Grand National Trends

The Grand National Trends

The most famous Steeplechase around the world. Forty runners. Four and a quarter miles to run. 30 fences to jump. It can only be The Grand National.

With two time winner Tiger Roll not taking his place in the field this year, the opportunity is open for a new name to etch their names in the history books.

The trends below can hopefully help us identify the next hero in Aintree folklore.

Stat One

A good place to start with any big field handicap is with age and the Grand National should be treated no differently as eight of the last 11 winners have been aged between nine and 11.

As horses get older they gradually slow down and become more adept at staying longer trips. Focus on those in the highlighted bracket. Younger horses may lack the experience for the test this serves up.

In fact 19 of the past 24 winners have fit into this age bracket.

Stat Two

To further narrow down the field there’s a weight bracket that’s been prevalent over the last few years. Nine of the last 11 winners carried between 10st 6lbs and 11st 6lbs.

It is a large bracket but helps eliminate those at the top of the weights, those who are over exposed. Also those near the bottom of the weights who are potentially not good enough to get competitive.

Current favourite Cloth Cap sits just outside this bracket carrying 10st 5lbs.

Stat Three

To keep narrowing the field down. official ratings gives us a solid bracket to work with as nine of the last 11 winners were rated between 148 and 160.

Again this ties in with the previous trend, but the two can be mixed together to streamline the field. Cloth Cap sneaks in at the bottom of this bracket as he’s rated 148.

As with the previous rating this eliminates the current top three in the handicap; Bristol De Mai, The Storyteller and Chris’s Dream.

This also knocks out anything currently below #36 in the handicap.

Stat Four

This is an attritional test of stamina and jumping. Don’t take it on blind faith that your fancy is going to appreciate the marathon trip.

Nine of the last 11 winners had at least eight runs over three miles or further. Furthermore, eight of last 11 winners had two or more wins over three miles or further.

Finally 10 of the last 11 had at least one win at three miles or further.

Look for those who have solid form over staying trips. Be wary of those stepping up in trip for the first time or those who have failed to win when running further than three miles.

Stat Five

It might sound blindingly obvious but experience is important in a big race like this.

All of the last 11 winners of the National had at least 10 previous chase runs to their name. Be wary of horses lacking in chasing experience.

The Aintree fences are a unique test that come thick and fast. Also be cautious of runners who have failed to record three or more chase wins in their career.

You want to be with established chasing types. They have experience over fences and have been successful over the bigger obstacles.

Stat Six

With this being a Grade Three event it could pay to keep those onside who are previous graded winners.

Not as bold as some of the other stats included but certainly something worth bearing in mind as six of the last 11 winners had a previous win in a graded race on their CV.

Class tells. It takes a good horse to win the National so keep those on side who have mixed it in graded company and come out with a win.

Stat Seven

Finally seasonal form plays a big role here as all of the last 11 winners had at least three runs that season. Keeping racing fit and sharp looks to be one of the vital key to wining this.

The flip side of this is 10 of the last 11 winners had no more than six runs that season. Take caution with those who have had a busy season, they might have already passed their peak for this campaign before coming to Aintree.

Between three and six runs this campaign looks to be the sweet spot to be match ready without overdoing it.

Winning in that season isn’t a major trend among winners, with seven of the last 11 recording a win that season, but six of the last 10 winners also recorded a top three finish on their last outing.

Look for those starting to hit their stride in the Spring.

Stat Eight

The last six winners of the national had fallen only once or never at all.

Stick with assured jumpers.

Value Angle

Lord Du Mesnil offers some extremely good value currently at around 33/1. The eight year old has ran in two renewals of the Grand National Trial at Haydock, coming second last year and winning this year.

He’s had four runs this season, is eight years old, sits nicely in the ratings and weight brackets and looks nicely laid out for this. He can certainly outrun a big price tag.

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