Cancer Connections is a winner if Balthazar King performs in Grand National

GRAND NATIONAL ... Jon Marshall at Ladbrokes, in Ocean Road, South Shields, which has given the Gazette a �50 charity bet for the Grand National.
GRAND NATIONAL ... Jon Marshall at Ladbrokes, in Ocean Road, South Shields, which has given the Gazette a �50 charity bet for the Grand National.
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A WORTHY charity in South Tyneside will scoop a cash windfall if the Gazette’s horse is one of the first to cross the line in tomorrow’s Grand National.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes, in Ocean Road, South Shields, has kindly provided the Gazette with a £50 charity bet in the hope of benefiting 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, Cancer Connections, in Harton Lane, South Shields.

The organisation offers therapies, counselling and support to the people of the borough with life-limiting illnesses.

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 Shields Gazette, 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.

“Cancer Connections 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 race as he has his final ride in the event before he retires.

“Should he win, the bookmakers will take a severe bashing.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki