out that it tweets whenever the name of horses (which go on to win) are read out. This results in several big wins for them. Very unscientific of course but if you do notice a nearby parrot and are short of ideas it’s always an option to have a little whisper in its ear to see what it has to say. Your chances of getting a positive or useful reply are rapidly increased if there happens to be a horse called Polly Wants a Cracker’ running.

Copy a mate

If it’s all too much hassle for you to pick a horse out of the 34 racing (down from 40 in previous years), or you’re pained over your selection, you can always be completely uninventive and just join with a mate with their selection. That way you’re either both either cheering on your selection together or consoling each other them it falls at the first. It’s an opportunity to drink to your joint success, or drown your sorrows aka a good excuse to have a pint!

Is The Concept Of Horse Racing Tips Outdated?

 You often see individuals selling horse racing tips. These range from the one-man band to companies peddling their trade. In fact, some professional gamblers of old were paid £100,000 per year to give their tips. I’m not sure how successful these business were but they don’t run today. However, there are plenty of horse racing tipsters who sell their information from a few pound a month to perhaps £1000 per year. I imagine there are a few who sell at a much higher price. In fact, I know of a few gamblers who pay several thousand a year for info from given stables. Clearly, no one continues to pay that kind of money without making a return. This kind of service goes all the way to the likes of Tony Bloom’s Starlizard which is a subscription service linked to Asian handicap betting, predominantly, I imagine, on sports such as football. Starlizard has a reputation as being a money-making machine.

But here’s a question: Is the concept of horse racing tips outdated?

My quick answer is yes.

Have you looked at the way most horse racing tipster promote and sell their tips? The platform and format they use to detail their information. It really is such an old, outdated system that’s seen better days. In fact, I am pretty sure most tipping businesses are on a slippery slope to going out of business just because it’s the nature of the beast. Sure, you may make a few quid in the short term (if you are talented and successful) but long term they are selling themselves short.

I always remember my friend Eric Arnold, he sadly passed away in 2019, a truly lovely man, he used to say selling tips was a pointless exercise. I agree with every word. If you really knew something worth selling you’d keep it to yourself. The reason being that anyone who has a set pattern of working will give their secrets away. Give me 60 tips from your leading tipsters and I can understand their formula. The market adjusts to information because it needs to survive. It will chew up your information and spit it out as a worthless piece of scrap. You once had the golden touch but the value has been eroded and that elusive value has disappeared and the next good thing is trending.

The truth is unless you can protect your information you are dead in the water.

That’s why companies such as Starlizard are careful not to give away any information for others to glean. They understand that the only way they can hold onto that advantage is by saying: ‘You give me the money, I will bet for you, and if we make a profit I will give you your share.’

You think they will be giving out tips and information for you or anyone else to peruse?

Not in a million months of Sundays. The reason being they understand how market forces work. You can see the problems companies or tipsters have. You only have to see AT The Races tipster Hugh Taylor. He gives a tip and ten minutes later the horse is half the odds. Other companies found they have the same problems and end up detailing their tips minutes before the off to try and protect their members interests. Once a paid member has the tip there is no stopping them sharing, selling, or doing what they wants with it. Obviously, it is against the terms and conditions but whose going to take them to court? You don’t even know who it is. But in the process your business is slipping away and there is sod all you can do about it.

How can such a business work?

It’s an old, outdated format that works for no one.

Follow any horse racing tipster and you will see updates detailing changes to their service as they try to counteract impending doom. They simply cannot control the beast. They are on the road to nowhere with the Incredible Hulk at the wheel. His body zapped from Gamma rays. The betting slip in his hand faded and burnt at the edges.

The problems with all tipsters is that they need to have punters putting money into an account that is used to bet. This protects the information. This is next to impossible for your average Joe. Even if they could the liquidity for most racing in the UK is so limited that they are fighting over scraps. Unless you can tap into Asian markets there is little option than keeping the info for yourself.

