In the running with charity bet

Hartlepool Mail reporter Mark Thompson pictured with the charity bet and Andrew Coyle(left) and Martin Cook of Chisholm Bookmakers at Middle Warren .

Hartlepool Mail reporter Mark Thompson pictured with the charity bet and Andrew Coyle(left) and Martin Cook of Chisholm Bookmakers at Middle Warren .

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GENEROUS bookmakers have given the Mail £50 to bet on the Grand National for charity – and are also offering a free flutter for all our readers.

This Saturday will see 40 horses gallop around Aintree in one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

Chisholm Bookmakers has handed the Mail £50 to bet on the race, with any winnings going to Hartlepool & District Hospice.

Readers can also try and cash in as the firm is offering a free £2 bet in tomorrow’s paper for Saturday’s showpiece.

Last year the Mail had a night-mare as King John’s Castle, who we had £50 on to win at 40-1, did not even move from the starting line on Merseyside as millions of people looked on.

But the generous bookies helped spare our blushes by donating £50 to the hospice anyway.

Hopefully this year will be different with our money going on 14-1 shot What A Friend and this time we are hedging our bet by putting £25 on each way.

If it is triumphant in the 4.15pm race, it will secure the hospice £375 and the organisation will also pick up money if it is placed.

Shop manager Martin Cook manager of the shop helped us pick out the horse that is co-owned by football manager Sir Alex Ferguson. But he admitted that his tipping should be taken with extreme caution as the event is so exciting because it is so unpredicatble.

He said: “The Grand National is our busiest time, everyone seems to have a bet on it so we are delighted to try and support a local charity on what is our biggest day of the year.

“We have people coming in with pieces of paper on the day that have all their relatives and half their street’s bets on.

“The only time we get any peace is the eight minutes that the race is on for.

“To be honest, it’s a lottery really, but that’s why people enjoy it so much.

“Backing the winner is something that stays with people forever, you always remember your horse’s name.

“People come in and bet on them for all kinds of reasons, whether it’s because a horse is grey, has a woman jockey or has a name that means something to them.

“We get bets from 10p each way up to £1,000 each way. But the main thing is that people just enjoy the race.”

l COLLECT your free £2 bet voucher in tomorrow’s Mail that can be used at any Chisholm shop, including the one in Mulberry Rise, Hartlepool, near the Tall Ships pub, on the Bishop Cuthbert estate.

l ANYONE fancying a fun flutter with their friends or work colleagues can use the Mail’s Grand National sweepstake kit, which will appear in the paper tomorrow.

l IN the meantime, why not have a flutter on Hartlepool United’s home game with Yeovil Town at Victoria Park on Saturday?