Grand National 2013 : Aintree Festival kicks off with Silviniaco Conti & The New One as punters eye offers

The Grand National kicks off with the Betfred Bowl featuring Silvinico Conti, as Paddy Power release the latest odds and a new free bets offer punters look set for a bumper three days of top quality National Hunt racing.

We are just a few days away from the biggest horse racing event around – The John Smith’s Grand National – getting underway from Aintree and the excitement is already building for this superb contest.

When it comes to horse racing, the Grand National is the first race that springs to everyone’s mind and it is watched by millions.

This year, the race looks to be another cracker with some exciting jump horses involved and even a previous winner of the event.

Grand National: Paddy Power Free Bets Offer

Its the start of the Grand National Festival Paddy Power celebrate with a new free bet offer worth £20/€20 to customers to spend on any race – including the big one on Saturday! – they’re also paying out 5 places each way! – claim here!

There is of course two days of racing taking place before the main event on Saturday and we willsee the likes of The New One, Grandouet and Silviniaco Conti on Thursday, as well as the super star of National Hunt racing, Sprinter Sacre, on the Friday.

The Aintree Hurdle is the race that The New One and Zarkandar compete in and this encounter that usually sees runners that have competed in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival should be a cracker.

The New One is the current favourite at 3/1, which is no surprise given his stunning run in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival last month.

Then, Zarkandar is being offered at 4/1 and there are plenty of other contenders, including Grandouet, Countrywide Flame and Oscar Whiskey.

Oscar Whiskey is going for his third straight victory in this event.

Later on Thursday, the Betfred Bowl Chase gets underway and Silviniaco Conti is the much-fancied 10/11 favourite to come out on top in this one.

With First Lieutenant his most likely challenger at 5/2, the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding should win this one.

Moving onto Friday, it is all about Sprinter Sacre as he takes on two-and-a-half miles for the first time in the Melling Chase.

With how Nicky Henderson’s charge has performed in his career, it is going to take something special to beat him here and the bookmakers have him as the 1/3 favourite.

Some people don’t even bet on Sprinter Sacre, they just sit back and watch one of the finest chasers we have ever seen clear hurdles at ease and storm to victory.

Then it is the big one on Saturday – the Grand National and in truth, picking a winner in this event is always hard as there is going to be 40 runners, so anything can happen.

Horses are likely to fall and as we have seen in the past, an outsider always has a chance. This race can be somewhat of a lottery.

For that reason and with the amount of horses running here, there is usually good value on the ones that the bookies class as the favourites and that is the case this time with Willie Mullins’ On His Own leading the betting at 7/2.

You then have the likes of Seabass at 11/1, Cappa Bleu and Colbert Station available at 12/1 and Teaforthree at 16/1 along with last year’s runner-up Sunnyhillboy and Imperial Commander.

With just a few days to go, punters are placing their bets and even those that don’t usually follow horse racing are getting excited about what this race has in store for us.

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