Bookmakers fear a nationwide gamble on favourite Synchronised could result in their biggest Grand National payout on Saturday.
Synchronised, who won the Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month, is expected to attract three times as many bets as any other horse in the 40-strong field in the world famous steeplechase at Aintree racecourse, situated on the outskirts of Liverpool.
The 7-1 favourite is trained by Jonjo O’Neill and will be ridden by champion jockey Tony McCoy. The duo won the 2010 Grand National with Don’t Push It.
“The colour will drain out of every bookmaker’s face, followed by all the money in their satchels if Synchronised wins the Grand National,” said Coral spokesman Simon Clare.
“Everything points to Synchronised being one of the best backed horses in Grand National history and if Tony McCoy brings him home in front bookmakers will face a record multi-million pound payout in the race.”
A woman jockey is yet to win the Grand National but Irish amateurs Nina Carberry, who rides Organised Confusion (16-1), and Katie Walsh, who partners 20-1 shot Seabass, have decent chances to end the drought.
Carberry has completed on all her three rides in the race, with a best of seventh in 2010. Walsh makes her debut and bids to add to the family’s roll of honour on a horse trained by her father Ted.
He trained Papillon to National glory in 2000 with son Ruby securing a first success which he followed five years later aboard Hedgehunter.
Ruby will ride On His Own (16-1) for trainer Willie Mullins in the National, leaving the way clear for Katie to take the ride on Seabass.
“Unless something happened there was always going to be a Walsh on his back. I just hope that this young lady comes back with a smile on her face wherever they finish,” Ted Walsh told a news conference on Friday.
Katie added: “Ruby gave me a few pointers on the way round, but what he said is between Ruby and me only - that’s part of my competitive streak.
“I wouldn’t swap Seabass for anything else....I’d like to have a bit of daylight over the first three fences and hope to be in the first six or eight horses - after that anything can happen.”
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