In a race where there are 40 runners and 30 fences for the runners to scale, it pays to narrow the field down, by looking at previous trends. There are a number of different factors to consider when you look for the winner.
Last year’s winner Tiger Roll carried 10 stone 13 pounds to victory. In the last 6 running’s of the race, only one winner Many Clouds, has carried more than 11 stone. Since Red Rum won the National in 1977, only five winners have carried in excess of 11 stone, so you may want to rule out horses carrying more than that. 22 of the last 28 winners carried 10 stone 13 lbs or less.
Age is an interesting statistic to look at in the Grand National. Traditionally, it has paid to back older horses aged 9 and over, with only 6 winners of the race aged under 9 since Red Rum won for the first time at the age of eight, 46 years ago in 1973.
However, three of the last four winners have been aged 8, so this is a trend to be wary of. It is highly unlikely you will find a winner younger than 8, with the last seven year old to win the race being Bogskar in 1940!
9 of the last 16 winners were aged ten, eleven or twelve. All the last 14 winners were aged between 8 and 11.
One statistic to definitely watch out for is the number of days since the horse’s last run. It take a fit horse to win a race of this magnitude and 27 of the last 28 winners ran within the last 55 days. 22 of the last 28 had run in the last 34 days.
Look at the horse’s previous races. Stamina is a must. 14 of the last 15 winner had previously won over a distance of 3 miles or more. 24 of the last 26 winners had previously won a 3 mile chase. Nine of the last ten winners had previously finished in the top three in a race over at least 3 miles 2 furlongs.
There is a reason why odds are as they are. Nine of the last 16 winners have come from the top eight in the market. That doesn’t mean you should exclude higher priced horses from your thinking. Its only ten years since Mon Mome won at odds of 100-1. There have been subsequent winners at 66-1, 33-1 and two at 25-1.
With thirty fences to jump, the Grand National is a race for seasoned steeplechasers. Look for runners who have run 10-14 times over fences before winning the National. 18 of the past 20 winners had fallen or unseated their rider no more than two times in their entire career. Look out for previous experience over the Aintree fences in races like the Becher Chase and the Topham Chase.
Grand National Trends at a glance (Last 28 Running’s)
27/28 – Ran 55 days ago or less
27/28 – Officially rating of 137 or higher
26/28 – Had won over at least 3 mile chase before
25/28 – Had won no more than 6 times over fences
23/28 – Aged nine or older
22/28 – Ran 34 days ago or less
22/28 – Carried no more than 10 stone 13 lbs
19/28 – Had won between 4-6 times over fences
17/28 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
17/28 – Aged 10 years-old or less
16/28 – Carried 10 stone 8 lbs or less
15/28 – Placed favourites
15/28 – Irish-bred winners