The BBC Sports Personality of the year has reunited with last year’s winner Don’t Push It – and the bookies are bracing themselves for a lethal blow if history repeats itself as support began to wind-up for the 11-year-old.
As punters plunged onto the top-weight Hills have been forced to cut the odds to 11-1 from 14-1 on Friday, and are bracing themselves for a mega-payout if he becomes the first horse since Red Rum to take back-to-back renewals.
Kate Miller, spokeswoman for William Hill explained: ‘’ Support for Don’t Push It is building by the hour and he’s the best-backed horse of the last 24-hours. McCoy burnt us to a crisp last year with his win, and it’ll be £100-million hangover if he does it again.’’
Others runners supported over recent days include the Sir Alex Ferguson-owned What A Friend – whom William Hill are offering enhanced odds of 14-1 for any Man Utd fan producing their season ticket in any one of Hills’s 2400 bettinng shops, and Ballabriggs – who could crown a fairytale moment for Donald McCain – son of legendary Red Rum trainer Ginger McCain.
John Smith’s Grand National (William Hill Bet): 9-1 The Midnight Club, 11-1 Don’t Push It, What A Friend, 12-1 Backstage, Oscar Time, Silver By Nature, 14-1 Ballabriggs, 16-1 Big Fella Thanks, Quinz, 20-1 Arbor Supreme, Niche Market, 25-1 Becauseicouldntsee, Bluesea Cracker, 25-1 Character Building, Hello Bud, Majestic Concorde, State of Play, 33-1 Calgary Bay, Chief Dan George, Tidal Bay, West End Rocker, 40-1 Skippers Brig, 50-1 Comply Or Die, Dooneys Gate, Golden Kite, In Compliance, Or Noir de Somoza, The Tother One, Vic Venturi, 66-1 Can’t Buy Time, Grand Slam Hero, Killyglen, King Fontaine, Ornais, Royal Rosa, Surface To Air, 100-1 Quolibet, That’s Rhythm, 150-1 Piraya, Santa’s Son (EW ¼ 1,2,3,4)
WILLIAM HILL estimate a £1billion betting week with the World watching Tiger and Co in the Masters Golf, plus Champions League, FA Cup Semi-Finals & Football league fixtures at the weekend.
NEARLY HALF THE UK adult population will have a flutter on the National, either in a shop, over the phone or on the internet, at an average of £8 per bet
DURING PEAK TIMES Around 80 bets per second will be struck on williamhill.com (5000 per minute) in the build-up to the National.
GRAND NATIONAL DAY is the one day of the year where women bet nearly as much as the men. One in three Grand National bets are placed by women
IF ALL THE BETTING SLIPS from the National were placed end-to-end they would stretch all the way from Liverpool to Las Vegas the Worlds gambling capital and back. A distance of over 5000 miles!
THE HORSES WILL COMPLETE almost two circuits of the 2 mile Grand National course, but if the £300million in stakes was arranged in £20 notes around the Grand National course, they would circle the famous track over 1000 times!
THE TOTAL WEIGHT of £250million pound coins exceeds 2375 tonnes, outweighing the English Capital’s iconic London Eye by nearly 300 tonnes!
THE GRAND NATIONAL is truly a world event as Hills have taken bets from as far afield as Australia, Bermuda, China, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan with the British troops joining in the British tradition.