Grand National bookies expect to lose £5 on each bet

Debutant horses are the most likely to triumph in this year's prestigious race

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Many Clouds File Photo

As the Aintree Festival kicks off this week it's all leading up to the big event, the Grand National which will be held at Aintree at 17.15 tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon.

As the horses and jockeys gear up for one of the biggest events in the racing calendar it's time to turn to the bookies and see what their expectations are for this year's race.

Research from bettingexpert.com shows that bookies are actually looking forward to this week as they're expecting to recover some of the cash lost at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

Earlier this year at Cheltenham, the average loss per bet for bookies was £3 - which means that so far this year, bookmakers are down by around £60 million in total.

Although it may sound normal for bookmakers to lose at least some money during horse racing season, it's had a significant impact on one of the industry's biggest names.

William Hill shares dropped by 13% after the Cheltenham Festival in mid-March, when three out of four favourites in championship races won.

Overall, nine favourites and one joint favourite won in the 28 races over the four day festival.

However, the Aintree Festival could soon turn things around for bookies. UK betting companies expect punters to lose an average of up to £5 per bet on the first two days - with over £600m being placed on bets over the four day event.

What about 2016?

Betting Expert have also revealed some interesting statistics in relation to previous Grand National winners.

Since 1965, 69% of all winners were first time runners in the iconic race.

After that, horses having their second go at the race make up 21% of the winners and those running their third race make up just 6% of previous winners.

There is also a definite correlation between winners and age range as well.

No horse older than 12 years old has ever won the title and neither have any horses younger than eight.

Horses aged nine seem to have the best luck with 15 of them winning in the last 50 years.

Horses priced at 14/1 have the most National wins under their belts, with 10/1 having been responsible for five winners.

'Many Clouds' won the prestigious race last year on his debut appearance, if the horse wins again this year then he will be the first since Red Rum in 1973-4 to win consecutive races.

Aintree is known for its treacherous fences and the course has claimed more fallers at one single fence (nine) than the number of favourites to have won the race (seven) in the past 50 years.

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Grand National in numbers