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 Monday, 30 December, 2002, 09:17 GMT
Punter's grand gamble
A maximum field of 40 can line up for the Martell Grand National
The Grand National is contested by up to 40 runners
One gambler has risked 25,000 in a single bet on the Grand National - and will claim 500,000 if the Irish horse David's Lad wins.

The punter took odds of 20-1 for the race at Aintree in April 2003, and would land one of the biggest ever ante-post bets if successful.

But he will lose all his money if the horse fails or does not run in the four-and-a-half mile marathon.

And the National is a notoriously difficult race to predict, with the all-important weights each horse has to carry not revealed until February.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes immediately cut the odds on the eight-year-old, trained in Ireland by Tony Martin, winning the race to 16-1.

"It has to be the biggest horse racing ante-post take-out of the year," said Ladbrokes spokesman Balthazar Fabricius.

David's Lad won the Irish National in 2001
David's Lad won the Irish National in 2001

"Taking bets of 25,000 or more is nothing new for us but given the odds, we do face the one of the bigger pay-outs that we have seen for a while."

David's Lad, like the 1999 Aintree winner Bobbyjo, is a previous winner of the Irish Grand National.

Martin's horse had a tilt at the English version in 2002 after an eye-catching performance when finishing third in the Cathcart Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

But he fell four fences from home when still in contention.

The trainer is renowned for landing high-profile races in England.

His big successes have come with She's Our Mare, who won the Swinton Hurdle over jumps and Cambridgeshire Handicap on the Flat, and the Royal Ascot winner Barba Papa.


Martell Grand National odds
(Ladbrokes 30 Dec 2002)

14-1 Ad Hoc, 16-1 David's Lad, Gunner Welburn, 20-1 Chives, Gingembre, Kingsmark, Mini Sensation, Bindaree, 25-1 Bobby Grant, Commanche Court, Gunther Mcbride, More Than A Stroll, Rince Ri, Rith Dubh, 33-1 bar.

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See also:

06 May 01 | N Ireland
Links to more Horse Racing stories are at the foot of the page.


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