PREVIEW: 2012 Grand National (Horse Racing)

HORSE RACING - The Aintree Grand National is one of the most anticipated horse races of the year. 2011 champion Ballabriggs is hoping to become the fifth back-to-back winner in the 173-year-old history of the gruelling steeplechase.

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ODDS AND ENDS - Oddschanger’s best bets

FOOTBALL - The Easter weekend of football kicks off on Friday night in England with Newcastle (85/40) making the 700 mile round trip to Swansea (7/5). Both teams have impressed this season and have surpassed all expectations which has resulted in an off-field battle between the two managers for LMA Manager of the Year.

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BIRTHDAY - 19 February: Eddie Arcaro (Horse Racing)

HORSE RACING - If Eddie Arcaro would be alive today, he would be 96 years old. He is regarded as the finest American jockey ever, having won the Kentucky Derby on five occasions, the Preakness Stakes on six and the Belmont Stakes on six and claiming the Triple Crown in 1941 and 1948. Credited with more than 4,500 career victories, the man called ‘The Banana Nose’ was faster than his shadow on horseback.

Shares birthday with: Nicolaus Copernicus, Seal, Benicio Del Toro