The 2013 Grand National will be slightly different from any other thanks to the input from the health and safety brigade. Who is likely to succeed over the more forgiving fences and marginally shorter distance? We identify the best of the betting tips.

Prince De Beauchene

Trained by Willie Mullins, Prince De Beauchene was the ante post favourite for the 2012 Grand National and is fancied once again this year. He won the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse in February 2012 in impressive style but a stress related fracture to his hip was discovered just two weeks before the big race. Instead of a trip to Aintree two months' box rest was prescribed.

This 10-year-old has made a successful return to the racetrack this season and he appears to be none the worse for his injury. On 27 December he won a 2 mile 3 furlong hurdle at Limerick. He has yet to be tested over fences this season but his lifetime record over obstacles is impressive. He has never fallen. He also won on his only trip to Aintree, in the John Smith's Handicap Chase in April 2011. It was his only experience of good going. Prince De Beauchene has yet to run beyond 3 miles 1 furlong but appears to have plenty of stamina. He is a proven performer on both heavy and good going. He was rated 143 at the time of his injury and stands a decent chance of giving Graham and Andrea Wylie their first National success.


The Ted Walsh trained Seabass is proven over course and distance, finishing third under Katie Walsh in the 2012. He finished just over five lengths behind the winner, Neptune Collonges. Now a ten-year-old, this son of Turtle Island has not been seen since but that is probably a deliberate ploy by his trainer.

Katie Walsh did not do much wrong last year but you would have to take Seabass even more seriously if her brother Ruby is on board. Seabass was the only horse to make the frame who had stayed pretty close to the leaders throughout. The winner and all the other placed horses had maintained a midfield position. Seabass can obviously function on a range of surfaces. He has posted most of his successes on soft or heavy ground but had the quality to get very close last year on good going. With an official rating of 149, he might well do better this year if different tactics are employed and is sure to figure as in many lists of Grand National betting tips.

Join Together

Now that champion jumps trainer, Paul Nicholls has broken his duck, could he make it two in a row? Stranger things have happened. His winner last year, John Hales' Neptune Collonges has been retired to the dressage arena but Paul Barber's Join Together looks to have a serious chance of landing him a double.

Now eight-years-old, Join Together started this season with a rating of 151. He is not only a class act but demonstrated his ability to handle the National fences in the Becher Chase in December. Under Grand National winning jockey, Daryl Jacob, he stayed on impressively on the run in to get within a neck of the winner on the line, Nigel Twiston-Davies' Hello Bud. He was shouldering 11 stone 4 at the time while the veteran Hello Bud carried just 10 stone in the shape of Sam Twiston-Davies. The going was heavy so it was a particularly testing 3 miles 2 furlongs.

It was no surprise that Join Together jumped so well. He has only fallen once in his 14 starts over obstacles. He is also bred impeccably for the job. His sire, Old Vic, has already been responsible for national winners Comply Or Die and Don't Push It. His dam's sire, Montelimar, has also thrown a National winner in Monty's Pass.


Rebecca Curtis' stable star earned himself a prominent position in the 2013 Grand National betting immediately after coming second in the re-scheduled Welsh version at Chepstow in January. He started the 11/4 favourite under AP McCoy but was beaten half a length by Michael Scudamore's Monbeg Dude.

The race was perfectly framed for a hold up horse to come through after Victor Dartnall's Giles Cross and Nigel Twiston-Davies' Viking Blond set an over generous pace for the heavy ground. They both pulled up. Teaforthree usually races prominently and chased them from the off. The race was won by Paul Carberry's tactics. He nursed Monbeg Dude through numerous jumping errors at the back of the field, only asking him to progress four out. The 50/1 outsider, Philip Hobbs' Triggerman was 11 lengths third after being held up by Richard Johnson. Teaforthree was giving every horse in the first six places at least a stone. AP McCoy was bullish about his Aintree chances after the race. He had put in a perfect round of jumping.

The nine-year-old Teaforthree has never fallen in his 18 starts over obstacles. He is a class act and does not need gruelling conditions to perform. He ended last season with a win at Cheltenham in the 4 mile National Hunt Chase in March on good ground and earned a rating of 146.

Cappa Bleu

Cappa Bleu finished fourth in the 2012 Grand National under Paul Moloney and has to be worthy of consideration again for two reasons. Firstly, his very capable trainer, Evan Williams, is training him specifically for the race this year. There was no slog round the Welsh National for him this season. He had a gentle spin round Carlisle in a three mile chase in November and has bypassed it. He finished a distant (28 lengths) second to Donald McCain's Across The Bay in a field of just five. I would not be concerned by the result. Williams knows what he is doing and he will not put the 11-year-old under unnecessary pressure before the big race.

Secondly, unlike the other placed horses in the National last year, Cappa Bleu was obviously hampered, at the Foinavon fence first time round. Cappa Bleu is trustworthy on both good and soft going. He started the season on a rating of 147 and has to be one for the shortlist.


This ten-year-old son of Old Vic missed National victory by the smallest of margins last year under Richie McLernon. He came second to Neptune Collonges by a nose. He is another horse who will benefit from being produced with a single target in mind. Trainer Jonjo O'Neill opened his season with a 3 mile spin over hurdles at Haydock on 24 November. He finished a respectable fifth as a 33/1 outsider on unsuitably soft ground.

Owner JP McManus will be keen to replicate his National success with Don't Push It (who was also trained by O'Neill). Sunnyhillboy produces his best efforts on a sound surface and is worthy of consideration if the ground looks likely to be good on the day.

All of the horses mentioned here have serious claims but our Grand National betting tip for 2013 has to be Seabass.

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