The Grand National may just be the most exciting horse race on the British racing calendar, giving its history of betting surprises. The average payout for Grand National Winners in the last decade has been 33.4/1. Only one favourite has won in the past decade: Don’t Push It, at 10/1 in 2010. This race has seen four 100/1 winners in its history, most recently in 2009 with the Venetia Williams-trained Mon Mome.

The Randox Health 2019 Grand National will be the 172nd annual running of this race at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool. This 4-mile, 514-yard steeplechase will take place on the final day of a three-day racing festival, on Saturday April 6.

While it’s still early days in terms of the race odds, it’s not too early to have a look over the best Grand National free bets. Bet365 and other bookies are currently showing odds for 99 horses, which should drop to 40 runners by the time the race comes around. We look at the top five in current Grand National betting odds – all of which, interestingly, are Irish-bred.

Tiger Roll, 12/1

Tiger Roll will be aiming to become the first back-to-back winner of the Grand National since Red Rum achieved the feat in 1973-4. This nine-year-old Gordon Elliott-trained horse won with 10st 13lbs last year, but is expected to carry 11st 1lb this year on its increased handicap. Tiger Roll has only raced twice since last year’s Grand National victory, winning from 25/1 in his most recent start at Navan in Ireland.

Vintage Clouds, 14/1

Punters have been piling on the money for this nine-year-old not only because of its record but also because of who it’s associated with. Vintage Cloud is owned by Trevor Hemmings, who has won the Grand National three times, and trained by Sue Smith, who won with 66/1 Auroras Encore in 2013. Vinage Clouds just missed the cut last year, but did run third in the Scottish National with a higher handicap than he’ll have here. He’ll weigh in at precisely 10st, and no horse that light has won the Grand National since Bobbyjo in 1999.

Rathvinden, 14/1

Trainer Willie Mullins is still searching for a second Grand National victory since saluting with Hedgehunter in 2005. He has a good shot this year with Rathvinden, who has won on two of his last three starts including the 4-mile National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival. Rathvinden is looking to join Neptune Collonges, Auroras Encore, and Pineau De Re as the fourth 11-year-old to win the Grand National since 2012.

Elegant Escape, 20/1

Trainer Colin Tizzard has won plenty of major races including the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup, but he’s never won the Grand National. Elegant Escape is firming as the Tizzard stable’s best bet in this year’s race. He won the Coral Welsh Grand National as a 3/1 favourite in December and came second to Frodon in his last outing at the Cotswold Chase in January. The 7-year-old will have to defy history to win the 2019 Grand National, given no horse that young has won since Bogskar in 1940.

Lake View Lad, 20/1

Lake View Lad was bought by Trevor Hemmings late last year. He got off to a great start in his new colours, winning twice in December and finishing third in his first race for 2019 – the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on February 12. He’s the first in a long line of 2019 Grand National underdogs currently paying 20/1 or more at bookies.

Image by Bhakti Iyata