Spring is in the air and the 2013 Grand National is drawing ever closer with much eagerness and anticipation. Now that the Cheltenham Festival is history, and the Gold Cup has been run, punters around the world can shift their focus to Aintree Racecourse, where the National will get underway at 4.15pm on Saturday, 6 April.

Horse racing fans looking for advice, news, and information could turn to William Hill as the sports betting site is ready to help thousands of punters with its Grand National 2013 betting odds.

Looking back to last year, the 2012 John Smith’s Grand National produced both a mesmerising photo finish and the sad loss of a great champion. Having won the Cheltenham Gold Cup just weeks earlier, Sychronised parted company with his jockey AP McCoy at the sixth fence and continued riderless before suffering serious injury in a fall at Becher’s Brook, which lead to him being put down.

Out of 40 starters, 25 failed to complete the course in 2012, including Junior, Treacle, and Weird Al. Despite the challenges — or perhaps because of them — the race was spectacularly exciting, and the finish, which had Neptune Collonges winning by a nose, was one of the closest in history. The attractive grey, ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob, narrowly edged out Sunnyhillboy, who struggled at the elbow. Katie Walsh became the highest-placed woman jockey in the history of the race, as she rode Seabass (trained by her father, Ted Walsh) to finish third. Cappa Bleu was in fourth and In Compliance — with pre-race odds of 100/1 — came fifth.

Grand National punters look for great prices

As always, the global punting on the race was incredible — it is estimated that more than £300 million was wagered on last year’s race and all indications are that this amount will be surpassed in 2013. Most of that money will be bet online, as punters turn to sports betting sites, so why not bet on the Grand National with William Hill? With decades of experience and a sterling reputation, William Hill knows the business inside-out and is a great choice when it comes to reading about the race, researching the horses and jockeys, surveying the odds, placing a bet and, finally, watching the race live on the internet.

A quick look at the William Hill site shows that in the week before the race, the favourite is the Willie Mullins-trained On His Own along with Seabass, who will be trying to outdo his impressive 2012 finish. Cappa Bleu is also considered a leading contender, as the Evan Williams-trained horse returns to the National determined to improve on last year’s results.

Forty horses will start the race which is 4 miles 4 furlongs in length with 30 fences to be jumped; fate, luck and skill will determine who will actually finish. The Grand National is, quite simply, the most important steeplechase of the season and no racing fan would dream of missing it.