For this reason I would question the integrity and profitability of most horse racing tipsters if not in the short term definitely in the long term.

It’s a business that needs a coming of age.

Francis Ngannou – Boxing Clever

Part of what makes sport what it is,is the potential for a big upset. Whether it’s an underdog winning a premier league match or a shock winner of a gold medal in an olympic event, some of the most memorable sporting moments involve predicted outcomes, or sure things, being turned on their head. If not for a somewhat controversial judging decision recently we may have had an underdog story for the ages when former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou recently took on undefeated heavyweight boxing champions Tyson Fury at a recent extravegent Saudi fight night event.

Billed as ‘Battle of the Baddest’ beforehand many saw this as little more than a step up from the recent trend of Youtuber match ups, that seemed intended to excite the bank accounts of those taking part far more than the general public (see the recent Tommy Fury vs KSI fight for example). Sure Ngannou is a very strong and talented MMA fighter but transfering those skills overnight to a whole different sport was seen (to the general public and bookmakers) to be leap too far.

On the night though, boxing and MMA fans were in for a treat as Cameroonian-French Ngannou more than held his own against Brit Tyson Fury. In the first round Fury (who declared to his opponent moments before the fight that he intended to ‘take him to school’) landed some big shots, but Ngannou was relatively unfazed by them, and indeed returned the favour. Come the third round and Ngannou was firmly in his stride, and during an attempt by fury to land a couple of powerful combination shots he caught the ‘Gypsy King’ on the side of the head putting him down on the convas. This certainly wasn’t in the script. Round 4 was impressive for ‘The Predator’ too and in round 8 he also had Fury looking on the back foot once again. Much of the rest of the fight was more even, but many thought Ngannou had done enough.

The judges narrowly decided differently though in a split decision. This is boxing of course and whole books could be written about  judges scoring alone. Not to say that this result was a complete injustice, but most would certainly say that there should at least be a rematch. Boxing politics is nothing new, but for his efforts Ngannou walks away with a massively boosted profile, a top ten WBC ranking and a rumoured £8 million (less than Fury’s outrageous £50 million, but still more than he earned during his entire MMA career). Going forward many will be as excited to see Ngannou’s next performance as they will Furys. And I doubt he’ll get caught up in the same boxing politics mindset that plagues both the sport and his contemporaries thinking.

What caused the infamous “Calciopoli” scandal in Italian football, leading to several top clubs being penalised and officials being implicated in match-fixing?

 The infamous “Calciopoli” scandal sent shockwaves through the heart of Italian football in 2006, uncovering a web of match-fixing that implicated several esteemed clubs and tarnished the sport’s integrity. This dark chapter of Italian football history involved revered clubs such as Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina, and Lazio, casting a shadow over their illustrious reputations.

The scandal was thrust into the public eye when Italian authorities intercepted incriminating phone conversations between Luciano Moggi, the former general manager of Juventus, and various referees. These damning conversations revealed Moggi’s attempt to influence referees in favour of Juventus, as well as discussions about match outcomes with other club officials.

The revelation triggered an extensive investigation conducted by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), which uncovered a long-standing match-fixing scheme orchestrated by Moggi. Furthermore, it implicated other club officials in the scandalous affair, revealing the pervasive nature of corruption within the Italian football landscape.

The repercussions of Calciopoli were severe and far-reaching. Juventus, the most high-profile club involved, paid a hefty price, being stripped of their hard-earned Serie A titles from 2005 and 2006, while enduring relegation to Serie B for a season. AC Milan faced a significant deduction of 30 points for the 2006-2007 season and was compelled to play two home matches in empty stadiums. Fiorentina and Lazio also felt the consequences, both suffering a 15-point deduction for the same season.

The Calciopoli scandal dealt a severe blow to Italian football, leaving an indelible stain on its reputation and shaking the faith of fans across the nation. The fallout was palpable, resulting in a decline in attendance at Serie A matches and eroding trust in the FIGC’s ability to govern the sport effectively.