The anticipation is building for the 2014 Grand National at Aintree race course, and the number of contestants bettors have to consider has dwindled further by eight horses. Following the loss of three big names from the race last week, including heavily favoured horses Seabass and On His Own, the field for Saturday’s big race shrank to 65 total horses.
Last week the field of horses stood at 73 total horses following the departure of Seabass and On His Own, but the field still needed to be dwindled to the allowable maximum of 40 participants. On Monday evening it was announced that Godsmejudge and Katenko, along with eight other horses were being withdrawn from the race for a number of reasons.
In addition to Godsmejudge and Katenko, bettors will find six other horses removed from the ballots before the race begins on Saturday. Joining Godsmejudge and Katenko on the non-participant list are Sunnyhillboy, Same Difference, Goulanes, Roi Du Mee, Bog Warrior, and Mossey Joe.
Field Whittling Toward 40
No specific reasons were given for the withdrawal of many of the eight horses announced as non-participants on Monday. Of the eight horses, only Goulanes’ trainer offered up a reason for the horse missing the Grand National. Goulanes’ owners and trainer have decided that following a heavy race circuit in previous weeks, Goulanes would be withdrawn from the 2014 Grand National in the interest of rest.
Goulanes’ trainer told the BBC that the horse is expected to take some time off to rest, and then be prepared later this year for the 2015 Grand National at Aintree. It is likely that overwork or injury is keeping many of the other seven participants from running in Saturday’s big race.
The withdrawal of the eight horses announced on Monday had little to no impact on betting lines ahead of the race. Last week’s withdrawal of Seabass and On His Own left Teaforthree as the odds-on favourite at this point to claim victory at the 2014 Grand National. As of Monday evening, Teaforthree was a 9/1 favourite in the race.
Also high on the betting lines are Long Run and Tidal Bay, both of whom face 14/1 odds early in the week. While these three have climbed to the top of the betting books, a number of other horses face an uncertain future with just days to go before the festivities at Aintree open. Goonyella, Soll, Night in Milan, Saint Are, and Tranquil Sea have yet to earn a guaranteed place in Saturday’s Grand National.
As a handicapped race, the field will be further whittled by balloting if more than 40 horses remain in the running on Saturday. Horses with a rating below a certain handicap, in the past 139, will be left out of the race.
More on the Favourites
Teaforthree is a Welsh-trained horse, under the control of Rebecca Curtis, and finished third last year in the Grand National. The horse stepped into the favourite position when last year’s winner, Auroras Encore, was retired. Teaforthree’s position was further bolstered by the withdrawal of 2013 runner-up Cappa Blue due to injury.
Long Run is trained by Nicky Henderson and is a two-time King George VI Chase winner. He will be ridden at Aintree on Saturday by amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen.
Seek Updates Daily
The big race will wrap up three days of festivities at Aintree on Saturday, and with just four days before the race the field is likely to narrow even further on its own. While many of the horses that fall out of the field will be long shots in the minds of most bettors, it is important to stay updated before placing bets on Britbets.com. With each withdrawal and tidbit of news, the lines could change and your bets along with them. For the latest betting see our Grand National Odds