The Most Fancied Outsiders in the Grand National - The Rugby Observer

The Most Fancied Outsiders in the Grand National

Rugby Editorial 13th Apr, 2023   0

The Grand National is the richest race in the National Hunt calendar. This year there’ll be some forty runners, each competing for their share of the £1 million prize pool.

As per usual, the event will attract punters in their hundreds. Some will have drawn a horse in the office sweepstake, some will choose a name that makes them laugh, and some will put it all on the favourite. However, we’re looking for a good value outsider.

The Grand National has a vast field, so there are often horses with odds as long as 100/1. We’ve not chosen horses with odds quite as long as that, but the following runners are underdogs with good chances.

Roi Mage 50/1

We’ll kick things off with the longest-priced horse of the lot, Roi Mage. While we’re not sure that the eleven-year-old will be cantering past the post in the first place, there’s value to be found here as an each-way bet.




In fields as large as the Grand National, picking an outright winner can be incredibly tricky, so sometimes hedging your bets can help. With the plethora of available horse racing free bets, you could take advantage of that offer and back your three most fancied horses without spending extra as a wager.

For us, Roi Mage is worth a try, particularly at odds of 50/1.


The first thing to like about the gelding is that he’s got plenty of experience. He’s run in 38 chases and finished in at least third place in 15 of them. Most recently, he came second at Down Royal after he was badly hampered at the final fence.

Most interestingly about this result, though, are the horses he was surrounded by. He was beaten just over a length by Longhouse Poet, a good horse who came sixth in the Grand National last year. Behind him, in third place, was Burrows Saint, who also has form in the National — unseating his rider last year and coming fourth the year before that.

In terms of weights, Roi Mage was carrying five pounds more than the other horses, and it is fair to say that he would have won if he hadn’t been hampered at that last fence. Furthermore, Roi Mage’s Racing Post rating is 173, while his official rating is 149. This means he’s handicapped at 10st8 in the National, representing a considerable drop in weight from his last outing and a significant drop compared to what Racing Post thinks he should be rated at.

Le Milos 20/1

Le Milos is our next pick, and with odds of 20/1, he’s the shortest of the lot.

This eight-year-old has far fewer miles on the clock than Roi Mage, but the switch to Harry Skelton’s yard has worked wonders. Since his move at the end of last year, Le Milos has never been out of the top two finishers. He acts on everything from sound to heavy ground, and with Aintree usually being softer, the ground ought to suit him well.

He jumped really well on his last outing at Kelso and, before this, ran a blinder at Newbury, where he just scraped home by half a length. Punters have noticed that this gelding has guts, as he’s shortened dramatically in the betting for the Grand National in recent weeks. His inexperience might be the thing that lets him down, but at 20/1, he represents good value.

Royale Pagaille 40/1

Royale Pagaille is our final pick and could be worth a bet at sites offering deals on the first ten finishers. The gelding has unquestionable class, but his odds have stretched considerably, thanks to his last outing at Cheltenham.

He finished in sixth place in the Gold Cup but was severely hampered mid-race and never showed the turn of foot that the other horses did. Either he’s now past his bet, or he might prefer the slower pace and greater stamina test of the National. The only way we’ll know is to watch him run in it.

He had seen Aintree’s fences just once before where he finished fifth. He is an economical yet careful jumper, having successfully navigated his way into second place in the King George last year. Despite his extensive form, Royale Pagaille is still something of an unknown, but if he’s at his best, he’s in with a good chance.

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