Grand National Trends

April – GRAND NATIONAL- Aintree – Group 3, Class 1, 6 y-o+- 4m 4f

4m 4f, 30 fences, all jumped twice except the Chair and the Water Jump, 900,000 £ in prize money, 40 runners, this race is the toughest National Hunt Race of all, for both horses and jockeys and it is also a tough nut to crack from a betting and tipping perspective. However, the good news is that amongst the past 12 winners we have pointed out useful similarities that should help you select the right horses. So lets get started with a few trends and filters and once the list of runners is finally published, grab a nice value bet!

Agility: Avoid the fallers€¦

Taking into account the last 6 outings (in Chases, not hurdles), of the last 12 winners, it is striking how agile these animals are. Altogether, it adds up to 78 runs, and off these 78, we only account for 3 falls (Silver Birch, Hedgehunter and Red Marauder)! Focus on agile chasers, their jumping has to be neat and solid. It is best to avoid an awkward jumper whos been falling a few times already. A clumsy horse will never win the National. If your fancy fell more than twice over the past 6 runs, go for it but its at your own risk.

Experience: More than 10 – No more than 35.

The last 12 winners all raced in at least 10 chases before the big day and had their prep in either Irish National Chase, Welsh National Chase or the Eider, or if not, they are course winners. The fences of The Grand National are unique and on this particular track course, experience is a big advantage as the value of course form is worth double its normal value. You could compare Ascot to Sandown, or Exeter to Towcester, but Aintree does not compare with any other track in Britain or Ireland. So, those who ran creditably over the course are to be taken seriously. This experience gives them an edge over the remainder of the field. However, they have had no more than 35 races over fences. An over-raced horse has no chance to beat 39 opponents.

Profile: Best to avoid Cheltenham contenders…

The Aintree Festival starts a few weeks after the Gold Cup. Cheltenham contenders have been trained to be at their peak 4 weeks before Aintree and one cannot see how these horses will remain at their top fitness having had tough races. Though, those who havent had a hard race might be considered.

Placings: Focus on a horse thats rarely out of the first 6.

In their last 3 outings, past winners rarely have been out of the first 6. It is rare if they do not complete a circuit and that comforts the theory of their ability to avoid mistakes over fences. It is not necessary to concentrate on a horse who has won many of his past runs; a high striking rate has never been the mark of previous victors.

Butlers cabin,

Ran over Hurdles: A strategy that pays off.

It is interesting to see that a substantial amount of winners had their prep races over hurdles. It is beneficial on two sides as they tend to be ran at a faster pace than chases and in the meantime, if a horse has had its last 4-5 runs over hurdles its handicap chase mark will lower. That means less weight to carry and thats a massive bonus in a race because no horse carrying more than 11st 5lbs has ever won.

Pulled Up horses: OK but not recently pulled up.

3 winners have been stopped by their jockey in their 3rd to 6th previous outing (Comply or Die, Montys Pass and Earth Summit), so it seems risky to write off a horse that has been pulled up. However, it is probably unreasonable to select a horse that was pulled up on his last appearance because it indicates a lack of fitness.

Horses to write off for victory: Always Waining, Battle Cry, Bagan, Beat the Boys, Butlers Cabin, Knowhere, Simon, Nozic, Kelami, Alexander the Great, Arteeaa, Character Building, Hear the Echo, State of Play, Killbegan Blade, Himalyan Trail, Parsons Legacy, Offshore Account, Roll Along, Preists Leap,
Cerium, Fundamentalist, Hot Weld, Ice Tea, In the Loop, Iron Man, Matock Ranger, Mont Misere, Patsy Hall, Stan
Top speed: All bar one. (TS from Racing Post)

A good cruising speed is essential, with such a large field this wont be run at a slow pace and all victors achieved past speed ratings in excess of 125 bar Montys Pass.

Winners mentality: No less than 3 wins in Chase.

All previous triumphants tasted victory at least 3 times over fences. Thats an important piece of information. A Grand National winner has to be tough and confident from its past victories. A hesitant jumper will not go over 30 fences. NumberSixValVerde, Hedgehunter, Bindaree, Lord Gyllene scored on 3 Chases before. Comply or Die, Silver Birch and Bobbyjo had 4 wins, Red Marauder, 5 wins, Amberleigh House, Montys Pass, Papillon won 6 times and finally, Earth Summit already had 7 wins under his belt.

Distance:

Ran over 4m 4f, this race is the ultimate test of stamina and it is unreasonable to consider any horse who has not won over the minimum distance of 3 m. For the past 39 years, all previously scored over 3 miles and longer.

Last run: between 3 and 10 weeks

No winner has had a break longer than 2 months and a half, however all rested for at least 3 weeks before the big race.
Bagan,

Overall Ratings: Racing Post Ratings (RPR)

All achieved a minimum rating of 144 (RPR) in their last 5 runs. It is probably unfair to judge a horse on his rating on the day or on its last handicap mark. We might get a better overall picture by looking at the last 5 runs.

Weight

no more than 11 stones 5 lbs. Red Rum in 1977 was the last to carry more than 11 st 5 lbs.

Ratings on left-handed racecourses: 141+ Racing Post Ratings (RPR)

All achieved a minimum rating of 141 on left – handed tracks such as Aintree, Cheltenham or Leopardstown or any other left handed track.

Age: Between 8 and 12

Bogskar in 1940 was the last 7 year-old winner of the Grand National. Since then, all winners were aged between 8 and 12. Meanwhile, it might be adventurous to scratch off a 7 year old who has had at least 10 races and more than 3 victories under his belt.

A few horses to write off for victory but more to come€¦:

Always Waining, Battle Cry, Bagan, Beat the Boys, Butlers Cabin, Knowhere, Simon, Nozic, Kelami, Alexander the Great, Arteeaa, Character Building, Hear the Echo, State of Play, Killbegan Blade, Himalyan Trail, Parsons Legacy, Offshore Account, Roll Along, Preists Leap,
Cerium, Fundamentalist, Hot Weld, Ice Tea, In the Loop, Iron Man, Matock Ranger, Mont Misere, Patsy Hall, Stan

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