Hartlepool Hospice will benefit if Balthazar King performs in Grand National

CHARITY BET: Martin Lees from Ladbrokes in Church Street, Hartlepool, which is giving the Mail a free charity bet
CHARITY BET: Martin Lees from Ladbrokes in Church Street, Hartlepool, which is giving the Mail a free charity bet

A WORTHY charity in Hartlepool will scoop a cash windfall if the Mail’s horse is one of the first to cross the line in tomorrow’s Grand National.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes, in the town’s Church Street, has kindly provided the Mail with a £50 charity bet in the hope of benefitting a local cause.

We’ve placed £25 each way on last year’s second place runner, Balthazar King – with odds of 9/1 – with a prospect of scooping up to £225 for our chosen charity, Hartlepool & District Hospice, in the town’s Wells Avenue.

The hospice offers care to people affected by life-limiting illnesses or the death of a loved one.

It will receive some money if Balthazar King is one of the first four horses to cross the finish line in the famous steeplechase at Aintree, in Liverpool.

Gavin Foster, managing editor of the Hartlepool Mail, said: “We’re very grateful to Ladbrokes for this kind offer and we’ll have our fingers crossed tomorrow that Balthazar King comes in as a winner.

“Hartlepool & District Hospice is a fantastic local cause that does a lot of great work to help the people of the town and we’d love to be able to help them continue this work by winning them some cash.”

We’re backing Balthazar King, but Ladbrokes say they’re expecting lots of bets for another horse.

A spokesman for the betting shop said: “Bookmakers brace themselves for McCoy fever–- punters across the country are expected to back Tony McCoy’s mount, Shutthefrontdoor in the Grand National as he has his final ride in the event, should he win the bookmakers will take a severe bashing.”