Paddy Power has launched a new advert for the Grand National, which will be held on on April 9–11 at Aintree Racecourse, featuring jockey Ruby Walsh jumping over a moving vehicle while riding a race horse.
The bookmaker’s 22-second advert shown Irish jockey Walsh riding Ballycasey and saying, “This is how I’ve been getting ready for this year’s Grand National.”
Paddy Power claimed that Walsh jumped straight over the car, which was said to be travelling at 40mph.
In February 2012, Paddy Power also produced a controversial advert ahead of Cheltenham Festival featuring a hitman firing tranquillizer darts at unsuspecting members of the public, promising to “take care of the chavs – veterinary style” (inspired by loutish race goers fighting at Ascot) and another advert with transgender race goers, inviting viewers to spot the “stallions from the mares.”
Those adverts were banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after receiving complaints that the ads were offensive and encouraged harmful discriminatory behavior.
Paddy odds have Ballycasey at 25/1 to win the Grand National 2015 while Shutthefrontdoor leading at 7/1 followed by Rocky Creek at 9/1.
According to payment processor Worldpay, Grand National is expected to be huge for online bookmakers as it saw a 71% increase in online betting activity and a 43% spike in total betting value compared to the week prior the event.
“The Grand National is always the most popular betting event in the sporting calendar and we are already seeing huge excitement around this year’s race,” said WorldPay Vice President Gambling. “We expect this to be the biggest Grand National ever for the online bookies, and the fact Champion Jockey AP McCoy is riding the race for the very last time only adds to the drama.”
The Grand National offers over £1 million in prize money and expects more than 70,000 viewers at the Liverpool racecourse, with 600 million more on TV and online.