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The 2007 Grand National: As it Happened
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The weather at Aintree is more mid-summer than mid-April, the ground looks perfect, and we're set fair for probably the most open National since Red Marauder's victory in 2001. On the Morning Line, John Francome suggested that at least 20 horses could win this, and that looks about right. The Guardian's chief tipster, Ron Cox, has gone for Joes Edge, while the Observer's Eddie Fremantle reckons Slim Pickings at 50-1 is worth a shot. Me? Well, I've got McKelvey and Idle Talk at 33-1 antepost, and I've also had a small nibble on Billyvoddan and Bother Na at big prices.

3.30pm: Normally 30 minutes before the National, most of the favourites' odds start shortening as the bookmakers work out their liabilities. Not today. You can still get 10-1 on the favourite Point Barrow. Elsewhere, Monkerhostin is a huge market mover - he was 30s on Betfair a few days ago, now he's just 12-1. Full odds (from Betfair): 10-1 Point Barrow, 11-1 Joes Edge, 12-1 Monkerhostin, 13-1 Hedgehunter, 15-1 McKelvey, 19-1 Numbersixvalverde (a huge price, surely?), 21-1 Eurotrek, 21-1 L'Ami, 22-1 Billyvoddan, 24-1 Simon, 24-1 Idle Talk, 25-1 Bother Na, 28-1 Dun Doire (backed antepost by the colleague Barry Glendenning at 14-1), 29-1 bar.
3.40pm "Any big outsiders worth a punt?" asks Tim Derler. Ballycassidy is an interesting one at 66-1, Tim. He was six lengths clear after 25 of the 30 fences last year and might be worth an each way nibble.

3.50pm The great Monkerhostin gamble continues: he's now into 11-1. Can't see him staying, but what do I know?

4pm "For the first Grand National hoof-by-hoof, Idle Talk is just too good to be true - surely it's a shoo-in?" says Gary Naylor. Well, he stays all day (much like yourself Gary) and he's got form too (fourth in the Scottish Grand National, and second in the Cheltenham Festival last year). I certainly hope so.

4.05pm Monkerhostin is into 10-1, while Longshanks has been backed down to 20-1 on Betfair. "I've stuck £150 on Hedgehunter e/w for the last two years, and am doing so again," says Tom Lowe. "And I'm completely confident of collecting again." If he's fit, I think you've got every chance, Tom. But he's only run one race all season. Pricewise, the Racing Post's tipster, reckons he's a good thing, mind.

4.08pm Not long to go now. Full odds (from Betfair): 9-1 Point Barrow, 10-1 Joes Edge, 12-1 Monkerhostin, 13-1 Hedgehunter, 14-1 McKelvey, 20-1 Longshanks, 20-1 Numbersixvalverde, 21-1 Eurotrek, 21-1 L'Ami, Billyvoddan, 25-1 Idle Talk, 27-1 Bother Na, 28-1 Dun Doire, 28-1 Simon.

4.12pm As the horses walk down to the start, the bugles start to play and boozy cheers rumble around Aintree. Monkerhostin, who was 28-1 in the office is now into 9-1. Incredible. "Interesting snippet about the punter staking £20K per finisher on 16 or more finishers," says Gary Naylor. "I've always wondered why some jockeys remount, others don't and some jockeys pull up their horses whilst others ride through to the finish regardless." Usually a jockey only remounts if they think they have a chance of winning, and most will pull-up if they think their horse is running on empty. Can't blame them, myself - would you fancy taking a tumble at 30mph going over a National fence?

4.15: On the course, we have co-favourites for the National - Monkerhostin, Point Barow and Joes Edge are 8-1 - with Hedgehunter at 9s. Monkerhostin is still 11-1 on the exchanges, mind. The horses are circling around, waiting for the off. "I don't blame any jockey pulling up when he believes that there's no chance to win, but big money on the spreads for the number of finishers rather clouds that 'no chance to win' description," says Gary Naylor, not unreasonably.

False start(s) As the starter climbs to his rostrum, there's a steadily growing cheer, but two minutes later, we're still waiting for the off. Suddenly a few horses charge the tape ... and they're are called back by the starter, Peter Hains. Once again the horses crawl steadily forward, but the starter still isn't happy - he's ordered them back again. And again! And again! "I can't start you like that!" cries the starter, who is booed by the crowd. Fifth time lucky? Nope, again the jockeys are told to go back behind the orange line.

The race We're off! Cloudy Bays has missed the jump and is 10 lengths behind ... only two fallers at the first, Tikram and the co-favourite Point Barrow! ... The Outlier leads going over fence No4, but it's all very bunched up ... Dun Doire is last coming up to Becher's, where Jack High and Livingstonebramble ... and another favourite goes as Monkerhostin refuses at the seventh! ... Naunton Brooks leads over fence No10, ahead of Ballycassidy, while Royal Auclair has fallen ... going into fence No13, Bewley's Berry moves into third, with Liberthine fourth ... There's still about 20 horses within about 15 lengths in the leader as they go over the Chair .. Naunton Brook and Ballycassidy continue to lead, Hedgehunter is running well as is Numbersixvalverde, 30 are still standing going over the 17... Idle Talk has fallen at the 18th ... Liberthine in second makes a mistake, Bewley's Berry is now leading ... Bewley's Berry and Graphic Approach go down at Becher's. Liberthine leads, with Simon second. L'Ami and McKelvey are also well placed ... Simon and Ballycassidy fall at the 24th fence ... Slim Pickings and Silver Birch are moving into contention ... Dun Doire has been pulled up before fence No27 ... Suddenly Slim Pickings leads the National with two to go, with Silver Birch second ... Slim Pickings makes a mistake at the last and in the run in, Silver Birch takes the lead but he's flagging ... Slim Pickings is closing as is McKelvey, but it's too late.

The result 1st - Silver Birch (33-1) 2nd - McKelvey (12-1), 3rd Slim Pickings 40-1, 4th Philson Run 100-1.
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