Grand National outsiders and underdogs have long been a feature of the big race's history, and it can be said that the stories around the long-shots go some way to explaining the affection the wider public have for the Grand National over any others in the calendar. The mention of names such as Mon Mome and Foinavon conjure up images of heroic performances, and there are a number of interesting long shots in the Grand National 2012 field that may be worth consideration when it comes to Grand National betting.
2009 Grand National hero Mon Mome (66/1 in Grand National betting) runs once more for Venetia Williams and will this time run off a 3lb lower handicap mark than when successful. Whilst not having had a good season, finishing a poor twelfth of 19 in the JLT Handicap at Cheltenham last month, when at his best he can't be completely discounted and showed that he does still have a bit of ability when second at Cheltenham in January, and for the underdog-lovers is certainly a worthy contender.
Black Apalachi (50/1 in Grand National betting) is a long-shot that with a good run could put himself in contention this year. He finished second to Don't Push It in 2010, romped the Beechers chase by 74 lengths in 2008 and missed Cheltenham after a strong second to Prince de Beauchene at Fairyhouse in February, so comes into this race fresh compared to the horses who ran at Cheltenham. If the ground softens before the race may well be worth a look.
According To Pete (28/1 in Grand National betting) is an outsider that has seen some support in the Grand National betting markets in recent days and has been in great form this season, with wins at Wetherby and Haydock, and should the ground soften up prior to the race he has ever chance of bagging a result for Malcolm Jefferson's yard. Well rested after swerving Cheltenham, he finds himself well handicapped and could spring a surprise come the Grand National.
Richard Johnson rides Planet of Sound (33/1 in Grand National betting) for trainer Philip Hobbs, and the horse does have a bit of form at the top level, winning the Grade 1 Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown in 2010 and finishing second in the Hennessy at Newbury in November. Both these victories suggest he has the potential to perform off this handicap mark but he has never raced at a similar trip so it remains to be seen whether he has the stamina to pull off a Grand National win.
The race is sure to throw up a surprise or two as it does year after year, and whilst these picks aren't perhaps amongst the most fancied 2012 Grand National runners, they will all be running to win this race, which unlike many other races gives the toughest, most hardworking competitor the chance for glory regardless of pedigree or background.